Nebraska plays its traditional Black Friday game at Iowa City, taking on the Hawkeyes in a Big Ten West Division battle. The matchup of border rivals will kick off at Noon central time. The game will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM with coverage on the Huskers Sports Network beginning at 10 a.m.
Nebraska has played on Black Friday each year since 1990, spanning three conferences and three opponents. The Huskers were originally scheduled to host Minnesota on Black Friday in 2020, but the revised schedule released in September returned the Huskers to their regular Friday after Thanksgiving appointment with the Hawkeyes.
Nebraska comes into the game at 1-3 on the season, following a home setback against Illinois. The Huskers turned the ball over on their opening play from scrimmage and committed five turnovers in the loss. Nebraska continued to show a strong running attack against the Illini, rushing for 215 yards in the contest.
Iowa comes into Friday’s game with a 3-2 record and riding a three-game winning streak. The Hawkeyes opened the season with close losses to Purdue and Northwestern, but have been dominant over the past three weeks, defeating Michigan State, Minnesota and Penn State, with two of those wins on the road.
The Hawkeyes again feature one of the Big Ten’s stingiest defenses, allowing just 319.8 yards and 16.0 points per game. In its three-game winning streak, Iowa has limited the opposition to just 11.7 points per game. The Hawkeyes rank in the top 20 nationally in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense. Iowa Head Coach Kirk Ferentz is in his 22nd season with the Hawkeyes, making him the longest-tenured head coach in the FBS ranks.
Series History: Nebraska vs. Iowa
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Iowa 29-18-3, but the Hawkeyes have won six of the nine meetings as Big Ten Conference foes, including five straight.
• Before Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, the teams met 41 times as non-conference opponents, including 14 games between 1930 and 1946. Nebraska and Iowa also met four straight years from 1979 to 1982, and the final matchups as non-conference opponents were in 1999 and 2000.
• This year’s meeting will mark the 10th straight year that Nebraska and Iowa will meet on the day after Thanksgiving. The teams were originally not scheduled to play on Black Friday this season, but were paired together on their traditional day when the Big Ten announced its eight-game conference-only schedule. The programs will take a break from the Black Friday matchup in 2021, before resuming their post-Thanksgiving matchup in 2022.
• Nebraska had an eight-game win streak in the series and a pair of five-game win streaks. Iowa’s current five-game win streak is its longest in the series.
• Each of the past two meetings have been decided by a game-winning kick in the final seconds. In the last meeting at Kinnick Stadium in 2018, the Huskers erased a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit and tied the game with 3:22 remaining before Iowa drove into position for a Miguel Recinos game-winning, walk-off 41-yard field goal. Last year, Nebraska rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit to tie the game before Keith Duncan made a 48-yard field goal with one second remaining to lift Iowa to a 27-24 victory.
Nebraska and Iowa to Compete for Heroes Trophy
Nebraska and Iowa will battle for the Heroes Trophy when they hit the field Friday at Kinnick Stadium. The Heroes Game is the annual trophy game between Nebraska and Iowa.
• While both teams aim to win the trophy on the field, both Nebraska and Iowa wished to make their annual meeting about more than just winning a football game. With that in mind, the schools partnered together to not only create a trophy, but to use a national stage to honor a citizen hero from each state. In addition to the trophy that will be claimed by the winner of the game, both an Iowa and Nebraska native will be honored for extraordinary acts. Those individuals will be announced later this week.
Nebraska Continues Thanksgiving Friday Tradition
Nebraska will continue its long-standing tradition of playing on the day after Thanksgiving. This Friday’s game with Iowa will mark the 31st consecutive season the Huskers have played on Thanksgiving Friday.
• Nebraska met Oklahoma in the final six seasons of the Big Eight Conference (1990 to 1995), then played Colorado in all 15 of the Huskers’ Big 12 Conference years (1996 to 2010), before taking on Iowa each of the 10 seasons it has been a Big Ten member, including this year.
• Nebraska is 9-5 on the road in Black Friday games since 1990, including 2-2 against the Hawkeyes.
• In addition to the past nine years, Nebraska and Iowa also closed the regular season against each other nine times from 1892 to 1916.