Nebraska rush offense vs. Minnesota rush defense
If there's one weakness the Gophers would appear to have on the defensive side, it would be a penchant to give up big runs if their talented trio of linebackers can't make a play. Minnesota's smallish defensive line should have trouble with an inconsistent-but-occasionally-strong Husker offensive line. Ameer Abdullah is healthy enough to play, and he made a few nifty plays against Wisconsin when he had the room. NU needs more out of quarterback Tommy Armstrong in the run game.
Nebraska pass offense vs. Minnesota pass defense
The Gophers boast one of the best pass defenses in the Big Ten, and should against use a man-to-man style against Nebraska, daring the Huskers to hit big plays or perfectly execute screen passes. Minnesota's secondary, which includes Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Cedric Thompson, should match up well against Nebraska's wide receivers. Armstrong has struggled mightily in the throwing game, so look for offensive coordinator Tim Beck to give him some early rhythm throws to boost his confidence.
Minnesota rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
The Gophers only average 4.77 yards per carry — which ranks 39th nationally — but they are dogged in their pursuit of the running game. They'll pound and pound, specifically with running back David Cobb and quarterback Mitch Leidner. Nebraska's run defense had actually held up well this year — until Wisconsin, where the Huskers gave up 581 rushing yards and 408 to Melvin Gordon alone. Will that NU defense show up in Lincoln? Don't bet on it. But running is what Minnesota does.
Minnesota pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
The Gophers run to set up the playaction pass, but let's not kid ourselves: Leidner is no Joe Montana, or Rickey Foggie for that matter. As big as Minnesota's wideouts are, and as good as tight end Maxx Williams is, Nebraska still has the kind of pass defense that frustrates most excellent quarterbacks, much less a throwing running back like Leidner.
Nebraska has made more strides in special teams this year than any other unit, and it shows in a consistent victory in the battle for field position. That said, Minnesota has an elite punter in Peter Mortell, who leads the Big Ten in gross punting average. Gophers kicker Ryan Santoso has range beyond 50 yards on field goals. Nebraska's coverage units have been strong all season, and De'Mornay Pierson-El is one of the best punt returners in college football.
It's Senior Day at Nebraska, and such a fact seemed to derail Minnesota back in 2012 when the Gophers made their first visit to Memorial Stadium in decades. Minnesota won't be cowed this time — not after beating Nebraska 34-23 last year. The Huskers are coming off their worst game in nearly two seasons, and the collective attitude of the team this week hovered between wanting to forget what happened at Wisconsin and wanting to gird against the inevitable criticism of losing another game. It's not a good mental state.
Key matchup: Minnesota's running game vs. Nebraska's defense
The Gophers want to pound the ball, burn up the clock, and force the opposing offense to execute. If Minnesota is able to run the ball for 200-plus yards, Nebraska's offensive efficiency — which has been lousy lately — had better be nails. NU's defense again has to carry the load.
Nebraska has the athletes and talent to beat Minnesota by two touchdowns. Don't bet on it. The Gophers have a style that frustrates many opponents, including the Huskers. A fourth-quarter game awaits, but Nebraska will be tough enough to pull it out. Remember: The Huskers are pretty good at winning close games.
Our prediction: Nebraska 24-17
Big Red Today coverage
What a night to be alive in Lincoln. On a mild December Saturday night, the Haymarket was electric, buzzing with pride and excitement and anticipation.
Few knew for certain the newly-hired coach would make an appearance Saturday night for the men's basketball game against No. 13 Kansas until the hanging video boards "froze over" during pregame introductions and began showing photos and clips of Frost's…
Nebraska’s new defensive coordinator stressed takeaways and sacks in turning around UCF.
North Platte senior Bryson Krull is a big, physical wide receiver with sure hands, and the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder is the latest in-state player to commit to walking on at Nebraska.
Scott Frost is a candidate for another postseason honor.
