Game Day: Nebraska vs. Minnesota

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Run. Pass. Tackle. The Huskers are ready for Minnesota’s physical challenge, but they’ll have to handle it better than in 2013 or 2014. There’s nothing subtle about the tactics of teams like Minnesota. They want to ram, bash, pummel and maul — for four long quarters.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Rich Kaipust

Nebraska rush offense vs. Minnesota rush defense

Nebraska owns the second-best mark for yards per carry in the Big Ten at 5.4, but its attack has lacked consistency. The use of fullback Andy Janovich adds to the versatility, and the Huskers would benefit from Tommy Armstrong doing damage on some quarterback runs. Minnesota ranks ninth in the Big Ten in rushing defense at 142.8 yards per game.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Minnesota pass defense

It might be a good time to go after the Gophers' secondary considering its injuries, which include All-Big Ten cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. The only problem is that the Husker passing offense has gone into a two-week funk, and Armstrong has completed just 35.6 percent of his passes against Big Ten teams. The Minnesota defense has more interceptions than TD passes allowed (six to five), and opponents are completing just 52.8 percent of their throws.

Minnesota rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Minnesota went for 326 yards last week at Purdue, but against the worst rushing defense in the Big Ten. Nebraska currently ranks third, holding opponents to 95.3 yards per game and 3.3 per carry, and will surely load up against the run this week. The Gophers like freshman back Shannon Brooks (176 yards at Purdue) and their magic number is 200 yards rushing as a team (20-3 under Jerry Kill when reaching that plateau).

Minnesota pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

The Gophers won’t scare many teams with how they throw it, but Nebraska has been shredded by teams just about every week this season. The Huskers would love to make Mitch Leidner throw it 30-plus times, but they thought the same thing with Joel Stave — and the Wisconsin quarterback burned them for 322 yards and a TD. NU will need to make some plays on the ball, hit Leidner a few times and get off the field on third down.

Special teams

Neither team has been effective with its return games, so the edge might simply go to whoever can break anything of substance Saturday. NU is solid with kicker Drew Brown and punter Sam Foltz, but Minnesota leads the Big Ten in net punting at 39.4 yards per kick and Peter Mortell is one of the league’s best.

Intangibles

Nebraska can’t seem to shake this problem it has with penalties, which is currently costing it 82.8 yards per game. The Huskers also haven’t forced a turnover in October. NU, however, ranks near the top of the Big Ten in both red-zone offense and defense, while Minnesota is 13th in both categories. The Gophers also have a negative turnover margin. Injuries have hammered both teams, so hard to say who is better off or worse off there.

Key matchup: Nebraska receivers vs. Minnesota defensive backs

The Husker receivers struggled getting open against Wisconsin, and Minnesota will come with some of the same physical coverage. NU also needs to get Jordan Westerkamp active again after a quiet two weeks, and maybe unleash De’Mornay Pierson-El in his third game back. The Gophers potentially have one of the best secondaries in the Big Ten, but have had to piece together that unit because of a string of injuries.

Our take

Several of the above categories easily could have gone either way, so no surprise that the oddsmakers have this one right around even. Nebraska might have the potential difference-maker with Armstrong, who’s leading the Big Ten in total offense, but the junior needs to find the rhythm that he had going in September. The Huskers easily could be beaten down by the events of recent weeks, but maybe some things start turning around in the second half of the season.

Our prediction: Nebraska 24, Minnesota 13

Live updates

#Huskers on Instagram

Videos

Extras

Live: TBL pregame, postgame

"The Bottom Line" pregame show with Mike’l Severe will start broadcasting live at 1 p.m. Saturday, then tune in after the game for a complete breakdown and call-in show with Mike'l and Joe Ganz. Click here »

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Minnesota matchup provided by the NU Athletic Department. Click here »

Husker History

Find information on every win, loss and tie in Husker history. With historical World-Herald front pages, photos, stories, key stats and more, our ever-growing Husker History Database is your new home for archiving one of the nation's most tradition-rich programs.Click here »

On social media

Check out the Big Red Today page on Facebook to discuss the latest news with the top Husker fans, and follow us on Twitter to get instant updates and analysis whenever news breaks. Plus, look back at historical moments in Nebraska football by following @HuskerHistory on Twitter.

