Things weren’t exactly breaking Iowa’s way on the final drive of the game. A 38-yard pass to Nico Ragaini had been overturned and after a second incomplete pass, the Hawkeyes faced a third-and-10 situation from their 26-yard line. Nate Stanley connected with Ihmir Smith-Marsette for a 22-yard gain and a first down that kept Iowa’s game-winning drive alive. Smith-Marsette’s catch was followed by a second 22-yard pass to Sam LaPorta, positioning Keith Duncan to decide the game.
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Iowa found room to run on the Cornhuskers’ defense early, helping the Hawkeyes jump out to a 24-10 lead. The Hawkeyes ran for 152 of their 225 yards on the ground during the first quarter, an effort which topped any of Iowa’s total rushing performances in its previous seven games. Overall, the Hawkeyes averaged 7.3 yards on 31 carries, well above the team’s season average of 3.7 yards per carry. Tyler Goodson led Iowa with 116 yards on 13 carries.
"When the defense gets the stop and the ball was back in our hands, it was like ‘Yeah, let’s go get this one.’ It’s great that the coaches have that level of confidence in us to move the ball and find a way to win the game. All we had to do was give Keith (Duncan) a chance. We’ve got all the trust in the world in that guy. He’s money." — Iowa receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette