Lincoln, Neb. - Adrian Martinez accounted for more than 300 yards of total offense and had a hand in three touchdowns, while Dedrick Mills rushed for 116 yards and a score on just 11 carries, as Nebraska rolled to a 44-8 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday night.
Playing in front of the 370th consecutive sellout with 89,593 fans at Memorial Stadium, Martinez completed 16-of-27 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns, and added 44 yards and another score on the ground to finish with 301 yards of total offense. Nebraska closed non-conference play with a 2-1 record, while Northern Illinois slipped to 1-2 on the season.
Martinez and Mills led a balanced Big Red offense that put up 525 yards of total offense, including 287 passing and 238 rushing yards. Northern Illinois managed 350 total yards, but just 74 on the ground, as the Blackshirts kept the Huskies out of the end zone, surrendering just a pair of field goals on the night.
In an action-packed first half that featured big plays and blocked kicks, Nebraska powered its way to a 30-5 halftime lead.
Nebraska struck quickly, winning the toss and taking the opening drive 58 yards in eight plays capped by Isaac Armstrong's 36-yard field goal to give the Huskers a 3-0 lead just 2:29 into the game.
The Big Red made it 10-0 on Maurice Washington's 21-yard touchdown catch on a short forward pass with 6:22 left in the opening quarter. Washington's score on a pass from Martinez was the only play of a short drive that was set up by heavy pressure by Nebraska's punt-block unit. NIU punter Matt Ference felt fierce pressure from Isaiah Stalbird and dropped the ball to the turf without punting it. The fumble was recovered by tight end Austin Allen to set up the score.
Nebraska kept the explosive plays going in the second quarter, as Washington raced 60 yards for a touchdown with 12:20 left in the half to give the Huskers a 16-0 lead. However, Armstrong's extra point try was blocked. Washington finished the night with three receptions for 18 yards, while adding 57 rushing yards on just two carries.
Northern Illinois got on the board with 7:58 left in the half on John Richardson's 45-yard field goal to cut Nebraska's lead to 16-3. The Huskies then tried to surprise the Big Red with an on-side kick. The attempt failed and set Nebraska up again with a short field. It took just four plays and 39 seconds for the Husker offense to capitalize, as Mills scampered 24 yards to the end zone to extend Nebraska's margin to 23-3 with 7:19 left in the half. Mills' touchdown was set up by a 26-yard pass from Martinez to Mike Williams to convert on 3rd-and-10.
The teams exchanged block kicks over the next five minutes - with Stalbird blocking a Ference punt to set the Huskers up inside the NIU 20. The offense was unable to capitalize, as a 32-yard Armstrong field goal attempt was blocked by the Huskies.
The Blackshirts stopped the Huskies on the ensuing drive, and instead of putting another Ference punt in harm's way, quarterback Ross Bowers booted a 46-yard punt that pinned Nebraska at its own 4. On the next play, Jordan Cole took down Washington in the end zone for a safety on a completed pass to cut the Husker lead to 23-5 with 1:49 left in the first half.
The defense shut down NIU on the ensuing drive and forced another Bowers punt. Martinez and the Big Red offense took over at the NU 13 with just 44 seconds left. Five plays later, Martinez connected with Kanawai Noa for his first touchdown catch as a Husker - a spectacular 27-yard grab in the back corner of the end zone that sent Nebraska to the locker room with a 30-5 edge.
Noa ended the night with three receptions for 51 yards.
Nebraska averaged 11.2 yards per play in the first half, rolling up 369 yards of total offense on just 33 plays, including three first-half receptions for 73 yards from JD Spielman, who finished the game with four catches for 76 yards. The Blackshirts held Northern Illinois to 144 first-half yards on 43 plays.
NIU opened the second half with the ball and methodically marched 66 yards on 12 plays in 5:13, but had to settle for Richardson's 27-yard field goal to cut the Big Red lead to 30-8. Nebraska's offense sputtered early in the half, before Martinez capped a seven-play, 48-yard drive with his 10-yard touchdown run with 3:00 left to send the Huskers to the fourth quarter with a 37-8 advantage.
The Blackshirts made their final stand midway through the fourth, holding the Huskies out of the end zone on a 4th-and-inches from inside the 1. Martinez and the offense were able to drive out of the shadows of their own goal post before Armstrong's punt left Northern Illinois with a long field and time running short.
