Game Day: Nebraska vs. McNeese State

Airing it out with Armstrong

With sophomore quarterback Tommy Armstrong, the Nebraska offense looks to keep defenses honest by going deep in the passing game. The air attack is a weapon that coach Bo Pelini believes the Huskers need in their arsenal, especially with an I-back like Ameer Abdullah who would benefit from the distraction it can cause a defense.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Sam McKewon

Nebraska rush offense vs. McNeese State rush defense

The Huskers piled up 498 rushing yards in the opener against a more stout defensive line than they’re likely to face in undersized McNeese State. Nebraska’s offensive line gelled well in game one, and Ameer Abdullah was in midseason form. The Cowboys’ front four averages 259 pounds. Look for jumbo Husker sets and power football. Advantage: Nebraska

Nebraska pass offense vs. McNeese State pass defense

While the Huskers’ passing game is still a bit of a work in progress — and McNeese State has size and experience on the back end — it’s hard to see Nebraska’s talent not winning out. The speed differential might be small, but NU shuttles through a ton of wideouts. Advantage: Nebraska

McNeese State rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Even without Randy Gregory — and even if McNeese State has Kansas State transfer Daniel Sams as a gifted runner at quarterback — it’s hard to see the Huskers’ front seven consistently struggling with McNeese State’s run game. The Cowboys weren’t bad — starter Kelvin Bennett averaged 7.2 yards per carry last year — but offensive line depth is iffy.Advantage: Nebraska

McNeese State pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Not many first-time starters at quarterback have a lick of success against a Bo Pelini pass defense. However talented the Cowboys’ wide receivers might be, the Huskers’ matchup zone scheme inevitably makes quarterbacks freeze. Passing quarterback Tyler Bolfing — and Sams, when he’s asked to throw — are probably in for a long day. Advantage: Nebraska

Special teams

Nebraska’s special teams frankly weren’t in week one, aside from making two field goals. The Huskers were sloppy in kickoff coverage and punt returns, and they pursued yet another scholarship long snapper for a reason. The Cowboys returned five punts/kickoffs for touchdowns last year. They’re good at it. Their kicker is a freshman, though. Advantage: McNeese State

Intangibles

Bringing an inexperienced quarterback into Memorial Stadium — or Sams, who’s not very familiar with his own team’s offense — is a bad setup. Nebraska has struggled at times with FCS squads, but only one of 10 games against FCS teams in the past 25 years was truly competitive. Advantage: Nebraska

Key matchup: Nebraska's offensive line vs. McNeese State's front seven

If the Huskers play like they did in the Florida Atlantic game — and don’t get thrown off by any of the Cowboys’ stunts or tricks — Ameer Abdullah, quarterback Tommy Armstrong and running backs Terrell Newby and Imani Cross are in for big days. McNeese can be as good as it wants on offense, but if Nebraska runs the ball well, it’ll control the pace and possession, period.

Our take

Let’s skip the preamble: Nebraska should roll here. Is McNeese probably as talented as Florida Atlantic? Yes. Will the Cowboys keep the game closer? Most likely. But the Huskers have a significant physical advantage. They’ll use it. Our score is an average of the 10 previous FCS games NU has played in the past 25 years.

Our prediction: Nebraska 49, McNeese State 10

Live updates

 

#Huskers on Instagram

Videos

Extras

Live: TBL pregame, postgame

"The Bottom Line" with Mike’L Severe will broadcast live Saturday from the Railyard on Canopy Street from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., then tune in after the game for a complete breakdown and call-in show. Click here »

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-McNeese State game provided by the Huskers 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 page is your new home for taking a look back into the history of 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.

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 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

Nate Stanley and Adrian Martinez are Big Ten rivals, but they 'can also be friends'

Nate Stanley and Adrian Martinez spent perhaps five minutes talking about Black Friday. After that, the Iowa and Nebraska quarterbacks got to know each other and become friends.

At Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, Tom Osborne shows his pride in Scott Frost and Adrian Martinez

Former Nebraska coach and Athletic Director Tom Osborne was honored at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon on Friday afternoon.

Huskers' Jack Stoll makes Mackey Award preseason watch list for best tight end

Nebraska junior Jack Stoll made the preseason watch list for the Mackey Award, which is given to the nation's best tight end.

Adrian Martinez handles turbulence the same way he does interviews — calm, cool and collected

The first session of Big Ten media days included Ohio State and Michigan State, but the story of Day 1 was Adrian Martinez and the Huskers.

Video: Scott Frost, Husker players at Big Ten media days

Scott Frost discussed Nebraska's 2019 expectations, where the Huskers are actively recruiting, Adrian Martinez's leadership and more at Big Ten media days on Thursday.

