Nebraska opens its Big Ten Conference schedule this Saturday as the Huskers travel to Illinois to take on the Fighting Illini. Nebraska capped non-conference play with a 2-2 record, following a 36-28 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday in Lincoln. The Huskers rolled up better than 600 yards and will take a high-powered offense on the road to Champaign. Nebraska ranks among the top 20 nationally in passing and total offense heading into conference play, while quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. ranks among the top 15 in the nation individually in both categories.
Illinois comes into the contest with a 3-1 record, following a 27-25 victory over Middle Tenneseee last Saturday. The Fighting Illini also feature an explosive offensive attack, averaging 404.8 total yards per game and 34.3 points per contest.
Nebraska will be looking for its fourth consecutive victory in a Big Ten Conference opener. The Huskers have knocked off Illinois in their league opener each of the past two seasons. Saturday's game in Champaign is the Huskers' first trip to Illinois as a Big Ten member and their first overall at Illinois since 1985.
Date/Time: October 3, 2015, 3:00 p.m. CDT (Note the change from the original kickoff time which was 2:30)
Location: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL. Capacity: 60,670
Surface: Field Turf
Series Record: Nebraska holds a 9-2-1 lead in the all-time series. The first game was in 1892 which ended in a 6-0 Nebraska victory. Illinois’ two wins came in 1923 (24-7) and 1924 (9-6). That 1923 game was the first ever for Red Grange as he ran for 3 touchdowns and eventually powered Illinois to a national championship that year.
TV: BTN Eric Collins, Play-by-Play Chuck Long, Analyst Johnny Kane, Sidelines. With a login from your TV provider you can stream the game at BTN2Go
Radio: Huskers sports radio network with Greg Sharpe, Play-by-Play, Matt Davison, Analyst, Steve Taylor Sideline and Lane Grindle. The audio can also be streamed through the Huskers app or searching for the HSN on TuneIn. National Simulcast on Sirius: 81 • XM: 81
Weather: It is expected to be right at 60 degrees around kickoff, cloudy and with a 50% chance of rain. Winds will be gusting at nearly 20 mph from the northeast.
Odds: Nebraska is favored 6.5 or 7 points based on the source you use.
On how to rebuild confidence in the defense
"Well, I think it comes down to the thing that helps players the most is a review of fundamentals. It’s very obvious that whether we’re playing off or whether we’re playing on, that we’re having trouble with the fade ball. If you’re playing on, then the use of your hands, the use of your feet to get on the high shoulder to be in good position. If they throw a fade-stop behind you, then go tackle it. Just know what you have to take away, and go back to base fundamentals of what to do. I think kids need concrete evidence of how to get better. It’s not always changing or adding a whole new scheme, it’s just doing what you do better, so you help kids do that. Sometimes we’re losing right at the line of scrimmage and getting in bad shape right away. Well, there’s things that we’ve got to help our kids with that prevent that. So we’ll go back to doing that. If you’re playing off, it’s just maintaining that good cushion and then that transition...."
Oh no! The return of Nebrnois!