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.
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.
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?
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
Big Red Today coverage
World-Herald staff writers Sam McKewon and Chris Heady tackle the hottest Husker headlines in the latest episode of the Pick Six Podcast.
Minnesota’s offense, which started eight freshmen in its bowl win over Georgia Tech, averaged 5.68 yards per play last season, ranking ninth in the Big Ten. That’s UM’s highest average in a decade.
Ask around the offense, and "plus-twos" are as important as any conventional statistic coaches and players track. Moving a defender two yards can demonstrate a strength advantage and extra effort on an individual level.
Former Husker running back Ameer Abdullah re-signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker discusses which players in Husker football history he'd most like to bring back to play for Nebraska today, and which one's would fit the current system best.
Twenty-one of the 33 upperclassmen scholarship players play defense. And 11 of that 21 are seniors. Big, bold vocal seniors who have played a lot of football. With that experience comes urgency. Wisdom. Responsibility.
The Tony Tuioti effect for Nebraska football recruiting is in full swing.
Deontai Williams said, he’s the “OG” of the safety group. He’s right, too — he and junior Marquel Dismuke are the veterans while redshirt freshmen Cam’ron Jones and CJ Smith learn and sophomore Cam Taylor bounces among safety, nickel and…
His boss got all the attention during last fall’s miserable start, but put yourself in Barrett Ruud’s shoes for a moment. Nebraska’s all-time leading tackler returned to his alma mater and hometown in 2018 to coach his old position —…
On Friday's episode, Adam Carriker explores some of Nebraska football's hardest losses, and narrows down what one play in Husker history he'd choose to change.
JoJo Domann is one of Nebraska’s most versatile defenders. And his coaches need an array of colorful language to describe him. Leaning against a wall on the second floor of the Hawks Center, defensive backs coach Travis Fisher said Domann…
Former Nebraska running back Greg Bell — who left the program four games into the 2018 season — is transferring to his hometown school, San Diego State.
Nebraska defensive line coach Tony Tuioti wants a consistent daily mindset from his players, where linemen “press the reset button” after each practice to gear up for the next one with the same energy and enthusiasm.
If the first two weeks of spring practices are any indication, Nebraska's defense has some playmakers.
On Wednesday's episode, Adam Carriker previews the Blackshirts' defensive line personnel for spring football, reasonable expectations for the group and much more.
Even if Jovan Dewitt can’t make every meeting — even if, during practice, he has to take a knee and “get some hydration” — he’s going to be at every practice he can.
Nebraska has given Logan Jones something to think about. The Council Bluffs Lewis Central defensive lineman tweeted Tuesday he has received a scholarship offer from the Huskers after committing to Iowa last month.
It's a spring of transition on the offensive line, which lost several leaders from last year's team. Now a trio of juniors holds that responsibility, and this spring is an important step in their development.
Videos include an interview with Scott Frost, a recap of the the practice by Sam McKewon and Evan Bland and an update on Maurice Washington.
Circumstances are aligning for Jaylin Bradley to prove himself. Now coaches are anxious to find out if the running back can.
Attack. That’s a buzzword for the Husker tight ends this spring. Collectively, they’re the offense's most experienced group. But there’s a higher level the coaches expect these tight ends to reach.
So far, so good for true freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey. Nebraska quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco said McCaffrey, an early enrollee, has done well in spring practices to pick up the offense.
Scott Frost doesn't even want to say the Oklahoma word. But the drill Nebraska threw out in front of the media Monday morning did look a whole lot like the infamous Oklahoma drill.
This timeline of events in the Maurice Washington investigation is based on allegations outlined in court documents, investigator reports and officials' statements.
Nebraska was in full pads for its fourth practice of the spring Monday morning. The media were allowed inside practice for the first 30 minutes. Here's what we saw.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker skis down a mountain and shares the story of his all-time favorite Husker football game.
Husker running back Maurice Washington returned to California over the weekend to self-surrender to authorities, a spokesperson for the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
This column might be a shot-clock violation. But I received so much feedback from emails and on Twitter last week on the idea of a shot clock in high school basketball that I thought I would spill over into this…
Adrian Martinez’s head coach, Scott Frost, wants more. Much more, based on his comments last week. Don’t gloss over them. If Frost is bullish on Martinez’s potential — talking him up as potentially one of the best, if not the…