The win locked up a Big Ten Championship game berth for Nebraska (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) against Wisconsin. Nebraska beat Wisconsin 30-27 in Lincoln, Neb., this year.
Iowa completed its season 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the conference.
The game in eastern Iowa was played in a stiff wind, making offense hard to come by.
Nebraska broke through first with a 26-yard Brett Maher field goal midway through the first period. Quarterback James Vanderberg powered over from 1 yard out for Iowa with 28 seconds left in the first quarter but that proved to be the last time the Hawkeyes scored.
Maher, with the wind behind him, connected for a 52-yard field goal that got Nebraska within 7-6 early in the third period.
Burkhead, whose participation Friday was questionable due to a strained knee ligament, gave the Cornhuskers the lead, bulling over from the 3. He finished with 69 yards on 16 carries.