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 Cornhuskers.
Burkhead scored the go-ahead touchdown in his return from a knee injury and No. 17 Nebraska beat Iowa 13-7 Friday to claim the Legends Division's berth in the league championship game.
The Huskers (10-2, 7-1) face Wisconsin on Dec. 1 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. 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," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said.
Burkhead, making his first appearance since aggravating a sprained left knee Oct. 20 against Northwestern, broke through with a 3-yard scoring 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 as the Huskers held the Hawkeyes (4-8, 2-6) scoreless in the final three quarters in windy conditions.
Mark Weisman had 91 yards rushing for Iowa, which finished the season on a six-game losing streak. The Hawkeyes will miss out on a bowl game for just the second time since 2000.
"Nobody's happy about where we're at," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "We fully realize we have a lot of work to do right now."
LSU wins, awaits help
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Jarvis Landry helped LSU keep the SEC championship in reach with a 20-13 win over Arkansas.
Now the receiver and the rest of the No. 8 Tigers must sit back and wait as their next destination — perhaps next weekend's SEC title game — is played out elsewhere.
Landry's spectacular one-handed touchdown catch in the second quarter helped LSU (10-2, 6-2 SEC) hold off the reeling Razorbacks. It marked the sixth time in eight seasons that the Tigers have reached double-digit wins under coach Les Miles.
LSU must hope for an unlikely Alabama loss to Auburn and a very possible Texas A&M victory against Missouri today to win the SEC West and earn a trip to Atlanta. Even without a division crown, the Tigers could still get an at-large bid to the BCS.
Ryan Wilson threw for 359 yards to break Ryan Mallet's mark of 7,493 career passing yards, finishing with 7,765 for the Razorbacks (4-8, 2-6).
"We'll take the next day and a half or so and watch TV tomorrow and be excited about it, and move forward and see how things go," Miles said.
Zach Mettenberger passed for 217 yards and hit Landry for the play of the day with 1:12 left in the first half to put LSU up 10-0.
NO. 23 KENT ST. 28, OHIO 6: Senior linebacker C.J. Malauulu returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown — 12 seconds after another Kent State touchdown — and the host Golden Flashes (11-1, 8-0 MAC) remained perfect in the conference with their 10th straight win. They are ranked for the first time since 1972, the last time they appeared in a bowl.
NO. 24 N. ILLINOIS 49, E. MICHIGAN 7: Jordan Lynch ran for 107 yards and Akeem Daniels scored a career-best four touchdowns for the visiting Huskies (11-1, 8-0 MAC), who rolled in a tuneup for next week's league title game against No. 23 Kent State.
SYRACUSE 38, TEMPLE 20: The Orange left the Big East winners. Ryan Nassib threw for 215 yards and a touchdown, and Adonis Ameen-Moore rushed for two scores in Syracuse's final game in the league. The Orange (7-5, 5-2) is moving to the ACC next season. Temple (4-7, 2-5) led 20-17 lead midway through the third on Clinton Granger's 10-yard run.
WASH. ST. 31, WASH. 28, OT: Andrew Furney kicked a 27-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime as the host Cougars (3-9, 1-8 Pac-12) overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to shock their rival. Washington had a chance to win on the final play of regulation, but Travis Coons' 35-yard field goal was wide right after a bad snap.
WEST VIRGINIA 31, IOWA ST. 24: Tavon Austin turned a touch pass from Geno Smith into a 75-yard touchdown with 6:31 left for the visiting Mountaineers (6-5, 3-5 Big 12), who broke a five-game skid and became bowl eligible for the 11th straight season.
UTAH 42, COLORADO 35: Reggie Dunn responded to Marques Mosley's 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with one of his own 13 seconds later for the visiting Utes (5-7, 3-6 Pac-12). The Buffaloes (1-11, 1-8) had their worst record since the school's inaugural 0-4 campaign in 1890 and went winless at home for the first time since 1920.
E. CAROLINA 65, MARSHALL 59, 2OT: Shane Carden's 1-yard touchdown run in the second overtime Friday lifted the host Pirates (8-4, 7-1 Conference USA). The Thundering Herd (5-7, 4-4) failed to become bowl eligible, increasing the chances that C-USA won't have enough teams to fill all of its bowl slots, including the one at the Beef O'Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg. The result also means UCF must beat UAB today to make the C-USA title game; otherwise, East Carolina wins the East Division and faces Tulsa next week.
C. MICHIGAN 41, UMASS 21: Zurlon Tipton ran for 185 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries as the visiting Chippewas (6-6, 4-4 MAC) became bowl eligible.
Soccer: FSU advances
TALLAHASSEE — Senior forward Tiffany McCarty scored in the 53rd minute as Florida State made the women's soccer College Cup semifinals with a 1-0 victory over visiting Notre Dame. The Seminoles (19-3), the top seed in their region, meet fellow No. 1 Penn State, a 1-0 winner over Duke, on Nov. 30 in San Diego. FSU made the College Cup semifinals for the sixth time overall and second year in a row.
VOLLEYBALL: Host FSU clinched the ACC title, defeating Miami 3-1 in the regular-season finale. The ACC does not have a conference tournament in volleyball. The Seminoles (27-3, 18-2) were tied after winning the first set 25-20 and losing the second 22-25, but they took the last two 25-14, 29-27. The Hurricanes (25-5, 17-3) led 19-14 in the fourth before FSU rallied.