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Iowa Football: Kirksey named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

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Iowa senior linebacker Christian Kirksey played a big role in holding Nebraska’s offense to well below its season averages in points, rushing yards and total yards on Black Friday.

For his efforts, Kirksey was named Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.

Iowa beat the Huskers for the first time in five tries, winning 38-17 in Lincoln, Neb. Kirksey finished with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and a pass breakup.

The win for Iowa was its third straight and helped the Hawkeyes improve to 8-4 on the season. And it came after Iowa won just four games a year ago.

Kirksey, a St. Louis, Mo., native, was the third Iowa defensive player to win the honor this season, joining fellow senior linebacker James Morris and senior DB B.J. Lowery.

In addition to the Big Ten honor, Kirksey was named national Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and he was named honorable mention Linebacker of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.

He led an Iowa defense that held Nebraska to 17 points, 89 net rushing yards and 288 yards total offense. The Huskers entered the game ranked 19th nationally in rushing yards per game (233.7). Kirksey became the 17th Hawkeye defender to surpass 300 career tackles (308).

Iowa is bowl eligible for the 12th time in 13 seasons and has won at least eight games in four of the last six years.

The Hawkeyes will learn of their bowl fate on Sunday. Possible destinations include the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., or the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

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