Iowa-Nebraska gave us maybe the proper finish to the Massive Ten West

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By Calvin S. Nelson

It was a sport that featured the bottom Over/Underneath in school soccer historical past, 14 punts, a pair of interceptions within the last minute, and a three-point victory that sealed the Underneath cashing ultimately.

And in some ways, it was a becoming send-off for the Massive Ten West.

Saturday in Lincoln, the Nebraska Cornhuskers hosted the Iowa Hawkeyes within the last Massive Ten West regular-season sport for each groups. For the Hawkeyes, who had already punched a ticket to the Massive Ten Championship Recreation, it was an opportunity to complete the season with ten wins regardless of averaging lower than 250 yards of offense this yr.

For the Huskers, it was an opportunity to enhance to 6-6 on the season and turn out to be bowl-eligible for the primary time below new head coach Matt Rhule.

In the long run, the sport had slightly little bit of every part, however principally these:

The primary factors got here early within the second quarter when huge Iowa QB Deacon Hill plunged into the tip zone on a quarterback sneak to stake the guests to a 7-0 lead. The Hawkeyes prolonged that result in 10-0 when kicker Drew Stevens coated from 28 yards out.

However that’s when the Nebraska offense struck again, as quarterback Chubba Purdy related with receiver Jaylen Lloyd for a 66-yard landing cross to chop into the Iowa benefit.

The Hawkeyes had an opportunity to increase their lead earlier than halftime, however Stevens had his second discipline objective try of the sport blocked, this time a strive from simply 24 yards out. That noticed the groups enter the halftime break with the rating nonetheless 10-7.

It could not keep 10-7 for lengthy, because the Huskers protection pressured a fast three-and-out from Iowa, and Nebraska put collectively a formidable — for this sport — drive that lasted 10 performs and coated 43 yards. The drive finally stalled, and kicker Tristan Alvano break up the uprights from 44 yards out to tie the sport at ten.

For a contest corresponding to this one, it wanted a weird ending, and these two groups delivered. The rating remained knotted at ten till the ultimate minute. Iowa had an opportunity to take the lead late, however a Hill cross was intercepted by Nebraska defensive again Tommi Hill, and the Huskers took over on their very own 45-yard line with 31 seconds left and a timeout at their disposal:

Following a Purdy three-yard run on first down, the crew finally burned their last timeout with the clock stopped, to try to get the appropriate play into the huddle.

No matter they despatched in, it didn’t work. Purdy threw a cross proper to linebacker Ethan Hurkett — actually placing the throw proper on Hurkett’s face masks — and the defender returned the interception right down to the Nebraska 37-yard line:

On Iowa’s subsequent offensive snap, working again Leshon Williams ripped off a 22-yard acquire, deep into Nebraska territory. Hill would take a knee on the subsequent play to heart the ball for the following game-winning discipline objective try.

From backup kicker Marshall Meeder.

That’s proper, Iowa despatched in Meeder for the game-winning try, and it could be his first discipline objective try of your complete season.

He drilled it:

That kick not solely clinched a ten-win season for the Hawkeyes, but it surely despatched Underneath bettors in every single place dwelling glad.

For the reason that Massive Ten modified from the ill-fated “Legends and Leaders” format to the present East/West format, the Massive Ten West has been one thing of slightly sibling to the East. Within the 9 Massive Ten Championship Video games below this format, the representatives from the East have emerged victorious every time. Iowa is left to try to cease the East from making it ten-for-ten in every week when they are going to tackle the winner of tomorrow’s annual conflict between Michigan and Ohio State.

Nonetheless, for subsequent season the Massive Ten is altering issues as soon as extra, as USC, Oregon, Washington, and UCLA be a part of the convention. When the convention launched its schedule for the 2024 season, they introduced a transfer to a division-less format.

So whereas Iowa faces an enormous take a look at subsequent week, their win right now might need given us the send-off to the Massive Ten West that all of us wanted.

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