Redshirt freshman Braxton Clark then grabbed his first career interception to set the Husker offense up at the NIU 42 with 6:32 left in the game.
Noah Vedral then took the reins of the Husker offense and marched the Big Red to end zone, capped by his own three-yard touchdown run with 4:04 left to complete the scoring. Freshman running back Rahmir Johnson carried three times for nine yards on the drive, while Darien Chase (13 yards), Kurt Rafdal (9) and Jaevon McQuitty (8) added key receptions on the drive.
Mohamed Barry led the Blackshirts with 10 tackles, while fellow linebacker Will Honas contributed six stops. Defensive tackle Carlos Davis was also a disruptive force in the middle, notching six tackles, including 1.5 sacks, while adding a pair of breakups with deflections at the line of scrimmage.
Stalbird starred for the Husker special teams, finishing the game with three tackles, including two for loss, a forced fumble and a blocked punt.
Nebraska opens Big Ten Conference play next week by traveling to Illinois for another 7 p.m. kickoff. The Fighting Illini enter the game with a 2-1 record.
LINCOLN, Neb. - Behind a career-high 23 kills from Lexi Sun, the No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team rallied from a 31-33 first-set defeat to beat Loyola Marymount in four sets (31-33, 25-19, 25-20, 27-25) on Saturday in front of a crowd of 8,037 at the Ameritas Players Challenge at the Devaney Center on Saturday.
Sun, who was named the tournament's MVP, added 14 digs to go with her 23 kills. She also had three blocks and served a pair of aces. Jazz Sweet tallied a season-high 14 kills on .387 hitting and had three blocks.
The Huskers (7-0) had a .256 to .221 hitting advantage, and NU had seven aces on the day, five more than LMU (4-5). Nebraska trailed by at least three points in all four sets, but the Huskers powered through to win the final three sets.
Nicklin Hames, also an all-tournament selection, had 51 assists and 17 digs, and Madi Kubik had 15 digs with eight kills. Libero Kenzie Knuckles had 13 digs.
The Huskers reached double-digit blocks for the second straight match, recording 11. Lauren Stivrins, the Huskers' third all-tournament team selection, had seven blocks and nine kills, hitting .316. Callie Schwarzenbach had four kills with a season-high seven kills.
Rose Booth had 20 kills and 11 digs for LMU. Savannah Slattery had 19 kills and 14 digs. Slattery was named to the all-tournament team.
Set 1: Loyola Marymount jumped out to a 7-5 lead after kills on four straight rallies. LMU led 10-7, but the Huskers chipped away with a kill by Sun and an ace by Hames to tie the score at 11-11. Kills by Sun, Sweet (twice) and Kubik put the Huskers back in front, 15-12. The Lions responded by coming back to take a 20-17 lead after three straight Husker miscues, an ace serve by Slattery and a kill by Emma Johnson. Kubik tipped a kill to get the Huskers out of the rotation, and she served an ace to pull NU within one, 20-19. Loyola remained in front, 22-20, but Sun placed a kill down the line and then tooled a block to tie the score at 22-22. But LMU got a kill from Rose Booth and benefited from a Husker hitting error to earn set point at 24-22. Sun terminated to keep the Huskers alive, and LMU hit wide to tie the set again, 24-24. Hames and Knuckles provided some athletic digs to keep the next rally alive, and Sweet posted a kill to give NU set point at 25-24. But Sun's next serve hit the net, and LMU's Meredith Teague served an ace to flip the score to LMU's favor, 26-25. Then the teams traded service errors before Sweet extended the set with another kill to make it 27-27. Serving continued to haunt both teams, as they each committed service errors. Booth gave LMU set point once again with a kill on the next rally, but Sun answered. Slattery put LMU back in front, 30-29, with her sixth kill, but the Lions then committed a net violation. LMU hit wide of the antenna to put the Huskers up 31-30, but Teague answered for LMU. Slattery followed with back-to-back kills to end the set in LMU's favor, 33-31. It was the highest scoring set NU has played since the 25-point rally-scoring era began in 2008.
