Jeffrey Baker, USA Today Sports

Iowa Football: Big Plays Carry Hawkeyes over Huskers

The Iowa Hawkeyes welcomed in the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Friday looking to make it three straight victories.

A few weeks ago we watched Iowa get the doors blown off of them by the Penn State Nittany Lions. It looked like the Hawkeyes were headed straight for a 6-6 season with games against both Michigan and Nebraska left on the schedule, two teams that were playing much better football at the time.

Well, here we are and the Hawkeyes now sit at 8-4 after blowing out the Cornhuskers by a score of 40-10 on Black Friday in the regular season finale. 

Iowa went to the run early and they went to it often. After two punts to start the game, the Hawkeyes got on the board midway through the first quarter when Akrum Wadley scampered 75 yards for a touchdown. And that wouldn't be the only big play in this one for the guys in black and gold. 

After Nebraska went 3 and out, Iowa ran one play and wound up in the end zone again on a 77 yard TD pass from C.J. Beathard to Riley McCarron. This is now the second year in a row the Hawkeyes have scored touchdowns on two consecutive plays against Nebraska. Jordan Canzeri was the culprit last year in that department. 

If you had any sense of sanity, you knew this game wasn't over at that point. But the Hawkeyes got into the end zone once again before the half on a LeShun Daniels  touchdown run and Iowa was in control. 

It was much of the same in the second half as the Hawkeyes scored touchdowns on three of their five possessions and were remarkably efficient over the course of the entire game. 

The Huskers found the end zone in the third quarter, but that was the only touchdown to speak of for them on the night. 

C.J. Beathard finished 10-15 for 144 yards and three touchdowns. He did his job, found the open man, and took care of the football. Both Daniels and Wadley went over the century mark. Leshun had 29 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns on his senior day. And Wadley had 11 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. 

Senior wideout Riley McCarron caught five balls for 108 yards and touchdown as well. 

With the exception of the Iowa State game, this was probably the most efficient the Hawkeyes have been all year long. The defense was the same stingy defense we've seen the past two weeks and this team is playing it's best football at the right time. Now, the Big Ten West title is out of reach, but Iowa certainly is going to earn themselves a solid bowl with their 8-4 record. 

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