Nebraska rush offense vs. Minnesota rush defense
Nebraska owns the second-best mark for yards per carry in the Big Ten at 5.4, but its attack has lacked consistency. The use of fullback Andy Janovich adds to the versatility, and the Huskers would benefit from Tommy Armstrong doing damage on some quarterback runs. Minnesota ranks ninth in the Big Ten in rushing defense at 142.8 yards per game.
Nebraska pass offense vs. Minnesota pass defense
It might be a good time to go after the Gophers' secondary considering its injuries, which include All-Big Ten cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun. The only problem is that the Husker passing offense has gone into a two-week funk, and Armstrong has completed just 35.6 percent of his passes against Big Ten teams. The Minnesota defense has more interceptions than TD passes allowed (six to five), and opponents are completing just 52.8 percent of their throws.
Minnesota rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
Minnesota went for 326 yards last week at Purdue, but against the worst rushing defense in the Big Ten. Nebraska currently ranks third, holding opponents to 95.3 yards per game and 3.3 per carry, and will surely load up against the run this week. The Gophers like freshman back Shannon Brooks (176 yards at Purdue) and their magic number is 200 yards rushing as a team (20-3 under Jerry Kill when reaching that plateau).
Minnesota pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
The Gophers won’t scare many teams with how they throw it, but Nebraska has been shredded by teams just about every week this season. The Huskers would love to make Mitch Leidner throw it 30-plus times, but they thought the same thing with Joel Stave — and the Wisconsin quarterback burned them for 322 yards and a TD. NU will need to make some plays on the ball, hit Leidner a few times and get off the field on third down.
Neither team has been effective with its return games, so the edge might simply go to whoever can break anything of substance Saturday. NU is solid with kicker Drew Brown and punter Sam Foltz, but Minnesota leads the Big Ten in net punting at 39.4 yards per kick and Peter Mortell is one of the league’s best.
Nebraska can’t seem to shake this problem it has with penalties, which is currently costing it 82.8 yards per game. The Huskers also haven’t forced a turnover in October. NU, however, ranks near the top of the Big Ten in both red-zone offense and defense, while Minnesota is 13th in both categories. The Gophers also have a negative turnover margin. Injuries have hammered both teams, so hard to say who is better off or worse off there.
Key matchup: Nebraska receivers vs. Minnesota defensive backs
The Husker receivers struggled getting open against Wisconsin, and Minnesota will come with some of the same physical coverage. NU also needs to get Jordan Westerkamp active again after a quiet two weeks, and maybe unleash De’Mornay Pierson-El in his third game back. The Gophers potentially have one of the best secondaries in the Big Ten, but have had to piece together that unit because of a string of injuries.
Several of the above categories easily could have gone either way, so no surprise that the oddsmakers have this one right around even. Nebraska might have the potential difference-maker with Armstrong, who’s leading the Big Ten in total offense, but the junior needs to find the rhythm that he had going in September. The Huskers easily could be beaten down by the events of recent weeks, but maybe some things start turning around in the second half of the season.
Our prediction: Nebraska 24, Minnesota 13
Big Red Today coverage
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 —…
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.
Fremont Bergan senior Eli Simonson joined the growing list of in-state walk-ons to Nebraska.
There's a debate gaining steam after California passed a law last week opening the door for college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
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.
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…
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…
A closer look at the defining stats and figures from the Huskers' loss to Minnesota on Saturday.
Offensive line coach Greg Austin gathered his players on the field as Nebraska’s fate was going final. He presented them with two choices.
We'll take you inside the postgame interviews with full video from Scott Frost's press conference discussing the Huskers' loss to Minnesota.
Vedral completed 14 of 23 passes for 135 yards and ran 15 times for 49 yards in the 34-7 loss to Minnesota.
On Saturday's episode, Adam Carriker gives his quick take on the Huskers' loss to Minnesota, including the Gophers being the more physical — and better — team.
Minnesota carved up Nebraska’s defense with its run game Saturday night because it spotted soft spots disguised as strengths.
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.
Three things we learned and three things we still don’t know about the Huskers coming out of Saturday's loss to Minnesota.
World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel shares his immediate thoughts following the Huskers' 34-7 loss to Minnesota.
Each week, The World-Herald will track the Nebraska quarterback's play game-to-game, including wow plays, turnovers, market indicator and more.
Nebraska didn't score until the fourth quarter and gave up more than 300 rushing yards in a 34-7 loss to the Gophers.
Nebraska was already down one of its top offensive weapons heading into Saturday night's game with Minnesota.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez is not suited up for the game an hour ahead of kickoff and will not play against Minnesota.
Over the last 15 years, 12 Husker quarterbacks have started games at NU. Noah Vedral would be the 13th.
Chambers finally sees the NCAA inching toward dramatic reform after passage of a California law permitting athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness.
Marquis Black publicly announced his pledge to the Huskers on Saturday, two weeks after officially visiting for the Ohio State game.
Nebraska received a commitment from McDonough (Ga.) Eagles Landing defensive tackle Marquis Black. Three takes on the decision of the 6-foot-4, 280-pounder.
Check out our preview stories for tonight's game against Minnesota and stay tuned for complete coverage from TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
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…
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…
The Huskers think a strong second half is coming. Their counterparts in Minneapolis have already experienced it.
The draft will take place Oct. 15-16 with games scheduled to begin in February.