All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Saturday's episode, Adam Carriker breaks down the Nebraska-Iowa game and why the Hawkeyes won the rushing battle.
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Here's a transcript of today's show:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.
Here my final thoughts on the Iowa vs. Nebraska football game from yesterday on Black Friday. This is the stone cold truth, ladies and gentlemen. My final thoughts are this: I looked at the stats, I looked at the film, I broke it down. Here's the thing that stood out the most to me, Iowa got off to an early lead. It looked like it was going to be a blowout. The Blackshirts defense kept the Huskers in the game. The offense just couldn't get anything consistently going.
But here's the stat that stood out to me the most: coming into this game, Nebraska's rushing offense averaged over 200 yards rushing a game, 205 yards per game to be exact, while, Iowa's offense sputtered by Iowa standards. They were No. 101 in the country, while Nebraska was No. 30 in the country, as far as rushing offenses go, and Iowa only averaged 232 rushing yards per game. Rushing defense-wise, this is where Iowa had the edge. Nebraska defensively, No. 87 in the country against the run, gave up 185 rushing yards per game. Man, that's a lot.
The Hawkeyes were No. 22 in the country against the run, giving up 114 rush yards per game. If you look at the rush yards, and before the game, I said it was going to come down to the battle of the trenches, every time you play Iowa, every time you play Wisconsin, it ain't no secret. They don't have better athletes than us. They don't have higher ranked recruits than us. They aren't faster than us. What they are, right now, is more physical, and they win in the trenches. I feel like we've closed that gap a little bit, especially from where it's been in the past, but you look at the rushing attempts. Frost tried to run the ball. I mean, you've got to give them credit. Scott ran the ball 56 times, Iowa ran the ball 31 times.
Here's the difference: 31 rushes for 225 yards for the Hawkeyes for an average yards per carry of 7.3 yards per rush, while the Huskers rushed the ball 56 times, 184 rushing yards, 3.3 yards per carry. That was the difference. The fact that Iowa has struggled all year to really rush the ball, especially by their standards, now Nate Stanley, their senior quarterback, he's part of the reason they haven't been running the ball as much because he can throw the ball pretty good. He didn't have a great day throwing the ball. On the last drive, obviously, he was able to get them into field goal range, but the difference was the yards per carry. Iowa had those big runs, the reverse run for a touchdown, the big run early on off the right side of over 50-plus yards to get them up to 24 points, to give them the big lead.
Here's the deal, the Blackshirts, after Iowa got up to 24 points, I thought the Blackshirts really stepped up. They got the pick-six for a touchdown. Iowa's driving later on, they forced the fumble. They stopped that drive they gave our offense time and time again opportunities to score and get the ball into the end zone. The offense just couldn't keep it going. Coming into this game, all right, in total offense, Nebraska was No. 53 in the country, averaging almost 430 yards per game, while Iowa was No. 95 in the country averaging 374 yards per game.
Total defense, this is where Iowa had the edge. They were one of the top defenses in the country, No. 13 overall in the entire country, giving up an average of 306 yards per game, while Nebraska's defense gave up just under 400 yards, 395 yards per game, No. 71 in the country. I thought the defense actually played well enough to win. I thought the offense sputtered and just couldn't get anything going consistently throughout the game. But the one thing that was the big difference maker was the rush yards, the yards per carry, the big plays that Iowa was able to get early on, the big plays that Nebraska, outside of the Luke McCaffrey touchdown pass, just wasn't able to get.
Now real quick, as far as Luke McCaffrey, I think going into next year, and we still have an outside shot at a bowl game, but I think Adrian Martinez is a dynamic playmaker. He just struggled this year. Luke McCaffrey is a dynamic playmaker who's a young guy, who's going to redshirt, he's got another year. There needs to be a quarterback battle this offseason, in my humble opinion, to see who the starting quarterback is next year. Competition, the cream will rise to the top. All right, competition makes everybody better. That's my full game final thoughts. That's the bottom line because the Carriker Chronicles said so. Stomp a mudhole in them and walk them dry.
Until next time, go Big Red and always remember to throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.