Nebraska Cornhuskers Look to Stop #3 Iowa, Become Bowl Eligible
It's a role the storied Nebraska football team isn't accustomed to - playing spolier - but that's exactly where the Cornhuskers find themselves for this week's regular season finale.
Friday's opponent is #3 Iowa. The Hawkeyes (11-0) have already clinched Big Ten Conference West Division title, assuring them a spot in the league's title game for the first time, December 5 in Indianapolis.
But it's not the Big Ten title that has Iowa fans excited, it's a shot at a National Championship.
I talked with the 'Voice of the Huskers' Greg Sharpe about how the Cornhuskers are preparing for the Hawkeyes following a bye week.
Since returning from injury, Huskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. has been solid. In his last five quarters he's thrown for four touchdowns and run for two.
The Nebraska defense is coming off its' best performance of the season, recording a season-high 11 tackles for loss, including a season-high six sacks, against Rutgers, limiting the Scarlet Knights to just 259 yards of total offense - a season-low for the Blackshirt defense.
Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard is having a season to remember in his first year as a starter. The junior is completing 61% of his passes for an average of 205 yards per game. He's thrown 13 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
The Hawkeye defense is proving to be quite stingy in 2015, allowing just 19 points and 323 yards a game. Nationally, Iowa is in the top ten against the run and in the top 20 in fewest points and yards allowed. They have forced 21 turnovers (13 interceptions/8 fumbles) for a plus-11 margin, tied for fifth best in the FBS.
Defensive back Desmond King is tied for the lead nationally with eight interceptions. Defensive end Nate Meier has 6.5 sacks.
The fifth Hy-Vee Heroes Game will have the highest stakes of any of the previous games between the Huskers and Hawkeyes. Iowa is the first 11-win team to ever visit Memorial Stadium, and can solidify a spot in the College Football Playoff with a win Friday.
Nebraska needs a win to become bowl eligible for the eighth straight season.
Kickoff is 2:30 PM Friday afternoon in Lincoln. Listen to the game live on your home for Nebraska football in the Sioux Empire - ESPN 99.1.
Here is my complete interview with Greg on the Rutgers win and the bye week: