Iowa has completed its first undefeated regular season since 1922 by walking out of Lincoln unscathed. They knocked off Nebraska 28-20 to push them forward to a 12-0 record. That won't end their trek though as they will head to Indianapolis in a little over a week to take on the winner of the East division for the Big Ten Championship Game and a college football playoff berth.
The Hawkeyes didn't play their cleanest game. They committed 6 penalties for 54 yards. The did not convert a single third down conversion in nine attempts. They turned the ball over once but they flirted with much more danger than that. They lost two other fumbles but were lucky enough to recover them. They also had a turnover that was wiped away by a penalty committed by the Cornhuskers.
However, Iowa made it tough on Nebraska as well. The Huskers committed 8 penalties for 95 yards and it seemed like every one came at the wrong time. They lost a turnover they forced, two third down stops, and a third down conversion on offense because of mental errors. They also turned the ball over four different times, all interceptions from Tommy Armstrong. There could have been a couple more.
Iowa had a hand in it but the Huskers did everything they could to lose this ball game. They outgained the Hawkeyes 433-250, ran 39 more plays on offense than Iowa, had twice as many first downs, found their way into the red zone three times while Iowa only did so once, and was 7-16 on third down in comparison to the Hawkeyes going 0-9.
So many numbers are in the Huskers' favor, but like they've done all year, they beat themselves. And like Iowa has done all year, they play fundamental football for the most part, play smart, and take advantage of mistakes. Both teams stayed in character.
At the end of the day, a ton of numbers were in Nebraska's favor but the ones that mattered weren't, turnovers and penalties.
The Hawkeyes have won in those areas all year and they're 12-0 and Big Ten West champions because of it. They're the best in the west and next week they'll find out if they're the best in the league.