Nebraska rush offense vs. Fresno State rush defense
When you last watched, the Huskers were putting a 326-yard hurt on UCLA. That capped an inconsistent season — four games under 140 yards, three over 240 — and now NU has three first-time starters on its offensive line and two others changing positions. Fresno State couldn’t stop the run a year ago, giving up 234.7 yards a game and ranking No. 116 in rushing defense. Ball control would be one way for NU to keep the Bulldog offense off the field.
Nebraska pass offense vs. Fresno State pass defense
Few reasons for the Huskers to struggle here, with Tommy Armstrong making his 34th career start, surrounded by a loaded receiving corps and entering his second season in the Mike Riley-Danny Langsdorf offense. The X-factor is interceptions, of course, and Fresno State does have some experience in its secondary. A steady run game could set the table for an easier time of it, too.
Fresno State rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
The Bulldogs get back junior Dontel James, who spent last season at a California junior college. The 220-pound running back required minor knee surgery three weeks ago but appears ready to go. Fresno State didn’t run the ball very effectively a year ago, and Nebraska ranked No. 9 nationally in rushing defense (109.8 yards per game). The Huskers lost some horses up front, but planning on better linebacker play.
Fresno State pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
The Bulldogs fondly remember the Derek Carr era, when the current Raiders quarterback threw for 12,843 yards and 113 TDs between 2009 and ’13. They have struggled ever since, and turn to redshirt freshman Chason Virgil to see what he can bring. Nebraska did have problems defending the pass last season and its pass rush is unproven, so it could be interesting what first-year offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau does here.
Nebraska will honor punter Sam Foltz on Saturday night, and the All-Big Ten performer definitely will be missed as the Huskers turn to freshman Caleb Lightbourn. But NU is expecting more big things from kicker Drew Brown, and it hopes to get a boost from a healthy De’Mornay Pierson-El and freshman Tre Bryant in the return game. Fresno State kicker Jimmy Camacho made 21 of 26 field goals during his lone junior-college season in 2014, but only attempted four a year ago for the Bulldogs.
For all of its troubles last season, Fresno State was lightly penalized (59 total) and was only minus-two on turnover margin. The Bulldogs have a reputation for playing anybody and anywhere, but a Memorial Stadium night game with a lot of freshmen and sophomores in uniform makes for a tall task, especially with two new coordinators. NU has been feeding off some 2015 late-season momentum and will want to avoid a repeat of its season-opening loss to BYU a year ago.
Key matchup: Nebraska cornerbacks vs. Fresno State receivers
Nebraska liked how cornerbacks Joshua Kalu and Chris Jones finished last season, and they head into their junior seasons with some confidence and experience — and hope for the Huskers to be better on the back end in 2016. Fresno State will challenge them with five receivers who have combined for 196 career catches, including senior Aaron Peck and sophomore Jamire Jordan.
Nebraska owns a huge edge in experience at quarterback, and Virgil has to deal with the Husker crowd in addition to directing a new Bulldog offense. NU head coach Mike Riley has talked often about a “good vibe” around Husker football this offseason, and now it’s time to take it to the field. Nebraska should get its points and the defense should be further along than a year ago.
Our prediction: Nebraska 48, Fresno State 23
Big Red Today coverage
Moos says the selection committee has to better follow its protocol to measure playoff-worthy teams.
Moos knows there isn’t anything broken with the Memorial Stadium fan experience, but he wants to stay ahead of the curve.
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.
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 Nebraska outside linebacker Breon Dixon will transfer to Iowa Western Community College, Reivers coach Scott Strohmeier confirmed Tuesday night.
Iowa Western Community College defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey has offers from several of college football's giants — including Nebraska.
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.
Mills is now admitted to the school. He'll arrive Wednesday and immediately get to work.
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.
Lovie Smith and quarterbacks? They don’t go well together.
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.
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…
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.
In less than a year, the NCAA’s transfer portal is already beginning to turn against the student-athletes it was supposed to help.
According to a Wednesday report from USA Today, the league had nearly $759 million in revenue for the 2018 fiscal year.
On Friday's episode, Adam Carriker gives his way-too-early, just-for-fun preview of September's Nebraska-Colorado game.
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, who announced last month he's leaving Nebraska, is headed back to Texas.
Fox announced this week it would place the best game from its weekly college football menu in the 11 a.m. CT slot.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
This timeline of events in the Maurice Washington investigation is based on allegations outlined in court documents, investigator reports and officials' statements.
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.
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.
The 6-foot, 185-pounder had 96 career catches for 1,237 yards and six touchdowns over three-plus seasons at Cal.
Nebraska received a graduate transfer commit Sunday from California’s Kanawai Noa.Three takes on the decision of the 6-foot, 185-pounder.
Nebraska running back Maurice Washington is set for his second appearance in a California court for charges filed against him in February.