The Nebraska Cornhuskers have not won a conference championship in 13 years. A win this Friday against the struggling Iowa Hawkeyes will give them a chance to play in the Big 10 title game. Even if Nebraska loses tomorrow, they could still be back in the championship game if the Michigan Wolverines lose to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Cornhuskers don’t want to think about that scenario however, and a win would give them plenty to be thankful for over the holiday weekend.
Nebraska has won their last five games, while Iowa has lost their last five, so the Cornhuskers should be the heavy favorites. The Hawkeyes have been dismal on offense this season and rank out of the top 100 in passing yards, rushing yards, and points for. Iowa will not be bowl eligible for the first time in 12 years; Part of the reason the team has struggled so much is their inability in pulling out close games. The Hawkeyes have lost four games by three points or less in 2012.
The Cornhuskers, meanwhile, have sorted things out since they were beaten soundly 63-38 against the Buckeyes. They haven’t lost since that game, and they boast one of the more potent rushing attacks in the country. Nebraska ranks eighth in the nation with an average of 256.9 yards per contest. Part of the reason the run the ball so effectively is that Ameer Abdullah has done a tremendous job in Rex Burkhead’s absence, and quarterback Taylor Martinez has chipped in with 792 yards on the ground.
A win would set up a rematch between the Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers. Nebraska defeated Wisconsin earlier this season with a dramatic come from behind 30-27 victory.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @amato_mike