Lincoln, NE -- Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, so Friday's 38-17 win by Iowa was the first in three attempts in winning the Heroes Trophy in the Big Ten finale to close out the 2013 regular season.
Kirk Ferentz 1, Bo Pelini 2 in the Heroes Game
Iowa (8-4, 5-3) defeated Nebraska (8-4, 5-3) today, 38-17, inside Memorial Stadium. It was Iowa's first win in the series since 1981 (10-7), and its first win in Lincoln since 1943 (33-13).
The win snapped Nebraska's five-game winning streak in the series.
Iowa took possession of the Heroes Trophy for the first time since it was introduced in 2011. Iowa is 3-1 in trophy games this season, currently possessing the Cy-Hawk (Iowa State), Floyd of Rosedale (Minnesota) and Heroes (Nebraska).
Iowa scored 38 points today, the most points Iowa has ever scored in the series. The 21-point differential was Nebraska's largest home loss since falling to Missouri 52-17 in 2008.
The Hawkeyes have eight wins this season, a four-win improvement from a year ago. That improvement ranks fourth in the country. Entering today, Auburn (+7), Boston College (+5) and Missouri (+5) had greater win totals year-over-year.
Iowa has four road wins this season, its highest total since 2009 (4).
Iowa and Nebraska will likely learn about what bowl venue they are headed to on December 8th.
|The Iowa defense held Nebraska senior QB|
Ron Kellogg III in check most of the game.
Iowa won 38-17 to take home the Heroes Trophy.
Nebraska vs. Iowa
Head Coach Bo PeliniSaturday, Nov. 29, 2013
“I just told the team that was a tough one to lose. I'm proud of that football team in there. I'm proud of all the things that they overcame through the year. I'm proud of who they are as men. I told the seniors they have a lot to be proud of. It hasn't been an easy year from any stretch of the imagination. It's been difficult. This team had a lot to perservere through, a lot to stick together through. They did that, and I'm proud of them, regardless of how it ended today. It was unfortunate how it ended today. We shot ourselves in the foot a number of times. We had some things go against us. It was unfortunate."
On making similar mistakes to last year
“Those mistakes plague any football team. When you turn the football over, you're going to have some difficulties."
On the failed fake punt in the third quarter?
“We thought it was there. We missed a block. We liked the look they were in and we whipped on a block, the most important block. We took a chance and it didn't work out. It's my fault."
On reasoning for the unsportsmanlike conduct charge
“[The ref] said I got too close to him. I thought that was a chicken s*** call. Excuse my language on that, but I had never seen anything like that before. I've done a lot worse than that. I saw [Iowa head coach] Kirk Ferentz on the other side acting a lot worse than I act. I didn't see a flag come out on him. The bottom line is they knew they blew the call. They blew it. They blew that call over there on that third down. Everybody in the stadium knew it. They just didn't man up enough to pick that flag up."
On how the team has persevered through injuries
“It's been incredible what we've gone through. I told those kids in there who were hurting, 'You don't have to apologize to anybody. You've got to walk out there with your head held high.'"
On a timetable regarding his coaching evaluation
“I don't concern myself with that. You guys can concern yourself with that."
On if he has been informed of any timetable
“That's not my decision, so why are you asking me the question? Talk to somebody else."
On senior wide receiver Quincy Enunwa
“Quincy's been a stud all year. He's been big time."
On fan's support during the tunnel walk
On if he made a case in favor of keeping his job
“I don't coach to make a case. You guys have chosen to make a story of it all year. It's impacted our football team. It's hurt our football team. Let's call a spade a spade. If they want to fire me, go ahead. I believe in what I've done. I don't apologize for what I've done. I don't apologize for anybody, myself or this staff. Our record since I've been here speaks for itself. This program's heading in a good direction. If you choose not to think so, that's your prerogative. All I know is that myself, the staff, the people associated with this program since I've been here can look at themselves in the mirror and feel good about what they've done."
|Iowa junior WR Kevonte Martin-Manley scores an Iowa TD|
in the 3rd quarter, after a failed Nebraska fake punt.
"Obviously I am really thrilled with our football team right now, I am really proud of them and am happy to get the victory today. It was a hard-fought game against a really good Nebraska football team. Nothing easy about coming over here and playing obviously. I am just really proud of how our guys fought through the entire game and came away with the victory."
On if the game is now a rivalry
".... It is starting, but it is still pretty lopsided---the record is, but this was a good step forward for sure."
On the fake punt, why he took a timeout before
"We wanted to give (the play before) a little time just to make sure the people upstairs had a chance to see it, on top of that we subbed out a little bit, too."
On being named one of the country's top five worst coaches during the preseason
"I mean everyone is entitled to their opinion, that is the great thing about our country. I don't think he went to jail for saying that, so that is just a part of coaching. Fortunately I don't believe I believed it.... well at least in the bottom 10, I wouldn't say the bottom five. But those things are just talk and noise."
On an 8-4 finish to the season
"Just really pleased, that was the best we could do and when we talked during the bye week a couple weeks back, that is all you can do. At that point I believe we were sitting at 6-4, lost a couple of ball games to really good teams. Our focus--as it has been since the end of last November was just to try and improve, working hard, and maximizing our opportunities. That is kind of the formula we have tried to use, the reason why it has materialized is because our players have done the work that they have to do. It is all about our leadership--our seniors and our juniors."
On if there was a magic formula to go 4-8 to 8-4
"No there really isn't. I am certainly not smart enough to think--creative or in genius, so it was just a matter of trying to do things better. We clearly didn't play well enough last year, in critical areas with certain things, our focus was just to try and do things better."
On the difference between last year's team to this year's team
"It is just making every phase count. The out of season program, which you always try to find positives--we had a longer one since we didnt have bowl practices. We lost out on a lot of good practice time, which is a downside, but our guys practiced really well in the spring. Sometimes you look at guys who play and had success without working as hard, but the good news today is that I think we are a better football team now then when we were in August, and that is what it is all about, getting better."
On special teams play
"Our kicking game was really a help for us. Connor did a good job with the punts. That helped us with field posistion. I dont mind telling you guys, I was more than a little bit worried about our kickoff coverage with number 80 (Kenny Bell). He is very dangerous and had one last week that went the distance. I thought we covered kicks better than we have done all season, which is really good to see. I can't say enough about how Rudock played, he played a really good game and made some really nice throws, helped us win the game."