Nebraska heads on the road for the first time in 2017 on Saturday, traveling to Eugene, Ore., to take on the Oregon Ducks.
The Huskers are coming off a 43-36 victory over Arkansas State in the season opener in Lincoln. Nebraska used a balanced offensive attack against the Red Wolves, rolling up better than 200 yards both rushing and passing in the win. The victory marked the 31st time in 32 seasons Nebraska has posted a victory in its season opener.
The trip to Oregon completes a home-and-home series with the Ducks after NU won in Lincoln last season. The game will also be a homecoming of sorts for Head Coach Mike Riley, who is a native of Corvallis, and coached at Oregon State for 14 seasons.
The Ducks are coming off an impressive 77-21 victory over Southern Utah in their season opener Saturday night. Oregon rolled up 703 yards of total offense in its victory, including 348 rushing yards and 355 yards through the air.
Oregon is under the direction of first-year head coach Willie Taggart, who previously had head coaching stints at Western Kentucky and South Florida before taking over the Ducks.
Be sure to check out Husker Mike’s Oregon review.
Date/Time: September 9, 2017 3:30 p.m. CDT
Location: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR, Capacity: 54,000
Surface: Field Turf
Opposition Blog: Check out Addicted to Quack for all things Duck.
Series Record: Nebraska leads the all-time series 6-1 with their most recent victory coming in a close battle in 2016 in Lincoln. The Ducks lone victory came in 1953 in a 20-12 win over Bill Glassford’s Huskers in Lincoln. The most lopsided game of the series was a 63-0 drubbing administered by the 1985 Huskers led by Tom Osborne.
Mike Riley is 5-10 all time as a head coach vs the Ducks with most of those games played as the head coach of the Oregon State Beavers.
TV: The game will be televised on FOX with Joe Davis, Play-by-Play; Brady Quinn, Analyst; and Bruce Feldman, 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 right at 72 degrees with very light winds at 5 mph from the north-northwest. There is currently (Friday) an air quality alert in Eugene but the haze is expected to improve. The Ducks have been able to practice in their own stadium, alleviating concerns about the game needing to be cancelled.
Odds: Oregon is favored by 13-13.5 points depending on the source. The over/under is currently set at 68.5-70 points, predicting an offensive shootout.
Sophomore Tre Bryant carried the ball 31 times in the season opener against Arkansas State. The 31 rushing attempts were the most by a Husker in three seasons with Mike Riley as head coach.
Riley's 2007 Oregon State team posted an overtime victory over No. 18 Oregon in Eugene. The winning touchdown in that game was scored by James Rodgers, who is now Nebraska's Director of Player Development.
Mike Riley on a balanced offense:
"We have to have good balance and that means we have to run the ball and with that, all of our other stuff will be better," Riley said. "Defensively, we have to stop the run or control it the best we can and we really have to manage explosive plays well. That's the game right there, and the kicking game is big that way, too. I think we can be threatening obviously, and I know they are."
Riley on the topic of true freshmen potentially being ready to play at Oregon:
"We are ready to play Brenden Jaimes, but we are going to be thoughtful about it," Riley said. "We are going to be careful about Damion Daniels and Guy Thomas. They are traveling and possibly will play at some point, maybe not quite as close. "Tyjon (Lindsey) is ready. He's had a great week. He's had a lot of repetitions because De'Mornay isn't in there. I'm excited about Tyjon Lindsey."