Set 2: The Huskers fell behind 4-0 and had to play catch up throughout the early portion of the set. LMU led 14-12 when Stivrins and Hames stuffed an attack to cut it to 14-13. Sun then pounded her 10th kill to the set at 14-14 for the first time since 0-0. Two more kills by Sun put the Huskers in front, 16-15. Back-to-back kills by Sun and Schwarzenbach put the Huskers up by two, 18-16, and LMU took a timeout. The Lions took another timeout after the Huskers went up 20-18 on a kill by Sun and a block by Sweet and Schwarzenbach. Sweet then recorded three straight kills, and a two-hit violation on LMU and a block by Sweet and Stivrins gave NU the set, 25-19.
Set 3: Once again, a slow start had the Huskers playing from behind as LMU built a 7-4 lead with five early kills. Sun then took over with three kills and a block with Schwarzenbach on the next four rallies, putting NU in front, 8-7. The Huskers extended the lead to 16-9 with a 7-0 run served by Knuckles. Sweet had a pair of kills during the run, and Stivrins added a block and a kill. Stivrins continued her strong set with another block and a kill to take the Huskers to a 19-11 advantage. Kubik served an ace to make it 22-12 and gave NU a 24-15 lead with a kill. After LMU ripped off five points in a row, Schwarzenbach finally finished the set off, 25-20.
Set 4: The Lions bolted to an 11-6 lead. A pair of mental mistakes by LMU helped the Huskers slice the deficit to 13-10, but LMU answered with a pair of kills from Booth to go back up by five, 15-10. Schwarzenbach and Sweet answered with kills for Nebraska, and kills by Sweet and Kubik cut it to two, 16-14. LMU went up 19-15, but Sun terminated and Stivrins served an ace before Schwarzenbach and Hames produced a block to make it 19-18. Loyola tied the set at 23-23, 24-24 and 25-25, fending off Husker set points three times. But Stivrins added her ninth kill of the day before Booth hit wide for LMU, giving the Huskers the 27-25 win.
Up Next: Nebraska plays No. 1 Stanford on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Devaney Center. The match will be televised on BTN and streamed on FoxSports.com and the FoxSports app. Husker Sports Network radio affiliates will broadcast the match statewide, as well as on Huskers.com and the Huskers app.
14-Sep-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
LINCOLN, Neb. - The second-ranked Nebraska volleyball team swept its second match of the day on Friday, topping Denver 25-23, 25-17, 25-12 in front of a crowd of 8,177 at the Devaney Center on Friday night. Earlier in the day, the Huskers swept High Point in their first match of the Ameritas Players Challenge.
Nebraska (6-0) finished its win over Denver (6-2) with a dominant 25-12 third set, just as it did against High Point (25-8) in the morning. The Huskers tallied 11 blocks in the match, their most in a three-set match since 13 against Ohio State on Nov. 23 last season. Lauren Stivrins had six blocks to go with six kills, and Jazz Sweet had four blocks and five kills. Nebraska held Denver to a -.021 hitting percentage, also its best defensive performance since Nov. 23 against Ohio State last year.
Lexi Sun and Madi Kubik each posted seven kills and three blocks for the Big Red. Nicklin Hames set the Huskers to a .207 hitting percentage with 21 assists and seven digs.
Libero Kenzie Knuckles had a match-high 11 digs.
Set 1: The teams went back and forth early with neither team able to gain a two-point advantage until a Denver net violation made it 10-8 Huskers. Sweet tipped a kill to the floor and Denver hit long to extend NU's lead to three, 12-9. Kills by Schwarzenbach and Stivrins increased the margin to four, 15-11, and forced Denver's second timeout. The Huskers led 19-14, but Denver ran off a 4-0 run to get within 19-18. After a Denver four-hit violation, Sun stuffed a Denver attack to make it 21-18 Big Red. The Husker defense came up big again with a block by Stivrins and Sweet for set point at 24-20. Denver fought off three set points before the Huskers sealed the set, 25-23, on a Stivrins kill. Both teams committed eight attacking errors, with the Huskers holding a slight edge in hitting, .135 to .083.
Set 2: The Huskers scored a 13-2 run on Megan Miller's serve after Denver opened the set with the first two points. The Pioneers committed six unforced errors during that stretch, and Stivrins had three blocks and one kill. Hames added a pair of kills to take the Huskers to the 13-4 lead. After Denver got within 13-7, Kubik tacked on a couple of kills and Sun had one as well as the Huskers went up 20-11. Denver cut it to six, 22-16, after a 5-2 spurt. But Sweet put down a kill and Denver hit wide to make it 24-16. Kubik finished the set at 25-17 with her fifth kill of the night. NU held Denver to .000 hitting in set two.
