Matchup: Nebraska at Iowa (PK, 56 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Friday, November 28th @ 12:00 pm (EST)
Location: Iowa City, IA (Airing on ABC)
Preview: The Heroes Trophy will be at stake when the Nebraska Cornhuskers take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a Big Ten clash from Iowa City, Iowa on Friday.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are coming off 28–24 loss at home to Minnesota. It was their second straight loss, and it was clear the team have not recovered from the 59–24 blowout loss at Wisconsin the week prior. Running back Ameer Abdullah suffered a knee injury back on November 1st against Purdue, and has been somewhat average since, gaining only 69 yards against Wisconsin, and 98 yards against Minnesota. His performance since the injury may lead one to believe he’s not 100%. The cornhuskers also had to key injuries in the loss to Minnesota, with senior offensive lineman Mark Pelini went down with a high ankle sprain, and leading receiver Kenny Bell went out early with a head injury.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off a narrow 26–24 loss against Wisconsin. Quarterback Jake Rudock completed 20 of 30 pass attempts for 311 yards with 2 touchdowns. The Hawkeyes actually outgained the Badgers, but lost the turnover battle, in what might have been the difference in the ball game. It was the Hawkeyes second home loss of the season, with the other coming in early September, a 20–17 loss to in-state rival Iowa State. Iowa’s defense has actually been pretty good this season, ranking 21st in the nation in total defense, allowing 5.11 yards per play and 331 yards per game. The players responded well after being blown out at home by Minnesota in early November, and have given a max effort for head coach Kirk Ferentz.
I’m backing the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday afternoon. It will be senior day in Iowa City, and it’s clear to me that this Iowa team is playing for a better bowl, and judging by the past two games, they are clicking offensively. I’ll back the home team against a Nebraska squad that looks to be in a tailspin, and one has to wonder where this Nebraska squad is at between the ears. There is no word yet on the status of leading receiver Kenny Bell, and without you’re starting center and Abdullah’s Health in question, I just can’t back a team that looks to be in turmoil.
2014 Week 14 NCAA Football Pick: Iowa PK, Under 56
Nebraska at Iowa Score Prediction: Iowa 27 – Nebraska 21