Nebraska’s 2021 season comes to an end on Friday with the annual Black Friday matchup with Iowa. The two Big Ten West rivals meet each year for the Heroes Trophy, a tradition that began in 2011 when Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference.
The Huskers hold a 29-19-1 all-time edge in the series—the two met 41 times prior to the Huskers joining the Big Ten—but Iowa holds a 7-3 advantage since 2011. The Hawkeyes have also won each of their past four trips to Memorial Stadium, which is part of a current six-game win streak for Iowa.
Since Scott Frost took over as Nebraska’s head coach in 2018, Iowa has won by six or fewer points. That includes last-second field goals to win in 2018 and 2019.
Nebraska-Iowa football TV channel, time, live stream
TV Channel: Big Ten Network
Time: 12:30 p.m. CT
Date: Friday, November 26
Live stream:Fox Sports app with cable or dish log in
Radio: Nebraska fans can listen to the game on the new Huskers Radio Network. Internet radio, as well as a Spanish broadcast, will be available at Huskers.com.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Weather: It’s looking like a very nice day for Nebraska football against Iowa on Friday.
Nebraska-Iowa football picks, odds
The line: Nebraska -1
(per the VI Consensus)
Nebraska looks to break Iowa’s six-game win streak in the series on Friday and capture the Heroes Trophy to close out the regular season. The Huskers come into the matchup having most recently fallen to No. 19 Wisconsin. Nebraska fell 35-28 in the game’s final minute against the Badgers.
The Huskers, who are 8-3 on the season, have lost eight games this season by nine or fewer points with five of those against ranked teams. The Nebraska offense gained 452 yards against a Badger defense that came into the game allowing a nation-leading 216 yards per game.
Iowa—who is currently ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press Poll and 12th in the USA Today Coaches poll—enters the matchup with Nebraska with a 9-2 record, including a 6-2 mark in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes most recently defeated Illinois 33-23 last Saturday. Iowa is currently No. 17 in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings and hopes to keep its Big Ten Championship Game hopes alive with a win over Nebraska on Friday.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz leads a Hawkeyes team with one of the nation’s most opportunistic defenses. Iowa has 26 takeaways the season, entering the game with Nebraska at +13 in turnover margin. This is particularly interesting for Nebraska too, knowing the Huskers will be without their starting quarterback.
Following the news that Adrian Martinez will miss the Iowa game this Friday with a shoulder injury he sustained last week at Wisconsin, Frost said he’s going to put backup Logan Smothers in the best position to be efficient and comfortable. That’s especially true
“Some of that has to do with what he does well and what we feel good about him doing, and other things about what Iowa does,” Frost said Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. “But there’s not going to be wholesale changes to anything.”
Friday is also Nebraska’s Senior Day, with the Huskers set to honor members of their senior class. It’s still to be determined who will return and who won’t, but some players that choose to participate still may choose to return for one more year. The NCAA-granted extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic has added a layer of uncertainty for some players who need to decide if they want to come back or move on from the program.
“There’s a lot of guys who could be done or could come back,” Frost said. “Senior Day will be interesting because I think there’s going to be some guys who don’t walk that maybe don’t play anymore, and maybe some guys who do walk and come back and play another year. The way I feel about it is, anytime we can honor any of them for the hard work they put in here, we need to honor them.”
While not necessarily a preview of the game, Husker players and coaches shared their favorite Thanksgiving foods. They also shared what means the most about the holiday to them. You can check out the full video below.
For more on the matchup, don’t miss the latest I-80 Preview Podcast.