Nebraska rush offense vs. Rutgers rush defense
The Huskers have run the ball on every defense this year except Michigan State, and Rutgers will remind no one of Sparty. The Scarlet Knights rank 94th nationally by giving 4.74 yards per carry. Ohio State rolled up 324 rushing yards. Howard, a 1-7 FCS team, ran for 259 yards. Nebraska has a major advantage here regardless of which offensive linemen play.
Nebraska pass offense vs. Rutgers pass defense
The Scarlet Knights have a good pass rush, notching more than three sacks per game. Aside from that, once again, Rutgers is poor. Opponents complete 60.5 percent of their passes and average 7.9 yards per attempt, which ranks Rutgers at 111th in the nation. Nebraska's pass offense runs decidedly hot and cold, with quarterback Tommy Armstrong seeming to complete the hard passes better than he does the easy ones.
Rutgers rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
Most teams — even the ones that initially have success — give up running the ball on Nebraska's defense. It doesn't seem like a winning proposition, apparently; only McNeese State and Michigan State ran the ball more than 35 times against the Huskers. If Rutgers sticks with it, there is some evidence that it'll pay off, and it's the best way to wear down Nebraska's talented-but-thin defensive line. Scarlet Knights running back Desmon Peoples is the kind of small, shifty runner who can give Nebraska troubles in the open field.
Rutgers pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
There is no comeback player of the year award in the Big Ten, but if there was, Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova would be that guy. Two poor years have given way to an excellent one, and he has good receiving targets who can test Nebraska's secondary in Leonte Carroo and Andrew Turzilli. Peoples is good out of the backfield, too. The Huskers excel at forcing incompletions, though they give up big plays, too.
Has Nebraska's special teams, top to bottom, ever been quite so strong? Probably, yes, in 2009, with Alex Henery as kicker and punter. But this 2014 bunch is pretty good. De'Mornay Pierson-El is officially a guy other punters don't want to kick to, and Sam Foltz is blossoming into a clutch punter who can put balls inside the 20. The kickoff return unit could be better. As for Rutgers, kicker Kyle Federico is pretty good, having made 9 of 11 for the season, and defensive end Kemoko Turay has blocked three kicks. But Rutgers hasn't returned a punt for more than 20 yards this year, and just one kickoff for more than 30.
Rutgers is going through the Big Ten gauntlet for the first time and a 56-17 whipping at Ohio State — after playing historically mediocre Penn State and Michigan teams — had to give coach Kyle Flood pause. The Scarlet Knights don't have the size, speed or athleticism of Nebraska. That said, the Huskers need to see this as a trap game. The one they haven't been able to avoid in any year except 2012.
Key matchup: Rutgers' running game vs. NU's front seven
Nova is not going to pass the Scarlet Knights to a victory. He just won't. The Scarlet Knights either control the clock with a running game that works, or they're in for a long day. Nova might get Nebraska a few times, but he won't win for four quarters.
Rutgers' offense has had a nice season under coordinator Ralph Friedgen, and that offense is likely to get the Scarlet Knights in a bowl game. But the talent and playmakers aren't what Nebraska puts on the field. With the home-field advantage and a strong running game, the Huskers win — perhaps with authority.
Our prediction: Nebraska 40, Rutgers 21
Big Red Today coverage
One of Nebraska’s biggest strengths when it joined the Big Ten has now become one of its biggest question marks — despite the return of the top four rushers from last season. And the one back who flashed the most…
Nebraska’s new football coach had to have a few cups of coffee Friday morning. His first spring practice began before sunrise.
Upperclassmen are going all in with the new coaching staff, coach Scott Frost said Friday morning, and those players will continue to be key as Nebraska makes a transition to new schemes on offense and defense this spring.
Scott Frost is all about walk-ons. He’s preached the importance of the walk-on program, he’s thrown around the idea of having 150 players at practice (meaning a large influx of walk-ons) and has said over and over he needs Nebraska…
Nebraska football announced its summer camp schedule Thursday, choosing to keep the Friday Night Lights event that was created and popularized by former coach Mike Riley.