Bellevue West lineman AJ Forbes has scholarship offers from virtually every Division II school in the area. On Thursday night Forbes committed to walk-on at Nebraska.
Lincoln Southeast defensive lineman Bryson Williams has decided to shut down his recruitment and will not be taking an official visit to Nebraska this weekend.
Chris Weber is Nebraska football's 108th Academic All-American — most of any program in collegiate athletics — and the 70th first-team selection. Nebraska also has a nation-leading 330 Academic All-Americans across all sports.
Marcus Riley has been committed to Louisville since July 2016. Until recently, he was strong in that conviction. Things got interesting when Riley was among the dozen or so offers sent out by Nebraska the day after Scott Frost's hiring…
Martinez said that Thursday during an interview on "The Bottom Line," less than 24 hours after he announced his commitment to Nebraska. He added that fans can believe in Scott Frost, and the Huskers will "work our tails off" for…
It only took Scott Frost two seasons as a head coach to win one of the biggest honors in college football.
Nebraska has added two more preferred walk-on commits. Lincoln Pius X senior Chris Cassidy informed The World-Herald of his commitment Thursday morning, and Omaha Skutt's Jake Archer announced his decision on Twitter.
All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Thursday's episode, Carriker is joined by one of his daughters to give his quick take to the Huskers' landing a QB commit, talk about how players react…
Imagine a time when you couldn't follow a Husker football game or know its outcome until the next day's newspaper landed on your doorstep. For diehard fans in the 21st century, that would be torture. In the first quarter of…
Pending Republican tax proposals could put the squeeze on big-time college sport programs.
In less than two weeks on the job, Nebraska’s staff has sent out more than 70 known offers to prospects from the Class of 2018 and beyond. Players big and small. From the West Coast and East Coast. In junior…
Nebraska’s walk-on event Wednesday landed commitments from Lincoln Southwest’s Collin Shefke and O’Neill’s Wyatt Liewer. Liewer received a preferred walk-on offer Oct. 8. Shefke received his offer Wednesday.
Nebraska fans travel well. There was the invasion of Notre Dame in 2000. Taking over Northwestern in 2014. Tack on another badge: the constant presence at Central Florida games in 2017.
Nebraska sent out invitations and used the hashtag #HomeGrown to bring prospects to its walk-on event on Wednesday night.
Size. Nebraska’s new coaching staff clearly wants it from the receivers and tight ends who may join the Huskers’ 2018 recruiting class.
Nebraska has landed Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez, who committed to the Huskers on Wednesday. Quick takes on Martinez’s decision and what it means for the Huskers.
New Nebraska coach Scott Frost will have some story to tell after signing day. Frost has committed to lead Central Florida in its quest to finish an undefeated season and win the Peach Bowl over Auburn. That's one thing. He's…
Barret Pickering has been busy. And that won't be changing anytime soon for Nebraska's reaffirmed incoming kicker.
All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Wednesday's episode, Carriker is joined by NU volleyball coach John Cook to preview the Huskers' match against Penn State in the NCAA tournament final four.
Adrian Martinez — a consensus four-star prospect who’s a top-100 recruit according to ESPN — is now a Husker, announcing his decision Wednesday to pick Nebraska over Tennessee. He’ll enroll early at NU and try to win the starting job…
World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Evan Bland tackle the hottest Husker headlines in the Dec. 12 episode of the "Pick Six Podcast."
Nebraska football recruiting and strength and conditioning were topics Tuesday on "The Bottom Line," when World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon and former Husker Adam Carriker were among the guests.
Sometimes, football players need a year to grow into their frames after high school. That’s the story of one Nebraska official visitor this weekend, City College of San Francisco pass rusher Jordan Allen.
All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Tuesday's episode, Carriker talks about a busy Sunday in Nebraska recruiting news and what's next on the agenda.
Iowa Western offensive lineman Noah Banks did not visit Nebraska on Tuesday as originally planned and is making other options higher priorities as the junior-college national signing day approaches.