Week 14 scouting report: Nebraska

Iowa’s season concludes with a disappointed Nebraska team playing for bowl eligibility.

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Week 14 scouting report: Nebraska

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Nebraska head coach Scott Frost speak before the Iowa vs. Nebraska game on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. Iowa defeated the Huskers 31-28.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Nebraska head coach Scott Frost speak before the Iowa vs. Nebraska game on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. Iowa defeated the Huskers 31-28.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Nebraska head coach Scott Frost speak before the Iowa vs. Nebraska game on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. Iowa defeated the Huskers 31-28.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and Nebraska head coach Scott Frost speak before the Iowa vs. Nebraska game on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. Iowa defeated the Huskers 31-28.

Anna Kayser, Sports Editor

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After entering the season ranked and with high expectations of leading the Big Ten West, Nebraska has fallen far short of its goals.

The beginning of the end came on Sept. 7, when it fell to Colorado 34-31. It has since lost to Ohio State, Minnesota, Indiana, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

On Nov. 23, the Cornhuskers dominated for their biggest offensive output on the season, beating Maryland 54-7 on the road. With their fifth win — third in the conference play — they’re trending up going into the Heroes Game.

Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez has thrown 10 touchdown passes this season and eight total interceptions. He completes almost 60 percent (139-for-233) of his throws and has a season-long pass of 75 yards.

As an offense, Nebraska has gained just under 200 more passing yards than rushing total on the season. It averages 4.6 yards per rushing attempt vs. 8.17 yards per pass attempt.

The majority of its touchdowns come from the ground, notching 26 rushing against 11 passing.

Forcing Martinez to throw the ball could benefit Iowa’s secondary and give it more chances at takeaways in the final regular-season game.

Martinez has the ability to make plays, as well. Facing pressure against a strong Ohio State defense, Martinez throws off his back foot to an open Austin Allen, who gains some more yards after the catch.

 

J.D. Spielman is the main receiving target, racking up 46 catches for 864 yards on the season for an average of 18.78. He’s scored four of Nebraska’s 11 passing touchdowns and averages almost 80 yards a game.

Wan’Dale Robinson is Nebraska’s second most productive receiver, but he’s been out for two weeks with an injury. He has posted 40 receptions for 453 yards, plus 326 rushing yards on the season.

When the Huskers’ running game hangs onto the ball, it can be effective against opponents.

However, Nebraska has 10 more fumbles on the year than its opponents. The Huskers have lost 11 of their 26 fumbles, giving the Iowa defense something to look forward to.

Dedrick Mills is their leading running back with 651 yards and an average of 5.5 yards per carry.

Martinez leads the team in carries, making him a dual-threat quarterback with multiple options to take the ball. He has 582 yards on 123 attempts this season and averages over 60 yards per game.

 

When he holds onto the ball after dropping back, Martinez has been sacked 27 times for a loss of 173 yards.

Forcing Nebraska’s field-goal unit onto the field could benefit the Hawkeyes, as it did against Colorado when the Huskers missed a game-tying kick in overtime.

 

It has had six different kickers appear in games for a team total of 11 field goals made in 19 attempts. From 20-29 yards, the team is 7-for-9. From 30-39 yards, the team is 3-for-7, and past 40 yards, it is 0-for-2. The longest field goal made by the team this season came from 36 yards out.

Matt Waldoch is a perfect 3-for-3 under 30 yards. Barret Pickering, Lane McCallum, and Isaac Armstrong are a combined 7-for-14.

On the flip side, opponents have made 13-of-14 attempts against the Cornhuskers, with the long coming at 47 yards.

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