Time: 3:00 p.m.
Location: Memorial Stadium – Lincoln, Neb.
Maybe Jim Delany was onto something when he thought Iowa-Nebraska could be a legitimate rivalry. Both fan bases hate each other and you know Husker fans can’t wait to get the Ferentz family back in Lincoln for Black Friday after last year’s 40-10 pasting.
C.J. Beathard isn’t around to take care of the rock anymore. That honor likely goes to true sophomore Nathan Stanley. While he gets his feet wet, look for the Hawkeyes to lean on running backs Akrum Wadley and Toks Akinribade for a bit of thunder and lightning.
While Iowa does lose top wide receiver Riley McCarron (517 yards, 4 TDs in 2016) and top tight end George Kittle (314, 4 TDs), they do have Matt Vandeberg back who returns from a medical redshirt year after only performing in four games.
Iowa will feature a firm defensive front with three starters returning on the defensive line and some of the finest linebackers you’ll find in the conference. Defensive tackle Nathan Bazata (39 tackles, 13 solo, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks and 3 PBU in 2016) is a beast as is linebacker Josey Jewell who led the team in tackles last year (124, 58 solo). There’s no more Desmond King, so Nebraska might throw the ball with a little more freedom this time around.