Let’s get one thing out of the way right now.
There’s always been this denial about Nebraska’s rivalries. Kansas State was never rival in most people’s eyes. Neither were Colorado or Missouri. Get over yourselves. You don’t have to have a single rival, this is not a monogamous marriage and we can make up whatever rules we want.
I don’t care about a made up, corporate-sponsored trophy. A trophy does not designate a rivalry. A desire to win and the idea that you want to beat that team more than you do most others (note that I did not say “all others”) is what makes a rivalry.
Moving on now.
Iowa’s offense can be broken down into a few base runs, play action passes to the tight end, in a timely traditional screen or two. Iowa is perfectly happy slugging it out on the ground. They’re perfectly happy with a 13 point game.
Nebraska’s offense was built to score. Even though it seems that right now we have debilitating injuries, we still have more offensive weapons than Iowa does. If Tommy Armstrong can play, then Nebraska’s offense will be diverse, and Iowa will have difficulty stopping it. If Tommy Armstrong doesn’t play, then we’ll see a mixture of Ryker Fyfe, Zach Darlington, and who knows who else playing the position. If you’re Iowa, how do you prepare for that endless set of whatever the hell might happen next?
Nebraska fans haven’t been very good about giving Newby credit. It seems that Newby isn’t Ameer Abdullah and he isn’t all them damned running backs from earlier in the years when we had an offensive line that consistently opened holes.
Imagine if you lived this life in which you woke up every morning and your wife started the day by saying, “You’re no Mike Rozier.” That’s basically what Nebraska fans have been saying to Newby for his Husker career. Maybe this is his game. Maybe this is his year. Maybe we should shut up and recognize Newby as a guy who’s improved his game every single year at Nebraska. Maybe Newby, the senior, will have the game of his life today against Iowa.
The defensive game plan will be pretty simple. Stop Iowa’s run game = win. Senior linebackers Michael Rose-Ivey and Josh Banderas will be ready for this Iowa offense, which is 79th nationally in rush offense with 163.55 yards per game. North Dakota State held the Hawkeyes to 34 yards on the ground, Northwestern held them to 79, Wisconsin to 83, and Penn State to 30.
There’s little reason to think that Nebraska can’t do about the same.
Math Is Hard
By now everyone should be familiar with the fact that Iowa extended Kirk Feretnz’ contract and gave him a 40 gazillion bazillion dollar buyout. He is paid quite handsomely, surely more than you or I and maybe all of us on this site put together, to coach football. Still, Kirk makes some really bizarre, dumb decisions. Like looking at a touchdown and a two point conversion as if they are two separate scores.
Kirk regularly makes these decisions, and if he doesn’t do it, his offensive coordinator Greg Davis helps out.
Read the first two paragraphs of Husker Mike’s Iowa preview. Iowa has been all over the board this season. Granted that they’re last two games have been pretty good, knocking off highly-ranked Michigan and then beating up on lowly Illinois.
Which Iowa will show up today?
There’s a good chance it will be the one that gave up 38 points at home to Northwestern.
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