Hawkeyes aim for 7th straight win over Huskers

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 8:47 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - “It’s significant. If you can win 10 [regular season] games at any time,” said Iowa football head coach Kirk Ferentz at his Tuesday press conference.

After winning the “Heroes Game” for the last six consecutive seasons, the Hawkeyes hope to keep the Cornhuskers hands off the Heroes Trophy.

“Being from Nebraska, Nebraska football is a huge thing,” said Bellevue, Neb. native Keagan Johnson. “They don’t have pro sports. I don’t think they like us and I don’t think Iowa fans like them. I think that’s what makes this rivalry so great,” the freshman wide receiver added.

Iowa, who sits 9-2 on the season, will go up against a 3-8 Nebraska team on Black Friday. Although their record may not reflect it, the Hawkeyes feel this Husker team is better than what is in their win column.

“They’re obviously a really good team, an explosive team.,” said junior linebacker Seth Benson. “They can find the end zone really quick., so we got to be ready to go. Records don’t matter in November. It’s all about playing your best football.”

“The way they’ve been playing, what they look like on the stat sheet and how they’ve been losing games doesn’t show. They’re a very good team. They have a good defense, offense and good athletes,” added junior running back Tyler Goodson.

Defensively the Hawks are banged up and will be missing some key components. On top of that, they’re preparing for a new face under center, as Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez was listed as out. Logan Smothers is expected to get his first career start.

“My guess is the scheme is going to stay the same. We’re going to have to defend a lot of things. He’s a really athletic guy, so that puts pressure on you when the quarterback can move around like this guy can,” said Ferentz.

Iowa is still in control of their fate with the Big Ten West Title up for grabs. If they take care of Nebraska, they admitted Saturday they’ll be rooting for Minnesota. A loss for Wisconsin, would send the Hawkeyes to Indy.

“Saturday I’m going to have a Minnesota hat on, a jersey on, everyone cheering for the Gophers,” junior safety Kaevon Merriweather joked. “I’m going to be in front of my TV cheering for the Gophers.”

Kickoff between Iowa and Nebraska is set for 12:30 PM on Friday.

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