James Vandenberg, Marcus Coker

Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg passes the ball over teammate Marcus Coker during an NCAA college football game against Purdue, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011, in West Lafayette, Ind. Vandenberg threw three touchdown passes, including two to Marvin McNutt, to help Iowa defeat Purdue 31-21 for the Hawkeyes' first road win of the season. (AP Photo/Journal & Courier, Brent Drinkut)

Brent Drinkut


Ground games: Iowa's Marcus Coker and Nebraska's Rex Burkhead rank second and fourth in the Big Ten in rushing, averaging 117.9 and 100.7 yards per game, respectively. Coker has carried the ball a conference-high 263 times, while Burkhead's work is complemented by the 74.3 rushing yards per game the Cornhuskers get from quarterback Taylor Martinez. Combined, they have carried 391 times this season for an offense that averages 224.1 rushing yards per game.

House of David: With preseason all-American Jared Crick sidelined for the season by injury, linebacker Lavonte David has become the centerpiece of the Nebraska defense. David is one of five finalists for this year's Butkus Award, following a 152-tackle campaign in 2010 with a team-leading total of 114 stops this season. He is coming off of a 17-tackle game against Michigan last week and leads the Cornhuskers with 10 tackles for a loss and two interceptions.

Vandenberg's arm: Hawkeyes quarterback James Vandenberg leads the Big Ten in passing yards per game. The junior has thrown for a league-best 238.5 yards, completing 198-of-325 passes for 2,624 yards. He has thrown 23 touchdown passes and has been intercepted just five times. Nebraska's passing game has been sporadic, with Martinez completing just 56 percent of his 250 passes.

Special efforts: Nebraska special teams look to regain a season-long edge it lost in a mistake-filled game at Michigan. Junior Brett Maher leads the Big Ten with an average of 45.4 yards per punt and leads the league in field-goal percentage, hitting 17 of the 20 he has attempted. He is perfect in 40 PAT attempts. The Cornhuskers also possess the Big Ten's kickoff return leader in freshman Ameer Abdullah, who has averaged a league-best 30 yards on 24 returns this season.

McNutt's record run: Marvin McNutt enters Iowa's regular-season finale needing a dozen catches to grab the only two Hawkeyes receiving records that he doesn't already own. With 74 catches covering 1,240 yards this year, the senior is eight shy of Kevin Kasper's single-season record of 82 catches set in 2000. He needs 12 receptions to erase the career receptions record of 173 held by Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.


RUNNING BACK REX BURKHEAD VS. IOWA LINEBACKER CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY: The Nebraska junior will be the most physical back to challenge the Hawkeyes since Silas Redd of Penn State rushed for 142 yards on 28 carries in a 13-3 win over Iowa on Oct. 8. Looking to rebound from a season-low 36-yard effort last week at Michigan, he'll test the growth made by the Hawkeyes linebackers. The sophomore leads Iowa and ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 93 tackles on the season.


9: Nebraska will be attempting to earn its fourth straight nine-win season under coach Bo Pelini

1.9: Yards that separate the average offensive efforts of Iowa and Nebraska through 10 games, the Hawkeyes average 389.1 yards, the Cornhuskers 391.0

1943: Last year that Iowa won a football game at Nebraska, where the Cornhuskers have won the past four meetings