Set 3: The Husker defense picked up where it left off, posting five blocks to open the third set with an 8-2 spurt. Sweet, Stivrins, Schwarzenbach and Sun were all in on two each. NU pulled away with a 7-0 run that made it 21-7. Sun served the run, and Kubik, Schwarzenbach and Sweet all had kills during that stretch. The Huskers finished off the 25-12 win for the sweep, hitting .444 in the final frame while limiting Denver to -.161 hitting.
Up Next: Nebraska wraps up the tournament against Loyola Marymount on Saturday at 1 p.m. The final match of the tournament - Denver vs. High Point - is Saturday at 5 p.m.
13-Sep-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln - Pinnacle Bank Arena will be rocking on Friday, Sept. 27, as the Nebraska Ticket Office announced Friday afternoon that Opening Night with Husker Hoops is officially sold out.
Approximately 12,500 tickets have been reserved by fans eager to see the Huskers and first-year coach Fred Hoiberg take the PBA court for the first time. To accommodate initial fan demand for the event, the 200 and 300-levels of Pinnacle Bank Arena were opened up last month, but seats in those sections have now been completely reserved, two weeks prior to the event.
“There is a lot of excitement for the start of basketball season, and selling out Pinnacle Bank Arena for Opening Night is a credit to our fans,” Nebraska Coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We hope to make Opening Night an annual tradition for Husker basketball program, and our team will be excited to perform in front of a sold-out crowd in two weeks.”
The Sept. 27 Opening Night festivities will be the largest preseason basketball event in Pinnacle Bank Arena since the Huskers moved in the building, nearly doubling the open house when the arena opened in 2013.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with the event starting at 7 p.m. The night includes introductions of the men’s and women’s teams, a 20-minute men’s scrimmage on the new Pinnacle Bank Arena court and other contests before hip-hop recording star Rick Ross will close the evening with a performance.
Opening Night with Husker Hoops begins a busy weekend on campus, as the Husker football team takes on Ohio State in Memorial Stadium the following day.
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 2 Nebraska volleyball team opened the Ameritas Players Challenge on Friday afternoon with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-8) win over High Point.
Nebraska (5-0) hit .349 and held High Point to a .033 hitting percentage. The Huskers posted eight blocks and were blocked only once by the Panthers (2-6).
NU was led by 14 kills on .650 hitting from junior Lexi Sun. She also added eight digs and three blocks. Madi Kubik had nine kills and seven digs, and Lauren Stivrins had seven kills and four blocks. Callie Schwarzenbach chipped in six kills and four blocks while hitting .364.
NU had a 41-30 edge in digs with Kenzie Knuckles and Nicklin Hames recording eight each. Hames had 31 assists for the Big Red. Anezka Szabo sparked the Huskers in the dominant third set with a pair of kills and a block. In the 25-8 third-set win, NU hit .462 with 13 kills and just one error on 26 swings, while High Point hit -.125.
Set 1: The Huskers doubled up the Panthers, 10-5, with five kills by five different players. High Point pulled within four at 13-9, but the Huskers reeled off a 5-1 run to go up 18-10, sparked by a solo block and kill by Stivrins. NU led by as many as 10 at 23-13 before High Point strung together three points in a row. The Huskers earned the first-set win at 25-16 with four kills apiece from Kubik and Stivrins. High Point was held to a .065 hitting percentage.
Set 2: A kill by Stivrins on the slide broke an 8-8 tie in the second frame, and Sun hammered a kill before Schwarzenbach and Hames posted a block for an 11-8 lead. High Point cut it to one, 13-12, but a kill by Schwarzenbach and an error by the Panthers led to a 15-12 Husker advantage at the media timeout. The Panthers scored three in a row after the break, including back-to-back aces by Maggie Salley, to tie the set at 15-15. Sun produced three kills for the Huskers to put NU ahead 20-17 and force a timeout by High Point. But the Panthers roared back to tie the set at 21-21 with their fourth ace of the set. A service error by High Point, and back-to-back Panther attacking errors gave NU set point at 24-21. Kubik terminated a kill to finish off the set, 25-22.
