Game Day: Nebraska vs. Southern Miss

Hole new mentality

Two plays. A final-second Hail Mary and an overtime improvisation gone awry. One could look at the decisive moments of Nebraska’s two defeats and conclude the 2015 narrative through three weeks hinged on BYU’s 42-yard heave and a Miami interception. But the what-if game can be dangerous. Some of the facts get neglected among the hypotheticals, and a team like NU can end up ignoring reality.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Rich Kaipust

Nebraska rush offense vs. Southern Miss rush defense

Nebraska could use a repeat of two weeks ago, when Terrell Newby went wild against South Alabama and the run game clicked to the tune of 258 yards and 7.0 per carry. Last week wasn’t awful, with 5.9 yards on the rushing attempts that weren’t sacks, but an immediate 17-0 deficit helped lead to 45 passes. Southern Miss got gashed for 281 rushing yards last week at Texas State.

Nebraska pass offense vs. Southern Miss pass defense

Tommy Armstrong salvaged a potential rough day against Miami with some of his comeback throws, and the junior notched his second 300-yard game of the season (and four TDs). Armstrong, though, had to work around six drops, constant pressure and three completions negated by penalties. Southern Miss will try to get after him, but opponents are completing 62.7 percent of their passes against the Golden Eagles and have been intercepted just once.

Southern Miss rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Defending the run hasn’t been the Huskers’ problem, with no team netting more than 132 yards and their first three opponents averaging a combined 3.4 per carry. They will miss linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey and his efficiency, so that's something to watch. Southern Miss will use Jalen Richard and Ito Smith at tailback, and Richard is coming off a 230-yard, four-TD game at Texas State. NU will try to take away that threat first.

Southern Miss pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Nowhere does Nebraska need to get better more than here, and Southern Miss won’t make it easy to do. Junior quarterback Nick Mullens is completing 64 percent of his passes and already has thrown for 919 yards and eight TDs. If the Huskers can’t generate some pressure, don’t get improved play in coverage and get caught in some mismatches — all familiar themes to recent weeks — another big number could be coming.

Special teams

Neither team is tearing it up, although Nebraska has gotten a boost from Drew Brown making his last three field goals, Jordan Westerkamp showing some spark on a few punt returns at Miami and now punter Sam Foltz being a week healthier. The Huskers have been pretty good on their coverage units, especially kickoffs, which happens to be the one area where Southern Miss has sampled some success.

Intangibles

Nebraska again finds itself needing to summon a response after a tough loss, so the first quarter might tell a little about the Huskers’ state of mind. They better have a sense of urgency with the Big Ten season a week away. Both teams have negative turnover margins and are fighting penalty problems, so a wash there. This is a new Southern Miss team, but the last two that visited Lincoln recently lost by 43 and 29.

Key matchup: NU cornerbacks vs. Southern Miss WR Casey Martin

It’s no secret that Nebraska cornerbacks have had issues in coverage, and Martin is the next test. The senior already has 17 receptions through three games after catching 55 passes a year ago. NU coach Mike Riley said the Huskers would evaluate their secondary personnel this week. Might there be changes?

Our take

Every game could be an adventure until Nebraska gets some of its defensive problems (and injuries) cleaned up. The good news is that the offense, albeit sometimes inconsistent, has showed signs of being able to captain the ship in the meantime. No gimme here for the Huskers, with Southern Miss maybe back on the right track under Todd Monken, so maybe a big week for the captains and upperclassmen to make sure the right focus is there.

Our prediction: Nebraska 52, Southern Miss 27

Live updates

#Huskers on Instagram

Videos

Extras

Live: TBL pregame, postgame

"The Bottom Line" pregame show with Mike’l Severe will start broadcasting live at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Lincoln Railyard, then tune in after the game for a complete breakdown and call-in show live from Hyatt Place in Lincoln. Click here »

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Southern Miss 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

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.