LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 14 Nebraska Cornhuskers prepare for the Iowa Hawkeyes, on a short week, this Friday in Iowa City.
DESPITE RECORD, HAWKEYES STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO PLAY FOR
With no chance at a bowl game this season, the Iowa Hawkeyes end their season with a matchup against the Big Ten highest rated team in the BCS rankings. While it would be easy for them to lay down and give the Huskers the victory, its senior day in Iowa City, and somewhat of a bowl game for most of their players. The last chance that they will have to put the Hawkeyes uniform on, and beating the Legends Divison leader would definitely send them off with a bang.
"The coaches have done a great job of making us realize that you need to have respect for the game," said senior linebacker Alonzo Whaley. "This team has nothing to lose so their going to give us everything they've got."
After a 63-38 loss to Ohio State earlier in the season, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini told reporters in this post-game press conference that Nebraska needed to win out to control it's destiny. With five straight, the Huskers just need one more to accomplish the feat.
"We've approached every week as it's a championship game," said Whaley. "Were not counting on Michigan losing, were counting on winning out."
PELINI SEES IMPROVEMENT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL
Coming into the 2012 season, many questions were still unanswered about the offense and the defense. Nobody knew what junior quarterback Taylor Martinez would bring to the table, or if the defense would be able get back on track after a shaky 2011 season.
"I can't speak enough about Coach (Tim) Beck and what the staff has done offensively," said Pelini. They've gotten better every single week."
In one of the most important stretches of the season, Pelini thinks that his team is peaking at the right time.
"I think offensively we've played at a high level the whole year, and I think that were playing well in all phases of the game, and that's got to continue," said Pelini.
BUSINESS LIKE APPROACH
While a Michigan loss at Ohio State this week would also insure that the Huskers play in the Championship game, relying on a team to lose in the Big Ten is never a sure thing.
"We know that we have to beat Iowa, we know what we have to do," said junior quarterback Taylor Martinez. "If we keep playing our game, we will keep winning," said the junior.
Pelini isn't worried about his players overlooking a tough Hawkeye team.
"Our players understand what we have at stake, said Pelini. "It's not about what Iowa does, it's about what we do."
"You better have respect for the game, because your going to get what you earn."