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

Shatel: A near-perfect night for Husker fans filled with hope, frustration and euphoria

What a night to be alive in Lincoln. On a mild December Saturday night, the Haymarket was electric, buzzing with pride and excitement and anticipation.

Scott Frost's appearance at Nebraska basketball game sends fans into a frenzy

Few knew for certain the newly-hired coach would make an appearance Saturday night for the men's basketball game against No. 13 Kansas until the hanging video boards "froze over" during pregame introductions and began showing photos and clips of Frost's…

UCF's final games don't tell entire story of new Husker defensive coordinator Erik Chinander

Nebraska’s new defensive coordinator stressed takeaways and sacks in turning around UCF.

North Platte's Bryson Krull is Nebraska's latest preferred walk-on commit

North Platte senior Bryson Krull is a big, physical wide receiver with sure hands, and the 6-foot-5, 220-pounder is the latest in-state player to commit to walking on at Nebraska.

Another honor possible as Scott Frost is named one of seven finalists for the Dodd Trophy

Scott Frost is a candidate for another postseason honor.

Bellevue West lineman AJ Forbes, Millard West running back Brody Belt commit to walk on at Nebraska

Bellevue West lineman AJ Forbes has scholarship offers from virtually every Division II school in the area. On Thursday night Forbes committed to walk-on at Nebraska.

Lincoln Southeast's Bryson Williams will sign with Wisconsin despite late interest from Nebraska

Lincoln Southeast defensive lineman Bryson Williams has decided to shut down his recruitment and will not be taking an official visit to Nebraska this weekend.

Chris Weber becomes Nebraska football's 70th first-team Academic All-American

Chris Weber is Nebraska football's 108th Academic All-American — most of any program in collegiate athletics — and the 70th first-team selection. Nebraska also has a nation-leading 330 Academic All-Americans across all sports.

Recruiting: Decision for do-everything athlete Marcus Riley likely hinges on Nebraska visit this weekend

Marcus Riley has been committed to Louisville since July 2016. Until recently, he was strong in that conviction. Things got interesting when Riley was among the dozen or so offers sent out by Nebraska the day after Scott Frost's hiring…

TBL: QB commit Adrian Martinez confident he can help 'get this thing turned around' at Nebraska

Martinez said that Thursday during an interview on "The Bottom Line," less than 24 hours after he announced his commitment to Nebraska. He added that fans can believe in Scott Frost, and the Huskers will "work our tails off" for…

Scott Frost named 2017 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year recipient

It only took Scott Frost two seasons as a head coach to win one of the biggest honors in college football.

Nebraska keeps walk-on commitments rolling with Chris Cassidy, Jake Archer

Nebraska has added two more preferred walk-on commits. Lincoln Pius X senior Chris Cassidy informed The World-Herald of his commitment Thursday morning, and Omaha Skutt's Jake Archer announced his decision on Twitter.

Carriker Chronicles: Husker QB commit plus NU volleyball picks

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Thursday's episode, Carriker is joined by one of his daughters to give his quick take to the Huskers' landing a QB commit, talk about how players react…

Long before cable TV, Husker fans stared at the side of a building and got 'live' coverage on the Grid-O-Graph – a miracle of modern technology

Imagine a time when you couldn't follow a Husker football game or know its outcome until the next day's newspaper landed on your doorstep. For diehard fans in the 21st century, that would be torture. In the first quarter of…

College sports programs could pay millions in new taxes under GOP proposals

Pending Republican tax proposals could put the squeeze on big-time college sport programs.

Recruiting: Diverse group will be on hand for new Husker coaching staff looking for speed

In less than two weeks on the job, Nebraska’s staff has sent out more than 70 known offers to prospects from the Class of 2018 and beyond. Players big and small. From the West Coast and East Coast. In junior…

Recruiting: Collin Shefke and Wyatt Liewer accept preferred walk-on spots at Husker event

Nebraska’s walk-on event Wednesday landed commitments from Lincoln Southwest’s Collin Shefke and O’Neill’s Wyatt Liewer. Liewer received a preferred walk-on offer Oct. 8. Shefke received his offer Wednesday.

Intrigue in Scott Frost, matchup helped UCF's bowl game become hot ticket for some Husker fans

Nebraska fans travel well. There was the invasion of Notre Dame in 2000. Taking over Northwestern in 2014. Tack on another badge: the constant presence at Central Florida games in 2017.

Recruiting: Husker walk-on event draws large response from in-state prospects

Nebraska sent out invitations and used the hashtag #HomeGrown to bring prospects to its walk-on event on Wednesday night.

Recruiting: Scott Frost’s staff thinking big with receivers for the 2018 recruiting class

Size. Nebraska’s new coaching staff clearly wants it from the receivers and tight ends who may join the Huskers’ 2018 recruiting class.

McKewon: Four quick takes on Adrian Martinez's commitment to Nebraska

Nebraska has landed Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez, who committed to the Huskers on Wednesday. Quick takes on Martinez’s decision and what it means for the Huskers.

Recruiting: Scott Frost, assistants doing double duty with help of red-eye flights

New Nebraska coach Scott Frost will have some story to tell after signing day. Frost has committed to lead Central Florida in its quest to finish an undefeated season and win the Peach Bowl over Auburn. That's one thing. He's…

Recruiting: Nebraska kicker commit Barret Pickering part of new coaching staff's plans

Barret Pickering has been busy. And that won't be changing anytime soon for Nebraska's reaffirmed incoming kicker.

Carriker Chronicles: John Cook on the Huskers' match against Penn State in the final four and more

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Wednesday's episode, Carriker is joined by NU volleyball coach John Cook to preview the Huskers' match against Penn State in the NCAA tournament final four.

Adrian Martinez becomes Scott Frost's first quarterback recruit; Dual-threat QB will enroll early at Nebraska

Adrian Martinez — a consensus four-star prospect who’s a top-100 recruit according to ESPN — is now a Husker, announcing his decision Wednesday to pick Nebraska over Tennessee. He’ll enroll early at NU and try to win the starting job…

Pick Six Podcast: Early days of Scott Frost's Nebraska coaching tenure

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Evan Bland tackle the hottest Husker headlines in the Dec. 12 episode of the "Pick Six Podcast."

Best of TBL, Dec. 12: Sam McKewon, Adam Carriker, Gibbie Duval and Mike Alessandro

Nebraska football recruiting and strength and conditioning were topics Tuesday on "The Bottom Line," when World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon and former Husker Adam Carriker were among the guests.

Recruiting: Nebraska needs a great pass rusher, and a California junior college may have the answer

Sometimes, football players need a year to grow into their frames after high school. That’s the story of one Nebraska official visitor this weekend, City College of San Francisco pass rusher Jordan Allen.

Carriker Chronicles: Scott Frost, Huskers quickly hitting stride on recruiting trail

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Tuesday's episode, Carriker talks about a busy Sunday in Nebraska recruiting news and what's next on the agenda.

Recruiting: Iowa Western offensive lineman Noah Banks doesn’t make Nebraska visit as planned

Iowa Western offensive lineman Noah Banks did not visit Nebraska on Tuesday as originally planned and is making other options higher priorities as the junior-college national signing day approaches.