By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – What did we learn in Iowa’s 26-20 win over Nebraska on Friday?
We learned that Iowa still has some work to do. We also learned that Nebraska probably has more work to do than Iowa.
We learned that six games into the season, sophomore quarterback Spencer Petras is still making some questionable decision under center. But we also learned that sophomore defensive back Terry Roberts is one of Iowa’s most valuable players on special teams.
Offensive Player of the Game: Keith Duncan. The senior kicker was 4-for-5, two of which came in the fourth quarter.
Defensive Player of the Game: Daviyon Nixon. The junior defensive tackle was a force once again, totaling eight tackles, including three for loss and a sack.
Pivotal Plays: Charlie Jones’ 31-yard punt return in the first quarter gave Iowa a short field and led to the Hawkeyes’ first touchdown of the game.
With Nebraska facing third and 23, a 23-yard completion from Adrian Martinez to Austin Allen set up a Husker touchdown that tied the score 13-13 at halftime. The play was reviewed and ultimately confirmed a completion.
Nebraska marched 70 yards in less than three minutes on its first drive of the second half to take the lead 20-13 on a 12-yard Rahmir Johnson touchdown. Iowa answered with its own 66-yard drive and tied the game at 20-20 on a two-yard Mekhi Sargent touchdown.
Roberts recovered a fumbled punt by Nebraska’s Cam Taylor-Britt at the Nebraska 38 with just over 10 minutes left in the third quarter that led to a 37-yard field goal by Duncan to give Iowa a 26-20 lead.
With Nebraska driving, senior defensive end Chauncey Golston forced Martinez to fumble. It was recovered by Zach VanValkenburg and Iowa ran the clock out.
Key Stats: Iowa had 35 yards rushing at halftime, but rushed for 100 in the second half.
Iowa held Nebraska to 4-for-12 on third down.
Weird Stats: Iowa started just one drive inside its own 30 yard line.
For the first time in 12 games, the Iowa defense did not record an interception.
Oliver’s Return: Coralville native Oliver Martin caught one pass for seven yards in his return to Kinnick Stadium. Martin spent two years and Michigan and one year at Iowa before transferring to Nebraska after last season.
Series Update: Iowa has won six straight against Nebraska. The Huskers still hold a 29-19-3 advantage in the all-time series.