BRT app

IPhone and Android users, get your Husker updates on the go by downloading our free Big Red Today app from the App Store and the Google Play store. Omaha.com/BRTapp and Omaha.com/android

Recruiting updates

Visit the Big Red Today recruiting page to find the latest updates on potential future Huskers, including player cards for those athletes already committed. Click here »

Email alerts

Sign up for the Big Red Today email newsletter to get the Husker news, analysis, daily headlines and more delivered to your inbox. Click here »

Big Ten coverage

Look for additional updates on our Big Ten page to get the best coverage of the conference from both The World-Herald and some of the best writers from across the country. Click here »

Big Red Today coverage

Frank Solich will return to Nebraska to accept Tom Osborne Legacy Award

Former Husker head coach Frank Solich will return to Nebraska next year as the fifth recipient of the Tom Osborne Legacy Award.

Approximately 600 Nebraska football season tickets will go on sale next week

Nebraska will make approximately 600 football season tickets available for purchase beginning Wednesday, May 30 at 10 a.m.

Why Husker QB coach Mario Verduzco has no problem recruiting 'athletes' as quarterbacks

Nebraska has 11 offers out to quarterbacks in the 2019 class. Some of those include pro-style quarterbacks Mike Riley’s staff offered. But that doesn’t include prospects labeled as "athletes" by recruiting services that Nebraska is pursuing as quarterbacks — like…

Former Husker Richie Incognito allegedly threw weights at gym employees, said government was spying on him

Police took veteran NFL guard and former Husker Richie Incognito to a Florida mental hospital after he allegedly threw weights and tennis balls at gym employees and another patron and told officers the government is spying on him.

McKewon: Frank Verducci has coached with countless legends, sees same potential in Scott Frost

Frank Verducci has coached at 17 different stops, including five NFL teams. He worked for Bobby Ross, Hayden Fry and Dick LeBeau. He worked with Kirk Ferentz, Bill Snyder and Mike Zimmer. Now he's at Nebraska because Scott Frost shares…

'Where I Come From': Nebraska broadcasting legend Jack Payne

In the fourth episode of Season 3 of "Where I Come From" — a World-Herald podcast — host Dirk Chatelain sits down for an in-depth interview with Omaha broadcasting legend Jack Payne.

Nebraska All-American Grant Wistrom says Scott Frost is 'set up for success' with Huskers

Grant Wistrom watched Central Florida go from winless to undefeated in two seasons, but that isn't what most impressed him about Scott Frost's time in Orlando. It was the way Frost related to his players.

Pick Six Podcast: Reviewing Nebraska baseball, Husker football summer conditioning, Bill Moos' changes

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon, Chris Heady and Evan Bland tackle the hottest Husker headlines in the May 22 episode of the Pick Six Podcast.

McKewon: Nebraska considering a Big Eight reunion tour? Other than Oklahoma, no thanks

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos hinted in a radio interview Monday night that he’d like to see more nonconference games against Power Five conference opponents. Moos even named some possible options from NU’s old days in the Big Eight and…

Nebraska-Iowa game on Black Friday will return for good after 2021, Bill Moos says

When Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos was hired in October 2017, one of the first messes he tried to clean up was the Black Friday debacle.

Barfknecht: Minnesota Golden Gophers football starting back on the docks again

Ask Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck how he’s doing and the reply often is an exclamation of his favorite word: “Elite!’’ The Gophers didn’t have many elite days last season once Big Ten play started.

Former Husker Richie Incognito released from Bills' retired list, may continue NFL career

Richie Incognito's playing days might not be over after all.

Carriker Chronicles: Reaction to Scott Frost bringing the Unity Council back to Nebraska

All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Monday's episode, Carriker discusses Scott Frost continuing to change the culture at Nebraska and bringing back the Unity Council.

Sam's Extra Points: Scott Frost tells local recruits that grass isn't always greener elsewhere

Scott Frost has a recruiting pitch for in-state prospects thinking about spurning hometown Nebraska. Think twice. Learn from Frost’s example.

