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Hawkeye gameday: Iowa at Nebraska

Hawkeye gameday: Iowa at Nebraska

Nebraska Maryland Football

Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez runs for some of his team-high 94 yards in the Cornhuskers' 54-7 win at Maryland last week.

IOWA AT NEBRASKA

WEEK 12: 1:30 P.M., MEMORIAL STADIUM

TV: BTN

RADIO: WOC 1420 AM

LINE: Iowa by 3

SERIES: Nebraska 29-17-3

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

Nate Stanley’s arm

Iowa’s senior quarterback needs 10 passing yards to become the third Hawkeye to pass for 8,000 yards in a career. Stanley’s season completion percentage dipped below 60 percent for the first time in 2019 after last week’s 18-of-35 passing performance against Illinois. He is currently at 59.8 percent for the season.

Dedrick Mills’ feet

The MVP of the 2016 Gator Bowl while playing for Georgia Tech, the 5-foot-11, 220-pound transfer from Garden City Community College, rushed for 188 yards two weeks ago against Wisconsin. Complementing the rushing abilities of quarterback Adrian Martinez, Mills leads the Cornhuskers with 651 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Iowa’s rushing race

Freshman Tyler Goodson has led the Hawkeyes in rushing in four of Iowa’s last six games and is now 14 yards shy of Mekhi Sargent’s team-leading total of 488 yards on the ground. Goodson is expected to make his third straight start, hoping to jump start a rushing attack which has averaged 96.6 yards against Big Ten competition, 13th in the league. Nebraska is 12th in the league in defending the run allowing 223.3 rushing yards in Big Ten play.

Kickers’ legwork

The placekicking situations for Iowa and Nebraska are about as different as it gets. The Hawkeyes’ Keith Duncan, a finalist for the Lou Groza Award as college football’s top kicker, has hit 27-of-32 field goal tries this season and is perfect in 22 PAT kicks. The Cornhuskers’ Matt Waldoch was playing club soccer earlier this fall before trying out for the team. With starter Barret Pickering out with a concussion last week, Waldoch kicked three field goals and six PATs in his college debut at Maryland.

JD Spielman’s catches

The only player in Nebraska history to top 800 receiving yards in three consecutive seasons, the junior receiver needs four receptions against Iowa to become the first Cornhusker to ever have three 50-catch seasons on his resume. He has averaged 78.5 receiving yards per game during his career – an average he has matched this season.

– Steve Batterson

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Iowa (8-3, 5-3)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;YDS;TD;INT

Nate Stanley;208;348;2,639;14;6

RUSHING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Mekhi Sargent;109;488;4.5;4

Tyler Goodson;103;474;4.6;3

Toren Young;74;408;5.5;1

Ihmir Smith-Marsette;8;48;6.0;1

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Ihmir Smith-Marsette;41;654;16.0;4

Nico Ragaini;41;373;9.1;2

Tyrone Tracy;34;569;16.7;3

Brandon Smith;33;407;12.3;4

INTERCEPTIONS: Michael Ojemudia 3, Matt Hankins 2, Riley Moss 2

SACKS: A.J. Epenesa 7, Joe Evans 4, Daviyon Nixon 3, Kristian Welch 3

TACKLES: Kristian Welch 70, Jack Koerner 62, Geno Stone 57, Djimon Colbert 55, Matt Hankins 46

PUNT RETURNS: Nico Ragaini 9-96-10.7, Max Cooper 3-18-6.0

KICKOFF RETURNS: Ihmir Smith-Marsette 12-262-21.8

Nebraska (5-6, 3-5)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;YDS;TD;INT

Adrian Martinez;139;233;1,906;10;8

RUSHING;NO.;YDS;AVG;TD

Dedrick Mills;119;651;5.5;10

Adrian Martinez;123;582;4.7;7

Wan’Dale Robinson;85;326;3.8;3

Maurice Washington;50;298;6.0;1

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

JD Spielman;46;864;18.8;4

Wan’Dale Robinson;40;453;11.3;2

Jack Stoll;22;233;10.6;1

Kanawai Noa;17;245;14.4;2

INTERCEPTIONS: Lamar Jackson 3, Cam Taylor-Britt 2, Eric Lee Jr. 2

SACKS: Khalil Davis 8, Carlos Davis 4, Ben Stille 3

TACKLES: Mohamed Barry 83, Will Honas 69, Collin Miller 62, Marquel Dismuke 61, JoJo Domann 48

PUNT RETURNS: JD Spielman 13-112-8.6

KICKOFF RETURNS: Wan’Dale Robinson 11-236-21.5, Wyatt Mazour 3-58-19.3

MARQUEE MATCHUP

IOWA DE A.J. EPENESA VS. NEBRASKA QB ADRIAN MARTINEZ: The challenge the Hawkeye junior faces comes down to limiting what the Big Ten’s leader in total offense can do. Martinez a conference-best 276.4 yards per game, completing 59.7 percent of his passes and ranking eighth in the league in rushing at 64.7 yards. Epenesa leads Iowa with seven sacks, nine quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.

BY THE NUMBERS

249.8: Iowa’s rushing average against Nebraska during the Hawkeyes’ ongoing four-game win streak in the series.

71: Plays of 20 yards of more for the Cornhuskers this season, second only to the 76 Ohio State has among Big Ten teams

QUOTABLE

“A guy like Martinez, he’s so active back there. We’ve got to keep him in the pocket and not let him make plays like he can. That's where it starts with them.’’ – Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston

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