Set 3: The Huskers got off to their best start of the match, taking a 5-1 lead on a Szabo kill. Another kill by Szabo, and a combined block between her and Stivrins increased NU's lead to 7-2. The Huskers continued their strong play with Stivrins and Hames stuffing a High Point attack following two kills by Sun for a 14-4 lead. Schwarzenbach and Hames blasted kills, and Sun and Schwarzenbach teamed up for a block before Sun's 13th kill made it 21-6. Nicole Drewnick subbed in to set for the Huskers, and she assisted Sun's 14th kill of the match, as the Huskers finished the sweep, 25-8.
Up Next: Nebraska faces Denver on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Denver defeated Loyola Marymount, 3-2, in the early match on Friday.
13-Sep-2019 / Associated Press
Amherst def. Ravenna, 27-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-15
Aquinas def. Shelby/Rising City, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 22-25, 15-5
Hartington Cedar Catholic def. Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur, 2-1
Wakefield-Allen def. Pierce, 25-23, 25-22
Laurel-Concord/Coleridge def. Homer, 25-23, 25-20
Lutheran High Northeast def. Laurel-Concord/Coleridge, 25-18, 25-11
Ponca def. Lutheran High Northeast, 25-21, 25-19
Ponca def. Homer, 25-16, 25-20
Weeping Water Triangular
Southern def. Weeping Water, 25-20, 25-14
Southern def. Heartland, 25-18, 25-15
Omaha Christian Academy def. Walthill, 25-11, 25-21
Winnebago def. Walthill, 25-12, 25-19
12-Sep-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
Lincoln – For the second straight year, Nebraska will be on the road for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, as the Huskers will travel to Atlanta, Ga., for a matchup with Georgia Tech. The game at McCamish Pavilion will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 4. The game will be televised on ESPNU with a 6:15 p.m. (central) start time, as ESPN announced start times for all 14 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games Thursday morning.
This will be only the second-ever matchup between the Huskers and Yellow Jackets, as the teams have not played since a 66-49 win by Georgia Tech on Dec. 28, 1983.
The Huskers have played well on the road in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, posting a 3-1 mark following a 68-66 win at Clemson last season. NU also posted road wins at Wake Forest (2013) and at Florida State (2015).
Nebraska is 5-3 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge since joining the conference in 2011-12. Five of Nebraska’s eight games have been decided by five points or less, including all three losses. In all, Nebraska is 9-6 all-time in conference challenge games, including the Gavitt Games and the former Big 12/Pac 10 Hardwood Challenge. The Big Ten is 5-12-3 all-time in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, but is an impressive 5-2-3 over the last 10 years. Last year, the teams split the 14 games which allowed the ACC to keep the Commissioner’s Cup.
Nebraska Head Coach Fred Hoiberg is no stranger to conference challenge events in his time at Iowa State, going 2-1 in three such events, including a perfect 2-0 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Fans can get their first look at the 2019-20 Huskers under first-year coach Fred Hoiberg at the Opening Night with Husker Hoops on Friday, Sept. 27. As of Thursday morning, just 400 tickets remain for the event which will include a 20-minute scrimmage, introductions of the Husker men’s and women’s teams and a special performance by hip-hop superstar Rick Ross.
11-Sep-2019 / Associated Press
Archbishop Bergan def. Arlington, 3-0
Aurora def. Columbus, 25-16, 25-15, 22-25, 25-17
Bellevue East def. Omaha Benson, 25-8, 25-5, 25-10
Johnson County Central def. Wilber-Clatonia, 25-21, 25-11
Syracuse def. Johnson County Central, 25-17, 25-19
Syracuse def. Wilber-Clatonia, 25-10, 25-12
10-Sep-2019 / Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The night started with Oakland Raiders fans derisively chanting at former disgruntled receiver Antonio Brown and ended with coach Jon Gruden celebrating a victory in the Black Hole.
The saga that consumed the football world for days didn't hamper the Raiders a bit.
Derek Carr threw a touchdown pass on the opening drive of the season, rookie Josh Jacobs ran for two scores and the Raiders responded to a tumultuous week surrounding Brown by beating the Denver Broncos 24-16 on Monday night.
"As much as people talked about it, I mean my god. I feel like somebody was smashing my temple on the side of the head," Gruden said. "Get over it, man. It's over. We were good this preseason without him. We were fine without him. We wish him the best. We gave it a shot. Now New England gets their turn. Good luck to them. I can't deal with it anymore."
