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Hawkeye Gameday: Nebraska at Iowa

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Nebraska Purdue Football

Nebraska quarterback Casey Thompson has completed 62.7% of his passes, throwing for 2,129 yards. He has had three 300-yard passing performances this season and his 18 passes of 30 or more yards ranks 18th in the nation.

NEBRASKA AT IOWA

WEEK 12: 3 P.M., Kinnick Stadium

TV: BTN

RADIO: WOC (1420 AM)

LINE: Iowa by 10.5

SERIES: Nebraska 29-20-3

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

Thompson’s arm: Casey Thompson has shown a strong arm behind center for Nebraska. Despite missing two games, the 6-foot transfer from Texas enters the Iowa game needing 295 passing yards to enter the top 10 on the Cornhuskers’ single-season list. He has thrown for 2,129 yards and 14 touchdowns this season while being intercepted 10 times. A 10-game starter at Texas, Thompson has also rushed for five touchdowns this season.

Lachey’s opportunity: With senior Sam LaPorta sidelined by a leg injury, Luke Lachey is expected to make the first start of his career against Nebraska. The sophomore tight end had career highs with five receptions covering 77 yards in Iowa’s 13-10 win at Minnesota last weekend. He is tied with Arland Bruce IV for third on the team in receptions, catching 18 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns.

Grant’s feet: Nebraska’s Anthony Grant takes the field at Kinnick Stadium needing 91 yards to become the Cornhuskers’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Devine Ozigbo in 2018. The 5-11, 200-pound Georgia native arrived at Nebraska from the New Mexico Military Academy where he was the junior college national offensive player of the year while running for 1,730 yards a year ago. He is currently averaging 82.6 rushing yards per game, fifth in the Big Ten.

Defensive difference: The Hawkeye defense looks to get back to its core of stopping the run after Minnesota rushed for a 312 yards against Iowa last weekend. The yardage was the most allowed on the ground this season by a defense which allows 108.9 rushing yards per game and has held seven opponents below 100 yards this season.

Trophy dash III: With the Big Ten West Division title on the line for Iowa, the Hawkeyes look to add to a four-game win streak while playing their third straight trophy game. Iowa earned the Heartland Trophy and Floyd of Rosedale the past two weeks with wins over Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Heroes Trophy goes to the winner of the Iowa-Nebraska game. While the last four games between the teams have been decided by a touchdown or less, the Hawkeyes have held the trophy for the past seven years with wins over the Cornhuskers.

— Steve Batterson

STATISTICAL LEADERS

IOWA (7-4, 5-3)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;INT;YDS;TD

Spencer Petras;156;275;5;1,716;5

RUSHING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Kaleb Johnson;126;653;5.2;5

Leshon Williams;105;367;3.5;2

Gavin Williams;42;133;3.2;0

Arland Bruce IV;11;47;4.3;1

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Sam LaPorta;53;601;11.3;1

Nico Ragaini;25;305;12.2;1

Luke Lachey;18;273;15.2;2

Arland Bruce IV;18;184;10.2;1

INTERCEPTIONS: Cooper DeJean 4, Kaevon Merriweather 3, Jack Campbell 2

SACKS: Joe Evans 6, Lukas Van Ness 6, Deontae Craig 4.5, Logan Lee 3

TACKLES: Jack Campbell 110, Seth Benson 80, Cooper DeJean 67, Quinn Schulte 63, Kaevon Merriweather 45

PUNT RETURNS: Arland Bruce IV 17-125-7.4, Cooper DeJean 7-123-17.6

KICKOFF RETURNS: Kaleb Johnson 11-271-24.6, Riley Moss 4-93-23.3

NEBRASKA (3-8, 2-6)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;INT;YDS;TD

Casey Thompson;153;244;10;2,129;14

RUSHING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Anthony Grant;204;909;4.5;6

Ajay Allen;33;190;5.8;2

Gabe Ervin;18;92;5.1;0

Chubba Purdy;24;73;3.0;2

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Trey Plamer;62;878;14.2;7

Marcus Washington;28;419;15.0;0

Travis Vokolek;20;240;12.0;2

Anthony Grant;16;91;5.7;0

INTERCEPTIONS: Malcolm Hartzog 2, Marques Buford Jr. 2

SACKS: Garrett Nelson 5.5, Ochaun Mathis 3.5, Ty Robinson 2

TACKLES: Luke Reimer 86, Myles Farmer 68, Isaac Gifford 62, Garrett Nelson 61, Marques Buford Jr. 59

PUNT RETURNS: Trey Palmer 4-36-9.0

KICKOFF RETURNS: Tommi Hill 12-221-18.4, Zach Weinmaster 5-85-17.0

MARQUEE MATCHUP

Nebraska WR Trey Palmer vs. Iowa CB Cooper DeJean: After catching 41 receptions over three seasons at LSU, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound transfer has made an immediate impact with the Cornhuskers. He has 62 receptions for 878 yards and seven touchdowns this season for Nebraska, including nine catches of 30 yards or more. He’ll test the back end of an Iowa defense which has picked off 10 passes this season. The Hawkeyes’ DeJean has two of those interceptions and has broken up three more. The sophomore leads the secondary with 50 tackles this season.

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