Game Day: Nebraska vs. Wyoming

A ride into the sunset

Nebraska and Wyoming complete a three-game series Saturday, and it’s possibly the last game between the neighbors for a while. This series was scheduled when the Huskers were still in the Big 12, before Nebraska was a gleam in the Big Ten’s eye.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Rich Kaipust

Nebraska rush offense vs. Wyoming rush defense

The Huskers likely don’t run it 51 times again, but they maybe sent a message last week against Fresno State about what they can do. Nebraska will try to win again up front, but Wyoming does have experience in its back seven and hoped to be improved here after giving up 225.2 rushing yards a game last season. Hard to tell how much NU uses Tommy Armstrong again, but Wyoming will have its hands full if the Huskers choose to do it often.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Wyoming pass defense

NU would like to tune things up at least some, especially with Oregon on deck. Getting Brandon Reilly back should supply a boost, both with the addition of his speed and everybody going back to focusing on their usual roles. Wyoming has some work to do after allowing 329 yards last week against Northern Illinois. The Cowboys allowed 8.5 yards per attempt with just five interceptions a year ago, when opponents completed 66.7 percent of their throws.

Wyoming rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Good test coming for Nebraska, with Cowboys senior Brian Hill one of the toughest and most productive runners it will see this season. The 6-foot-1, 219-pounder already is over 2,500 yards for his career, and topped 200 four times last season. The Huskers’ pursuit was good last week against Fresno State (31 rushing yards), which will be important as they try to get Hill to the ground.

Wyoming pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Wyoming isn’t the same offense that scorched Nebraska for 383 passing yards and 20 passing first downs three years ago, but the Cowboys believe they have found the right quarterback with Josh Allen. The sophomore has a good arm and good size, and his game-winning scramble against Northern Illinois showed his run threat. Tanner Gentry and Jake Maulhardt both had 100-plus receiving yards last week, and will challenge the NU secondary. Can the Husker pass rush be a difference-maker?

Special teams

One red flag for Nebraska last week was its punt return team, which failed to handle some kicks and is still waiting on De’Mornay Pierson-El. Freshman punter Caleb Lightbourn got his first kicks out of the way — and the emotions of the Sam Foltz tribute — and should settle in. Wyoming freshman Cooper Rothe missed two of four field goals last week, and both could have put away Northern Illinois sooner.

Intangibles

Incentive won’t be lacking for Wyoming, starting with head coach Craig Bohl returning to the school that fired him after the 2002 season. The Cowboys have some other players and coaches with Nebraska ties that would love to create the memory of a lifetime. Nebraska needs to be focused here despite having Oregon and its Big Ten opener on deck, while Wyoming will be all in (with UC Davis and Eastern Michigan up next). Hard to say where both teams are just yet with things like turnovers and penalties, although NU took some bad ones of the latter last week.

Key matchup: Nebraska offensive line vs. Wyoming defensive line

Led by sophomore left tackle Nick Gates and senior center Dylan Utter, the Nebraska offensive line got off to a good start against Fresno State despite having three first-time starters. If they can add some progress between week one and two, a rebuilt Wyoming defensive line might find this a tough task over 60 minutes.

Our take

After two rough seasons, Wyoming might be ready to show some results of its work under Bohl. The Cowboys just quite aren’t there yet, and Nebraska has just a little too much firepower to go with its home advantage. The Huskers had a fairly solid second half and put away Fresno State last week, one of their shortcomings last season when they watched several games get snatched from them late.

Our prediction: Nebraska 37, Wyoming 17

Live updates

Videos

Extras

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Wyoming 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 Red Today coverage

McKewon: Spring breakthroughs? Huskers have plenty of questions left, including quarterback and lines

In Nebraska, where the second weekend of an NCAA tournament remains a hard-to-reach goal for teams inside the state — if not Nebraska native Dana Altman — it’s back to spring football.

Shatel: Through setbacks in health, career, Husker assistant Bob Elliott just kept going — and it led him to NU

Fate, and its evil twin cancer, can be tough customers. Once upon a time, Bob Elliott was going to be the Iowa football coach. He was going to replace the legend himself, Hayden Fry.

Husker spring roster analysis: Offensive line

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the offensive line that Mike…

Husker spring roster analysis: Wide receivers, tight ends

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the wide receivers and tight…

Husker spring roster analysis: Running backs

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the running backs that Reggie…

Husker spring roster analysis: Quarterbacks

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the quarterbacks that Danny Langsdorf…

Husker spring roster analysis: Special teams

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the special teams, which has…

Husker spring roster analysis: Defensive backs

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the defensive backs that Bob…

Husker spring roster analysis: Linebackers

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the linebackers that Trent Bray…

Husker spring roster analysis: Defensive line

With the Red-White Game looming on April 15, Mike Riley and his staff have only 20 more days before the curtain lifts on one of the country’s best-attended spring games. Below is a breakdown of the defensive line that John…

Recruiting: Nebraska's top RB prospect commits to Oklahoma

One of Nebraska's top targets in the 2018 recruiting class, running back T.J. Pledger, announced on Saturday afternoon that he'd committed to Oklahoma.

