What a Difference From a Year Ago Today.
365 days ago, Nebraska was 4-7. We had just gotten embarrassed by Minnesota, and hammered by Penn State. The team had gone soft, was physically beaten up, disenchanted, lethargic and disinterested. Smiley Riley was aimlessly wandering the sidelines, applying chapstick and not using his headphones. His postgame interviews were, "I don't know what just happened", or "Gee, we need to play better". Diaco's 'Bend but don't Break defense' was 'Feeling the Strain' as each game it got flat-bent over sideways and snapped in two. And then in the the last game of the year... Iowa pasted us with our third straight +50 point shellacking.
Today the Huskers may have the same 4-7 record heading into Iowa, but this is a whole new kind of Nebraska playing this week. Scott Frost's culture is taking hold after an 0-6 start, and the Huskers are looking to finish out 5-1 to end the season. The improvements in the last 6 games:
- Lost in OT @ Northwestern, the B1G West Champion.
- Blew out Minny.
- Blew out BCU.
- Lost by 5 points to Ohio State, either the B1G East Champion, or runner-up.
- Blew out Illinois.
- Won a Polar Bear Rock Fight with MSU after the weather screwed up NU's passing game.
This game is at Iowa. The Hawkeyes are slight favorites at 7.5 points. We may win...we may not...but this Scott Frost team will fight, isn't soft and surely will NOT give up by halftime like last year. 4 years ago was the last time Nebraska beat Iowa in Bo Pelini's final game at NU. Since then we have lost 3 in a row, with the last 2 games giving up over 50 points. Now Scott Frost is bringing a whole new exciting adventure in finding ways to win. What a difference a year makes!
We should all be thankful that we are not Iowa fans. They are thinking they are superior to Nebraska, by winning games the last 3 years, but in reality, they are simply another mediocre 7 win team again this year, that recently suffered 3 straight losses to PSU 24-30, Purdue 36-38, and Northwestern 10-14 before shellacking hapless Illinois last week 63-0 to finally give their fans something to crow about.
And speaking of crow....Nebraska fans will celebrate Thanksgiving by eating Turkey and enjoying the Scott Frost revolution, while Iowa fans will eat Mutton and only wish for a bowl game other than the Pin Stripe Bowl. And on Friday, Nebraska will eat Beef, while Iowa will eat Crow. Iowa hates Nebraska's past success and have nothing like NU's past, and only recently have beaten NU's worst teams in many decades.
Nebraska faces the 6th ranked defense in the nation on Friday, as Iowa allows only 281 yds/game. The Huskers are ranked 20th on offense, averaging 462 yds/game. On the flip side, Iowa's offense is 79th, only churning out 387 yds/game, while the Husker's Defense is ranked 97th, improving each game, but allowing an average of 434 yds/game. Speilman may or may not play...but is probable at least somewhat.
The Prediction Thread Imaginary Traveling Trophy has been handed around our Spot group over the last 11 games with the first game (Akron) cancelled out. Here is the list of winners:
Colorado - Low
Troy - Trashman
Michigan - Crawford
Purdue - Low
Whisky - Crawford
NW - Low
Minny - No Nothing
Ohio St. - Trashman
Illinois - Crawford
M. State - Trashman
So, Trashman, Low and Crawford have claimed the imaginary traveling trophy 3 times each, with No Nothing winning it once. Who will take home the traveling trophy this week? And who will get to keep the trophy over the off season?
Get your predictions up!
Can we sustain this late season surge? Can we slow down the Tight ends? Rain in the forecast but not a lot of wind. Without JD for the second week hurts our return game as well as the passing options. I see another low scoring game with fields goals playing another big role.
NU 22 Iowa 17
Huskers find a way
TomOs picks the RED in absentia: 34-31
First one to 30 wins.
And that one is Nebraska.
Beefy Huskers 30
Crow Eaters 24
Well, the winner of the last thread for the 2018 regular season may just as well be me with a NU 31-Iowa 24 pick. Note, I say regular season because after we win this game, we will also win our bowl game they are going to offer us as an up and comer. I will wait to pick the score to that one until after we find out who we play. As you can see, I am going all in with these two predictions to catch up with the other three - three time winners. It is called going for broke! LOL. Enjoy the big game tomorrow. It may be raining and very windy with a high of around 46
Huskers have morphed from a VW Beetle into a big Caterpillar Bulldozer. Not yet running on all cylinders, but a bulldozer is a bulldozer. They still have much to improve on, but the work ethic of the Osborne days is back, and they are now playing like a bunch of street fighters defending their home turf, Bottom line- Huskers 42, Hawkeyes 24
So Iowa is 8th is rush defense (NU 28th in rushing offense), 9th in scoring defense(NU 61st in scoring) and 22nd in pass efficiency defense (NU 53rd in passing offense). A total defense ranked 6th in the country. This has all been accomplished while playing the 28th ranked schedule.
Nebraska 89th scoring defense (IA 47th in scoring), 91st in rush defense (IA 89th in rush offense), 34th in pass efficiency defense (IA 64th in passing offense). A total defense ranked....gulp! 96th. NU's schedule is ranked 44th.
The scoring offense numbers are probably a bit skewed from last week with IA racking up an odd 63pts and NU playing in poor conditions scoring 9pts. Probably close to even there. These numbers come out awfully close pointing much closer to a pick em on a neutral field....telling me this should be about a 6pt spread for the home Hawkeyes. Weather conditions looking to deteriorate starting with rain (no lighning!) forecasted to hit about 1:15.
I certainly don't foresee a blowout either way. Anywhere from NU by 4pts to IA by 14 are probably the bookends for this game. NU is 4-2 in it's last six. Beat the 3 gimmes's (all at home) and the weather fiasco vs MSU at home. Toughest two on the road were close.....but L's in the book just not quite making the plays that we're needed. In the end, IA's total defense scares me a bit. We've also not had a bye all season and IA is going to play roughhouse ball, a la MSU.
We certainly can win this game as it would be no surprise. If Mike Riley could let us know if Spielman is playing at 90%+ that would change my overall viewership of this game too. It's just that something deep down tells me we come up a tad short. Yet the kool-aid will flow as heavily as it has in 10-12 years after another 4-8 season. Which is odd but probably a nice change.
28NU - 24IA