Nebraska came from behind to beat Iowa 13-7 on a blustery day at Kinnick Stadium. The Hawkeyes led 7-3 at halftime, but failed to move the football much in the fourth quarter with the wind at their backs and the game on the line. “We had our chances in the fourth quarter, I think we had three possessions and should’ve moved the football, but we just couldn’t get it done,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.
The Hawkeyes ended a disappointing season with six straight losses. The Cornhuskers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) secured a spot in the Big Ten title game against Wisconsin next Saturday in Indianapolis.
Nebraska’s Alonzo Whaley had a big day on defense. His interception of a James Vandenberg pass with 2:11 left sealed the win for the Huskers. “There were one or two plays where we had miscommunication and did not bump out to (Whaley), left him unblocked and that certainly didn’t help the cause, but he’s a good football player,” Ferentz said.
This marks only the second time since 2000 that the Hawkeyes will miss out on a bowl game. Ferentz expects changes will be made and he’s confident the Hawks will be better in 2013. “We didn’t throw the ball or score points the way we wanted to this year,” Ferentz said. “The next logical thing to do is take a step back…and just look at things with a little bit of a clearer framework. We have to look at everything. I mean, we’re a 4-8 ballclub and nobody’s happy with that. I don’t think anybody’s pessimistic about what’s going to happen in the future.”
James Vandenberg, playing his final game for the Hawkeyes on his 23rd birthday, scored Iowa’s only touchdown. In extremely windy conditions, he threw for 92 yards with two interceptions. Mark Weisman had 91 yards rushing for Iowa.
Nebraska’s only touchdown came from running back Rex Burkhead, who played in his first game since injuring a knee on October 20. Brett Maher kicked two field goals for the Huskers, including a wind-aided 52-yarder in the third quarter.