Nebraska Preview: Cornhuskers Host Northwestern
One week after enduring a thorough beat down at the hands of a top-five team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers will try and regroup as they host Northwestern in week three of Big Ten play.
If past history is any indication, the match-up with the Huskers and Wildcats will be a nail-biter.
Each of the last two meetings has been decided in overtime and six of the eight meetings have been decided by three points or less.
This year's Northwestern (1-3) team has been plagued with injuries on the offensive side of the football. Starting quarterback TJ Green is out for the year with a foot injury. His backup. Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson was knocked out of the Wisconsin loss two weeks ago with a knee issue but he is listed as the starter for the game in Lincoln. Junior Aidan Smith could also see some action under center.
The Wildcats' leading receiver Bennett Skowronek is out indefinitely after having surgery and running back Isaiah Bowser has been banged up.
With all of those injuries and games against the likes of Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Stanford, the NU offense is struggling - 126th in the nation in total offense, 128th in scoring.
I talked with the 'Voice of the Cornhuskers', Greg Sharpe, about what to expect from Northwestern on offense:
The Wildcats defense has been rock solid so far in 2019. NU is just outside to top 30 in FBS for total yards, 18th in the nation against the pass.
Linebacker Paddy Fisher leads the nation with ten career forced fumbles, while safety Travis Whitlock is one of the top tacklers in the Big Ten.
Greg says the Northwestern defense is legit:
Kickoff is 3:00 PM, Saturday in Lincoln. You can hear the game live on ESPN 99.1.
Turnovers could be a key in this one. Northwestern (11 turnovers) and Nebraska (14 turnovers) are among the bottom 15 teams in FBS in giveaways.
The Cornhuskers will be without sack leader Khalil Davis for the Northwestern game. Davis was suspended for one game by the Big Ten for striking an Ohio State player in the first quarter of last week's game.
The incident didn't draw a flag during the game and Greg says he and the Nebraska broadcast team never saw it:
The Huskers turnover woes continued in that 48-7 loss to #5 Ohio State. One week after giving it away four times at Illinois, Nebraska threw three first-half interceptions against the Buckeyes and fell behind 38-0 at halftime.
Greg says it was an all too familiar sight for Husker fans:
For the game, the Husker defense allowed more than 360 yards on the ground and nearly 600 yards of total offense.
The one bright spot for the Nebraska offense against Ohio State was the return of the fullback as Dedrick Mills was very productive lining up as the frontman in the I-formation, averaging better than six yards a carry.
Greg says it was good to see the old fashioned Nebraska running game on display: