Thompson’s three TD passes lead Nebraska over Iowa 24-17

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Casey Thompson threw for three touchdowns, and Nebraska ruined Iowa’s chance to take the Big Ten West Division title with a 24-17 win on Friday.

The Huskers (4-8, 3-6 Big Ten) ended a five-game losing streak and broke a seven-game losing streak against the Hawkeyes (7-5, 5-4). Iowa had broken its four-game winning streak.

Thompson threw 87 touchdown passes and 18 yards to Trey Palmer in the first half and 14 yards to Marcus Washington in the third quarter as Nebraska built a 24-0 lead.

Iowa had a chance to level the game in the closing minutes, getting the ball twice in the last 3:20 after closing to 24-17 with a 45-yard field goal from Drew Stevens. But backup quarterback Alex Padilla incompletely shot in fourth on first possession. Nebraska linebacker Chris Kolarevic’s interception with 42 seconds left completed the Huskers’ win.

The Hawkeyes need losses to Purdue and Illinois on Saturday to stand a chance of back-to-back West Division titles.

Thompson completed 20 of 30 passes for 278 yards. Palmer had nine catches for 165 yards.

Iowa lost starting quarterback Spencer Petras to injury in the first quarter after scoring and losing a fumble. The turnover led to Timmy Bleekrode’s 21-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead for the Huskers. Padilla also lost a fumble that led to Nebraska’s second touchdown.

Kaleb Johnson, who rushed for 109 yards, gave the Hawkeyes theirs first score with a 44-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Padilla tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Luke Lachey in the fourth quarter.

Padilla completed 16 of 33 passes for 141 yards.

BIG PICTURE

The Hawkeyes have struggled on offense all season and that again played a key role. Padilla had barely featured this season and leading a comeback 24 points down was too much. The turnovers and seven penalties for 65 yards added to the struggles.

With the coaching situation in Nebraska uncertain, the Huskers gave interim coach Mickey Joseph a big win in the final game of the season. Getting a chance to ruin a rival’s division title chances just added to the win.

NEXT

Nebraska: Season over.

Iowa: To be determined. The Hawkeyes are bowl eligible.

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