Game Day: Nebraska vs. Miami

The heat is on

Hot. Humid. Muggy. Rain. Whatever gets thrown at the Huskers weather-wise on Saturday, the ultimate test will come from its opposition — a Miami team hungry for a victory. The chippy battle last year has set up quite the matchup — a fight for national relevance.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Jon Nyatawa

Nebraska rush offense vs. Miami rush defense

Aside from that NU game and a similar four-quarter gashing performed by Georgia Tech, Miami held up well against the run last year. UM allowed just 3.58 yards per carry and only gave up seven runs of 20-plus yards. But it's still difficult to ignore the dominant images of Ameer Abdullah running around, over and through the Hurricanes last season. It's Terrell Newby's turn now, perhaps with a sampling from quarterback Tommy Armstrong.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Miami pass defense

Armstrong has completed 63.4 percent of his throws for 589 yards and five touchdowns, showing clear improvement as a decision-maker in 2015. The new system, designed to stress defenses in pass coverage, has worked well for the Husker QB. The return of tight end Cethan Carter could open up the middle of the field a bit more. But Miami's secondary may be the most talented group Nebraska faces all year — UM is sixth nationally in pass efficiency defense.

Miami rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Nebraska's been committed to stopping the run so far this season, and that won't change Saturday. The Huskers are surrendering just 3.0 yards per carry — a rate that's boosted only by a couple BYU quarterbacks who scrambled away from an unbalanced pass rush in the season opener. Miami will lean on sophomore Joseph Yearby and freshman Mark Walton, but could abandon its ground attack unless there is early success.

Miami pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Nebraska had a week to fix its much-discussed issues in pass defense, but it may not be enough time. Especially considering the opponent. Quarterback Brad Kaaya, with pro potential, has new targets to throw to — but he's off to a fast start, gaining at least 10 yards on more than half his completions. The Husker coaches have hinted that there are schematic tweaks available to help their secondary. Those will be needed Saturday.

Special teams

The return of punter Sam Foltz does make a difference for Nebraska, which hasn't yet recorded many explosive plays and thus could benefit greatly from an significant edge in field position. The Hurricanes have picked up 83 yards on four punt returns (16th nationally). NU's return game should get its first real opportunities Saturday. Only seven teams have had more kickoffs returned against them than Miami. But U-M has given up an average of just 11.09 yards on those 11 attempts.

Intangibles

The relationship between Miami fans and their beloved program seems to get more strained by the day. Supporters want tangible progress, and until Al Golden delivers big-time wins, scrutiny will continue to increase. Translation: There's a lot of pressure on Golden and the Hurricanes to avoid a loss Saturday. For Nebraska, it is the first road trip under new coach Mike Riley. But his laid-back demeanor and calming presence should keep the Huskers from getting overwhelmed by the unfamiliar surroundings.

Key matchup: Miami RG Daniel Isidora vs. Nebraska DT Maliek Collins

It's Nebraska's top defensive lineman against Miami's potential all-conference blocker. Collins said Monday that he can't wait. The two battled throughout last year's game in Lincoln. They'll go at it again Saturday. Isidora and the Hurricanes need to control the line of scrimmage to keep their offense on track. NU, particularly Collins, is looking to create havoc up front.

Our take

If it's anything like last year's showdown, Saturday's rematch is a must-watch. Both teams absorbed the rivalry's history — and all of the pride, the tenacity and the passion that made the Nebraska-Miami duels so legendary. The programs are seeking a return to the sport's pinnacle, but they're at different places on the ascent. NU has a new staff hoping to impress and gain momentum. Miami's coaches could use a criticism-defusing win. So the urgency will be heightened on both sidelines. Expect big hits, big plays and big moments. The game will come down to the end.

Our prediction: Miami 31, Nebraska 24

Live updates

#Huskers on Instagram

Videos

Extras

Live: TBL pregame, postgame

"The Bottom Line" pregame show with Mike’l Severe will start broadcasting live Saturday at 1 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 matchup 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 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 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

Husker running back Greg Bell hitting practice hard in hopes of winning starting spot

Hit it and get it. Nebraska running back Greg Bell doesn’t want to dance in the hole, slow down for a second or, truth be told, even talk about himself. Too much competition. Too big of a reward if he…

Husker notes: Tight ends shine in NU's scrimmage; Tyjon Lindsey catching on and more

One popular opinion among Husker offensive coaches Wednesday was that the tight ends solidified their reputation as much as any unit following Sunday's live-action scrimmage.

Shatel: With Scott Frost's new-school approach, curse words aren't in Husker coaches' vocabulary

New School is now in session. Here are the rules: No dog-cussing the players. No bullying or personal shots about their appearance. If you must chew, do so with a positive message. Teach. Look forward.

Tom's Takes: Nebraska's offensive line is adding physicality to its DNA

Nebraska offensive line coach Greg Austin offered a pretty insightful analysis of where the offensive line is two weeks before the Akron opener. There's good news. And could-be-better news.

As decision looms, Nebraska's quarterbacks still have moments of inconsistency

There are days Mario Verduzco grades film of Nebraska quarterbacks and likes what he sees. Good ball placement. Strong body language. Quick tempo. Then there are workouts like last Thursday and Friday, which the Husker QB coach labeled "kind of…

Husker practice report: Nebraska quarterback battle will continue into next week

Nebraska wrapped up its 11th workout of training camp Wednesday morning inside the Hawks Center. Afterward, offensive coordinator Troy Walters said Scott Frost — with input from his staff — will pick a starter soon between Tristan Gebbia, Adrian Martinez…

Want to make an all-Husker fantasy football team? Well, you can't. But here's something close

If you're looking for a nostalgic Husker pick in your upcoming fantasy football draft, here's your guide.

