The Hawkeyes Mic picks are in for the Iowa – Nebraska Game. It’s unanimous once again – and in a good way if you’re a Hawkeyes fan. Check them out – see if you agree or disagree.
Scott Dochterman – Iowa 34-28:
Nebraska has won four of its last five and has plenty of enthusiasm but there are certain aspects that overcome raw emotion. Primarily, Iowa is ranked second in the Big Ten in the four major defensive categories while Nebraska is 12th. Iowa has the nation’s most explosive third-down passing offense while Nebraska ranks No. 125. I’m maybe a bit conservative in my prediction but I’ll go with Iowa 34, Nebraska 28.
Steve Batterson – Iowa 17-10:
The Heroes Trophy won’t stay in Iowa City forever, but the consistency in the work of the Iowa defense will give it an extended stay this season. Nebraska has made strides in Scott Frost’s first season, but expect the Hawkeye pass rush to create some issues in regular-season finale for both teams. Adrian Martinez is the latest in a string of dual-threat quarterbacks Iowa has seen this season and he’ll make some plays, but in the end expect the Iowa defense to make a few more in a game dominated by defense.
Brendan Stiles – Iowa 38-24:
I expect a high-scoring affair to break out at Kinnick Stadium on Black Friday. Nebraska has a good offense that will score points. But much like Illinois last week, the Huskers have a suspect defense, particularly against the run, so I foresee Iowa having similar success moving the ball on the ground and being able to set up play-action for guys like Fant and Hockenson. The Hawkeyes take this one to finish 8-4 and perhaps play themselves into a trip to sunny San Diego for the Holiday Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
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Tyler Tjelmeland – Iowa 35-17:
Iowa answered the bell in a big way on both sides of the ball last week in the routing of Illinois, which is exactly what the doctor ordered. The defense will be the key in this one. Michigan State showed last week in Lincoln that Nebraska’s recent offensive success can be stopped. Typical ground and pound approach for the Hawkeye offense should see play action open up for Stanley and his tight ends. Iowa is better than its record and the mentality the fan base has after the loss to Northwestern and the three game slide. Nebraska is getting better, and Martinez is budding into B1G stardom, but this one is Iowa’s & they fly high into bowl season.
Jack Brandsgard – Iowa 38-28:
Iowa was limping going into the last week, but its performance against Illinois was impressive enough to change the minds of many. The Hawkeyes should be able to put pressure on freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez because of Nebraska’s poor offensive line play. Look for AJ Epenesa to have another big day.
Although the Huskers’ defense only allowed six points last week, it has struggled for most of the season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brian Ferentz sic Nebraska-native Noah Fant on the Huskers, especially given Fant’s impressive performance last week.
John Patchett – Iowa 38-17:
Iowa’s Offense is back on a roll – and the Hawkeyes Defense excelled last week at Illinois. And while the Illini are not very good on D – they were one of the Big Ten’s leading rushing teams. On Offense, Iowa rediscovered Noah Fant and the two tight ends set (12 Personnel Grouping) – that really bodes well for the Hawkeyes and ill for the Cornhuskers D. This is Senior Day and the emotions will be running high for the 14 Hawkeyes playing their last game at Kinnick Stadium.
It’s the close-out of the 2018 regular season – the annual Heroes Game – with the Heroes Trophy at stake. Nebraska’s Defense has been very leaky – notwithstanding last Saturday’s game in Lincoln vs. Michigan State. Nebby’s O can be explosive, too. But all things, considered, I think Iowa rolls in this one – finishes 8-4 – and gets a warm-weather bowl somewhere fans will want to go.
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