Shatel: Frank Solich's Husker homecoming would be necessary part of Nebraska's unified future

The timing does, indeed, seem right. Scott Frost is leading a revival to not only honor Nebraska football's past but also turn toward the future in a unified front. Having Frank Solich, Tom Osborne and Frost in the same sold-out…

Shatel: Help us, Hawkeye Nation, you're our only hope (to fill stadium for Big Ten baseball tourney)

This week, the Big Ten takes over TD Ameritrade Park. And there’s only one small problem. Nebraska is taking this year off.

Huskers have options at center after Michael Decker announces retirement from football

Nebraska offensive lineman Michael Decker announced Saturday he has decided to retire from playing football. He started five games at center last year before a season-ending knee injury.

Linebacker Andrew Ward announces departure from Huskers

Linebacker Andrew Ward announced on Twitter Saturday evening he was leaving the Nebraska football program after one season.

Recruiting: Nebraska quickly shoots into final two for junior college nose tackle Tony Fair

Pima (Arizona) Community College defensive tackle Tony Fair is ready make a decision on his next college. Until Friday it appeared Indiana, not far from Fair’s hometown of South Bend, would cruise to landing his commitment. Then Nebraska offered a…

Chatelain: 25 years later, Cam Jurgens outthrows his future Husker coach Scott Frost

25 years ago Scott Frost won a state title in the shot put, one of the final moments of his spectacular high school career. On Friday, one of his top recruits, Cam Jurgens, bested the mark set by his future…

Carriker Chronicles: Dream nonconference showdowns for Scott Frost and the Huskers

All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Friday's episode, Carriker debates dream nonconference matchups for Nebraska and why he wants the Huskers to face off against Alabama.

Scott Frost says Unity Council return is likely, Huskers will stand by Maurice Washington

Buy-in is high. Progress is being made. But Nebraska football's journey to excellence remains a marathon, not a sprint, coach Scott Frost reiterated Thursday in a World-Herald interview.

Tom Osborne says now would be 'great time' for Frank Solich to return to Nebraska

It might finally be time for Frank Solich to return to Nebraska.

Recruiting: Huskers making another junior college push, looking to score in Georgia

Nebraska coaches keep gushing about the city of Lincoln, so Lakia Henry, one of the nation’s top junior college recruits, is excited to see it this weekend.

Video: Husker coach Scott Frost shows off his arm, throws out first pitch at Lincoln Saltdogs game

New Husker football coach Scott Frost threw for over 2,600 yards and 18 touchdowns in his NU career. On Thursday, Frost showed off his signature arm strength once again in Lincoln.

Former Husker Mo Seisay signs with Winnipeg Blue Bombers of Canadian Football League

Mo Seisay will make his return to football in Canada. The former Husker cornerback signed a contract Wednesday with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. Seisay hasn't played in a professional football game since 2014.

After yearlong suspension, ex-Husker Randy Gregory will reportedly file for NFL reinstatement

Former Husker Randy Gregory, who was given a one-year suspension in January 2017 for repeated substance abuse violations, will file for reinstatement to the NFL on Thursday, according to the NFL Network.

Carriker Chronicles: Faux Pelini on sharing a cat with Bo Pelini, Twitter tales and more

All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Wednesday's episode, Carriker talks to Faux Pelini about sharing a cat with Bo Pelini, the spring game moment, Carl Pelini, adventures of…

Tom Osborne says 1982, 1993 Huskers were best Nebraska teams to not win national title

Which was the best Nebraska football team to not win a national championship? World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon first posed the question on Twitter with four options — 1982, 1983, 1993 or 1999. Then Tuesday afternoon Tom Osborne was asked…

Huskers look for leader at quarterback; Scott Frost expects no problems meeting scholarship limit

Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Wednesday it’d be “foolish to anticipate” which player he’ll pick as starting quarterback next fall. The four signal-callers left on campus — sophomores Andrew Bunch and Noah Vedral and freshmen Tristan Gebbia and Adrian Martinez…