Game Day: Nebraska vs. Maryland

Persistent playmakers

Some senior classes have their own stories and fade into the ether of names and numbers. But this senior class shares its story with a fan base — a whole state. In four or five years, these seniors have lived a full life.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Rich Kaipust

Nebraska rush offense vs. Maryland rush defense

The Huskers bounced back some last week with 157 yards vs. Minnesota, and again did some of their best work in the fourth quarter (81 yards on 14 attempts). I-back Terrell Newby hit some holes fast and looked good as he went for 85 yards. Nebraska likely had to think about limiting the quarterback run in its game plan this week because of Tommy Armstrong’s status, but Maryland is allowing 228.7 yards a game on the ground.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Maryland pass defense

It’s the final home game for NU senior receivers Jordan Westerkamp, Brandon Reilly and Alonzo Moore, who have combined for 272 catches. The passes also will be coming from a senior, either Armstrong or Ryker Fyfe. Either way, the pass game should set up well if Nebraska can run the ball successfully, and Armstrong was a much-improved 19 of 27 with no interceptions a week ago. Maryland has intercepted just four passes all season.

Maryland rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

NU gave up a 31-yard run against Minnesota, but the Gophers averaged just 1.6 yards on their other 33 rushing attempts. That followed the Huskers allowing 223 yards to Wisconsin and 238 to Ohio State. Maryland will work the perimeter, and Ty Johnson is a dangerous back who is averaging 9.4 yards per carry in Big Ten games. The Terps rank third in the Big Ten at 213.7 yards per game and average 5.0 per carry.

Maryland pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Perry Hills has been good when healthy, but shoulder problems have not only plagued the senior but left him questionable this week. Nebraska ranks No. 24 nationally in pass efficiency defense and its secondary has accounted for 16 interceptions, and overall been pretty steady with the exception of the Ohio State game. Maryland also has been having problems protecting its quarterback.

Special teams

With its own troubles in the punting game, Nebraska better be careful against a Maryland unit that has blocked two kicks this season. The Terps also have been fairly consistent with their own punt team behind former Australian rules football player Wade Lees. Maryland lost a Lou Groza Award winner in Brad Craddock, but kicker Adam Greene has made 8 of 11 field goals as his replacement. The biggest edge in return games is NU on kickoffs.

Intangibles

After going minus-18 on turnover margin a year ago, Maryland is minus-6 this season. It also is going through a tough six-week stretch that has seen the Terps drop from 4-0 to 5-5. Nebraska will have a motivational edge as it gives a send-off to a big senior class and tries to stay in the Big Ten West hunt. The experience gap between the two head coaches also is quite large, with Mike Riley closing in on his 200th career game and D.J. Durkin finishing his first season.

Key matchup: Maryland offensive line vs. the Nebraska pass rush

You can bet that Nebraska defenders know about the Terrapins allowing 32 sacks through 10 games. The Maryland offensive line was replacing three starters this season, is fairly young and had to break in a new system. Either with blitzes or four-man rushes, look for the Huskers to consistently spend some time in the Terps’ backfield.

Our take

Nebraska got its wheels straightened out last week and now catches a Maryland team that went off the road once the competition stiffened. The Huskers also have that wear-down thing going for them this season, in case Maryland is hanging around in the second half. NU hasn’t been afraid to talk about shooting for a 10-win regular season, so it needs this one before heading to Iowa City.

Our prediction: Nebraska 34, Maryland 21

Live updates

Videos

Extras

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Maryland matchup provided by the Husker 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 Red Today coverage

Nebraska adds Omaha Skutt record-breaker Christian Banker as preferred walk-on

Omaha Skutt wide receiver Christian Banker has accepted a preferred walk-on opportunity at Nebraska.

Barfknecht: Lovie Smith hopes early spring football practice start helps Illinois focus, deal with injuries

The Illini opened practice on Valentine’s Day, making them the early birds of the 130 schools in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Recruiting: Nebraska will join forces with Kansas, other Adidas schools for junior college prospect camp

Husker football coaches will be in attendance for a junior college prospect camp on July 22 hosted by Kansas, according to a flier tweeted by the Jayhawks' director of recruiting.

Former Huskers Nate Gerry and Cethan Carter are projected to be picked, but Nebraska may face another thin NFL draft

Nate Gerry and Cethan Carter might carry the best hopes of Nebraska prospects, but overall lukewarm projections leave the Huskers looking at a lean NFL draft for the second time in five years.

Dwayne Johnson lands at Texas Tech after transferring from Nebraska

Nebraska senior offensive lineman Dwayne Johnson has left the program and will pursue transfer options after he graduates in May with a degree in criminal justice and criminology, a Husker spokesman confirmed Wednesday. Huskers Illustrated first reported the news.

Big Fat Recruiting Update: Where does Nebraska go from here?

The Huskers have to be happy with their haul to this point. They’re hovering around the top 10 nationally in the recruiting ratings thanks to a lush star-rating-per-prospect. Life’s pretty good in The Good Life. So, what now?

Former Husker Will Compton, Redskins agree to contract extension

Restricted free agent linebacker Will Compton re-signed with the Washington Redskins on Monday.

Recruiting: After opening evaluation period with 'Nebraska Swarm,' NU coaches moving on to 'Husker Heartland'

Nebraska’s first priority of the spring evaluation period was to “swarm” its own state. The Huskers hit high schools in every corner of Nebraska over the last week, but now the coaches are expanding their range.

