Nebraska hits the road for the first time in Big Ten Conference play taking on Illinois on Friday night in Champaign.
The Huskers enter the matchup at Illinois with a 2-2 record, and a 1-0 mark in conference play following a 27-17 victory over Rutgers on Saturday. Nebraska relied on a strong running game and tough defense to control the second half of the game against Rutgers. The Huskers rushed for nearly 200 yards, while allowing less than 200 yards of total offense to the Scarlet Knights.
Illinois comes into Friday's matchup with a 2-1 record, including a 2-0 mark at home in 2017. The Fighting Illini last played at South Florida on Friday, Sept. 15, when they lost 47-23. Illinois will have a 14-day break before Friday's contest with the Huskers. Illinois opened the season with non-conference victories over Ball State and Western Kentucky.
The 2017 season marks the fifth consecutive year the Nebraska-Illinois contest has been one of the Huskers' first two conference games. Aside from its traditional post-Thanksgiving game, Friday's game will mark the first time Nebraska has played a weekday regular-season game since 2010.
Date/Time: September 29, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. CDT
Location: Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL Capacity: 60,760
Surface: Field Turf
Opposition Blog: Check out The Champaign Room for everything Illinois
Series Record: Nebraska leads the all-time series 10-3-1
TV: The game will be televised on FS1 with Justin Kutcher, Play-by-Play; Mark Helfrich, Analyst; Petros Papadakis, Analyst; Jen Hale, Sidelines
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 an in-app purchase. I often use the TuneIn app for game audio.
Weather: At kickoff, the temperature will be 67 degrees with clear skies and light winds at 8 mph.
Odds: Nebraska is favored by 5.5 points
Nebraska allowed just 194 yards of total offense against Rutgers. The yardage total was the lowest for an NU opponent in 47 games, dating back to a win at Michigan in November of 2013.
Nebraska has won 14 consecutive games when out-rushing the opposition. Overall, Nebraska is 16-3 under Mike Riley when it outgains the opponent on the ground.
Mike Riley on Nebraska’s running backs
“We spent some time last night and this morning talking about those two players and how we’re going right now. We’ll have to see. We also inserted Jaylin Bradley in there, I think he got five or six carries, which is good. But I think if everything is the same, if Tre [Bryant] is not involved in this at this time, then we will probably start Mikale [Wilbon] and play those guys pretty evenly this coming week.”