Hawkeyes’ defense comes up big in 26-20 win over Nebraska

Tyler Goodson ran for 87 of his 111 yards in the second half and Zach VanValkenburg recovered Adrian Martinez’s late fumble to secure Iowa’s 26-20 win over Nebraska

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Tyler Goodson ran for 87 of his 111 yards in the second half and Zach VanValkenburg recovered Adrian Martinez’s late fumble to secure Iowa’s 26-20 win over Nebraska on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes (4-2, 4-2 Big Ten) extended their win streak to four games and have beaten the Cornhuskers (1-4, 1-4) six years in a row.

Iowa was looking to add to its six-point lead when Keith Duncan’s 51-yard field-goal attempt bounced off the cross bar with 2:02 left. The Cornhuskers then drove from their 32 to the Iowa 39 before Martinez fumbled under pressure. Iowa ran out the last 1:18.

Tied 13-13 at halftime, Nebraska took its first lead on its opening drive of the third quarter. Utilizing a quick tempo, the Huskers capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run by Rahmir Johnson.

Iowa answered with a 14-play, 66-yard drive. Mekhi Sargen punctuated the drive with a touchdown, and Duncan followed with field goals of 48 and 37 yards.

Spencer Petras completed 18 of 30 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown, with one interception.

Martinez, back as the starter after two games, was 18 of 20 for 174 yards. He also ran for 28 yards and a score.

THE TAKEAWAY

Nebraska: The Huskers’ defense proved better than advertised. Ranking 13th in the conference in rushing yards allowed per game, Nebraska held Iowa to just 123 on the ground — the second-fewest by the Hawkeyes this season.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes wanted to prove they could finish close games after dropping two to start the year, and they did just that. Iowa’s defense came up clutch, forcing the game-sealing fumble with Nebraska driving, and the offense found its rhythm in the second half.

UP NEXT

Nebraska: The Huskers play at Purdue on Dec. 5.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes visit Illinois on Dec. 5.