The Iowa Hawkeyes versus Nebraska Cornhuskers football series has a lengthy history, but it was fairly benign until the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011 and the league decided to make it a Midwest showcase game played to a national audience over Thanksgiving Weekend. 

All of the old history was dredged up, from Iowa kindly giving up the team name Cornhuskers to Nebraska after representatives of the school in Lincoln had determined Bug Eaters wasn’t the best reflection of their state and football team, to Nebraska’s 29-18-3 lead in the overall competition, which began in 1891.

Hawkeyes fans like to point out that all of the ranked upsets in the series belong to Iowa, and that the record is 11-9 in favor of the Hawkeyes in all games played after the 1942 battle of the Midway during the course of WWII.

Iowa is on a five game winning streak in the series heading into 2020, a fact not lost on Nebraska’s head coach Scott Frost, who addressed the rivalry during a Zoom press conference Monday. 

“They’re going to make you earn it, man. They’re a physical program,” said Frost after expressing great respect for Iowa’s head coach Kirk Ferentz, who earned his 100th Big Ten victory last Saturday and moved into fourth place all time in the nation’s oldest conference. 

Frost’s team is coming off of an upset home drubbing to Illinois last Saturday, a 41-23 loss that shocked many after the Huskers had beat Penn State the week before for the seasons first win. The head ball coach said he liked the Monday practice but sounded irritated it took a rivalry game to get his players to focus.

“We shouldn’t need to be playing a rival to prepare well, but if that’s what it takes, I hope it helps this week,” Frost told Chad Leistikow, who covers the Hawkeyes for several outlets.  

The Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers are set to kickoff Saturday at Kinnick Stadium for the 51st time in series history. The game is scheduled for a Noon ET boot and can be watched on FOX following the Big Noon Kickoff show. The weather in Iowa City is forecasted mild and warm for the season, with a high of 49 degrees with almost no wind expected.