Noticed: Daimion Stafford’s ball-hawking over the past month. The senior safety struggled early this season, but has four interceptions in the past five games. He seems to be in the right spot at all the right times.
Peculiar play: Early in the fourth quarter, Nebraska ran an option on second-and-7. Taylor Martinez pitched the ball to Ameer Abdullah for a first down, but officials stopped the action and reviewed the play, deeming that Martinez had crossed the line of scrimmage and pitched the ball forward. Penalty. Nebraska punted one play later.
Bad timeout I: With four minutes left in the first half, the Hawkeyes had fourth-and-13 at the Nebraska 31. Kirk Ferentz called time out as the play clock dripped toward zero. Was he going for it? No. He sent his punt team onto the field, and John Wienke punted the ball into the end zone. Why didn’t the Hawks take the delay of game? Good question.
Bad timeout II: Moments later, Iowa had second-and-10 at the Nebraska 19 when James Vandenberg carried for no gain. As the first-half clock dipped below 30 seconds, the Hawkeyes were discombobulated. Instead of letting them figure it out, Ferentz panicked and called timeout with 15 seconds left. That put Iowa in a tough spot. It couldn’t run the ball to set up a field-goal attempt. And it couldn’t throw short of the first down. To make matters worse, a penalty for 12 men on the field — immediately after the timeout — moved the Hawkeyes back five yards. They threw incomplete, then Mike Meyer missed a 42-yard field goal.
Questionable call: After Nebraska’s third-quarter touchdown put the Huskers up 12-7, Bo Pelini chose to kick the extra point. Typically, that’s the right call. You don’t want to chase points before the fourth quarter. But in such a low-scoring affair, Bo should’ve gone for two.
Rave review: Brett Maher’s rugby punt for 61 yards downwind in the first quarter was impressive enough. But his 45-yarder into the brisk north wind in the fourth quarter was brilliant. Iowa couldn’t return it and took over at its 38-yard line.