Game Day: Nebraska vs. Michigan State

Can the Huskers survive gang green?

When asked this week about Michigan State's aggressiveness, quarterback Tommy Armstrong provided a glimpse into his mentality: "First of all," he said, "if you blitz, obviously, somebody's going to be open." NU coach Bo Pelini said Armstrong won't be intimidated. But Armstrong, Pelini and the rest of the Huskers are aware that moving the football against the Spartans will not be easy.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Sam McKewon

Nebraska rush offense vs. Michigan State rush defense

The Spartans have the nation’s best run defense, giving up just 43 yards per game. That’s chemistry and commitment on display for defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio’s bunch. Nebraska counters with one of the nation’s best running backs in Ameer Abdullah and a budding option game with Tommy Armstrong. But the offensive line is beat up. Advantage: Michigan State

Nebraska pass offense vs. Michigan State pass defense

Did we mention Nebraska’s offensive line is beat up? So too are the wide receivers, to some extent, and they are charged with getting open against what many consider the best secondary in the Big Ten. Armstrong pulled NU through the fire at Michigan, but he’s been inconsistent. Michigan State’s blitzes are nasty. Advantage: Michigan State

Michigan State rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

NU’s run defense has turned a corner in the past two weeks, and Michigan State doesn’t have the line nor the great running backs to turn the Huskers back. Spartan running back Jeremy Langford is no Le’Veon Bell, and he’s a slow starter. The Spartans abandon the run often too easily. Advantage: Nebraska

Michigan State pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Connor Cook is just settling into the starting quarterback role. He’s mobile enough and has a big arm. He completes 60 percent of his passes and doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. The Husker secondary has seasoned corners in Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Ciante Evans and Joshua Mitchell. MSU is about one year away from having a decent receiving corps. Advantage: Nebraska

Special teams

Michigan State punter Mike Sadler is second in the Big Ten in yards per punt. Nebraska counters with strong kick and punt coverage units. The Huskers are a weekly adventure in returning punts. The Spartans are awful returning kickoffs. Advantage: Michigan State

Intangibles

Michigan State has a plus-9 edge in turnover margin. The Spartans are the league’s most penalized team, and NU’s the second most. The Huskers will have home-field advantage, and apparently the niceness of the fans threw off Michigan State last time. Nebraska is fighting for its life in terms of a Big Ten title berth. Advantage: Nebraska

Key matchup: Connor Cook vs. Nebraska's defense

We’re counting on Michigan State’s defense being terrific and Nebraska’s offense picking its spots. So the game boils down to whether the Husker defense can continue its recent streak of shutting down the opponent. This is the biggest game of Cook’s young career. NU needs to rattle him.

Our take

Nebraska has shown a ton of heart and toughness for managing its injuries as well as it has, and quarterback Tommy Armstrong has a bright future. But this game is defined by the Husker defense. Can they match Michigan State’s bunch? We think they will well enough for a rare upset win at home.

Our prediction: Nebraska 16, Michigan State 14

Live updates

 

Videos

Extras

Printable rosters

Looking for a handy reference guide that you can take to the game? Check out our two-page printable roster, sorted by jersey number and including height, weight, year in school, hometown and high school information. Click here »

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Michigan State game provided by the Huskers athletic department. 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.

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

Listen: BRT Podcast

In this week’s edition of “The Big Red Today Podcast,” Jon Nyatawa and Sam McKewon examine how Nebraska’s now-inexperienced offense will try to move the ball against a statistically dominant Michigan State defense. The good news: The Huskers have been successful against Michigan State in the past. Click here »

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 Ten coverage

Look for additional updates on our Big Ten page to get the best coverage of the conference from both The World-Herald and some of the best writers from across the country. Click here »

Big Red Today coverage

Nebraska A.D. Bill Moos wants to 'get the CFP straightened out' by expanding to eight teams

Moos says the selection committee has to better follow its protocol to measure playoff-worthy teams.

Alcohol in Memorial Stadium? Husker A.D. Bill Moos considers allowing it in some areas

Moos knows there isn’t anything broken with the Memorial Stadium fan experience, but he wants to stay ahead of the curve.

Carlos and Khalil Davis are double trouble on Nebraska's defensive line — and in the discus ring

The Davis twins have loved their time at Nebraska and laud NU’s willingness to let two 300-pounders find their way, throw some discus and sack some quarterbacks.

Carriker Chronicles: Ralph Brown on how the Blackshirts can improve, Lamar Jackson's growth and more

On Wednesday's episode, Adam Carriker talks to former Blackshirt Ralph Brown about how the Huskers can improve on defense, how the defensive secondary can get better in 2019, Lamar Jackson growing into a leader, Nebraska memories and much more.

Former Husker outside linebacker Breon Dixon will transfer to Iowa Western

Former Nebraska outside linebacker Breon Dixon will transfer to Iowa Western Community College, Reivers coach Scott Strohmeier confirmed Tuesday night.

Recruiting: Iowa Western defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey eyeing visit to Nebraska

Iowa Western Community College defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey has offers from several of college football's giants — including Nebraska.

