Iowa Hawkeyes, Nebraska Cornhuskers Will Be Decided by the 20s

By Derek Helling
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Heroes Game, between the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers, is a game that will be decided by the 20s.

The Iowa run defense is a top 20 squad, allowing an average of 123.6 yards per game. The Nebraska running game, led by Ameer Abdullah‘s 1,751 yards, has a top 20 average as well. One of the main battles that decides this game will be which of these units can execute their game plans against the other. If the Hawkeye defensive front seven can hold Abdullah under a hundred yards, Iowa has a chance to pull off a slight upset. If the Cornhusker offensive line is able to get leverage and seals on Carl Davis and company, Nebraska will have a clear path to its ninth victory.

Another 20 that will decide this game is the Iowa 20-yard line going into the end zone. Nebraska is ranked 20th in the nation in red zone offense and Iowa is a top-20 defense as far as allowing touchdowns in the red zone goes. Holding the Cornhuskers out of the end zone will be imperative for the Hawkeyes if they are going to leave Lincoln with their eighth win.

There are a few other random 20s that could come into play. The Hawkeyes are in the top 20 in FBS in scoring defense, first downs allowed and punt return average. Iowa’s ability to score off turnovers and create field position could come up huge for them on Friday. The Cornhuskers are fifth in the country in defensive third down percentage, which if continued could create problems for the Hawkeyes.

The last 20 that will decide this game is which team will be the first to 20 points. If Iowa can contain the Nebraska offense long enough to put 20 points up on the board first the Hawkeyes will win. The Cornhuskers rolling over the 20 point threshold before the Iowa offense can get there will spell doom for the Hawkeyes’ upset hopes.

This game will be a physical battle centering around all the 20s. When the clock finally expires, either team could be ahead in score. Which one will depend on whose 20s are most efficient. For a prediction, there’s another 20: Nebraska 20, Iowa 17.

Derek Helling is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and add him on Google+. Read more here

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