Canada to Arizona for former Husker and Kearney grad Brett Maher, but destination NFL

Before Brett Maher could get to Cleveland, he had to go through Gilbert, Arizona. The Gary Zauner free-agent combine for kickers, punters and long-snappers on March 14 in Gilbert was an offseason chance to get noticed. Maher had gone there…

McKewon: ‘America’s Team’ moniker may chase away Huskers’ old baggage in recruiting

“Nebraska — we’re truly America’s Team,” Mike Riley said. “We’ve got guys from everywhere. The Cowboys think they’re America’s Team? We are.”

Recruiting: Top Nebraska quarterback target Colson Yankoff commits to Washington

Huskers turn to a highly-rated California QB prospect, Tanner McKee, with Colson Yankoff off the board.

Six Huskers make up 2017 Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame class

A group of six Huskers make up the 2017 Nebraska Athletics Hall of Fame class, which was released Wednesday. The members of the 2017 class are: Bob Brown, Karen (Dahlgren) Schonewise, Denise Day, Rich Glover, Dave Hoppen and Scott Johnson.

NU offensive lineman Tanner Farmer convinced wrestling has helped earn a starting job in football

Tanner Farmer’s path to a starting guard spot on the Nebraska football team included a detour through the Husker wrestling room.

Recruiting: Can Nebraska match the spring recruiting run that boosted the 2017 class?

Around this time last year, the Huskers started a stretch that would see six recruits commit in a six-week span. Will this spring be just as big for Nebraska?

Pick Six Podcast: Creighton's NCAA tournament disappointment, Final Four picks, Nebraska's lines, outside linebackers, quarterback battle

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Jon Nyatawa tackle top local topics and the hottest headlines from across the country in the March 21 edition of "The Pick Six Podcast."

'Where I Come From': Husker broadcaster Kent Pavelka on 1990s Huskers, favorite play calls, tumultuous career

In the fourth episode of "Where I Come From" — a new podcast from The World-Herald — host Dirk Chatelain sits down for an in-depth interview with longtime Husker sports broadcaster Kent Pavelka.

Meet in the middle: Husker linebackers are from all over, but winning is their universal language

Mohamed Barry already knew three languages before he started speaking English, so right up front the Nebraska sophomore will admit he might have a different worldview than some of his fellow linebackers.

Former Notre Dame assistant Scott Booker joins Nebraska staff as special teams consultant

According to a report, Nebraska has hired Notre Dame’s former special teams coordinator and tight ends coach to work as an analyst in NU’s personnel office.

Recruiting: A closer look at a 2018 RB battle NU can — and needs to — win

Nebraska's 2018 class — that already has three commits in it — should grow bigger after the April 15 spring game, which is shaping up as a big unofficial visit weekend.

McKewon: If running back Mikale Wilbon leaps on, he’ll have Huskers’ faith

Nebraska junior running back Mikale Wilbon appears to be in mid-leap this spring. Good news for the Huskers — even better news for Wilbon, who might be NU’s best pure runner.

Putting Mustang motor in Lincoln: Husker signee, Oklahoma D-lineman Deontre Thomas blends speed, strength with drive to excel

Thomas found what he was looking for while attending Nebraska’s spring game last year. The facilities, the crowd, the academic support. All of it — headlined by a strong bond with NU defensive line coach John Parrella — was enough…

Roots of Husker coordinator Bob Diaco's 3-4 defense trace back to longtime coach Al Groh

When Al Groh gets a request from an inquiring mind, he’s happy to share what he knows. And when it comes to the 3-4 defense, Groh knows a lot. Of most interest to Nebraska fans, Groh is the guy who…

Husker junior Bryan Reimers impresses coaches in practice as he looks to join mix of top wide receivers

His five receptions as a sophomore last season rank third among returning players at his position and suddenly transform the Lincoln East graduate into one of the voices of experience in spring workouts.

Husker notes: Defense gets better of offense at end of practice; spring break for NU; two leaders at tight end

Nebraska finished the first half of spring practice Thursday with a lengthy workout that culminated in a long, live red zone session where the top offenses worked against the top defenses.

Ready to multi-task from outside: Huskers plan to put linebacker Marcus Newby’s varied skills to good use

There was a reason the Nebraska coaching staff wasn’t immediately sure what it would do with Marcus Newby, and it was because defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and assistant coach Trent Bray thought Newby could do a lot of things.

Junior Aaron Williams, NU's 'quarterback on defense', stands out to new safeties coach Bob Elliott

New Nebraska safeties coach Bob Elliott just talked to his wife about it the other day — they’ve moved 18 times to 12 locations in his football coaching career. That’s a lot of coaching jobs and defensive backs Elliott has…

New England Patriots sign former Husker Rex Burkhead

The New England Patriots announced Tuesday they had signed the former Nebraska I-back as an unrestricted free agent. Terms of the contract were not released.