Former Husker Ndamukong Suh signs with Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Once one of the highest paid players in the league, Suh went more than two months as a free agent before finding a new team.

Dedrick Mills officially admitted to Nebraska, ready 'to get to work' in Husker RB race

Mills is now admitted to the school. He'll arrive Wednesday and immediately get to work.

Carriker Chronicles: Could the Big Ten get left out of the College Football Playoff again?

On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker breaks down the race for the College Football Playoff following spring practices and give his four-team prediction for 2019.

McKewon: Illinois coach Lovie Smith needs a quarterback and an improved defense

Lovie Smith and quarterbacks? They don’t go well together.

McKewon: Big Ten standings show improvement, but Bill Moos' rebuild of Husker athletics continues

The final standings are in and roughly half of Nebraska’s teams met Moos’ base standard of finishing in the top half of the Big Ten this season.

Receiver Demariyon Houston can run a 10.71 100 meters; soon he hopes to blaze trail with Huskers

Demariyon Houston, out of Oklahoma City's Millwood High, is a 100- and 200-meter champ. He also has great hands, maybe his biggest asset in college. Not to mention he was class president. He will be the first in his immediate…

Husker signee Dedrick Mills still aiming for May arrival to Nebraska

Nebraska running back signee Dedrick Mills said on Saturday that his grades from Garden City (Kansas) Community College are in, NU is reviewing his transcript and he believes he will be in Lincoln this week — perhaps by Tuesday.

McKewon: Football players get harsh lesson on NCAA transfer portal's unexpected reality

In less than a year, the NCAA’s transfer portal is already beginning to turn against the student-athletes it was supposed to help.

Big Ten makes more money than any conference ever has — and Nebraska reaps the benefits

According to a Wednesday report from USA Today, the league had nearly $759 million in revenue for the 2018 fiscal year.

Carriker Chronicles: A way-too-early preview of the Nebraska-Colorado game

On Friday's episode, Adam Carriker gives his way-too-early, just-for-fun preview of September's Nebraska-Colorado game.

Husker A.D. Bill Moos talks stadium expansion, improvement and basketball roster on radio show

Bill Moos wants to improve Memorial Stadium. But he won't expand it. The athletic director spoke for the final time of the 2018-2019 school year on Wednesday night. Moos said there is currently a proposal out there to put in…

Former Husker safety Cam'ron Jones lands at SMU

Former Husker safety Cam'ron Jones, who announced last month he's leaving Nebraska, is headed back to Texas.

Husker notes: Nebraska could see change in number of early kickoffs; NCAA to study player compensation

Fox announced this week it would place the best game from its weekly college football menu in the 11 a.m. CT slot.

Carriker Chronicles: When should kids start playing tackle football?

On Wednesday's episode, Adam Carriker shares his thoughts on kids playing tackle football, what age range they should start playing, flag football and more.

Pick Six Podcast: Husker baseball on bubble; Hoiberg's roster turnover; Football position rankings

World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon, Chris Heady and Evan Bland tackle the hottest Husker headlines in the latest episode of the Pick Six Podcast.

NU commit Noa Pola-Gates will train to play multiple positions, but views safety as his ‘niche’

When Noa Pola-Gates arrives in late May, it’s possible he could get trained at every position — defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has indicated that each of NU’s incoming defensive backs is versatile enough to do so — but he…

Former Huskers Jerald Foster, Freedom Akinmoladun sign with NFL teams after rookie tryouts

Offensive lineman Jerald Foster signed a deal Sunday with the Washington Redskins, and defensive lineman Freedom Akinmoladun inked with the New York Giants on Monday.

Public defender assigned in Maurice Washington case; plea hearing scheduled for June

Despite earlier reports that Washington entered not guilty pleas when he waived formal arraignment during an April hearing, there have not been any pleas entered in the case, said a Santa Clara County Superior Court spokesperson.

Timeline details Maurice Washington investigation and when Nebraska became aware of it

This timeline of events in the Maurice Washington investigation is based on allegations outlined in court documents, investigator reports and officials' statements.

Scott Frost talks culture, Jovan Dewitt's recovery during national radio show

Football coaches like to talk about culture, so much that it becomes a cliche. But it's still true that culture matters, and it's important to Scott Frost.

Carriker Chronicles: What are realistic expectations for the Blackshirts in 2019?

On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker talks about the youth on the Husker defense, their off-season additions and what realistic expectations are for the Blackshirts in 2019.

Husker football adds grad transfer Kanawai Noa, who could help fill need at X receiver

The 6-foot, 185-pounder had 96 career catches for 1,237 yards and six touchdowns over three-plus seasons at Cal.

McKewon: Three takes on Nebraska's graduate transfer commit Kanawai Noa

Nebraska received a graduate transfer commit Sunday from California’s Kanawai Noa.Three takes on the decision of the 6-foot, 185-pounder.

Husker running back Maurice Washington has second court date today. Here's what to expect

Nebraska running back Maurice Washington is set for his second appearance in a California court for charges filed against him in February.