The Raiders (1-0) took out any frustration over the drama surrounding Brown with a convincing win over the AFC West rival Broncos (0-1). The offensive line cleared holes for Jacobs and protected Carr, and the defense harassed Joe Flacco into three sacks and kept Denver out of the end zone until 2:15 remained in the game.
The win spoiled the Denver debuts for Flacco and coach Vic Fangio and ended the NFL's longest opening weekend winning streak at seven games.
"Disappointed but we're not discouraged," star edge rusher Von Miller said. "First game of the season. Hats off to the Raiders, they outplayed us today. Killed us on third down in the first half."
The final scheduled home opener at the Coliseum before the Raiders planned move to Las Vegas next season began with derisive chants from the boisterous fans toward Brown. Those only grew louder after each successful pass play as both the fans and Raiders players seemed relieved to have the monthlong saga over Brown in the past.
He arrived with optimism following a trade from Pittsburgh in March. But a bizarre foot injury, fight with the NFL over his helmet, skipped practices, multiple fines, a run-in with general manager Mike Mayock and odd social media posts ultimately led to the decision to release the game's most prolific receiver two days before the opener.
Brown agreed to a deal with New England just hours after being granted his wish to be released by Oakland on Saturday and the Raiders wasted little time proving they had moved on.
"He's gone. I wish him the best," Carr said. "There's no hurt feelings. There's no anger in me. It stung as a friend seeing him go somewhere else, but I wish him the best."
The Raiders took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in 10 plays. Carr completed all five passes to four receivers, capped by an 8-yard TD to Tyrell Williams.
Oakland added another score in the second quarter when Jacobs capped a 95-yard drive with a 2-yard run to make it 14-0. Jacobs scored again in the fourth quarter, becoming the first Raider to run for two TDs in his debut.
BY THE NUMBERS
Carr completed 22 of 26 passes for 259 yards and wasn't sacked once after going down 51 times last year. ... Jacobs had 23 carries for 85 yards and a 28-yard reception. ... Wiliams had six catches for 105 yards, including a game-sealing 10-yard catch on third down after the two-minute warning. ... Flacco was 21 for 31 for 268 yards with a 1-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders in Sanders' first game back from a ruptured Achilles' tendon.
After recording an NFL-low 13 sacks last year following the trade of Khalil Mack, the Raiders got off to a much better start this year with the pass rush, sacking Flacco three times. Benson Mayowa had two sacks, becoming the first Oakland player to record more than one in a game since Mack had two against Denver on Dec. 17, 2017. Rookie Clelin Ferrell also had one.
Denver's comeback attempt fell short in part because the Broncos had to settle for field goals on three red zone trips in the second half. A pair of third-down sacks by Mayowa and Ferrell stalled two drives and DaeSean Hamilton dropped a potential TD in the end zone.
Broncos: RT Ja'Wuan James left the game in the first half with a knee injury. ... WR Tim Patrick left in the second half with a hand injury.
Raiders: CB Gareon Conley was taken off the field strapped to a stretcher with a neck injury after being hit in the head by teammate Johnathan Abram.
Conley was down on the ground for several minutes with players on both teams kneeling on the ground out of concern. Conley was taken off the field on a stretcher but was able to give a thumbs-up to the crowd.
Gruden said reports on Conley were positive.
Broncos: Host Chicago on Sunday. Fangio spent the past four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Bears.
Raiders: Host Kansas City on Sunday in a second straight division matchup. The Chiefs have won eight of the past nine games in the series.
09-Sep-2019 / NU Athletic Communications
NEBRASKA vs NORTHERN ILLINOIS
SEPT. 14, 2019 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 7 P.M. (CT)
TV - FS1 (Justin Kutcher, Petros Papadakis, Shane Vereen)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 83, XM 83
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com, TuneIn.com
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App
2019 Record: 1-1, 0-0 Big Ten
Last Game: Colorado (L, 34-31 OT)
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 24-16 (4th Year)/5-9 (2nd Year)
vs. Northern Illinois: 0-0
2019 Record: 1-1, 0-0 MAC
Last Game: Utah (L, 35-17)
Coach: Thomas Hammock
Career/NIU Record: 1-1 (1st Year)/Same
vs. Nebraska: 0-0
Nebraska returns home to Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening, as the Huskers will complete non-conference play against Northern Illinois. Kickoff under the lights in Lincoln is set for shortly after 7 p.m. CT, with national television coverage on FS1 and radio coverage available on the Husker Sports Network from Learfield-IMG.
