Nebraska started the game getting a big break when Lee was hit while throwing and what looked like a fumble returned for a touchdown by Iowa was ruled an incomplete pass.
Nebraska forces three and out on Iowa’s first offensive possession. Iowa punter Colten Rastetter fumbled the snap, which was recovered by Mohamed Barry at the Iowa 15. Three plays later, Lee hit Stanley Morgan, who made a beautiful, one-handed catch to score the 14-yard touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, Iowa’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette fielded the kick too close to the sideline and then stepped out of bounds at the one. Instead of a setback, Iowa went on a 15-play, 99 yard drive that consumed 7:18 and was finished off by Akrum Wadley as he rushed 20 yards on a third and eight.
Nebraska’s offense got into field goal range on their next drive, but tried a fake on fourth down instead of going for the field goal. The fake failed miserably, as Luke McNitt was tackled five yards into the backfield.
Nebraska’s next score came on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Lee to Morgan. The catch was enough for Morgan to set a new single season receiving record, bypassing Johnny Rodger’s record of 942 set in 1972.
Iowa’s next drive was stalled by the Husker defense early, but then extended when Nebraska’s Tony Butler ran into punter Rastetter, the five yard penalty for running into the kicker enough for an Iowa first down. Nebraska had a shot at a turnover when Wadley fumbled, but the ball took a fortunate Iowegian bounce. The result was a four yard touchdown pass from Nate Stanley to Nebraska native Noah Fant. The drive lasted 11 plays in which Iowa gained 75 yards, and took 5:53.
Nebraska called no timeouts on the Iowa drive, leaving only 25 seconds in the half. It appears the Huskers want to get the season over as quickly as possible.
Mick Stoltenberg was injured and left the game in the first half, a pretty damaging blow to the Nebraska defense.
Wadley scored on a one-yard run on Iowa’s first offensive possession of the second half. Nebraska kicked off, and Smith-Marsette returned the ball 74 yards to the Nebraska 12. An illegal block brought the return back to the 22 and five plays later Wadley scored. It was a five play drive that netted 11 yards for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa scored on a two-play drive that featured Stanley connecting with Fant, who was wide open and did not score only because he fell down on the play. One play later, James Butler ran 12 yards up the middle for another score.
The drive started when linebacker Ben Niemann picked off Lee, Lee’s 14th interception of the season. Wadley carried the ball twice, once for 11, the other, a touchdown, for 29 yards and the massive route was on.
This one came on a 68-yard touchdown reception by Fant, that kid from Omaha. The drive started when Nebraska turned the ball over on downs after running a two yard route on 3rd and 3, followed by a timeout because they couldn’t get the play in quick enough, followed by a false start on fourth down. On 4th and 6, Lee hit Morgan who inexplicably ran a three yard route.
Does it matter?
I suppose for a matter of record. The drive started when the best linebacker in the nation, Josie Jewell, intercepted Lee because that’s what gets to happen. Seven plays and 39 yards later, Toren Young scored on a three yard rush TD. The drive took 4:33 merciful minutes of clock ticking off making it closer to the end of Nebraska’s crappy season.
Meanwhile, Arkansas fired BERT.
Press release from Arkansas on Bret Bielema’s firing. pic.twitter.com/EiOprn3dDd— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) November 24, 2017
A three play, 65 yard drive taking not long enough at 1:27. Capped off by a five yard rush touchdown by Ivory Kelly-Martin because everyone gets to score today.
Tyler Hoppes set a single season reception record for most by a tight end with 34. The previous record was 32 receptions by Mike McNeill in 2008.
Nebraska finishes at 4-8 on the year, the most losses in a season since 1957.