Iowa fans did not want to accept that their team lost to Nebraska on Friday. They didn’t let the visiting team, which was also the winning team, celebrate with the trophy and tried to rip it out of their hands.
Having first played in 1891, the Cornhuskers and Hawkeyes have met 53 times on the gridiron. The rivalry game is typically held on the day after Thanksgiving, but was not an annual game until the former joined the Big Ten in 2010.
A year later, the game was first referred to as the ‘Heroes Game’ and the ‘Heroes Trophy’ was first awarded to the victor. Since 2011, Iowa leads the series 8-4 and had won each of the last seven meetings entering Thursday.
That is when Nebraska flipped the script with a 24-17 win at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.
Immediately after the clock hit zero, Cornhuskers players exploded onto the field and ran right over to the Heroes Trophy, which sat just outside the end zone. The celebration was on— until it wasn’t.
Hawkeyes fans sitting just beyond the end zone would not let the visitors take back the trophy. Literally. A man and woman in the front row were trying to pull it away from the players.
They were ultimately unsuccessful. Nebraska took the trophy into their possession, ran over to the visiting section, and celebrated with their own.
While the sore loser Iowa fans cared so much about the trophy, the quarterback and team that beat them did not. At the very least, it wasn’t the focus.
Quarterback Casey Thompson, who transferred-in from Texas during the offseason, said after the game that he didn’t even know about the ‘Heroes Trophy’ until he won on Friday.
That means that interim head coach Mickey Joseph didn’t even mention the trophy. He wanted his team to beat Iowa to beat Iowa, not to win an 11-year-old trophy. And beat Iowa they did.