Nebraska will come into the game against Northern Illinois with a 1-1 record, after a tough 34-31 overtime loss at Colorado last Saturday. The Huskers jumped to a 17-0 lead in the game, and led by a touchdown in the final moments before a Colorado score forced overtime, where the Buffs prevailed. The Huskers will look to rebound against Northern Illinois and extend their winning streak at Memorial Stadium to six games.
Northern Illinois will also bring a 1-1 record to Lincoln on Saturday. The Huskies opened the season with a win over Illinois State, before dropping a 35-17 contest at No. 14 Utah last Saturday. Northern Illinois is under the directon of first-year head coach Thomas Hammock, who took over at his alma mater after spending the previous five seasons on the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff.
Saturday's meeting is the second game in a four-game series with Northern Illinois. The Huskies won in Lincoln in 2017 and have two additional future visits to Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska and Northern Illinois will meet for the fourth time on Saturday evening, with the Huskers owning a 2-1 edge. All three previous games were played at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska posted victories in 1989 and 1990 while NIU won in Lincoln in 2017.
• In addition to Saturday's game, Northern Illinois is scheduled to visit Lincoln in 2021 and 2023.
• Nebraska is 5-1 all-time against members of the Mid-American Conference, with the lone loss being the 21-17 setback against NIU in 2017.
• Including the two future games with NIU, Nebraska has five future games scheduled with members of the Mid-American Conference (NIU-2021, 2023; Central Michigan-2020; Buffalo-2021; Akron-2025).
Huskers Hope to Shine Under Memorial Stadium Lights
The Huskers have a long history of success under the lights in Lincoln.
• The Huskers have won 20 of their last 22 home night games at Memorial Stadium. NU is 46-7 all-time in Memorial Stadium night games.
• Nebraska's dominance at night in Lincoln has been impressive, as 33 of the home night wins have been by at least 13 points.
• The seven losses in home night games have all come against teams that won at least 10 games in that season (Washington, 1991; Texas, 2002; USC, 2007; Virginia Tech and Missouri, 2008; Wisconsin and Ohio State, 2017).
• Nebraska will be playing its first home night game since the 2017 season. The Huskers were scheduled to play Akron in a prime-time season opener in Lincoln last fall, but the game was canceled because of inclement weather. The 2018 season marked the first time since 1995 that Nebraska did not host a home night game.
Frost in Second Season with Huskers
Scott Frost is in his second season at Nebraska in 2019. The 2017 consensus national coach of the year, Frost boasts a 24-16 career record as a collegiate head coach.
• Although Nebraska finished with a 4-8 record in 2018, five of the eight losses came by a combined 21 points. NU lost five games by five or fewer points, including a trio of three-point defeats. Nebraska won four of its final six games, and the two losses were a five-point loss at an Ohio State team that ended the year ranked No. 3 in the nation and a three-point loss at Iowa, when the Hawkeyes kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired. Iowa finished with a No. 25 ranking.
• As the head coach at UCF, Frost improved from 6-7 in his first season to 13-0 in year two. A similar turnaround at Nebraska could be historic. A nine-win season by Nebraska in 2019 would tie for the second-largest win improvement from one season to the next in school history (five games), while a 10-win campaign would tie the largest win improvement (six games).
• In 12 seasons as a full-time assistant or head coach, Frost's teams have posted a 127-33 record, averaging nearly 11 wins per season. Frost has been a part of seven conference championship teams and coached in two national championship games in his 12 seasons.
• Frost's teams have been ranked in the top 15 in 10 of his 12 seasons, including eight final top-10 rankings and six final top-five rankings.
• Each of NU's last five head coaches won at least eight games in their second season, and the four head coaches prior to Frost all produced their best winning percentage at Nebraska in year two.
Frost Offenses Impressive on Opening Drives
One common theme of a Scott Frost-led offense has been a fast start, and that has held true for Frost's tenure in Lincoln. Nebraska has scored on its opening drive in each of the first two games in 2019. NU received the opening kickoff against South Alabama and drove nine plays and 81 yards for a touchdown to a take a 7-0 lead. At Colorado, Nebraska drove 96 yards in five plays on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead. The opening-drive score continued a theme from 2018.
