Backup kicker Marshall Meeder barely cleared the crossbar with a 38-yard field goal as time ran out after Ethan Hurkett’s interception gave No. 20 Iowa a final possession with 15 seconds left, and the Hawkeyes beat Nebraska 13-10 on Friday.
Meeder, a senior transfer from Central Michigan, was given his first opportunity to kick for Iowa at the most pressure-packed moment after Drew Stevens had two field-goal tries blocked in the first half.
The Hawkeyes (10-2, 7-2, No. 17 CFP), who clinched the Big Ten West title last week, earned a 10th win for the fourth time since 2015 and eighth under 25th-year coach Kirk Ferentz.
The Cornhuskers (5-7, 3-6) lost four straight to end Matt Rhule’s first season as coach. Their bowl drought will stretch to seven years, the longest among Power Five schools.
Iowa managed only 57 yards and two first downs in the second half but found a way to win a fourth straight game and go into next week’s Big Ten championship game against No. 2 Ohio State or No. 3 Michigan coming off seven wins in its last eight games.
The Huskers ended a seven-game losing streak in the series last year, but they haven’t beaten Iowa in Lincoln since 2011.
Deacon Hill’s 1-yard sneak and Drew Stevens’ 28-yard field goal on consecutive possessions in the second quarter put Iowa up 10-0.
Nebraska pulled within 10-7 when Jaylen Lloyd got behind Iowa’s secondary and caught a perfectly thrown ball from Chubba Purdy for a 66-yard touchdown, and Tristan Alvano’s 44-yard field goal tied it midway through the third quarter.
The Huskers had a chance to take the lead, but Alvano was wide left with a 44-yard try into a stiff north wind.
The Hawkeyes had four straight three-and-outs to open the second half and punted a fifth straight time before they got the ball back at their 27 with less than a minute left.
Tommi Hill intercepted Deacon Hill’s pass over the middle to give Nebraska a last chance with 31 seconds left. But Hurkett stepped in front of Purdy’s pass and returned it to the Nebraska 37.
Leshon Williams broke loose for 22 yards on first down before Deacon Hill ran left and took a 5-yard loss to set up Meeder’s try from the middle of the field.
Nebraska has lost 24 in a row against Top 25 opponents since 2016.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes keep finding ways to win these low-scoring games. Iowa’s 216 points for the season are by far the fewest of any team with nine or more wins.
Nebraska: Turnovers bit the Huskers again. They committed three against the Hawkeyes and have a Bowl Subdivision-high 31 for the season.
Iowa: plays No. 2 Ohio State or No. 3 Michigan in Big Ten championship game on Dec. 2 in Indianapolis.
Nebraska: Season over.
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