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Seeing Red: Luke Mullin's extra points, game balls from NU's win vs. Iowa

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Luke Mullin offers his perspective from Nebraska's 24-17 win against Iowa on Friday in Iowa City.

IOWA CITY — Nebraska football writer Luke Mullin offers his extra points from the Husker football team's 24-17 win over Iowa on Friday at Kinnick Stadium.

It was over when: Nebraska linebacker Chris Kolarevic intercepted Alex Padilla's pass with 42 seconds left in the game. Considering last week's last-minute disappointment, Husker fans were on the edge of their seats when Iowa had the ball with a chance to tie the game. When Kolarevic came down with Padilla's pass, it was all over.

Turning point: Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz opted to kick an extra point on the Hawkeyes' first touchdown. Trailing 24-0, Iowa could have tried to make it a three-score game with three touchdowns and three two-point conversions. Instead, Ferentz went with an extra point to make the score 24-7, which kept it as a three-possession game. 

The Hawkeyes got two of those but fell short of a third, meaning Ferentz's decision didn't pay off.

Quotable: Garrett Nelson on parading the Heroes Game Trophy around Kinnick Stadium.

"(I wanted to) let every Nebraska fan touch it. They show up through the good and bad and support us no matter what, so it's for the state. It's for those guys, it's for us, and it's for Nebraska."

Game ball: Nebraska wide receiver Trey Palmer. Thanks to his electric speed and excellent route-running, Palmer has been Nebraska's most effective game-changer all season long. He crossed the 100-yard mark for the third time this year, hauling in nine passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns.

Nebraska vs Iowa, 11.25

Nebraska's Garrett Nelson (left) picks up a fumble dropped by Iowa's Alex Padilla (right) in the second quarter on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.

Game ball: The Nebraska defense. Forcing four turnovers is exactly what Nebraska would have wanted to put its offense in good positions, and the Husker defense delivered. Quinton Newsome, Eteva Mauga-Clements and Nelson (on special teams) all forced fumbles — and Kolarevic had the interception.

Hat tip: To Thompson, Nebraska's ultra-tough quarterback who led the Huskers to a big win despite being less than 100% physcially. His leadership, poise and arm strength will be missed if he's not back in a Nebraska uniform next fall.

Deep connection: Like many other occasions this season, Thompson and Palmer formed the ultimate deep connection. Reflecting back on the season he had with Palmer, Thompson thought back to their early days of developing chemistry together.

"The first time I saw him in the Hawks (Championship Center) indoor facility, we started running routes and we had about three or four incompletions," Thompson said. "Every time after that, we said we’d have no incompletions.”

Considering Palmer now holds the single-season receiving yard record at Nebraska, it's fair to say that practice paid off.

Numbers for the road

+3: Nebraska's turnover margin in the win, its best since a 2019 game against Maryland.

7: Carries for Rahmir Johnson in Nebraska's first 11 games of the season.

12: Carries for Johnson against Iowa, which he turned into 52 yards.

31:15: Nebraska's time of possession, marking the first time in six weeks the Huskers had the ball longer than their opponent. 

71: Receptions for Palmer this season, the most of any wide receiver in Nebraska history.

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Husker football/baseball reporter

An Omaha native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate, Luke reports on Nebraska football and baseball. Luke is in his fourth year with the Journal Star and previously covered prep sports.

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