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Hawkeyes’ defense comes up big in 26-20 win over Nebraska

Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon, left, tackles Nebraska wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson...
Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon, left, tackles Nebraska wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)(Charlie Neibergall | AP)
Published: Nov. 27, 2020 at 4:08 PM CST
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Tyler Goodson ran for 87 of his 111 yards in the second half and Zach VanValkenburg recovered Adrian Martinez’s late fumble to secure Iowa’s 26-20 win over Nebraska on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes (4-2, 4-2 Big Ten) extended their win streak to four games and have beaten the Cornhuskers (1-4, 1-4) six years in a row.

Iowa was looking to add to its six-point lead when Keith Duncan’s 51-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the cross bar with 2:02 left. The Cornhuskers then drove from their 32 to the Iowa 39 before Martinez fumbled under pressure. Iowa ran out the last 1:18.

Tied 13-13 at halftime, Nebraska took its first lead on its opening drive of the third quarter. Utilizing a quick tempo, the Huskers capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run by Rahmir Johnson.

Iowa answered with a 14-play, 66-yard drive. Mekhi Sargen punctuated the drive with a touchdown, and Duncan followed with field goals of 48 and 37 yards.

Spencer Petras completed 18 of 30 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown, with one interception.

Martinez, back as the starter after two games, was 18 of 20 for 174 yards. He also ran for 28 yards and a score.

THE TAKEAWAY

Nebraska: The Huskers’ defense proved better than advertised. Ranking 13th in the conference in rushing yards allowed per game, Nebraska held Iowa to just 123 on the ground -- the second-fewest by the Hawkeyes this season.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes wanted to prove they could finish close games after dropping two to start the year, and they did just that. Iowa’s defense came up clutch, forcing the game-sealing fumble with Nebraska driving, and the offense found its rhythm in the second half.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: The Huskers play at Purdue on Dec. 5.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes visit Illinois on Dec. 5.

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