Huskers Host Hawkeyes for Hy-Vee Heroes Game
GAME 12: IOWA at NEBRASKA
NOV. 29, 2013 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 11 a.m. (CT)
TV - ABC
RADIO - Husker Sports Network
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 91, XM 91
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com
Record: 8-3, 5-2
Rankings: Coaches-RV; AP-RV
Last Game: def. Penn State, 23-20 (OT)
Coach: Bo Pelini
Career/NU Record: 57-23/6th year
vs. Iowa, 2-0
Record: 7-4, 4-3
Rankings: Coaches-NR; AP-NR
Last Game: def. Michigan, 24-21
Coach: Kirk Ferentz
Career/Iowa Record: 119-99/18th year 107-78/15th year
vs. NU: 0-4
Nebraska completes its 2013 regular season on Friday against Iowa at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff for the Hy-Vee Heroes Game is set for shortly after 11 a.m. CT, with ABC providing national television coverage of the contest.
The Black Friday game continues Nebraska’s long tradition of playing on the day after Thanksgiving. Friday’s contest will mark the 24th straight season the Huskers have played on the Friday after Thanksgiving, including each of the last three seasons against Iowa. Nebraska and Iowa are scheduled to meet on Black Friday through at least 2019.
Friday’s game will mark the third season the schools have competed for the Heroes Trophy. In addition to competing for a trophy on the field, the Nebraska and Iowa Heroes of the Year will be honored on the field at halftime.
Nebraska will enter the contest with an 8-3 record and a 5-2 Big Ten Conference mark following a 23-20 overtime victory at Penn State last Saturday. Nebraska erased a fourth-quarter deficit for the third time in the month of November in the win and won for the eighth straight time in a game decided by seven or fewer points.
Iowa comes into the game with a 7-4 record, and a 4-3 conference record, following a 24-21 victory over Michigan on Saturday in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have won three of their past four games to secure a bowl bid, and Iowa’s four losses this season have come against teams with a combined 41-3 record.
Nebraska owns a 28-12-3 all-time lead in the series between the two schools. Iowa was one of Nebraska’s most frequent non-conference opponents before the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011. Nebraska and Iowa met six times between 1979 and 2000 in non-league play, with Nebraska winning five of those six games. The Huskers are 14-2-1 against Iowa in Lincoln, and have won the past five games at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, ‘90) owns a 57-23 record (.713) in his sixth season. Pelini has guided NU to nine or more wins in each of his first five seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne in accomplishing that feat at Nebraska. With Nebraska’s win over Wyoming in the season opener, Pelini became the fifth coach in NU history to win 50 games on the NU sideline, joining Dana Bible, Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich.
Iowa: Kirk Ferentz (Connecticut, ‘78) is the longest-tenured coach in the Big Ten Conference, as he is completing his 15th season on the Hawkeye sidelines. Ferentz owns a 107-78 record with the Hawkeyes, and has guided Iowa to a bowl appearance in 10 of 14 seasons. Ferentz is 119-99 overall in 18 seasons as a head coach after previously ser ving as head coach at Maine for three seasons.
Nebraska is 864-356-40 all-time, one of just eight schools with 800 all-time victories
- Nebraska has won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997).
- The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships.
- NU’s 49 all-time bowl appearances rank third nationally.
- Since 1970, NU has 427 wins, 24 more than any other school.
- Nebraska’s 106 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation.
- The Huskers have 110 All-Americans in school history.
Iowa brings a 7-4 overall record and a 4-3 mark in Big Ten play into the regular-season finale. The Hawkeyes are 4-1 inside the Legends Division, with a lone loss to a Michigan State team that is undefeated in conference play. Overall, the combined record of the four opponents Iowa has lost to is 41-3. In addition to its loss to No. 13 Michigan State (10-1 record), Iowa has lost to No. 3 Ohio State (11-0), No. 16 Wisconsin (9-2) and No. 20 Northern Illinois (11-0).
The Hawkeyes are led by one of the nation’s top defenses. Iowa is allowing only 18.9 points per game, ranking 13th nationally in scoring defense. In 11 games, the Hawkeyes have allowed only 20 first-quarter points. Iowa is outscoring its opponents 167-75 in the first half, but has been outscored 133-123 in the second half and overtime, including a 78-54 fourth quarter. Iowa reversed those trends last week against Michigan, trailing 21-7 at the half before rallying for a 24-21 win.
