Nebraska heads on the road for the first time in 2016 when the Huskers travel to Evanston, Ill., to take on the Northwestern Wildcats in the Big Ten opener for both schools.
Nebraska travels with a 3-0 record, following a 35-32 victory over 22nd-ranked Oregon on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln. Nebraska rallied from 13 points down on the strength of a strong running game that produced 228 yards, including 166 yards after halftime. The win allowed Nebraska to complete non-conference play undefeated for the second time in three seasons and begin the season with a 3-0 record for just the second time in the past five years. The victory also earned Nebraska a spot in the national rankings for the first time since the 2014 season. The Huskers entered the polls at No. 20 according to both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll.
Northwestern owns a 1-2 record in 2016, and is coming off a 24-13 victory over Duke on Saturday night in Evanston. The Wildcats are led by a strong defense that allows just 14.7 points per game. Northwestern lost its first two games by a total of three points before rebounding for the victory over Duke.
Date/Time: September 24, 2016 6:30 p.m. CDT
Location: Ryan Field, Evanstan, Ill Capacity: 47,330 (aka the Huskers’ home-away-from-home in the B1G)
Opposition Blog: Check out Inside NU for everything Northwestern
Series Record: Nebraska holds a a 6-3 advantage in the series. Northwestern notched victories in 2015, 2011, and 1931. The Huskers won in 2012, 2013, and 2014 as conference foes. The other three wins (as non-conference opponents) occurred in 2000, 1974, and 1902. The most lopsided game was a 66-17 Husker win in 2000 when Frank Solich engineered the largest blowout in Alamo Bowl history.
TV: The game will be televised on BTN with Eric Collins, Play-by-Play; Glen Mason, Analyst; and Michelle McMahon, Sidelines. It can be streamed on BTN2Go with a login from your cable/satellite provider. Playstation Vue streaming includes BTN in its Elite and Core plans (but not Access).
More streaming options: The official Huskers app is available on iTunes. The app is free but accessing live audio costs $4.99 (per season). The app is available for Android users for free but the live content requires a payment (I could not see the amount but assume it is similar to the other). I often use the free TuneIn app for game audio.
Weather: At kickoff it is expected to be 72 degrees with clear skies. There will be a little bit of wind blowing from the east at 9 mph.
Odds: The Huskers are favored by 8 points..
Four of five meetings between Nebraska and Northwestern in the past five seasons have been decided by three or fewer points.
Nebraska is 6-0 in the past two seasons when rushing for at least 200 yards. The Huskers have topped 200 yards on the ground in two of three games in 2016.
Coach Riley on the first away game of the season.
"We're trying to make it as much of a regular routine as we possibly can." I love going to new places and I like taking teams to play somewhere else. It's exciting to take a team into another team's stadium."
Coach Riley on selecting the travel roster.
"It's really hard," Riley said of making the travel roster. "Especially when you're pretty healthy, and we've been dressing 90 or more guys and the last couple choices were difficult and not made until just after lunch today."