Game Day: Nebraska vs. Miami

Stage fright or fight?

In an otherwise sleepy Husker home schedule, here is the gem of the slate, with a side dish of history, national attention and recruits in town. How will the Huskers fare in the bright lights against Miami?

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Jon Nyatawa

Nebraska rush offense vs. Miami rush defense

The Hurricanes are giving up just 2.02 yards per carry (fourth-best nationally). Partly why that figure is so low: They've allowed just six runs of 10 or more yards. But Miami's not seen an Ameer Abdullah-led rush attack, with a quarterback who's averaging nearly 10 yards per touch. NU better get a body on hard-hitting LB Denzel Perryman, which is easier said than done. He had a team-high 108 tackles last year for a reason.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Miami pass defense

Nebraska's banged-up receivers are closer to full strength, namely Kenny Bell, which will make a difference in NU's passing attack. Tommy Armstrong is still completing just 53.1 percent of his throws. And he'll be under more pressure than ever Saturday. Miami's already recorded 11 sacks -- four from LB Thurston Armbrister.

Miami rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Duke Johnson, the elusive and tough runner, gets all the headlines, and rightfully so. But 230-pound Gus Edwards is the one averaging a team-high 7.8 yards per carry. Joe Yearby can also offer a change-of-pace. Nebraska's given up 3.8 yards per carry against three teams that haven't really tried to establish the run. Miami's threat of deep throws will likely keep the Huskers from loading up the box with extra bodies, too.

Miami pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Receiver Phillip Dorsett, the fastest guy the Husker secondary will see all year, is a concern. He's averaging 35.5 yards per catch and already has four touchdowns. But can freshman QB Brad Kaaya get the ball to him? He's thrown five interceptions already. Confusing him with varying coverages and diverse blitz schemes will be the goal for Nebraska. It's a big reason why teams have completed just 46.1 percent of their passes against NU.

Special teams

De'Mornay Pierson-El ranks 10th nationally in punt return average, gaining 18.0 yards per attempt. Miami's long is 29 yards, and NU punter Sam Foltz will try to keep it that way. He's helped Nebraska rank seventh nationally in net punting (44.7 yards per punt). But the Hurricanes are ranked one spot higher (45.3). Both teams' kickoff coverage units have been spotty at times so far — and Miami gave up a touchdown in its opener. U-M is also without its top kicker.

Intangibles

The Hurricanes are 8-9 on the road under coach Al Golden, but considering the fact that they've played at places like Florida State and Virginia Tech, the noisy environment Saturday night shouldn't come as a shock. The challenge for both teams: Maintain composure. The game's momentum tends to have an amplified effect in primetime matchups like this. And as Nebraska fans know, that's been a difficult task for the Huskers more times than not.

Key matchup: Tight end Clive Walford vs. Nebraska's linebackers

He's a 6-foot-4, 260-pound pass-catcher who often finds openings downfield in Miami's play-action game. He's averaging 15.8 yards per catch this year, totaling two touchdowns. It'll mostly be up to David Santos and Josh Banderas to keep tabs on Walford, though NU's safeties and D-backs will help too. Opposing tight ends caught 39 passes for 519 yards against the Huskers last year.

Our take

It's a reuniting of two programs that played pivotal roles in one another's history. Back in the day, you had varying football cultures clashing on the biggest stage, each viewing the other as the villan. Both programs have slipped from their perches among the elite, dampening this year's meeting from a national standpoint. But both Nebraska and Miami want it bad. And consider too that these are teams of similar talent that likely need a similar blueprint to win — run the ball, run the ball, run the ball! Saturday night should be fun.

Our prediction: Nebraska 27, Miami 17

Live updates

Live Blog Husker Talk Live: Game Day
 

#Huskers on Instagram

Videos

Extras

Live: TBL pregame, postgame

"The Bottom Line" with Mike’l Severe will broadcast live Saturday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.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-Miami 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

All of Nebraska's history vs. Purdue football is recent. Except one 1958 game

Nebraska and Purdue faced off as conference opponents for the first time in 2013, which ignited what will be at least 13 consecutive seasons with one another on the schedule. But 2013 wasn't the first overall matchup. Nope, that came…

Monday rewind: Nebraska football needs a spark — and maybe a little time 'away from each other'

We wrote this story out of Minnesota in 2013 and 2017, too. The names change. The clichés, too, a little bit. And even if it’s supposed to be different under Scott Frost — even if, one day, it is —…

Stopping the run is crucial in the Big Ten West, and Husker football ranks as the worst

Time and again, opposing coaches see Nebraska step off the bus and wonder if they can run the ball on them. And then they do.

'Keep it going or pack it up': Scott Frost delivers frank message to Huskers after Minnesota loss

Scott Frost had one hand in his pocket, and the other one was carrying a playsheet. And nothing was fine for the Nebraska football coach.

Shatel: Mugging in Minnesota shows Scott Frost's Huskers still lacking muscle, mindset

P.J. Fleck just shoved his oar right down Nebraska’s throat. People like to laugh at Fleck, the Minnesota football coach, saying he’s a huckster and a fake. Well, there was nothing fake about what Fleck’s Gophers did to Nebraska on…

Huskers 'knocked out of position' as physical Gophers pound Nebraska with ground game

The blank faces said it all. By the time Nebraska defenders trudged off the cold and misty field at TCF Bank Stadium, they had already processed much of the carnage. A 20-point third quarter that blew the doors off a…

Losing numbers: The stats and figures that defined Nebraska's loss to Minnesota

A closer look at the defining stats and figures from the Huskers' loss to Minnesota on Saturday.

