“Nothing’s easy for us, it’s kind of a way of life,” Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz said.
This could be interpreted as a deep extrapolation of Iowa’s path to winning games this season. It also may just be Kirk Ferentz’s ethos talking. But when it comes to playing the Nebraska Cornhuskers, that statement rings true.
Each of the previous four matchups have been one possession games. No matter the venue, or the iteration of the team, Nebraska kept things close.
“Coach put up the scores of the last four games yesterday,” quarterback Spencer Petras said. “They were 3-9 last year, and we won by a touchdown and we were 10-2.”
Wide receiver Brody Brecht is just a redshirt freshman, but he could confirm Ferentz wasn’t going to allow his team to think they were going to roll over the 3-win Cornhuskers.
“Every year. You know, it’s a tough game,” Brecht said. “We were at a team meeting yesterday and Coach Ferentz said I think the last four times we played them, it’s all been a touchdown or less. So we’re going to have our hands full. We just have to execute.”
“It’s like five points a win last four years. Most of them have gone right down to the wire,” Ferentz said Tuesday. “That’s what you have to expect. That’s how you look at it. Typically nothing is easy for us. That’s kind of the way of life. It’s just to find a way to win at the end.”
Regardless of point differential, the 7-4 Hawkeyes can clinch the Big Ten West with a win over the 3-8 Cornhuskers. This is a series they haven’t lost since 2014. Maybe this one will be a close game, but it probably won’t make Kirk Ferentz as animated as it did in 2020.