091016-Iowa-ISU-012

Iowa's George Kittle picks up yardage after catching a pass from C.J. Beathard in the Hawkeyes' win over Iowa State last fall.

NEBRASKA AT IOWA

WEEK 12, 2:30 P.M., AT KINNICK STADIUM

TV: WQAD

RADIO: WOC 1420 AM

LINE: Iowa by 2.5

SERIES: Nebraska 29-14-3

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

Iowa’s one-two punch: Eleven games into the season, Iowa rushing leaders Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels have accumulated rushing yards within six yards of each other. Together, they have accumulated 1,716 yards while averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Only two other tandems of rushers in Iowa history – Owen Gill and Ronnie Harmon in 1984 and Nick Bell and Tony Stewart in 1990 – have rushed for more than 800 yards in a season.

Tommy? Ryker? Zack?: Nebraska’s quarterback situation has been fluid throughout the week and the ability to execute will determine just how much Iowa sees of dual-threat senior starter Tommy Armstrong, who didn’t play last week against Maryland because of a hamstring injury, and back-up Ryker Fyfe, who had a pin inserted in the wrist of his non-throwing hand last weekend. Both have practiced this week. If neither performs, sophomore Zack Darlington is waiting in the wings.

Kittle’s return: George Kittle is expected to play for the first time in three games this week, given time for a foot injury suffered in an Oct. 15 game at Purdue to heal. The senior tight end provides Iowa with not only a solid blocking threat to facilitate the run game, but another option in the passing attack. Despite limited or no action in the last five games, Kittle remains Iowa’s fourth-leading receiver for the season.

Nebraska’s secondary: Improved play by the Cornhuskers’ secondary has helped Nebraska turn around its turnover numbers from a year ago. Safety Kieron Williams shares the Big Ten lead with five interceptions on the season and safety Nathan Gerry ranks as one of the conference’s top defensive backs, collecting four picks to go along with seven tackles for a loss and eight breakups. As a team, the Cornhuskers are eighth nationally with 16 interceptions.

Big red zone efforts: Iowa has scored 14 points and won three Big Ten games this season, a rarity in today’s college game. The Hawkeyes have helped themselves with success in the red zone. Iowa has scored points on 31 of its 34 trips into the red zone this season, including 23 touchdowns and eight field goals. Iowa’s .912 red zone success rate ranks second in the Big Ten. Nebraska is ninth at .805.

— Steve Batterson

STATISTICAL LEADERS

IOWA (7-4, 5-3)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;YDS;TD;INT

C.J. Beathard;153;263;1,730;14;7

RUSHING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Akrum Wadley;135;861;6.4;9

LeShun Daniels;169;855;5.1;8

Jerminic Smith;3;63;21.0;0

Toks Akinribade;15;31;2.1;0

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Riley McCarron;36;398;11.1;3

Akrum Wadley;30;275;9.2;3

Jerminic Smith;23;314;13.7;2

George Kittle;19;289;15.2;2

Matt VandeBerg;19;284;14.9;3

INTERCEPTIONS: Desmond King 2, Manny Rugamba 2, Brandon Snyder 2, Ben Niemann 1

SACKS: Jaleel Johnson 7.5, Matt Nelson 5, Anthony Nelson 4, Parker Hesse 3.5

TACKLES: Josey Jewell 105, Bo Bower 79, Brandon Snyder 73, Ben Niemann 63, Desmond King 52

PUNT RETURNS: Desmond King 23-201-8.7-0, Riley McCarron 3-110-36.7-0

KICKOFF RETURNS: Desmond King 22-600-27.3-0, Brady Ross 2-14-7.0-0

NEBRASKA (9-2, 6-2)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;YDS;TD;INT

Tommy Armstrong;138;259;2,055;13;8

Ryker Fyfe;30;61;313;2;1

RUSHING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Terrell Newby;171;825;4.8;7

Tommy Armstrong;107;499;4.7;8

Devine Ozigbo;90;346;3.8;5

Tre Bryant;32;131;4.1;1

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Jordan Westerkamp;34;476;14.0;5

Stanley Morgan;28;397;14.2;1

Alonzo Moore;20;375;18.8;2

Brandon Reilly;16;298;18.6;0

INTERCEPTIONS: Kieron Williams 5, Nathan Gerry 4, Chris Jones 3, Aaron Williams 3

SACKS: Ross Dzuris 5.5, Freedom Akinmoladun 4, Kevin Maurice 3

TACKLES: Josh Banderas 80, Nathan Gerry 68, Kieron Williams 62, Joshua Kalu 56, Michael Rose-Ivey 54

PUNT RETURNS: De’Mornay Pierson-El 20-160-8.0-0

KICKOFF RETURNS: Tre Bryant 27-479-21.8-0, Jordan Nelson 3-90-30.0

MARQUEE MATCHUP

NEBRASKA WR JORDAN WESTERKAMP VS. IOWA DB DESMOND KING: On the mend from a midseason back injury that sidelined him for two games, the senior caught eight passes a week ago against Maryland. Westerkamp leads the Cornhuskers with 34 receptions totaling 476 yards and five touchdowns, recording at least one reception in his last 35 games, two shy of the school record set by Johnny Rodgers. King leads Iowa with seven pass break-ups and now fifth on the Hawkeye career list, he shares the team lead with two interceptions.

BY THE NUMBERS

4: The road team has won the last four games this series, with the last win by a home team coming in Lincoln in 2011 when Nebraska won 20-7

14: Iowa will honor 14 seniors prior to the start of today’s game, a group that includes offensive lineman Mitch Keppy, a former Riverdale prep

17: Nebraska has flipped its turnover numbers from a year ago, going from a minus-12 to a plus-five. Iowa has a plus-seven turnover margin on the season.

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QUOTABLE

“It’s going to be a pretty emotional day, especially with my dad and my mom out there on the field. But, we have to keep our emotions in check. We still have a big game to play, a game we need to do really well in. We have a lot to play for and we need to be ready to do.’’

— Iowa tight end George Kittle

THE SEASONS

Iowa (7-4, 5-3)

Sept. 3;Iowa 45, Miami (Ohio) 21

Sept. 10;Iowa 42, Iowa State 3

Sept. 17;North Dakota St 23, Iowa 21

Sept. 24;Iowa 14, Rutgers 7

Oct. 1;Northwestern 38, Iowa 31

Oct. 8;Iowa 14, Minnesota 7

Oct. 15;Iowa 49, Purdue 35

Oct. 22;Wisconsin 17, Iowa 9

Nov. 5;Penn State 41, Iowa 14

Nov. 12;Iowa 14, Michigan 13

Nov. 19;Iowa 28, Illinois 0

Nov. 25;Nebraska, 11 a.m.

Nebraska (9-2, 6-2)

Sept. 3;Nebraska 43, Fresno State 10

Sept. 10;Nebraska 52, Wyoming 17

Sept. 17;Nebraska 35, Oregon 22

Sept. 24;Nebraska 24, Northwestern 13

Oct. 1;Nebraska 31, Illinois 16

Oct. 15;Nebraska 27, Illinois 22

Oct. 22;Nebraska 27, Purdue 14

Oct. 29;Wisconsin 23, Nebraska 17 (OT)

Nov. 5;Ohio State 62, Nebraska 3

Nov. 12;Nebraska 24, Minnesota 17

Nov. 19;Nebraska 28, Maryland 7

Nov. 25;at Iowa, 11 a.m.

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