‘We got one mission left’: Huskers face rival Iowa in final game of season
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska hopes to close out its season with a win on Friday, which would end a seven-game losing streak against Iowa.
The Huskers haven’t defeated the Hawkeyes since a 2014 overtime win in Iowa City. Two days after that victory, head coach Bo Pelini was fired.
Now two head coaches later, Nebraska is once again looking to overcome the odds against a Hawkeyes team, who is on a four-game win streak.
Iowa is also in contention for a trip to the Big Ten Championship game, which will be against either Michigan or Ohio State.
“We got one mission left, one game,” interim head coach Mickey Joseph said during a Tuesday press conference.
Joseph said Friday’s matchup would see a lot of similarities between Iowa and other conference opponents.
“I think that you’re going to see big linemen, you’re going to see, they’re gonna run the ball and manage the clock and play good defense,” he said.
Iowa’s defense has been strong, holding Minnesota and Wisconsin to only 10 points each in its last two games.
The Hawkeyes also kept Purdue to only three points in their matchup earlier in November.
Starting quarterback Casey Thompson is back after suffering a nerve injury in the second quarter of the Illinois game.
But Thompson struggled to keep the offense going against the Badgers last weekend, completing 12 passes for 106 yards.
“He was a little rusty last week, but today, I thought he really threw the ball well,” Joseph said.
Thompson will have to be sharp against the Hawkeyes’ defense, who Joseph said doesn’t make mistakes.
“They line up right, and they don’t, they just don’t bust coverages, they don’t miss gaps,” he said.
On the other hand, Iowa’s offense is one of the lowest-scoring in the conference.
The Hawkeyes average just 18.9 points per game, just behind Nebraska’s 19.1.
Linebacker Colton Feist said the Huskers’ defense needs to do its best to put the offense in the best possible position to score.
“This game can mean a lot to us, you know, if we can throw their season off, you know, that’s huge to us, especially with this rivalry,” he said.
As of Wednesday, the Huskers are 10.5 point underdogs, according to ESPN’s PickCenter.
In reality, Nebraska has nothing to lose on Friday, but a win would be welcome for many Husker fans.
“I know our boys to come out and give full effort, this last game, lot of pride, last game playing with some of their brothers,” Joseph said.