Bruce Thorson, USA Today Sports

Iowa Football: Five Players to Know From Nebraska

Dylan Burn of Hawkeye Insider gives you five Huskers to know in advance on Iowa's showdown with Nebraska on Black Friday.

Terrell Newby

The senior running back has been having himself a fine season in his second year as a starter for the Huskers. He has ran for 825 yards on 171 carries, including seven touchdowns. He's led the charge in terms of the running game, but Tommy Armstrong has provided the Huskers with 500 yards on the ground this season.

Other than that, it's been Devine Ozigbo, who has 346 yards on 90 carries. Newby has clearly been the guy for Mike Riley. He spent most of last season as the lead rusher, but in the game between Iowa and Nebraska in Lincoln last year it was Imani Cross who carried the load. Newby rushed just nine times for 34 yards in that one.

He's had two games in which he's gone over 100 yards this season, but they came against Illinois and Indiana, two of the worst run defenses in the Big Ten. He had solid games against Wisconsin and Ohio State, rushing for over four yards per carry in both so we should see some of the same against Iowa on Saturday. 

Newby does a great job finishing off runs and runs with a purpose. He's not very big, but he does pack a punch.

The Hawkeye run defense has struggled this season, but has been solid the past few weeks. Newby needs early confidence against Iowa to be effective. 

Jordan Westerkamp

Westerkamp was without a doubt Nebraska's most experience receiver entering this season. He was coming off a year in which he caught 65 passes for over 900 yards and he was entering his senior season. He and fellow senior, Tommy Armstrong, built a strong bond and connected well on the field together. This year has kind of been a down year for Westerkamp. He missed a couple of games in mid-October due to back soreness and has only totaled 476 yards receiving on the year. That does, however, still lead the team. 

He's had a couple of weeks straight where he has been productive, but Nebraska needs either Armstrong or Fyfe to be healthy for Friday. Fyfe has a broken left wrist and Armstrong is still battling hamstring problems. If not, the chemistry between Nebraska's top receiver and Mike Riley's third stringer, Zach Darlington, might not be very strong.

He'll be the receiver to keep your eye on for Saturday. Although, with how well Iowa's corners have been playing lately, it may be tough for Westerkamp to get much going. Plus, he'll be the main focus of the Iowa DB's.

Josh Banderas

Banderas has slowly progressed during his four years at Nebraska. His tackle totals kept climbing as he kept getting older and more experienced. Now, as a senior, he's taken his game to the next level. He currently leads the Huskers in total tackles with 80 and is third in solo tackles with 33. He's in on almost ever single tackle considering he leads the Huskers by a long shot in terms of assisted tackles at 47. 

He's an active linebacker that Riley and his coaching staff rely on heavily to make tackles. He only has 5.5 tackles for a loss this season and hasn't recorded a sack or an interception, so they don't ask him to do a lot, but he remains productive.

He does what is asked of him and continues to be a constant for a solid Husker defense. Look for Banderas to be in on a lot of tackles this Friday afternoon.

Nate Gerry

Hawkeye fans likely remember this name. Iowa was 11-0 last year and looking to knock off Nebraska in Lincoln to complete their first 12-0 regular season in school history. The rival Huskers were standing in their way. 

Gerry, one of Nebraska's most talented defensive players a season ago, was ejected early on for targeting on Iowa wideout, Tevaun Smith. Obviously, Husker fans were upset that Gerry was thrown out because he did not have a very big window to hit Smith legally, and he subsequently wound up hitting him in the helmet. The refs booted Gerry.

This season, he's been constant production for the third straight season. He's second on the team in tackles with 68. And he has seven tackles for a loss to go along with four interceptions. The four picks are second on the team to Keyan Williams

Gerry is good in the run game and in the pass game. He's a valuable piece for the Huskers and has been for the past three seasons. Gerry will be a player this Friday assuming he doesn't get tossed for another targeting call.

Tommy Armstrong/Ryker Fyfe

This could get awfully interesting for Riley as the week progresses. Tommy Armstrong missed last week against Maryland due to hamstring issues. Ryker Fyfe, Armstrong's back up, broke the wrist on his non-throwing arm. This leaves Zack Darlington, a sophomore who hasn't taken a snap this season, as the starting QB if both Fyfe and Armstrong cannot play. 

Obviously, the Huskers want Armstrong to play. He's their senior leader and has been the quarterback there ever since Taylor Martinez graduated. He can hurt you with his arm and his legs, but can be prone to turnovers as we saw last year in Lincoln when he threw four picks. From what I've been hearing it's going to be kind of a day-to-day thing with Armstrong and Fyfe both. 

We haven't gotten too big of a sample size from Fyfe, but he has demonstrated good decision making for the most part and some mobility. Although he's not nearly as mobile as Armstrong is. 

If I was a betting man, I'd say we'll see Armstrong go under center on Friday afternoon, but he likely will not be 100%. But then again who is at this stage of the season? 


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