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The Morning After: Iowa

The regular season is over for Nebraska after losing to the Hawkeyes Friday. Here is what folks said about it this morning.

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David McGee

Tom Shatel, Omaha World Herald: Dared by Iowa, Huskers revert back to form

Iowa is 12-0. Nebraska is 5-7. If anyone had those back in August, please proceed directly to Las Vegas, do not stop at a cash machine.

And, well, if you are still not sure how this happened, or are in denial, all you needed to see was Iowa’s 28-20 victory here on a chilling, bone-rattling Black and Gold Friday at Memorial Stadium.

What we saw here were Exhibits A and B why Iowa and Nebraska are who we thought they were.

The Hawkeyes win because they don’t make mistakes.

The Huskers play like they invented them.

If they gave out trophies for maddening turnovers, unbelievable penalties and noggin-shaking play-calling, this would have been one whale of a season for first-year coach Mike Riley.

Instead, the Huskers might have to settle for a bowl bid that the 5-7 team didn’t earn but would gladly accept.

Steve Sipple, Lincoln Journal Star: QB discussion isn't the kind Huskers needed

Armstrong wasn't Nebraska's only problem. The Huskers — turnovers, penalties and all — were down only 28-17 with seven minutes left in the game when Langsdorf made a disappointing play call.

On fourth-and-1 from the Iowa 19-yard line, Armstrong threw incomplete on a pass deep down the sideline to wide receiver Brandon Reilly, who was one-on-one with cornerback Greg Mabin — who had no safety help. Armstrong took a chance with his best deep threat. I get that. Armstrong also could've made a quick-and-easy throw to tight end Cethan Carter in the flat. Carter was wide open. I get that, too.

This might sound crazy, but why not run the ball on fourth-and-1? Why even call a pass play?

Riley has said fullback Andy Janovich is an NFL-caliber player. Janovich had exactly zero carries. He's a senior who was playing his last home game. Give him a shot. Janovich getting a yard in that situation seemed a safe bet. He would've been snorting fire.

"We had run the play before (with Imani Cross) and got stuffed with the free guy off the edge," Langsdorf said. "They were really loading us up. I didn't want to just hand it off and get stuffed in the backfield. I thought we had a better play with more options.

"It didn't work. So, obviously, it's going to get looked at."

Rick Brown, Des Moines Register: Iowa's 12-0, and more history awaits

Last season's loss to Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium was a disappointing end to underachieving 2014 regular season. A season that compelled Barta to come to the defense of his coach and tell the world Ferentz was the right man to lead the program.

There were plenty of skeptics.

"We’ll celebrate this," Barta said. "But there’s still more to go."

Next is the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 5 in Indianapolis. It is a game that could propel a team that started the season with no expectations into an appearance in the College Football Playoff.

I never thought I’d write that sentence this season. I didn’t see 12-0 coming. But I had plenty of  company. And I never thought I’d see offensive line coach and run-game coordinator Brian Ferentz leave a football field with tears in his eyes. Tears of sheer joy.


WE'RE ALSO GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS IOWA TEAM AND THIS GAME. In time. They beat Nebraska on the road today. They're perfect.

Iowa did it with only 253 yards of offense and less than 100 yards passing. Jordan Canzeri was once again the MVP and carried his teammates to victory. Iowa's defense stepped to the plate and with a little help from Tommy Armstrong, Iowa won yet another game on the road in the Big Ten.

Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World Herald: Job #1 for Mike Riley? Fix the QB play

Tommy Armstrong, the most important player on this team, threw four interceptions. He’s thrown 16 in 11 games, including nine in November. He’s seemingly regressed from BYU to Iowa.

Iowa’s offense ran 44 plays, producing just 250 yards. Why did the Hawks win?

"This game was about turnovers," Riley said, driving the point home later in his press conference, "Michigan State and Iowa lead the Big Ten in turnover margin. Statistics can be pretty telling and that’s a huge one."

Iowa leads the Big Ten with a plus-14 turnover margin. Michigan State is second at plus-11. Nebraska is second-to-last at minus-13.

Turnovers have plagued Nebraska football for years. The Huskers’ giveaways, compared to their peers, are abysmal. The reason? It starts with boom-or-bust quarterback play. For all of Taylor Martinez’s and Armstrong’s flashy yards, they make too many mistakes.