Sights and sounds from Nebraska football practice, Aug. 15

Nebraska kicked off practice early Wednesday morning. Media were allowed to watch about 40 minutes. Here's what we saw and heard.

Husker coach Mario Verduzco says QB battle still 'highly competitive'

Nebraska quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco gave some insight into the quarterback battle on Sports Nightly Tuesday evening.

Allure of scholarships leads in-state players to lower-level programs instead of Huskers

Interstate 29 represents one of Scott Frost’s biggest in-state recruiting headaches. FCS schools in the Dakotas can’t compete with a Nebraska scholarship offer, but they can damage the Huskers' depth by taking players that may have otherwise walked on at…

In his first fall camp at Nebraska, aspiring dentist Tre Neal already knows the drill

Tre Neal, the Husker with more knowledge of the defense than anyone after transferring from UCF, has risen to the top of Nebraska's production chart that keeps score of plays made and not made in practices by members of the…

Mississippi transfer Breon Dixon wants to 'bring physicality' to the Husker defense

Breon Dixon can’t breathe. He’s cornered by reporters on the second floor of the Hawks Championship Center, gasping for air. “We’re looking way better I’d say as a team, as an offense …” out of breath, he trails off and…

Husker notes: Closing in on defensive starters; Tight races in secondary and more

Nebraska’s defensive coaches have a good grasp on who will be in the top two units after a major scrimmage Sunday, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said Tuesday.

TBL: Blackshirt legend Grant Wistrom happy to deliver message to Huskers

Former Blackshirt Grant Wistrom believes Scott Frost is the right coach for the Huskers.

Nebraska coach Scott Frost says 'we’re never going to swear at kids' on Jim Rome Show

In the wake of reports about Maryland football’s toxic, bullying culture toward the players, Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Tuesday on the Jim Rome Show he’ll never try to motivate his team through intimidation.

Everything you need to know before attending Nebraska football Fan Day

The lines are sure to be long for Scott Frost's first Fan Day as head coach of the Huskers. Here's everything fans should know before attending the event.

'High intensity' talk from Jason Peter, Grant Wistrom inspires Husker defense

The pep talk worked. After Nebraska legends Jason Peter and Grant Wistrom talked to Husker players Friday night, the team had its most-spirited practice of training camp the following day.

Tickets available now for Husker Nation Kickoff Luncheons in Omaha, Lincoln

Tickets are on sale now for next week's Husker Nation Kickoff Luncheons in Lincoln and Omaha.

Husker practice report: Carlos Davis, JoJo Domann among players impressing in camp

Nebraska's defensive coaches have a good grasp on who will be in the top two units after a major scrimmage Sunday, defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said Tuesday. The next week is about trying to identify starters.

Nebraska has structure in place to avoid problems plaguing Ohio State, Maryland, says A.D. Bill Moos

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos said Monday on his monthly radio show there's a structure in place to make sure the athletic department avoids problems like what's currently plaguing Ohio State and Maryland.

Police arrest two more, including teen boy, in burglary at Husker coach Scott Frost's home

Police arrested a 20-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of burglary, according to a news release from the Lincoln Police Department.

Past Husker coaches weren't sold on in-state talent, so Nebraskans thrived at Iowa instead

What happened in Giltner is a prime example of Nebraska’s in-state recruiting failures over the past 15 years. Another instance of a program that lost track of its identity and abandoned its roots.

Shatel: The image-conscious Big Ten isn't looking so good these days

If anyone asks you about being in the Big Ten these days, say, “We just got here, and we really don’t know anybody.”

Scott Frost considers intense new warmup to be a 'rite of passage' for Huskers

The dynamic warmup — or “stretch” as Scott Frost calls it — is a far cry from the static, stationary stretches employed under former coach Mike Riley. Setting the tone for the fast-paced action of practice, the new warmup is…

Barfknecht: With all the scandals, nothing is 'hunky-dory' for Jim Delany's Big Ten

Three weeks ago, we sportswriters scurried to our seats at Big Ten media days, sat upright in our chairs and kept our eyes forward to soak in Commissioner Jim Delany’s “hunky-dory’’ speech. But things haven’t been so hunky-dory since that…

Concussions turned a 200-pound fullback into a reluctant cross country runner

Beau Wood should’ve been Perkins County High School’s starting fullback and defensive end. Instead, he had become a reserve — on the cross-country team.

Nebraska high schoolers are turning away from football and embracing ... cross country?

Auburn had 81 players on its 2006 state championship football team. Last fall it had 29. Dozens of kids have turned away from football and found an alternative — cross country.

Husker Rewind: Ready to run the ball? Nebraska has its deepest stable of backs since 2011

Sam McKewon zeroed in on as many Husker running backs ran by. Collectively, it’s best bunch NU has had since 2011, when Burkhead started and Abdullah, Green and Heard backed him up.

Maryland puts coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave amid football investigation

Maryland placed head coach DJ Durkin on administrative leave on Saturday while the school scrutinizes allegations of poor behavior by the football staff, apparent misdeeds that came to light following the death of a player on the practice field.

As populations plummet in northeast Nebraska, kids still dream of becoming the next Russ Hochstein

Hartington, a town resisting the forces of rural decline, hasn’t boasted a Husker football letterman since its All-America guard 17 years ago. But Scott Frost is back in Lincoln and there’s hope that the drought may end soon, perhaps with…