Iowa Hawkeyes (6-5SU,4-6ATS) vs.Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-7SU,4-7 ATS)
Date/Time: Friday, November 24, 2017 at4:00 P.M.ET
Where: Memorial Stadium
TV:Fox Sports 1
by Jerbeek,Expert FootballHandicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Iow -3.5/Neb +3.5
Over/Under Total: 54
The Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers for their annual Black Friday rivalry matchup. The Hawkeyes have been a difficult team to figure out as they hosted Ohio State 3 weeks ago and completely dominated the Buckeyes in a 55-24 win then followed that up with back to back losses to Wisconsin and Purdue in games where the Hawkeye offense performed very poorly. After gaining nearly 500 total yards in the Ohio State contest, the Hawkeye offense struggled to gain only 66 total yards against Wisconsin and 258 total yards against Purdue.
The Cornhuskers look to close out a very difficult season with a win that has the looks of being the last game for Head Coach Mike Riley. Nebraska came into the season with high hopes but those hopes were quickly dashed with early losses to Oregon and Northern Illinois which was followed by the firing of Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst in the first sign that Rileys seat was getting very hot. After a short 2 game winning streak the Cornhuskers have dropped 5 of their last 6 games with several games that were blowouts. Last week, Nebraska went on the road to play Penn State and found themselves trailing 42-10 at halftime after giving up nearly 450 yards in the first half alone. The Cornhusker offense did rally to make the score respectable but the final score of 56-44 was not indicative of how the game was played. The Cornhusker fans are looking towards the end of the season in hopes that they can move on from the Riley regime and bring home former National Championship QB Scott Frost if they can lure him from his head coaching duties at Central Florida.
Iowas offense is known for bull dozing offensive lines and rushing the ball; however, Iowa has struggled rushing the ball this year as they are only averaging 127 yards rushing per game. In addition to these problems, QB Nathan Stanley has been very erratic as he has had a couple really good games against Iowa State and Ohio State but has also really struggled in a few games and is only completing 55% of his passes for the season. RB Andre Watley has also been limited as he has only surpassed the 100 yard mark twice in the last 10 games.
Nebraska has been led by transfer QB Tanner Lee who has started every game this season. Lee bounced back from a concussion in the Minnesota game to throw for 399 yards and 3 touchdowns in the loss to Penn State. Lee has had some big games but a lot of those have been when Nebraska has trailed and been playing catch up. Lee has 21 touchdowns but also has 13 interceptions with 4 of those returned for touchdowns. The Cornhuskers have really struggled to run the ball this season and are without their top RB as Tre Bryant has been shut down for the season after an early knee injury. The offensive line has had trouble both run blocking and pass blocking this season as the Cornhuskers are only averaging 3.5 yards per rush. The lone bright spot has been WRs Stanley Morgan and JD Spielman as they have both set Husker records for receiving.
Iowas defense started the year very well and in the Ohio State game was very opportunistic as they forced 4 Buckeye turnovers and returned one of those for a touchdown. They have been a bit susceptible to the run as they are averaging 4.2 yards per carry but they have a very good pass defense as they are only giving up 6.0 yards per pass attempt compared to their opponents average of 7.3 yards per attempt.
Nebraska spent a lot of money to bring in defensive coordinator Bob Diaco over the offseason but his switch to the 3-4 defense but the Cornhusker defense has struggled to stop anybody this year as even the Minnesota Golden Gophers ran over the Blackshirt defense. Starting LB Luke Gifford is having surgery this week and is lost for the season. The defensive line has not been able to get any pressure on opposing QBs and lately the entire defense has lacked any type of energy or effort leading to the inevitable question as to whether the coaching staff has lost this team. In last weeks game against Penn State the Nittany Lions ran at will against the Nebraska defense as there were a myriad of missed tackles. The Cornhusker rush defense has allowed 5.4 yards per carry against teams that average 4.5 yards per play.
JerbeeksPick to Cover the Point Spread: I would expect Iowa to run the ball here and have a lot of success doing it as Nebraskas defense as not stopped anybody all year from running. The Cornhuskers will need to throw the ball often to try to keep up but that is the strength of the Iowa team and I would expect several interceptions from Nebraska QB Tanner Lee. I think this will be another blowout loss for Mike Riley and crew but luckily for Cornhusker fans it will be his last. I predict a final score of Iowa 35-17. My recommendation is to play Iowa minus the 3 points. Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)