• Nebraska scored on its first possession seven times in 12 games last season, including six of the final seven games. All seven of NU's opening scoring drives resulted in touchdowns.
• NU received the opening kickoff nine times in 2018 and scored touchdowns on six of those drives while punting only once. The Huskers had a game-opening touchdown drive to take a 7-0 lead in five straight games during the Big Ten Conference season.
• The Huskers scored on nearly 60 percent of their opening possessions in 2018, even with a pair of drive-ending turnovers in opponent territory. Nebraska's average touchdown drive covered more than 74 yards, including one 80-yard touchdown march and five 75-yard scoring drives.
• Over the last three seasons - 2018-19 at Nebraska and 2017 at UCF - Frost's offenses have scored a touchdown on their opening possession 18 times in 27 games (67 percent). The average length of the touchdown drive in that span is 74 yards.
• In three-plus years as a head coach, Frost's offenses have scored on their opening drive 22 times in 40 games, with 21 touchdowns and one field goal. In 80 games over six-plus seasons as a play-caller, Frost's offenses have scored on their first possession of the game 43 times, putting points on the board in more than half of their opening possessions.
Nebraska continues a pair of long team streaks in the 2019 season, while a pair of Huskers are also riding impressive individual streaks.
• Saturday's game against Northern Illinois will mark Nebraska's 370th consecutive sellout. The sellout streak began in 1962 and is in its 57th year in 2019.
• Nebraska has scored in 297 consecutive games. The streak is the longest in school history, the eighth-longest in FBS history and the fifth-longest active streak.
• Junior wide receiver JD Spielman has made at least two catches in each of his 23 career games. His streak of 23 straight games with a reception is tied for the sixth-longest streak in school history.
• Sophomore place-kicker Barret Pickering has made 10 consecutive field goals, 26 consecutive extra points and 36 straight kicks overall. His streak of 10 straight made field goals is the seventh-longest streak in program history. Pickering has not played in the first two games because of injury.
Spielman Continues to Climb Husker Charts
Junior wide receiver JD Spielman has already made Husker history as the only player in program history to have a 200-yard receiving game. In only two-plus seasons and just 23 games, Spielman is also leaving his mark on Nebraska's career record book. He has 128 career catches for 1,796 yards, ranking sixth all-time at Nebraska in receiving yards and eighth in receptions.
• Spielman needs 62 receptions and 952 yards to become Nebraska's all-time leader in both categories. He averaged 61 catches and 842 receiving yards per season in his first two years. On a per-game basis in his 23-game career, Spielman averages 5.6 receptions and 78.1 receiving yards.
• Spielman reached 1,000 career receiving yards in only 15 games. He reached the mark faster than any other Husker, eclipsing Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers (16 games).
• Spielman is the only player in school history to record 100 catches prior to his junior season.
• Spielman owns the only two 200-yard receiving games in Husker history (200 yards vs. Ohio State in 2017 and 209 yards at Wisconsin in 2018).
• Spielman is the only wide receiver in school history to have two career games with double-digit receptions (11 vs. Ohio State in 2017 and 10 vs. Purdue in 2018). Running back Marlon Lucky is the only other Husker to have two career games with double-digit catches.
• Spielman had more than 800 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons, joining Johnny Rodgers and Stanley Morgan Jr. as the only Huskers with two 800-yard receiving seasons. No Husker has ever had three 800-yard receiving seasons.
• Spielman had more than 50 catches in each of his first two seasons, joining Johnny Rodgers, Kenny Bell and Stanley Morgan Jr. as the only players in program history with multiple 50-catch seasons. No Husker has ever had three 50-catch seasons.
• Spielman opened the 2019 season with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown against South Alabama, marking his second career punt return score. He had a 77-yard punt return touchdown last season against Bethune-Cookman. He also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in his first career touch against Arkansas State in the 2017 season opener. Spielman is one of only eight players in program history to return both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown.
• Against Colorado, Spielman recorded his fifth career 100-yard receiving game with five catches for 112 yards. He opened the scoring with a 65-yard touchdown reception, marking the sixth touchdown of his career that has covered at least 65 yards.