The Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-4, 2-2) return home to Memorial Stadium to kick off a four game homestand This Saturday following the second bye week of the season. The No. 17/18 Illinois Fighting Illini (6-1, 3-1) come to town on a five-game win streak and a half-game lead to hold first place in the Big Ten West standings. The Huskers are looking for the team’s first victory over a Top-25 team since 2016.
Nebraska and Illinois will meet for the 10th consecutive season on Saturday, and the 20th all-time. The all-time series laid dormant between 1953 and 2013 with just one home-and-home series in 1985 and 1986. It will also mark Illini head coach Bret Bielema’s second time as leader of the opposing team and third all-time.
As a former Wisconsin head coach, Bielema visited Lincoln just once before leaving to coach at Arkansas in 2012. UW took a 27-10 lead early in the third quarter, in that Sept. 29, 2012 matchup, but Nebraska stormed back in the second-biggest comeback in program history to win 30-27. Bielema got his revenge on the way out the door later that season in the Big Ten Championship game.
However, the Illini head coach seems to have forgotten that visit to Lincoln. During his press conference earlier this week, he was asked about Memorial Stadium and had the following to say:
“My first experience I was an assistant at Iowa. We had a home-and-home series against Nebraska back in the day before there was this new conference realignment. It was strictly just a home-and-home against a Nebraska opponent. I remember going over there [in 2000] and getting the cheers going on the field and then they cheered louder when we left because you lost. My next experience, I was at Kansas State and we actually had success and we won there. I think it was the first time Kansas State had been to Lincoln and beat them there, it was like 30 or 40 years [last victory in Lincoln was 1968], whatever it was [it was in 2003]. The next year they came to our place and we did it again. I really enjoyed the tenacity of the environment we played in. That was the last time I was there because we didn’t play them during my tenure at Wisconsin at their place*. It’s a great environment. Very comparable, in my mind, it’s kind of like some of your Big Ten venues. It’s a very vertical stadium. A lot of people. Very interactive crowd and one I’m excited to let our guys play.” *Emphasis added.
The Illini are led by one of the nation’s best defenses. Illinois ranks first in the nation in scoring defense (8.9 ppg) and total defense (221.0 ypg), and is second nationally with 18 takeaways. Offensively, Illinois averages nearly 200 rushing yards per game and ranks in the top 10 nationally in time of possession.
Date/Time: October 29, 2022 at 2:30 p.m. CT
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska Capacity: 85,458
All-Time Series Record: Nebraska leads 13-5-1
Series in Lincoln: Tied 9-2
As Big Ten Foes: Nebraska leads 6-3
Last Meeting: Aug. 28, 2021 in
Dublin, Ireland Champaign, IL, Nebraska 22-Illinois 30
Win Streak: Illinois, Two games
TV: The game will be televised on ABC with play-by-play by Dave Pasch, analyst Dusty Dvoracek, and sideline reporter Tom Luginbill. It can be streamed on the ESPN App with a login from your service provider or steaming subscription.
Radio: Huskers sports radio network. The audio can also be streamed live for free at huskers.com. The crew will be: play-by-play Greg Sharpe, analyst Damon Benning, and sidelines Jessica Coody.
Pre- and post-game shows will be hosted by Matt Coatney, Jay Foreman, Bill Doleman, and Ben McLaughlin.
Spanish broadcast will be by Enrique “Kike” Morales and Oscar “El Tico” Monterroso.
Stations are Omaha (KBBX, 97.7 FM); Grand Island (KLIQ, 94.5 FM
More streaming options: The official Huskers app is available on iTunes and Google Play.
Weather: At kickoff, the temperature is forecast for around 65 degrees with sunny skies and winds at 8 mph out of the south. By the end of the game, temps should have dropped into the upper 50s.
Odds: According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Nebraska is a 7.5-point underdog with the Over/Under set at 50.5.
Nebraska will be facing its second ranked opponent of the season when No. 17/18 Illinois visits Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Huskers’ dropped their first matchup against a ranked team this season, losing to then No. 6 Oklahoma on Sept. 17. Nebraska has one additional game against a currently ranked team, traveling to No. 4 Michigan on Nov. 12.
A win on Saturday would give Nebraska its first win against a ranked opponent since a 35-32 victory over No. 22 Oregon on Sept. 17, 2016. The Huskers have dropped their past 19 games against ranked opponents.
With Illinois ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press poll, this marks the second time in 20 all-time meetings the Illini have been ranked at game time in a meeting with Nebraska. Illinois was ranked No. 20 at game time in 1985. The Huskers have been ranked in four meetings with Illinois, most recently 15th in 2016, when NU won 31-16.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.