Nebraska rush offense vs. Colorado rush defense
Hearing Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters say “We’ve got to run the football” was refreshing. He’s right. Nebraska can’t rely on true freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez to throw the Huskers to victory. He might do it, but that can’t be the game plan. So NU better saddle up and try to shove the ball down the Buffaloes’ throat. Colorado State had no luck, running 39 times for 103 yards in a 45-13 loss. Sophomore Colorado linebacker Nate Landman was a beast with 16 tackles. Nebraska has more skill talent at running back than CSU, and Martinez is more mobile and dangerous as a runner than most. If the Huskers go for 150 yards against the Buffs, call it good.
Nebraska pass offense vs. Colorado pass defense
NU has the talent at receiver to make hay in the pass game. Can Martinez deliver? That’s the big question. Count on Stanley Morgan and JD Spielman winning their matchups, and tight end Jack Stoll is an underrated asset and Colorado native with plenty of motivation to play the Buffaloes. CU counters with an experienced safety (Evan Worthington) who’s among its best tacklers. The Buffaloes were among the Pac-12’s worst pass defenses last season and their gambling style against the run will give Martinez some chances downfield.
Colorado rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense
The Buffs lost multiyear starter Phillip Lindsay to graduation, so they picked up Virginia Tech graduate transfer Travon McMillian, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards for the Hokies. He’s been through the battles and dropped 103 rushing yards in CU’s season opener. Nebraska’s run defense — awful by the end of 2017 — will sport many of the same players. It’s not likely to look like the 2017 defense, though. NU’s inside linebackers — featuring four guys Barrett Ruud likes — should be improved. Ditto for NU’s defensive line. If Nebraska doesn’t win this matchup, it’s not likely to win the game.
Colorado pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense
Quarterback Steven Montez is one of the best Nebraska will face this season. He’s mobile enough, accurate with the deep ball and experienced with 16 starts under his belt. He threw for 338 yards and four touchdowns in the Colorado State win. Receivers Laviska Shenault and KD Nixon make the grade, too. Shenault — 6-foot-2, 220 pounds — had 11 catches for 211 yards in the season opener. Nixon (5-8, 185) went for six catches and 112 yards. Nebraska’s secondary, while deep at safety, is probably its weakest unit. Corners Lamar Jackson and Dicaprio Bootle have their hands full. Shenault plays all over the field, so Nebraska will have to decide how to cover him.
It takes a few games to hash out whether special teams is a strength or not, but Colorado appears to have a decent punt returner in Ronnie Blackmon and a more-than-competent kicker in James Stefanou. Nebraska has questions there. CU also has the advantage of playing a game.
CU has not only played a game, but it’s played one away from home. The Buffaloes won’t be quite as intimated upon entering Memorial Stadium as some, and the jitters should be gone. Nebraska still has the home game, though, and the crowd should be through-the-roof excited since the first game was rained out. That’ll be worth something. Can NU play through early jitters and get on the board?
Key matchup: Adrian Martinez vs. Colorado’s defense
CU will almost certainly score its share of points. Even last year, during a 5-7 season, the Buffaloes averaged 26.4 points. Nebraska has to start fast, score first-half points and avoid needing a late scramble to pull off a win. That means Martinez, his first career start delayed a week, has to make plays early. If that’s with his feet, fine. If it’s with his arm, even better. Martinez has the weapons around him, and his offensive line isn’t bad. If he keeps his wits about him, NU’s offense should be fine, however aggressive the Buffaloes’ defense gets.
This should be fun. A lot of fun. Nebraska and Colorado players probably don't know or care much about the rivalry between the two programs, but the fans in the seats do. With the explosiveness of both offenses, Saturday’s game could feel similar to the 2016 Oregon game, when just about anything seemed possible. Look for points, back-and-forth big plays and, at game’s end, Nebraska still standing with a key win.
Our prediction: NEBRASKA 34 COLORADO 30
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.