Huskers fall to Hawkeyes in season finale

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Akrum Wadley ran for 159 yards and three touchdowns and Iowa scored 28 points in less than a 7-minute span over the halves on its way to a 56-14 win over Nebraska on Friday in what could have been coach Mike Riley's last game with the Cornhuskers.

Tight end Noah Fant returned to his home state and caught three passes for a career-high 116 yards and two touchdowns, and Iowa (7-5, 4-5 Big Ten) won for the first time in three games since its upset of Ohio State on Nov. 4.

The Huskers (4-8, 3-6) lost four straight to end the season, finished with their fewest wins since 1961 and lost five home games for the first time since 1957. Riley is 19-19 in three seasons, with last year's loss at Iowa starting a 10-losses-in-14-games slide. The Huskers have dropped 12 of 18 since opening last season 7-0 and ranked No. 7.

Iowa scored in the final minute of the first half to tie it 14-all on Nate Stanley's 4-yard pass to Fant, who grew up 50 miles away in Omaha, and the Hawkeyes struck for three quick touchdowns in the third quarter to take control.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette returned the second-half kickoff 74 yards, and would have had a touchdown if it hadn't been for an illegal block in the back. Five plays later Wadley ran in from a yard.

After Nebraska went three-and-out, Stanley connected with Fant for 44 yards and James Butler ran for 12 to put the Hawkeyes up 28-14.

Tanner Lee threw his 14th interception of the season on Nebraska's next possession, and Wadley went 29 yards to score his third touchdown and become the fourth Iowa player to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

It was 42-14 entering the fourth quarter after Fant went 68 yards on a catch-and-run touchdown.

Nebraska's Stanley Morgan Jr. set the school's single-season receiving record on his 28-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. He ended the season with 986 yards.

Iowa: Iowa finished with a season-high 505 total yards and put the game away in the third quarter, scoring 28 points and outgaining Nebraska 209-69. The outburst came after the Hawkeyes were held to just 66 yards by Wisconsin and 258 by Purdue. Iowa has won three straight against Nebraska but still will lose five games in a season for the seventh time in eight years.

Nebraska: The Huskers allowed five opponents to score more than 40 points, and they became the second team in program history to give up more than 400 in a season. Nebraska allowed at least 199 yards rushing in the last seven games.

Iowa awaits a bowl bid, possibly the Music City in Nashville or Pinstripe in New York.
Nebraska's season is over.

986 –– Junior receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. caught seven passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns, including a spectacular 14-yard TD grab in the first quarter and a 28-yarder in the second quarter. With his 74 receiving yards, Morgan increased his season total to 986 yards setting a Nebraska season record. The previous season record was 942 yards by Johnny Rodgers during his Heisman winning season of 1972. Morgan increased his career receiving yardage total to 1,743, which ranks fifth on the career receiving yards list.

10 –– Morgan’s two touchdowns today increased his season total to 10 touchdowns. He is the fourth player in NU history to have 10 touchdown catches in a season, joining Quincy Enunwa (12, 2013), Johnny Rodgers (11, 1971) and Nate Swift (10, 2008). Morgan has 15 career touchdown receptions good for a tie for seventh on the NU career list.

61 –– Morgan’s seven receptions today increased his season total to 61 moving him into fifth place on the Husker season receptions list. Morgan moved up to No. 7 on the career receptions list with 119, passing Quincy Enunwa (115) in today’s game.

3,000 –– Junior quarterback Tanner Lee completed 22-of-41 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in today’s game. With his 205 passing yards, Lee finished the 2017 season with 3,143 passing yards, marking the fourth 3,000-yard season in NU history. Lee’s 3,143 yards are third on the single-season chart, trailing only Joe Ganz’s school-record of 3,568 yards in 2008 and Zac Taylor’s 3,197 yards in 2006. Lee finished the season with 23 passing touchdowns, three shy Zac Taylor’s record of 26 in 2006.

34 –– Senior tight end Tyler Hoppes caught four passes in today’s game to increase his season total to 34 receptions, a Nebraska season record for a tight end. The previous record was 32 receptions by Mike McNeill in 2008.

100 –– Senior receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El caught three passes for 39 yards in the game to increase his career receptions total to 100. Pierson-El is the 11th Husker player to record 100 career receptions.

55, 830 ––Redshirt freshman JD Spielman did not play due to injury. Spielman finished the 2017 season with Nebraska freshman records of 55 receptions for 830 yards. He also set a freshman record with 1,572 all-purpose yards.

Other Notes
· Senior safety Joshua Kalu had eight tackles in today’s game. With his eight tackles today, Kalu increased his career total to 215 and finished fifth in school history among tackles by a defensive back.
· Senior kicker Drew Brown connected on two PATs in the game. Brown finished his career fourth in school history with 355 points and second in school history with 59 field goals.
· Junior linebacker Dedrick Young had eight tackles in the game to push his career total to 201. He is the 36th Husker with 200 career tackles.

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