Shatel: Scott Frost may ignore the hype, but there's a reason it follows him wherever he goes

Nebraska went 4-8 last year, right? You’d never know it by hanging around the Chicago Hilton this week.

'Half of defense is energy, enthusiasm and hustle.' Blackshirts feel they've improved all three

The Blackshirts look back on their first year under Scott Frost and barely recognize the unit that finished among the worst in the country in most major statistical categories.

Big Ten notes: West coaches see improving division; Teams with unproven quarterbacks

Three coaches of Big Ten West schools spoke at Thursday’s Big Ten media days. All agreed their division is unquestionably on the rise.

Husker notes: Hoping for a healthy Cameron Jurgens; Transfers could be impact players

A full-go season from the converted offensive lineman would go a long way for the Huskers.

Husker Camp Countdown: No. 19 Kanawai Noa

The World-Herald is counting down the top 50 Nebraska players you need to know heading into the 2019 season.

Scott Frost says Huskers will 'wait and see' before making decision on Maurice Washington

Nebraska has yet to make a decision on the status of running back Maurice Washington, and coach Scott Frost said that could continue to be the case all the way until the Aug. 31 season opener.

In his final media day, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany touts positive future as he bids farewell

After Delany’s opening statement — dedicated to thanking his family, staff and various partners of the league — reporters had plenty of blue collar, bottom-line questions for the commish.

Former Husker De'Mornay Pierson-El signs for second stint with Oakland Raiders

Pierson-El had previously joined the Raiders for a few weeks in April before getting waived.

UNLV assistant, former Husker Barney Cotton on waiting list for heart transplant

Barney Cotton will not coach for UNLV this season due to health concerns.

Husker football facilities are 'functional' but 'don't fit the mold' of what Scott Frost is building

While the Huskers’ current setup is “perfectly functional,” Frost said Thursday at Big Ten media days, he gets why there are conversations to build a new facility.

Complete transcript of Husker coach Scott Frost's appearance at Big Ten media day

A complete transcript of Nebraska coach Scott Frost's appearance at the main podium during Big Ten media day.

Nebraska's JD Spielman on Biletnikoff Award watch list for nation's best receiver

Spielman is coming off a sophomore season in which he caught 66 passes for 881 yards and eight touchdowns.

'The hype is good': Bill Moos bullish for second year of Husker football under Scott Frost

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos wants all the preseason praise the media wants to give Husker football in year two of the Scott Frost era.

Big Ten media days: Scott Frost praises Adrian Martinez. 'I wouldn't trade our guy for anybody'

Scott Frost made it to the podium to take some questions at Big Ten media days. Here's what he had to say.

McKewon: Elusive on-field success, Jim Delany's last go-round and 8 other storylines at Big Ten media days

Even if the money is rolling in for each conference team, on-field success — be it in CFP berths or Heisman Trophy winners — has been elusive. Commissioner Jim Delany won’t have to address those issues much longer.

Bland: Husker Hype in Chicago, national media meets Adrian Martinez and more Big Ten storylines

As a tidal wave of expectations continues to rise for the Nebraska football season, at least one question will find an answer Thursday at Big Ten media days.

Husker Camp Countdown: No. 20 Ben Stille

The World-Herald is counting down the top 50 Nebraska players you need to know heading into the 2019 season.

Big Ten summer series: Nebraska-Wisconsin among 12 games to circle on the calendar

They’re the games you circle on the Big Ten calendar for their implications in the league race ... or just because they might be fun.

Husker Camp Countdown: No. 21 Damion Daniels

The World-Herald is counting down the top 50 Nebraska players you need to know heading into the 2019 season.

Nebraska DBs coach Travis Fisher touts true freshmen, newfound maturity of Husker secondary

Nebraska secondary coach Travis Fisher won't limit the potential of his four freshman defensive backs one bit before their first training camp.

Pick Six Podcast: All eyes on Adrian Martinez, Scott Frost and Jim Harbaugh at Big Ten media days

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.

Former Husker kicker Alex Henery reminisces about favorite punts, the Colorado kick and more

Alex Henery is set to join three other Husker greats in the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame this fall. But first he joined host Mike'l Severe and "The Bottom Line" on Tuesday.

Nebraska's Adrian Martinez, Mohamed Barry selected for preseason watch lists

Senior linebacker Mohamed Barry became the second player in two days to be named to a preseason watch list.

Husker Camp Countdown: No. 22 Mike Williams

The World-Herald is counting down the top 50 Nebraska players you need to know heading into the 2019 season.

Overall ratings for every former Husker in the Madden 20 video game

There are 26 former Nebraska players on the game at launch, with enough at each position to field a starting 11 on both sides of the ball.