Each week during the season the Hawkeye Headquarters staff will predict the outcome of the Iowa football game.
The Cornhuskers are on a five-game losing streak, and a seven-game series-losing streak against the Hawkeyes. Quite frankly, I don’t care how close the previous four games have been. This will be a walk in the cornfields, but I’ll use the remainder of this prediction to pay homage to WHBF assignment editor Jeff Johnson.
“What does the N on Nebraska’s helmet stand for?” Johnson said to me on Tuesday.
Prediction: Iowa 31, Nebraska 10
Ryan Jaster (7-4): When a PS2 game using 2003 rosters lands on simulated scores that look similar to the experts, it can be unsettling, and this is that kind of week. It’s notable that nine is Nebraska’s number – and not necessarily for the alliteration.
No, this week’s totally irrelevant prediction (6-5) says Iowa wins 16-9 and the Huskers landed on it the old-fashioned way – by missing a go-ahead extra point waaaay right in wild wind. Instead of a one-point deficit, the tied Hawkeyes were able to throw caution to the 31 MPH gusts and see what happened. And it was a 79-yard touchdown pass for the (lighter) trophy win.
Oh, if only the actual games were as exciting. Well, actually… they have been. Sure, Iowa’s won seven in a row, but as Blake reported earlier this week, the last four have been by single digits. One was even sealed with a point, a finger wag and a kiss. So if you are not entertained by this nouveau rivalry, that’s on you.
But with entertainment comes drama. And with drama, discomfort can surface. Even though the confidence levels seem as high as just before a 7-3 nonconference win, the Hawkologist’s prognosis is still a 2 on the 6-point pain index.
Here’s a look at what others from near and far expect, starting with the weather from Local 4’s Tyler Ryan:
Steve Batterson: Iowa 24, Nebraska 9. After giving up 312 rushing yards last week, the chances of the Cornhuskers collecting anywhere close to that this week are somewhere between slim and none.
Iowa grounds the Huskers’ preferred offensive approach of running the football.
The Hawkeye offense will be in a bit of a transition this week without Sam LaPorta and Monte Pottebaum, but still has enough to earn a division title against a porous Nebraska defense.
Bill Connelly: Iowa 29, Nebraska 9
Steven Lassan: Iowa
Mark Ross: Iowa
Ben Weinrib: Iowa
Morgan Moriarty: Iowa 17, Nebraska 6