Final score: #17 Iowa 27 Nebraska 24

Brief recap: Early in the game, it looked like Iowa might run away with this rivalry game early. The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 14-3 lead in the first quarter, thanks to tremendous efforts from Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Tyler Goodson. Nebraska’s had no defensive response through the first 30 minutes of the game. At the end of the first half, the Hawkeyes owned a 24-10 lead and were cruising. But the Huskers fought their way back into the game in the final two quarters. A 39-yard touchdown pass from Luke McCaffrey to JD Spielman followed by a 9-yard run by Wyatt Mazour on the following possession knotted the game at 24-24 heading into the fourth quarter. It was a defensive struggle, but Iowa made enough plays late in the game to set up a Keith Duncan game-winning field goal attempt from 48 yards out. It was the second-straight year the Hawkeyes defeated the Huskers on a game-winning kick.

Key moment: Obviously Duncan’s 48-yard kick was huge, but the Hawkeyes aren’t even in that position without two big throws from Nate Stanley. Stanley hit Smith-Marsette for a 22-yard gain and then Sam LaPorte for another 22 yards on back-to-back throws to set up the game winner.

Key stat: Iowa rushed for 225 yards in this game, well over its season average. Goodson finished with 116 yards on the ground, the first Hawkeye to rush for over 100 yards in B1G play this season. If Nebraska could’ve stopped that first half attack, it would’ve had a better shot at the win.

Key player: Smith-Marsette made the biggest plays in big moments. He started the scoring with his 45-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. After a Nebraska pick-six, he returned the following kickoff 95 yards for a score. And on the final drive, he hauled in a 22-yard catch to get the Hawkeyes closer to field goal range. It was a big day for the do-it-all receiver.

What it means for Nebraska: For a third-straight year, Nebraska won’t be going bowling. With a 5-7 record, the Huskers fall one win short of guaranteeing a spot in the postseason. There’s still an outside chance that the Huskers get in (based on a small number of 6-6 teams), but they’ll obviously need some help. Nebraska fought hard against a great Iowa team. But mistakes late in the game were costly again.

What it means for Iowa: Hopes of a 10-win season are still alive, and now the Hawkeyes own five-straight wins over Nebraska. Does it get much better than that? Kirk Ferentz continues to prove why he’s still one of the top coaches in the B1G. Now, the Hawkeyes await to see where they’re headed this bowl season.