Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost meets with the athletic director Trev Alberts at mid-field before a football game against the Fordham Rams.
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Big Red Recon: Another Opportunity to Rise to Occasion For Huskers in East Lansing

September 24, 2021

The first part of the season is complete for Nebraska and it has been a roller coaster so far. A near-win at old rival Oklahoma has confidence building that the Huskers can turn the season around after a bad loss to start the season against Illinois. The team will get another crack at having a big win this weekend. Michigan State is freshly in the top-20 and is pulling out all the stops for the matchup under the lights.

Let’s get to the Recon.

2022 Commits

Chase Androff, Tight End, Lakeville, Minnesota

Jake Appleget, Outside Linebacker, Lincoln, Nebraska

Ernest Hausmann, Outside Linebacker, Columbus, Nebraska

Ashton Hayes, Running Back, Reno, Nevada

Victor Jones Jr., Wide Receiver, Orlando, Florida

Grant Page, Wide Receiver, Boulder, Colorado

Hayden Schwartz, Defensive End, Jacksonville, Florida

Richard Torres, Quarterback, San Antonio, Texas

2022 Needs

QB 0 DL 0
RB 0 MLB 0
WR 0 OLB 1
TE 0 DB 2
OL 2 K/P 0

The Recon:

>> I came away very impressed with 2023 athlete Malachi Coleman after checking out Lincoln East for the first time Thursday night. He camped at Nebraska this summer and took an unofficial visit for the Fordham game. Coleman is on the radar for 2023.

>> After defensive line coach Tony Tuioti said he was 90%-95% healthy last week, I expect Casey Rogers back for Michigan State. If he can play between 20-25 snaps that would be a great first game back. Rogers brings the missing pass rush element to the defense. He’s also another quality lineman to help slow Kenneth Walker III.

>> A lot of game planning for the Huskers will likely be geared toward slowing down the Spartans’ star running back. Quarterback Payton Thorne is putting together a nice season too. Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti gave a scouting report on him this week.

“He’s very smart and really accurate,” Tuioti said. “I think he’s about almost 65% in terms of his completion rate. He can extend plays too with his legs. He does a really good job staying on rhythm and getting the ball out.

“The biggest thing when I’m looking at him is he doesn’t just throw balls away. You got to be able to earn it. If we’re going to try to get interception we got to earn that. We got to really fluster him and make him uncomfortable.”

Michigan State’s balanced attack on offense presents a unique challenge for the Blackshirts on Saturday night.

>> I don’t think its hyperbole to say that this is the biggest game of the Scott Frost Era. Michigan State is treating like a huge game. You have to wonder if the team is finally ready to put together an even better effort to win this game. The inability to capitalize on these moments has been an anchor on the program so far under Frost. To prove that last week was a step in the right direction the Huskers need to win this weekend. It’s going to be an old-school Big Ten football game as Deontre Thomas said this week.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m waiting on this game to happen because you know, Michigan State is going to run the ball. The game is going to be in the trenches. It’s going to be up to the defensive line to stop the run. So, I’m looking forward to playing Michigan State. Absolutely.”

Win this game and suddenly the season is looking up. Lose this game and the Huskers might be favored in two more games this season. Making a bowl game would be near impossible in my opinion.

>> The Huskers can run a lot more of the concepts they want to run offensively with both Austin Allen and Travis Vokolek. We saw some of that during the Oklahoma game with mixed success. As those two get more comfortable and the wide receivers come along the offense could get better.

>> There have been a lot of questions surrounding Nebraska’s kicking situation. Connor Culp is struggling this season. After a solid week of practice, it sounds like Frost is sticking with Culp this weekend. Nebraska’s best chance at fixing that part of the game might be for Culp to just figure it out.

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