Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012 AT 9:05 AM / Updated at 3:07 PM
Big Red Breakfast: Forget Iowa’s record, Marrow expects ‘competitive’ game
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

Iowa’s lost five straight contests and has struggled to keep games close against some of the Big Ten’s better teams. But the Hawkeyes will give Nebraska their best effort Friday.

That’s what NU graduate assistant Vince Marrow expects anyway.

A typical rivalry matchup. Throw the records out the window, Marrow told a crowd of about 250 Husker fans at the Big Red Breakfast. Forget that the Hawkeyes have been outscored by an average of 20 points in their three conference games against teams with winning league records.

“They’re going to be amped to play,” Marrow said. “It’s going to be a very difficult road game. It’s going to be very competitive.”

Why? Marrow’s spent most of his time this week studying the Iowa defense. Here’s his scouting report: “They’ve got some good athletes. They’re big. Their front is physical. Their linebackers are very experienced.”

More on Marrow’s Wednesday morning comments will appear in the Metro edition of The World-Herald. Check Omaha.com/bigred later in the afternoon for the story.

For now, here are a few tidbits from Marrow…

>> Marrow said NFL scouts who come to Nebraska football practice to watch tight ends Barney Cotton and Kyler Reed always end up asking about junior Jake Long (6-foot-4, 240 pounds). Marrow thinks Long will play a lot next year. “Make no mistake about it, he’s going to hold his own.”

>> Nebraska conducted a scout team scrimmage toward the end of Monday’s practice. Walk-on tight end Trey Foster, a true freshman from Lincoln Southeast, played well, according to Marrow. “He’s a physical young man,” Marrow said.

>> Marrow said sophomore Ameer Abdullah reminds him of former NFL running back Thurman Thomas. Why? “(Abdullah’s) a big play guy who doesn’t go down easy,” Marrow said. During an eight-year NFL career, Marrow played for four seasons with the Buffalo Bills, where he was teammates with Thomas.

>> Junior fullback Mike Marrow, Vince’s son, got rolled up on during the Michigan game and hasn’t practiced since. Mike should return next week, Vince said.

>> Coach Barney Cotton recently had an arm in a sling, so Vince Marrow has been out on the road recruiting full-time again in Cotton’s place. For a couple weeks now. Marrow did the same thing during the offseason (Cotton underwent a different procedure during the spring, too). … By the way, Marrow is nearing the end of his second year as a grad assistant (three-year program). He said he had four job offers after last season, two of which were in the NFL.

About Jon Nyatawa

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008. He and his laptop, cell phone, tape recorder, pen and notebook all live in Lincoln. Follow him on Twitter: @JonNyatawa. Email him here: jon.nyatawa@owh.com. He welcomes feedback.