Iowa senior kicker Miguel Recinos won’t forget his final game at Kinnick Stadium. Recinos drilled a 41-yard field goal as time expired to lift Iowa to a thrilling 31-28 victory over Nebraska on Friday in Big Ten play at Iowa City.
After trailing all game, Nebraska marched down the field to score 15 points on touchdown drives of 98 and 80 yards, highlighted by quarterback Adrian Martinez’s 3-yard touchdown run with 3:22 left in regulation. Martinez’s pass to wide receiver Kade Warner, the son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, on the two-point conversion tied the game at 28.
The Hawkeyes (8-4, 5-4) claimed their fourth consecutive win in the annual series with a nine-play, 41-yard drive that ended with Recinos’ 15th made field goal of the season through the rain.
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley completed 16 of 27 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Mekhi Sargent shredded Nebraska for 26 carries for 173 yards and a touchdown.
Martinez had a strong showing, completing 26 of 38 passes for 260 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He led the Cornhuskers (4-8, 3-6) with 76 yards rushing and a touchdown. Maurice Washington finished with seven receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown, and Stanley Morgan Jr. caught seven passes for 81 yards to become the first 1,000-yard receiver in Nebraska history.
After losing the first six games in the Scott Frost era, the Cornhuskers had nothing left to play for except pride in their final regular season game. Nebraska, which entered the game with four wins in its last five games, mounted a comeback behind an aggressive approach by Frost. The Cornhuskers converted all four of their fourth-down attempts in the second half and made an impressive red zone stand in the fourth that ended with a missed field goal by Iowa.
Iowa won the previous two games in the series by a combined score of 96-24, but the Cornhuskers made the Hawkeyes work for the victory following Martinez’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Washington cut the deficit to 28-20 with 13:57 left.
Ranked second in the Big Ten in scoring defense (16.5 points per game), rushing defense (99.5 yards per game), passing defense (180.1) and total defense (279.5), the Hawkeyes uncharacteristically came unglued in the fourth. Nebraska finished with 400 total yards, including 140 rushing, and were successful on six of its 15 third-down tries.
—Field Level Media