IOWA CITY, Iowa – Winning five straight games mostly without him didn’t mean Nebraska doesn’t need Rex Burkhead.
On a cold and blustery afternoon, with a spot in the Big Ten title game on the line, Burkhead proved why he’s so valuable to the Huskers.
Burkhead scored the go-ahead touchdown in his return from a knee injury and No. 17 Nebraska beat Iowa 13-7 on Friday to claim the Legends Division’s berth in the championship game.
The Huskers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) will face off against Wisconsin next Saturday in Indianapolis after winning six straight since a loss at Ohio State.
It’ll be a rematch of Nebraska’s thrilling 30-27 home win over the Badgers in late September.
I remember after Ohio State, I said what we needed to do, and you all looked at me like I was a crazy man, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. I probably thought I was a crazy man that night. I believe in this team. Honestly, I’m proud of those kids in that locker room.
Burkhead had to have been at the top of Pelini’s list.
Burkhead, making his first appearance since aggravating a sprained left knee on Oct. 20 against Northwestern, broke through with a 3-yard TD run to make it 13-7 late in the third quarter. He rushed for 69 yards, all in the second half.
Alonzo Whaley’s interception with 2:11 left sealed the victory for Nebraska.
No. 8 LSU 20, ARKANSAS 13: In Fayetteville, Ark., Jarvis Landry made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch as the Tigers kept their BCS hopes alive.
Zach Mettenberger passed for 217 yards and hooked up with Landry for the play of the day with 1:12 left in the first half to put LSU up 10-0. The Tigers (10-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) reached double-digit wins for the sixth time in eight seasons under coach Les Miles.
LSU must now hope for an Alabama loss to Auburn and Texas A&M victory today to reach next weekend’s SEC championship game. Even without a division crown, the Tigers could still get an at-large bid to the BCS.
No. 23 KENT STATE 28, OHIO 6: In Kent, Ohio, C.J. Malauulu returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown – 12 seconds after another Kent State TD – and the Golden Flashes (11-1, 8-0 MAC) completed a perfect season in the Mid-American Conference with their 10th straight win.
Trayion Durham rushed for 97 yards and scored on a 15-yard run in the first quarter to put Kent State ahead 14-0. On Ohio’s next play, Malauulu picked off Tyler Tettleton and scored.
The Bobcats (8-4, 4-4) lost four of their last five after cracking the Top 25.
No. 24 NORTHERN ILLINOIS 49, E. MICHIGAN 7: In Ypsilanti, Mich., Jordan Lynch ran for 107 yards, and Akeem Daniels scored a career-best four touchdowns as the Huskies won their 11th straight game.
Daniels scored on runs of 25 and 20 yards in the first half and finished with a career-high 112 yards on 12 carries to help Northern Illinois (11-1, 8-0) cap a perfect run through the Mid-American Conference.
The Huskies will play Kent State in next week’s MAC championship game.