Iowa's smiling Cole Fisher has storybook day in Lincoln

Chad Leistikow

LINCOLN, Neb. — Cole Fisher's unlikely senior season had the most storybook of storybook endings a kid from Omaha could ask for.

There he was, a smile beaming across his face, slapping hands with Hawkeye fans after Iowa’s 28-20 win at Memorial Stadium — where his father, Todd, and brother Sean once played college football for Nebraska.

“I was looking for them. Couldn’t find them,” Fisher said. “There were Hawk fans everywhere.”

The Iowa linebacker recorded his first career interception in the last regular-season game of his Hawkeye career. And to top it off, Iowa completed the school’s first 12-0 regular season. (Oh, and Fisher tied for the team lead with 11 tackles Friday, too.)

Fisher collected the first of four Hawkeye interceptions, and it came on quarterback Tommy Armstrong’s first attempt of the game.

“I let one (interception) go at Purdue last week, right though my hands,” Fisher said. “To do it here, at Memorial Stadium, I had a ton of family at the game. The feeling was indescribable. I was just trying not to fumble afterwards (on his 10-yard return), honestly.”

Brown: Believe it -- Iowa's 12-0, and more history awaits

Fisher was exactly right when he called this season a “magical ride” — especially for himself, after spending the first four years of his college career either not playing or used minimally on special teams. Then, he swept in just before the season to grab the starting weak-side linebacker job from Bo Bower.

He was terrific in helping Iowa’s defense survive. The Cornhuskers ran 83 plays to Iowa’s 44.

Friday, Fisher had friends and family in the stands to play for, although it wasn’t easy getting them tickets to Memorial Stadium, which has had an NCAA-record 347 consecutive sellouts.

“I was able to wrangle together nine tickets, which is a record for me,” Fisher said. “I should’ve been talking to Nate Meier. He got 22 together, and I don’t know where he gets them. I may have to get a few pointers.”