After a week off, Nebraska returns to the road when it travels to Evanston, Ill., to take on the Northwestern Wildcats in a key Big Ten West Division matchup.The Huskers enter the contest with a 5-1 record, and a 1-1 mark in Big Ten action, following a 27-22 loss at then-No. 10 Michigan State on Oct. 4. Nebraska is ranked 19th both the Associated Press Poll and USA Today Coaches Polls following its off weekend. Nebraska will look to get its powerful offense back on track against the Wildcats. The Huskers come into the game averaging 532.0 yards per game, including 303.5 rushing yards per contest. Nebraska has also scored better than 30 points in five of the season's first six games and averages 41.5 points per contest.
Northwestern heads into the matchup against Nebraska with a 3-3 record, including a 2-1 Big Ten record. The Wildcats are coming off a 24-17 loss at Minnesota on Saturday. The Wildcats opened Big Ten play with a pair of impressive wins, dominating Penn State on the road before defeating Wisconsin in Evanston on Oct. 4.
Saturday's matchup will play a big role in shaping the West Division race. Minnesota and Iowa lead the way at 2-0 in league play, with the winner of Saturday night's contest in line to stay in the thick of the divisional race. The Nebraska-Northwestern series has provided dramatic moments the past three years. In 2011, unranked Northwestern upset the No. 9 Huskers in Lincoln. The following year, Nebraska rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to win 29-28 in Evanston, and a year ago, the Huskers won 27-24 on a Hail Mary touchdown pass.
For more on this matchup, check out Husker Mike's review and Brian's Q&A. One of CN's newest contributors, Michael Snow, also wrote some nice articles on 5 reasons the Huskers will win and why they will lose.
Date/Time: October 18, 2014, 6:30p.m. CDT
Location: Ryan Field, Evanston, Illinois. Capacity: 47,130
Surface: Natural Grass
Series Record: Nebraska holds a 5-2 edge in the series between the two schools, including a 2-1 advantage since the Huskers joined the Big Ten Conference. The three meetings since 2011 have been decided by a total of seven points, including one and three-point wins by Nebraska in the past two seasons. Nebraska is 1-1 all-time in Evanston.
TV: BTN Kevin Kugler, Play-by-Play; Glen Mason, Analyst; Lisa Byington, Sidelines
Streaming: If you have a login from your TV provider , the game will be streamed at BTN2GO
Weather: At kickoff, it is expected to be right around 48 degrees with north-northwest winds around 10 mph.
Odds: Nebraska is favored by 7 points
Oh, you didn't think I would forget to include this, did you?