After losing three consecutive conference games, Iowa stands one victory from the Big Ten championship game thanks to a four-game winning streak.
Iowa, at one point, was 3-4 overall and 1-3 in conference play. Then came victories over Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin and Minnesota, pushing the Hawkeyes (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) in position to play either Ohio State or Michigan in the Big Ten title game.
A victory over Nebraska (3-8, 2-6) on Friday at Iowa City, Iowa, will make it happen.
“Really happy for our guys,” said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who was embroiled in criticism after the early struggles this season. “Really happy locker room. That’s November football, whatever it takes to get it done.”
Iowa has won seven straight games against Nebraska, which is likely playing its last game under interim head coach Mickey Joseph.
The Cornhuskers lost five consecutive Big Ten games after starting 2-1, including a painful defeat last week.
Nebraska was competitive in the 15-14 home loss to Wisconsin but fell short when the Badgers scored on a touchdown run with 35 seconds left.
The Cornhuskers’ offense totaled 171 yards, with 106 yards passing and 65 yards on the ground.
Casey Thompson completed 12 of 19 pass attempts for 106 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
“Take a hat off to these kids,” said Joseph, whose team has lost three of the five games in the losing streak by a touchdown or less. “Just a good character group. A group that’s not going to quit.”
Iowa limited Minnesota to 87 passing yards in the 13-10 victory last week — the third time this season an opponent has passed for less than 100 yards.
This is the first season since 1929 that the Hawkeyes’ defense has allowed 10 or fewer points in eight games. The 1929 team gave up 28 points the entire eight-game season.
Jack Campbell, a linebacker, had a fourth-quarter interception against Minnesota and also tallied 10 tackles — his seventh game of 10 tackles or more this season. Campbell is now 20th in school history with 287 career tackles.
–Field Level Media