Hawkeye HQ predictions and pregame: Corn

Hawkeye Headquarters

 

Iowa and Nebraska football is a well noted rivalry, complete with a trophy and all. But the rivalry that really matters plays out on a different kind of field; a cornfield. The first thing most people think about when it comes to the state of Iowa is corn. Nebraska’s most celebrated team is named the Cornhuskers.

So whose corn is better? If you ask A.J. Epenesa (and someone did), it’s an easy answer.

But what is the fact of the matter?

Iowa produces the most corn out of any U.S. state by far. In 2020, the Hawkeye state produced 2,296,200,000 bushels of corn. That’s nearly 17 percent of the country’s output. Nebraska ranked third at 1,790,090,000 bushels.

The corn itself is largely the same. It all gets used for the same thing, which is mostly ethanol and livestock feed. It doesn’t taste very good. I’ve tried it. Too much starch. The most sweetcorn comes from Florida. Pretty crazy.

Separating the two in terms of their corn is pretty tough. So when it comes to the these two states, this grudge will have to be settled on the football field. MLB has the whole playing in a cornfield thing monopolized, so they’ll have to do it in front of 90,000 people in Lincoln. Just like the corn output numbers, Iowa has dominated this match up lately, winning the last six.

Will they make it seven? Let’s ask the experts.

Kickoff: Friday, Nov. 26, 12:30 p.m.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
TV: Big Ten Network
Spread: Nebraska -1.0

Hawkeye Headquarters
Zachary Winiecki: Iowa 20, Nebraska 16

National Predictions
CBS Sports
Dennis Dodd: Nebraska
Tom Fornelli: Nebraska
Chip Patterson: Nebraska
Barrett Sallee: Iowa
David Cobb: Iowa
Shehan Jeyarajah: Iowa
Jerry Palm: Iowa

College Football News
Patrick Conn: Iowa
Adam Dubbin: Nebraska
Jeff Feyerer: Iowa
Pete Fiutak: Nebraska
Dan Harralson: Nebraska
Phil Harrison: Nebraska
Jeremy Mauss: Nebraska
Johnny Rosenstein: Iowa
Joe Vitale: Nebraska

Bleacher Report
Kerry Miller: Iowa 23, Nebraska 6

Athlon Sports
Kevin McGuire: Iowa 26, Nebraska 24

247 Sports
Chris Hummer: Iowa 20, Nebraska 17
Brad Crawford: Iowa 23, Nebraska 20

The Athletic
Stewart Mandel: Nebraska 24, Iowa 20

Hawkeye State Predictions
Quad City Times
Steve Batterson: Iowa 24, Nebraska 21
Keith Duncan won’t be around to kiss the Cornhuskers goodbye this season, but Caleb Shudak’s accurate leg will be a difference maker in the Heroes Game. That, combined with a salty Hawkeye defensive effort, will create some issues for Logan Smothers in his starting debut under center for Nebraska. It won’t be easy – it never is in this game – but expect Iowa to earn a 10th win of the season for just the 10th  time in program history.

The Athletic
Scott Dochterman: Iowa 24, Nebraska 20

Hawkeye Mic
Brendan Stiles: Iowa 27, Nebraska 23
Tyler Tjelmeland: Iowa 24, Nebraska 23
Jack Brandsgard: Iowa 24, Nebraska 21
John Patchett: Iowa 24, Nebraska 17

#IowaSim21 simulation
Cody Hills: Iowa 30, Nebraska 14

Totally relevant irrelevant prediction simulation
The artist formerly known as HawkeyeHQ.com’s Ryan Jaster: Iowa 31, Nebraska 13

Hawkeye Bunnies
Peabody: Iowa
Bun Jovi: Iowa

Consensus: Locally it’s all Hawkeyes, nationally, not so much. Even the betting line favors Nebraska. Looking strictly at the records, you might be pretty confused, but as always, context is important. Seven of their eight losses have come by one score, the other, a single digit loss to Ohio State who has been on a tear lately. They’re also miraculously +7 in Big Ten Games despite their 1-7 record. Scott Frost’s offense is ranked fourth in Big Ten in points, and the defense ranks in the middle of the conference. The Hawkeyes will benefit from having to defend an offense led by a back up quarterback, as the Cornhuskers will be without their starting quarterback Adrian Martinez. Though that’s done little to change the minds of some. The offense will look to bounce back from a relatively slow performance last week. The Huskers have been able to keep games close all year, but haven’t quite been able to get over the hump. It’s a home rivalry game for Nebraska, which always adds some juice, but a blowout is unlikely, especially with an Iowa offense that’s still trying to figure itself out. But having a back up quarterback against an Iowa defense that’s held up pretty much all year would be a tough time to reverse the close game trend.

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