If you wanted to put a DVD in a time capsule to explain to future generations — or aliens — how Big Ten football is viewed by most of the country, the Black Friday Nebraska-Iowa would do the trick.
At the end of two quarters of play, the Hawkeyes lead the Cornhuskers 10-7 in Iowa City. The game’s first touchdown, not so unexpectedly, came on a 17-yard interception return by Iowa’s John Lowdermilk in the middle of second quarter. The only other touchdown, a five-yard pass from NU’s Tommie Armstrong Jr. to Ameer Abdullah with :20 seconds left, came after the sixth turnover of the half.
The offenses from both sides were, well, offensive for the better part of the first half. Or, if you prefer, the defenses were stellar. Either way, it was a half that made offensive aficionados cringe and/or throw up a little bit in their mouths.
Midway through the second quarter, the two teams combined for 150 yards of offense (Iowa 110, Nebraska 40); the Hawkeyes would finish the half with 178 yards and the Cornhuskers 92. The Cornhuskers didn’t complete a pass until there were less than two minutes left in the second quarter, and 34 of their 49 first-half passing yards came on one play.
Iowa had five first-half possessions, and those ended with two interceptions, a fumble, a field goal and taking a knee at the end of the half. Two of those turnovers, incidentally, came in the red zone, while the fourth of the four led to NU’s lone score. The Hawkeyes also fumbled a punt back to the ‘Huskers to account for their four turnovers.
Nebraska had six possessions, those of which ended in a pair of punts, a missed field goal, the pick-six, another interception and the touchdown.