Iowa also boasts the nation’s 10th-best passing defense (180.9 yards per game) and the country’s 20th-best rushing defense (123.6 yards per game). Overall, the Hawkeyes own the No. 11 total defense in the nation, allowing an average of 304.5 yards per game.
Offensively, Iowa is averaging 26.4 points per game. The Hawkeyes rely on ball control, ranking 28th nationally in time of possession. Iowa boasts a balanced offense that averages 191.5 rushing yards per game and 207.2 passing yards per contest.
In the special teams department, Iowa ranks sixth in the nation in punt returns (15.0 per-return average). The Hawkeyes also commit an average of only 4.4 penalties per game, a total that ranks 18th nationally.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Iowa, 28-12-3. The Huskers have won five straight in the series dating back to 1982, including each of the first two meetings as Big Ten Conference foes. Nebraska defeated Iowa, 20-7, in Lincoln in 2011, before rallying from a halftime deficit for a 13-7 win in Iowa City last season. The Huskers are 11-1-0 against the Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium, with the lone loss coming on Nov. 20, 1943.
Nebraska has held Iowa to 13 or fewer points in each of the past seven matchups. Friday’s game marks the first time in nine meetings that Nebraska is not ranked at kickoff, while Iowa has never been ranked in any of the 44 all-time meetings.
Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini
Bo Pelini is in his sixth season as Nebraska’s head coach and owns a 57-23 record with the Huskers. Pelini added a Big Ten Legends Division title in 2012 to three straight Big 12 North Division crowns from 2008 to 2010, when Pelini was the the first coach in the history of the Big 12 to win at least a share of a division title in each of his first three years.
He has guided Nebraska to at least nine wins each of his first five seasons in Lincoln, and three 10-win seasons. A win over Iowa on Friday would give Nebraska its sixth-straight nine-win season under Pelini’s direction. Pelini has surpassed 50 career wins at Nebraska in 2013, making him just the fifth Husker coach to reach that milestone, joining Tom Osborne, Bob Devaney, Frank Solich and Dana X. Bible.
Pelini took charge of the Huskers after a highly successful five-year run as a collegiate defensive coordinator, including orchestrating NU’s defensive efforts in 2003. Pelini picked up his first college head coaching victory as NU’s interim coach in the 2003 Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.
Following his one season at Nebraska, Pelini served as the co-defensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 2004, helping the Sooners to the Big 12 title and BCS title game. He then followed with three seasons as the defensive coordinator at LSU. With the Tigers, Pelini led three consecutive defenses to No. 3 national rankings in total defense. He culminated his time in Baton Rouge by helping the Tigers to the 2007 national championship.
In addition to his five seasons as an assistant at the collegiate level, Pelini coached in the NFL for nine seasons, serving three years each with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. Pelini was a team captain and four-year letterman as a safety at Ohio State from 1987 to 1990.
Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz
Kirk Ferentz is in his 14th season at Iowa, where he owns a 107-78 record. Ferentz is the dean of Big Ten coaches and one of only two league coaches who have spent at least 10 seasons in the conference. Overall, Ferentz is in his 18th season as a head coach and he owns a 119-99 career record. Ferentz is 0-4 against Nebraska as a head coach. Overall, Ferentz is 1-5 against the Huskers in his coaching career, splitting a home-andhome series in 1981 and 1982 as an Iowa assistant.
After missing a bowl game last season, Ferentz has Iowa bowl eligible for the 11th time this season. Ferentz has taken the Hawkeyes to a pair of Orange Bowl appearances. Iowa has won at least 10 games four times in Ferentz’s tenure, including the best threeyear stretch in school history from 2002 to 2004. In those three years, Ferentz led the Hawkeyes to 31 wins, a pair of Big Ten titles and three consecutive No. 8 final rankings.
Before becoming Iowa’s head coach prior to the 1999 season, Ferentz spent six seasons as an NFL assistant with the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. His first head coaching stint came in three seasons at Maine from 1990 to 1992, when he compiled a 12-21 record. Ferentz also served as a graduate assistant at Pitt in 1980, following a two-year stint at Worcester Academy in 1978 and 1979.
Heroes Trophy on Line in Husker-Hawkeye Matchup
The HyVee Heroes Game is the annual trophy game between Nebraska, the newest member of the Big Ten Conference, and Iowa, one of the conference’s original members. While both teams will aim to win the trophy on the field, both Nebraska and Iowa wished to make their annual meeting about more than just winning a football game. With that in mind, the schools partnered together to not only create a trophy, but to use a national stage to honor a citizen hero from each state.
