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: Star-studded list of recruits expected to shine under Nebraska's Friday Night Lights

Nebraska will have some of their top recruits in the 2018 and 2019 classes on campus this weekend for the Friday Night Lights camp and Big Red Weekend.

Fiery ex-Husker lineman Richie Incognito doesn't disguise his past, works to share wisdom

Richie Incognito flips his white hat backward and squats into a stance, feet spread wide, eyes forward. His teal Nike T-shirt clings to his barrel chest. Tattoos cover his forearms. Sweat mats his hair.

Husker commit 'Bookie' Radley-Hiles promises to bring 'greatness' back to Nebraska

Brendan "Bookie" Radley-Hiles feels it's been too long since there was greatness at Nebraska, and he plans to bring it back.

Recruiting: Must-watch highlights show why Huskers offered 280-pound destroyer of middle school football players

Flip on Hayden Conner's highlights and you'd probably wonder what a grown man is doing on a football field with a bunch of middle schoolers.

McKewon: In wake of Keyshawn Johnson Jr.’s leave, there's a lesson in creating illusion of easy celebrity for players

You figure we’d learn. That Nebraska media and fans would pump the brakes when it comes to recruiting and expecting too much too soon from freshmen who are figuring out how to be an adult as they find their place…

Recruiting: Top QB target Max Duggan considering return visit for Nebraska's second Friday Night Lights camp

Council Bluffs Lewis Central quarterback Max Duggan, a top 2019 quarterback target for Nebraska, is considering attending the Huskers’ second and star-studded Friday Nights Lights after he performed well at the first one.

Recruiting report: Scottsbluff linebacker Garrett Nelson thrilled to receive Husker offer

Garrett Nelson on Friday had what any high school athlete in Nebraska would consider a fantastic day.

Bob Elliott moves to defensive analyst position due to 'personal reasons,' Scott Booker promoted to full-time assistant

Nebraska safeties coach Bob Elliott has moved to a defensive analyst position due to personal reasons, the school announced Tuesday in a press release, and Scott Booker has been promoted to replace him as a full-time assistant.

Wideout Keyshawn Johnson Jr. taking leave of absence from the Nebraska football program; dad says decision mutual

Nebraska receiver Keyshawn Johnson Jr. — the star Calabasas (California) receiver who signed with the Huskers and was at the center of a recruiting movement in California — is taking a leave of absence from NU's program just six months…

Recruiting: Top Husker OT target Chris Bleich commits to UCLA

Nebraska had 2018 offensive tackle Chris Bleich high on its list of targets, but the 6-foot-6, 305-pounder — who visited for NU's spring game — committed Monday night to UCLA via Twitter.

McKewon: Precious memories provide motivation to Husker pledge Joshua Moore

Joshua and Jordan Moore’s dad had a Father’s Day stuffed with emotions. He’d mourned and rejoiced in one afternoon.

McKewon: Picking top impact players for Husker Camp Countdown is 50 shades of guesswork

Our Husker Camp Countdown begins Monday, and it’s never been harder trying to pick the 50 Nebraska football players we think will be big factors in the upcoming season.

Recruiting: Five quick takes on 2018 WR Joshua Moore's commitment to NU

Yoakum (Texas) receiver Joshua Moore committed to Nebraska Sunday, picking the Huskers over Florida State and Texas A&M. What’s it mean for Nebraska?

Top-100 receiver Joshua Moore announces Nebraska commitment with tribute to late brother

The relationship Keith Williams started with Joshua Moore eventually paid off in a major commit for the Huskers’ 2018 recruiting class.

Nebraska boys athlete of the year Cam Jurgens, Beatrice junior and Husker commit, remains humble despite prowess

He’s the first athlete of the year from Beatrice since Bob Hohn in 1960. He’s also only the fourth junior honored in 67 years, following Gerry Gdowski of Fremont in 1985, Leodis Flowers of Omaha Central in 1986 and Ron…

McKewon: Injuries at Tulane complicate comparisons between Huskers' Tanner Lee, other Big Ten QBs

In Lee’s final season at Tulane — the last data point we have for Nebraska’s new starting quarterback — he played four games, nearly half his season, with at least one finger tied behind his back, if you will.

Storms chase Nebraska's Friday Night Lights camp inside, but some stars still appear

Nebraska’s first Friday Night Lights of the year kicked off under the lights in Memorial Stadium. But within an hour, the coaching staff shifted the event inside before severe storms smacked the city.

Recruiting: Nebraska offers in-state scholarship to 2019 Scottsbluff defensive end Garrett Nelson

For the second straight year, an in-state defensive linemen received a scholarship offer from Nebraska directly after a Friday Night Lights camp.

Big Ten recruiting rankings and projections, June 16

One of our new recruiting features at The World-Herald will be a monthly Big Ten recruiting rankings update. We're doing a second one this month to recap a busy stretch in the recruiting cycle.

Football and free food help fans of all ages leave Huskers’ inaugural Fan Fest satisfied

A short stroll down Stadium Drive was all it took to get a feel for how Nebraska’s inaugural Fan Fest was going. Whether Husker fans or not, those present all spoke enthusiastically about the Friday evening event that felt, looked,…

Sautter: Top in-state players at Nebraska's Friday Night Lights camp, June 16

World-Herald prep recruiting specialist Mike Sautter was in attendance at Nebraska's Friday Night Lights camp and highlights the top in-state prospects at the camp on Friday, June 16.

Big Fat Recruiting Update: Joshua Moore decision day, skipping an RB in 2017 and straight talk about Cam Jurgens' future position

For the 173rd week in a row, seemingly, the talk of Nebraska recruiting has something or other to do with a wideout.

Recruiting: Husker satellite camps lead to offers, early start with 2019, 2020 recruits

The Huskers spread all over the country to work satellite camps and evaluate potential recruits. Here's a closer look at some of those recruits that landed NU offers after their performances at the satellite camps.

Recruiting: Nebraska offers 2021 wide receiver just heading into high school

Nebraska offered a scholarship to a football prospect heading into his freshman year of high school. His name is Dacari Collins and he's from Atlanta, Georgia. He's 6-foot-3 heading into high school. It should surprise no one he also plays…

McKewon: St. Louis satellite camp was so-so; rays of hope for Huskers in Florida

There weren’t any 2018 prospects of note at the Lindenwood University event, but Nebraska wouldn’t have minded if Cameron Brown made an appearance. In his absence, the three-star receiver did make an appearance, so to speak.

Incoming Nebraska receiver Tyjon Lindsey is used to moving from place to place — on and off the field

Tyjon Lindsey has never settled in. Not really.

Recruiting: Cameron Brown decommits from Nebraska day after receiving Ohio State offer

Wide receiver Cameron Brown said Ohio State wasn't the reason he decommitted from Nebraska on Saturday, but the timing will leave Husker fans wondering.

Satellite camp provides Huskers chance for early splash with talented St. Louis-area recruits

Mike Riley is here in the region with a purpose — to continue building inroads for that handful of top players each year who come out of the St. Louis area.

Recruiting: Nebraska reaffirms commitment to St. Louis area during satellite camp

Nebraska's football staff is near the end of its whirlwind week of satellite camps. At Lindenwood University — a pleasant, private Division II school west of downtown St. Louis — there were some good-looking athletes.

Nebraska QB Tanner Lee focused on reps, developing toughness during summer workouts

Lee and nine other position group leaders — established by team vote during winter conditioning — have enlisted Husker strength coaches to install an accountability program that Lee thinks will help Nebraska finish strong and compete for a Big Ten…