Hawkeye HQ predictions: Hawks find way to road win

Hawkeye Headquarters
Heroes Trophy, Iowa at Nebraska

LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 27: Defensive end Nate Meier #34 and defensive lineman Nathan Bazata #99 and the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrate with The Heros Game Trophy after their game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium November 27, 2015 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

 

Football season moves so fast once it gets going. Can you believe another regular season has already almost come and gone? I mean, it’s not even Thanksgiving and the halls are decked like Christmas.

It’s a short week, so we’re a little light on predictions compared to other weeks. But it’s also good to quickly move on from that Purdue loss that 1) no one predicted last week and 2) turned on the most “scratch where it itches” halftime adjustment I’ve seen in a long time.

Anthony Mahoungou was targeted six times in the first seven plays of the third quarter and ended up with five completions for 118 yards, two touchdowns, one defensive pass interference call and a score flipped from 9-7 Iowa to 21-9 Purdue within three minutes. And that was that.

Enough lingering. It’s a rivalry week. There’s a trophy on the line. Not the most exciting one, but I’ve seen worse. Let’s turn the page and get to the picks. 

Celebrity prediction
The Hawkeyes’ all-time leader in receptions returns for another round of predictions.
Kevonte Martin-Manley: Iowa 31, Nebraska 17

Featured predictions
Hawkmania
Steve Batterson: Iowa 31, Nebraska 24
Iowa should be able to get the legs back under its rushing attack against a hole-filled Nebraska defense. The Cornhuskers have given up an average of 289.2 rushing yards per game over their last six games, dealing with tackling and schematic issues throughout a 4-7 season. Nebraska’s Tanner Lee and a solid collection of receivers have the potential to make things interesting, but the Hawkeye ground and pound should be enough to keep the Heroes Trophy in Iowa City for a third straight year.

Adam Rossow: Iowa 20, Nebraska 17 
Dan Vasko: Iowa 35, Nebraska 24

National predictions
Sports Illustrated
Andy Staples: Iowa 
Bruce Feldman: Iowa  
Chris Johnson: Iowa 
Joan Niesen: Iowa 
Eric Single: Nebraska 
Molly Geary: Iowa 
Scooby Axson: Iowa

SBNation
Bill Connelly: Iowa 28, Nebraska 24 

Athlon Sports
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Mitch Light: Iowa
Bryan Fischer: Iowa

Hawkeye State predictions
The Gazette
Marc Morehouse: Iowa 24, Nebraska 20

Hawk Central
Chad Leistikow: Iowa 35, Nebraska 20 

Go Iowa Awesome
Mark Hasty: Nebraska 28, Iowa 24 

Hawkeye Nation
Rob Howe: Iowa 27, Nebraska 20 

Irrelevant prediction
@Hawkologist
And finally, the totally irrelevant prediction based on playing EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2004 on a PS2, as is the tradition since 2015:

Ryan Jaster: Hawkeyes 14, Nebraska 7. Nebraska started off with a 68-yard touchdown pass and it felt like Mahoungou all over again. But the Hawkeyes overcame two fumbles on their opening drive to connect for a 39-yard TD. Iowa closed the first half with a clock-eating drive capped by a rushing touchdown just before the break, and it held up. No one scored again. The teams trade possessions — and turnovers — for most of the second half until Nebraska finally puts together a late drive to set up 1st and goal at the 2. But the Hawkeyes make a stand and take over on downs with 22 seconds left to kneel it out and secure the Heroes Trophy.

Prognosis: No one seems to know which Iowa team will show up, but it seems clear that the Ohio State game was the outlier rather than the many games with offensive struggles. Nebraska could be exactly what the Hawkeyes need to cure them, but then again… the Big Ten road has not been kind to Iowa. Despite that, most of the experts above think this trip will be mostly pain-free.

For more Hawkeye football coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter — and now Facebook — and Hawkeye Headquarters on OurQuadCities.com all season.

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