In addition to the trophy that will be claimed by the winner of the game, both an Iowa and Nebraska native are being honored for extraordinary acts. The Iowa Hero Award honoree is Mike Klemmensen, while Nebraska’s honoree is Caleb Amundson.
A career firefighter, Klemmensen saved the lives of four adults and two children on the night of Aug. 20, 2013. A volunteer with the Hinton Fire Department in addition to his full-time job as a Sioux City firefighter, Klemmensen saw smoke coming from a Hinton house and raced inside, woke everyone up and made sure they all got out safely. After also waking neighbors, Klemmensen stayed on the scene, fighting the fire for seven hours in 90-degree temperatures.
The 18-year-old Amundson also helped save the life of a fellow citizen at Harlan County Lake on Labor Day. A rural Fairbury volunteer firefighter, Amundson had been loading his jet ski onto his pickup truck as another man was attempting to put his boat into the lake. While attempting to put the boat in the lake, the brakes went out on the man’s truck, sending the boat, truck and man into Harlan County Lake. The paralyzed driver of the truck was unable to escape his vehicle before it went under water, but Amundson dove in the water and pulled the man to safety.
Nebraska Continues Thanksgiving Friday Tradition at Iowa
Nebraska has continued one of its long-standing traditions, playing on the day after Thanksgiving. Friday’s game with Iowa will mark the 24th consecutive season the Huskers have played on Black Friday. NU met Oklahoma in the final six seasons of the Big Eight Conference (1990 to 1995), then played Colorado in all 15 of the Huskers’ Big 12 Conference years (1996 to 2010), before taking on Iowa each of the past three seasons.
Nebraska and Iowa are scheduled to conclude the season against each other on the day after Thanksgiving until at least 2019.
- Nebraska owns an 18-5 record since 1990 in games on the day after Thanksgiving, including a 5-1 record against Okahoma, an 11-4 mark against Colorado and 2-0 against Iowa, following a 20-7 win in Lincoln in 2011, and a 13-7 victory at Iowa last season. Nebraska is 10-2 at Memorial Stadium in that stretch.
- This year’s game with Iowa marks the fifth straight year Nebraska has played on the Friday after Thanksgiving without a bye week. Before 2009, Nebraska had not played the game on six days rest since playing at Oklahoma on Thanksgiving Friday in 1973.
- Nebraska’s post-Thanksgiving game has been nationally televised by ABC each of the past 23 years.
- NU has won its regular-season finale each of Bo Pelini’s first five seasons and is 30-21 in the final game of the regular season since 1962. NU and Iowa closed the regular season against each other nine times from 1892 to 1916.
Husker Seniors to Play Final Game at Memorial Stadium
Nebraska will have 23 seniors participate in their final game at Memorial Stadium on Friday. The 23-man senior class has helped Nebraska to 47 wins over the past five seasons.
- Among the 23-man senior class, 16 are fifth-year seniors. Seniors Quincy Enunwa, Ciante Evans and Andrew Rodriguez did not redshirt. Scott Criss and Pat Smith joined the program as
transfers, while Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Mo Seisay joined the program through the junior-college ranks.
- The senior class includes nine in-state players from Nebraska and a total of 10 states are represented in this year’s group of seniors. Four members of the senior class are Texas natives.
- Nebraska will play in five consecutive bowls with this senior class, and has appeared in three conference championship games.
- Ten members of the senior class have already earned their undergraduate degree and another nine are on track to pick up their degree in December.
- Three non-seniors who are taking part in their final game at Memorial Stadium will also be introduced Saturday–Walker Ashburn, Donovan Vestal and Tyler Wullenwaber.
NU Shoots for Sixth Straight Year With Nine or More Wins
Nebraska heads into Friday’s contest with Iowa with an 8-3 overall record, putting the Huskers one win from their sixth straight nine-win season. The streak of five straight nine-win seasons under Bo Pelini puts Nebraska in an elite class nationally.
- Nebraska is one of four schools that has won at least nine games each of the past five seasons. The others in that group include Alabama, Boise State and Oregon. Alabama and Oregon have secured nine-win seasons in 2013, while Boise State stands at 7-4 on the season.
- Pelini has guided Nebraska to 10-win seasons in three of the last four years.
- The five straight years of at least nine wins marks the first time NU has accomplished that since its NCAA record streak of 33 straight nine-win seasons from 1969 to 2001.
- Nebraska has 47 nine-win seasons in school history. A win Friday would give Nebraska its 40th nine-win campaign since 1969.
Click on the "Game Notes" link in the related links section at the top of this page for more notes on this weekend's game.