Nebraska's Chris Jones has big plans for himself and reconfigured Blackshirts in his final season as a Husker

Given where Chris Jones plays on a football field — out on an island at cornerback, just a man and his assignment — perhaps it makes sense. The senior who may be NU’s best overall player doesn’t talk much to…

Jordan Westerkamp ended Husker career injured, but is now hopeful for opportunity in NFL

As one of the most successful receivers in Nebraska football history, Jordan Westerkamp knew a little something about adjusting routes and finding ways to make things work. The last four months have been a little like that, too.

Husker coaching staff makes connections across state during high school tour

Nebraska’s staff spread out, “swarming the state” and promoting it hard on social media. All told, the Husker staff made close to 50 stops six days after the spring game.

Recruiting: Three takes on the commit of Chase Williams

Nebraska received its eighth known verbal commit for the 2018 class on Sunday evening from Corona (Calif.) Centennial wideout Chase Williams. Three quick thoughts on his decision.

Nebraska gets commitment from four-star athlete Chase Williams

Nebraska football kept its recruiting roll going Sunday evening when Corona (California) Eleanor Roosevelt athlete Chase Williams verbally committed to the Huskers via a video he released on Twitter.

Husker A.D. Shawn Eichorst had big hand in shaping NCAA recruiting reform

Nebraska Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst was a key architect of a massive recruiting reform package — one Husker coaches supported — that was passed April 14 by the NCAA Division I Council.

Shatel: Style under Mike Riley may change NFL’s thinking about Husker quarterbacks

It’s been a long, long time since Nebraska had a quarterback play quarterback in the NFL. A long time since NU had a quarterback drafted as a quarterback.

Barfknecht: Alignment can be over-hyped; Wisconsin tailoring system to talent is tried and true

Maybe it’s wise to check out what has worked for the Big Ten’s most consistent defense recently — Wisconsin — which conveniently also is among the programs the Huskers have to conquer to get out of the West Division.

Twitter roundup: Husker coaches canvas the state during swarm of visits

Several Nebraska football coaches had a busy day Friday, swarming the state visiting potential 2018 and 2019 recruits. Here's a few of the coaches' tweets pinpointing the high schools they visited throughout the day.

On Husker radio show, coach Mike Riley hints at more commitments on the way

Nebraska officially has seven commitments for the 2018 class. But on Mike Riley’s Husker Sports Network radio show Thursday night, the coach said NU has nine commitments — which means two of them are “silent” unannounced verbal pledges — with…

Huskers rank 10th in ESPN's updated recruiting rankings with four commits in top 300

Nebraska has never had a recruiting class finish better than 17th in ESPN's rankings. The Huskers' 2018 class currently ranks in the top 10. ESPN released Thursday its updated player rankings for the 2018 class, and the Huskers have four…

New satellite camp rules fit into Husker coach Mike Riley’s plans, which include events with fellow Adidas schools

Riley said Wednesday he was pleased the NCAA Division I Council voted last week to significantly regulate how many camps college coaches can work, and where those camps can be held.

Recruiting: Marquez Beason gave Nebraska one of its earliest commitments, but that's nothing compared to Cameron Jurgens

The 10 recruits that were committed to Nebraska earliest in their respective recruiting cycles, and the current Husker commits that have a chance at cracking this list.

Husker coach Mike Riley names Tanner Lee as starting quarterback, praises Patrick O'Brien and Tristan Gebbia

Nebraska split practice time evenly this spring as QBs Tanner Lee and Patrick O'Brien battled for the starting job. NU coach Mike Riley announced Wednesday that the job is now Lee's to lose.

Huskers' offensive line feels urgency to run the ball better, aims for better consistency in 2017

David Knevel said the Nebraska offense seemed to find traction this spring with a particular outside running play, with “pinners and pullers” and a design that the right tackle thought was a good fit for Husker linemen.

Pick Six Podcast: Nebraska spring football, Husker recruiting, NU-CU baseball, Bluejay basketball

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Jon Nyatawa tackle top local topics and the hottest headlines from across the country in the April 18 edition of "The Pick Six Podcast."

Rutgers’ offense in for another revamp with Jerry Kill's addition to the coaching staff

No need to scour the dictionary for flowery phrases to describe Rutgers’ football offense last year when one word will do: Inept. Maybe “inept” should be in capital letters considering the Scarlet Knights were last nationally in total offense (283.2…

McKewon: 10 spring standouts moving up Huskers' wide-open depth chart

For Nebraska’s 2017 football team, picking out the big movers isn’t the hard part. It’s limiting the list to just 10. That’s because Nebraska arguably has its youngest and least experienced roster since 2011, the season after the Huskers had…

Recruiting: D-lineman Calvin Avery keeping Nebraska among lead suitors after attending spring game

Teammate of NU signee Damion Daniels plans to make decision after senior season.

Recruiting: Nebraska target Judge Culpepper has good impression of Huskers after spring game

Prized defensive line/tight end prospect "definitely" keeping Nebraska in the mix

Husker receiver JD Spielman credits work in redshirt season for promise he’s shown in spring

Spielman got a taste of what he’s been waiting for with four receptions and a touchdown in the Red-White scrimmage Saturday.

Recruiting: Nebraska nabs an Easter Day commitment from Colorado DE Tate Wildeman

Nebraska’s newest commit for the 2018 recruiting class won’t have to learn the nuances of defensive coordinator Bob Diaco.