Which Huskers are ready to evolve into valuable contributors and prove it during practices in the coming weeks? Here are five players to keep an eye on.
A smile crept across Carlos Davis’ face. The rumors are true, he said. Winter workouts under new strength coach Zach Duval were as hard as everyone’s heard. Maybe even harder.
Plug your nose, Nebraska traditionalists. Because this one might hurt. The fullback position at Nebraska is pretty much gone.
A former Husker — and NFL player — worked out at Nebraska’s pro day — cornerback Mohammed Seisay.
While many of his former teammates went through drills for NFL scouts at pro day on Wednesday, Nebraska's 2017 tackles leader sat in a balcony seat inside the Hawks Center and watched.
On Wednesday at the Hawks Championship Center, Tanner Lee threw on the run, he threw deep, he threw check downs, and in the end, completed 43 of his 49 passes.
More Canadian Football League scouts than usual attended Nebraska’s pro day Wednesday, focused on Ontario native and former Husker offensive tackle David Knevel.
Former NU standout Ndamukong Suh was officially released by the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday.
Nebraska gave members of the student body a shot at earning a spot on the football team Tuesday. On Wednesday, Scott Frost said he isn't yet sure whether any of those dreams would be realized.
Former Nebraska standout Rex Burkhead is re-signing with the New England Patriots, according to multiple reports.
Nebraska coach Scott Frost addressed the media to discuss the opening of spring football practice. Check out a transcript below, as provided courtesy of the Nebraska athletic department.
The press conference ahead of Scott Frost's first spring as Nebraska head coach featured many of the same qualities as the practices he will soon run. There were quick hits. There was efficiency. And most of all, there was enthusiasm.
Several Huskers will miss all or part of spring camp, Scott Frost announced Wednesday at his spring press conference. Among them were Nebraska's two starting centers from last season and Tre Bryant, who had back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances before going…
Scott Frost spent about 25 minutes Wednesday addressing the media in advance of spring football practice. Check out full video from that press conference.
Coach Scott Frost seems to have a type in terms of leaders he wants or likes. He likes hard-workers, he likes guys from Nebraska and guys who get dirt under their fingernails. So we tallied up five guys who we’ve…
Dadgummit, there was something in the air here on Wednesday. It wasn’t insecurity. Not bravado. Not apprehension or uncertainty. It was a young coach and his staff, on the eve of a very big job, totally at ease.
The World-Herald this week will have daily previews leading up to Nebraska's first spring practice on Friday. For some veterans looking for breakthroughs, here's a glance at eight who might benefit from getting a clean slate with a chance to…
World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon, Evan Bland and Chris Heady tackle the hottest Husker headlines in the March 13 episode of the "Pick Six Podcast."
The World-Herald this week will have daily previews leading up to Nebraska's first spring practice Friday. With a heightened importance of making a good first impression with a new staff, here's a look at five position battles to keep a…
Dad couldn’t find his son. This is 2009, and they’d gone over to a friend’s house to watch the Big 12 title game — Nebraska vs. Texas — and the friend, he had played for the Huskers, and the son,…
Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos announced Friday a restructuring of the department's senior leadership, the first step in Moos' "blueprint for success" that aims to improve communication, efficiency and performance.
All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Thursday's episode, Adam Carriker talks to former Blackshirt Grant Wistrom about Scott Frost returning to NU, Erik Chinander rebuilding the Blackshirts and…
Nebraska players also had to adjust to some changes under new strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval.
Nebraska football coach Scott Frost is still in talking points mode as the Huskers prepare to begin his first spring practice next Friday.
Masry Mapieu, dropped from Nebraska’s 2018 recruiting class over concerns he wouldn’t academically qualify, will be another in-state prospect headed to a FBS program other than the Huskers.