See you in Indy.
The Iowa Hawkeyes finished their perfect regular season with a 28-20 win against Nebraska on Black Friday. After the game, the Hawkeye fans could breathe a sigh of relief, but they didn’t. They cheered. The Hawkeyes celebrated the victory in Memorial Stadium for what was at least 20 minutes after the game had come to an end, and it was glorious.
Iowa isn’t done, however. While most teams are preparing for bowl season, Iowa’s preparing for Michigan State. Being 12-0 is great, but being 13-0 is much better. 13-0 secures Iowa a bid to the playoffs. 13-0 can silence the haters saying Iowa has no good wins. 13-0 means Iowa is the outright Big Ten Champion. 13-0 means everything.
Iowa didn’t play very well this weekend, and that’s worrisome. Iowa had turnovers, bad passes, allowed big plays, and injuries. There’s no doubt that Michigan State and Ohio State played better than Iowa. Iowa could very easily drop out of the rankings and let Michigan State in, but there’s a slim chance of that happening. It would be very bizarre for a team to get jumped without losing, but it has happened. Look at Baylor and TCU from last year. Of course, Iowa getting jumped by Michigan State wouldn’t mean anything. Whichever team wins is in.
Lincoln went by a new name on Friday: Pick City. Iowa recorded 4 interceptions, but current record-tyer Desmond King didn’t have any of them. He was suspended the first quarter for missing a team meeting during the week. Parker Hesse even had a pick-six at the 4-yard line. Mabin, Jewell, and Fisher each had an interception to help Iowa win the game.
Jordan Canzeri had a stellar night getting two rushing touchdowns. He broke 29 and 68-yard rushes for touchdowns. Iowa’s run game was strong due to the fact that high winds were preventing Beathard from making the passes he normally makes. Iowa actually had less yards then Nebraska had, but the pick-six and three other interceptions are the real reason Iowa won this game. Iowa definitely has a championship-level defense, and in normal conditions (like the ones Iowa will play in for the rest of their games) Iowa’s offense can do damage on the ground and in the air.
Iowa plays in the Big Ten Championship against Michigan State on Saturday, and what Iowa needs to do is crystal clear. If Iowa loses, they might not make it to the Rose Bowl, but nothing is set in stone. All we can do is sit back and let the boys battle it out. The facts are simple. Iowa is one of the best teams in the nation. It’s great to be a Hawkeye.