Optimism in the face of circumstance permeated Lincoln on Saturday morning.
Spitting rain tailed an overnight storm that swept through the Capitol City. The No. 6 team in the country drive from an hour out to play at Memorial Stadium. Their opponent — a 1-2 Nebraska squad in an interim head coach’s debut.
Crowds teemed with energy in downtown Lincoln despite all that. It was Husker game day. And it’s the first game day of a clean slate.
Here are some of the developments from Memorial Stadium ahead of Nebraska’s renewed rivalry game with No. 6 Oklahoma:
>> After missing the previous two games with injury, senior tight end Travis Vokolek is expected to start. The sole offensive team captain will likely be limited after sustaining an ankle injury against Northwestern in the season opener.
>> The status of the other Nebraska team captain out with injury, linebacker Nick Henrich, is less clear. He warmed up with the first team prior to the game, unlike the previous two weeks. He injured his wrist in the season opener.
>> Offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka isn’t expected play today. He limped off the field in the fourth quarter against Georgia Southern and was not among his teammates in warm ups. Turner Corcoran was in his place with Kevin Williams Jr. in at left guard for the first-team offense.
>> Interim head coach and former Husker quarterback Mickey Joseph received cheers as the team entered Memorial Stadium from the Unity Walk. This is Nebraska’s first game since Joseph was promoted into the interim role on Sunday.
>> The 1970 and 1971 National Championship teams will be honored at halftime of today’s game. Nebraska’s 1971 team won the title after beating Oklahoma in the Game of the Century. They were also honored at a banquet inside the NU Coliseum last night.
— Husker N Club (@HuskerNClub) September 17, 2022
>> The Huskers issued invites to 60 recruits for Saturday’s kickoff. Largely in-state and a few out-of-state recruits from all four high school classes received invitations.
>> FOX Sports’ Big Noon Kickoff crew set up on campus this week. Former college football figures Reggie Bush, Brady Quinn and Urban Meyer gave their insights as part of the panel. Crews also established a weatherized set in the southwest corner of Tom Osborne Field to accommodate the TV crew.