Even with soft spots disguised as strengths, Minnesota finds room in Husker football's front seven

Minnesota carved up Nebraska’s defense with its run game Saturday night because it spotted soft spots disguised as strengths.

Nebraska-Minnesota: Breaking down the Huskers' performance on offense and defense

World-Herald staff writer Chris Heady takes a look at Nebraska's effort on both sides of the ball during the Huskers' loss to Minnesota.

Nebraska-Minnesota: Three things we learned, three things we still don't know

Three things we learned and three things we still don’t know about the Huskers coming out of Saturday's loss to Minnesota.

Husker pregame: Adrian Martinez not dressed for warmups; Noah Vedral poised for first start

Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez is not suited up for the game an hour ahead of kickoff and will not play against Minnesota.

$250,000-a-year consulting deal for former NU President Hank Bounds draws both concerns, praise

Some regents say it’s a win for Nebraska to bring Hank Bounds back because he is a good fundraiser who knows and cares about the projects involved. Some observers say they are perplexed by the amount he will receive, and…

They both have young offenses, but Minnesota can show Nebraska how fast they grow up

The Huskers think a strong second half is coming. Their counterparts in Minneapolis have already experienced it.

Shatel: What's up with Adrian Martinez? Is Noah Vedral ready? Let's ask Mario Verduzco

Noah Vedral knows the offense back and forward. We haven’t seen a lot of his game. He got in one game last year. And then last week. That’s the beauty of it, too. There isn’t a lot of film of…

Fremont senior offensive lineman Keegan Menning will walk on at Nebraska

Fremont senior Keegan Menning added his name to the list of walk-ons in Nebraska’s 2020 class on Thursday night.

Huskers discuss redshirt rule weekly, 'but things change.' Luke McCaffrey is the latest example

“It’s an awesome rule,” said Luke McCaffrey, who’s drawn raves from coaches and teammates while he redshirts and works to push Adrian Martinez for the starting role next season. “I think it’s fantastic.”

Mohamed Barry, Damian Jackson contenders for national awards

Mohamed Barry was named a quarterfinalist for the 2019 Lott Trophy, which recognizes a player who made the biggest impact on his team both on and off the field.

Huskers to practice outside Friday in preparation for 'football weather' in Minnesota

If it’s Christmas weather — 32 degrees — for Nebraska’s Saturday night game at Minnesota, well, Scott Frost can’t think anything much better.

Husker practice report, Oct. 10: Scott Frost not revealing playing status of injured players

While Nebraska's travel roster is rounding into form, the status of players at multiple key positions remains unclear.

106-year-old fan attends her first Husker game, meets Nebraska coach Scott Frost

"I just thought that I was on a different planet almost," she told The World-Herald. "It was a special place to be."

Husker opponent preview: Everything you need to know about the Minnesota Gophers

“Defensively, they’re a lot more sound than what we saw last year and more athletic," Scott Frost said. "They’ve definitely improved. You can tell it’s year three of his tenure up there. They’re starting to look like the team he…

Cold weather not changing Huskers' plan. Minnesota is pouring ice water on players

Weather, smeather. That was more or less the reaction from Nebraska offensive coaches Tuesday when probed about how they might adjust preparations for Saturday night's game at Minnesota that calls for temperatures in the mid-30s and a good chance of…

27 times Husker games were decided by a last-minute score since 2000

They've given you lifelong memories, permanent heartache, everlasting glee and eternal suffering.

Husker practice report, Oct. 9: Adrian Martinez, JD Spielman both in pads

Encouraging news this morning from Husker football practice. Adrian Martinez (knee) and JD Spielman (undisclosed) were both in pads for practice Wednesday.

Shatel: Noah Vedral's star-crossed turn involves Matt Turman's sister, Kansas State ... and fate

Earlier this week, I called Matt Turman to talk about his nephew, Noah Vedral, waiting and getting that big moment. But as we talked, it hit me that there's a bigger story. The story about the small, small world of…

Minnesota once told the Huskers they were 'no good.' Nebraska responded with 84 points

Nebraska has dominated Minnesota since 1963, claiming 19 of 22 games. But the Gophers have the all-time edge.

Bill Moos preaches patience, need for four-year development as Husker football makes 'evolution'

For Nebraska’s program to be full blast again, the A.D. says it will take two more recruiting classes and two more years of developing a walk-on program.

McKewon: Ronald Delancy brings more flavor from Miami, where they play defense with an edge

Nebraska received a commitment Tuesday from Miami Northwestern defensive back Ronald Delancy. Three takes on the decision of the 6-foot, 165-pounder.

'Just gotta stay locked in': Husker defensive backs will be tested by trio of Minnesota receivers

Inside linebacker Mohamed Barry doesn’t usually concern himself much with wide receivers. This week, he’s at full attention.

Monday rewind: The Huskers' offense was better than the final score against Northwestern showed

Credit Scott Frost and his staff for squeezing just enough of true freshman Wan’Dale Robinson, Martinez and backup quarterback Noah Vedral to win against a defense that had given up three plays of 30 yards or more heading into the…