Game Day: Nebraska vs. Oregon

Don’t blink

This is the kind of game Nate Gerry and his teammates envisioned when they signed with Nebraska. Mike Riley and his coaching staff welcome it just as openly. It’s a chance for players and coaches alike to atone for years of frustration. But winning will require laser focus against Oregon’s fast-paced offense — and an ability to block out and move on if the Ducks strike deep.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Rich Kaipust

Nebraska rush offense vs. Oregon rush defense

Wyoming gave the Huskers way more trouble than Fresno State, stacking the box and allowing the I-backs just 3.8 yards per carry and no run longer than 11. Nebraska would love to get something established, not just for offensive success but to chew some clock and keep Oregon off the field. The Ducks were surprisingly gashed by Virginia last week as Cavalier backs ran for 220 yards on 31 carries. This will be only their third game in a new system.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Oregon pass defense

NU clicked last week — after throwing it just 13 times against Fresno State — and Tommy Armstrong almost reached a career high with his 377 yards. The receivers looked good and Armstrong utilized his backs on occasion. Oregon will have some holes, but also feature the kind of speed that can lead to pressure on the quarterback and potential plays made in the secondary. An onus, then, on Armstrong to protect the football.

Oregon rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

One of the nation’s best visits as junior Royce Freeman arrives with 3,495 career rushing yards already. The challenge for Nebraska will be to get clean shots on Freeman because of his ability to spin and bounce off tackles. If they miss, the Huskers will start getting heavier doses of the Heisman Trophy candidate. Oregon started the season with four freshmen on its offensive line, but Ducks always are among the best at developing them.

Oregon pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Twelve months ago this would have been 3½ hours of receivers running open through the Husker secondary. It will remain a great challenge, but NU now has a settled situation at cornerback, a third-year starter at one of its safety spots and better feel for what it’s doing. The Ducks will complete a high percentage of their throws (they always do) but Nebraska must find a way to limit the big plays that usually are followed by Oregon going even faster.

Special teams

Nebraska has had obvious issues with its punting game — a block, bad fake and 24.6-yard net average — and also failed to generate anything on returns. Oregon has allowed very little on both punt returns and kickoff returns, so NU will have to work for what it gets. The Ducks also have one of the nation’s best threats with Charles Nelson. Both Drew Brown and Aidan Schneider have been steady, as expected, and will be up to the kicking task if it’s close at the end.

Intangibles

Oregon is riding a stretch where it knows how to win, and expects to win, much like the Nebraska of the 1990s. The Huskers are still trying to regain that touch. A lot has been made of how NU head coach Mike Riley and defensive coordinator Mark Banker know the Ducks, but the same goes in reverse. Nebraska will have to clean up its penalties (can they do it?) and win another turnover battle. It should be a good home environment, but nothing Oregon doesn’t know.

Key matchup: Oregon receivers vs. Nebraska secondary

Oregon is full of explosive talent at tight end and receiver, including an Olympic hurdler (Devon Allen). The Nebraska starting cornerbacks (Chris Jones, Joshua Kalu) have been very good to open the season, and the Husker secondary already has seven interceptions. Can NU handle Darren Carrington, Charles Nelson, Dwayne Stanford and Allen, along with tight end Pharaoh Brown?

Our take

Look for the teams to trade scores for a while, and then maybe a turnover or two dictating how the game swings. This is quarterback Dakota Prukop’s first “big game” with the Ducks, but the senior has played a lot of football and is running an offense that will work for him if he does his part. Nebraska has gotten the better of the fourth quarter the last two weeks (50-0), but Oregon won seven more games over the past two years than Fresno State and Wyoming combined.

Our prediction: Oregon 44, Nebraska 42

Live updates

Videos

Extras

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Oregon 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

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…

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.

'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.

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 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.

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…

Recruiting: Four-star QB Michael Johnson has family connections with Huskers, will visit soon

Michael Johnson is getting close to wrapping up his recruitment. The four-star quarterback from Eugene, Oregon, told The World-Herald that he plans on visiting a handful of schools over the next few weeks and committing after that.

Husker signee Maurice Washington's academic status in question; NU has requested NCAA waiver

High-profile Nebraska signee Maurice Washington is set to graduate from a California high school soon, but his academic status as a Husker football player could be up in the air after that.