Nebraska (1-2) is home once again for Saturday’s matchup. The Huskers are set to face Illinois (1-3).
The Huskers enter Saturday with a four-game win streak in the series over Illinois. Nebraska also leads the all-time series, 13-3-1, and are 6-1 against the Fighting Illini since joining the Big Ten Conference.
Nebraska-Illinois football TV channel, time, live stream
TV Channel: FS1 (Brian Custer, Robert Smith)
Time: 11 a.m. CT
Date: Saturday, November 21
Live stream: Fox Sports app with cable or dish log in
Radio: Nebraska fans can listen to the game on IMG Husker Sports Network, as well as on XM 195 and Sirius 133. Internet radio will be available at Huskers.com.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Weather: The weather for the last three Husker games have been relatively quiet. A mix of sun and clouds with temperatures that were near perfect for football. But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
While it isn’t going to be brutally cold, it isn’t going to be very warm, either.
Full forecast and updates brought to you by Rusty Dawkins of Husker Weather. More here.
Nebraska-Illinois football picks, odds
The line: Nebraska -15.5
(per the VI Consensus)
Nebraska comes into the matchup with Illinois following a 30-23 win over Penn State. The Huskers’ defense stepped up big in the win, which included two defensive takeaways. Nebraska also held on with two defensive stops inside the 15 in the final five minutes.
The Huskers also had a change at quarterback against Penn State. Redshirt freshman Luke McCaffrey made his first career start in the win, accounting for 219 yard of total offense. The expectation is that Nebraska will start McCaffrey against Illinois, but Coach Scott Frost feels good about where Nebraska is with either him or junior Adrian Martinez.
“Those are both great human beings and really good football players and we trust them both,” Frost said Monday. “We rely on both. They’ll both handle the situation well and I hope they both come to compete.”
Nebraska isn’t the only one with a question at quarterback. Starting quarterback Brandon Peters previously tested positive for COVID-19 and was absent for a 21-day quarantine and screening check. He is now available to play against Nebraska, but second-string quarterback Isaiah Williams had a strong performance in the 23-20 victory over Rutgers.
“What I see is that we have our starting quarterback that’s been out and he’s available this week,” Illinois coach Lovie Smith said. “That’s a good option. What I also saw is what our other quarterback was able to do this week. Of course, I’m not gonna say what our game plan will be. I would say that we have some good options going into this week.”
While Illinois’ offense has been pretty good in 2020, it’s the defense that’ll have to step up against Nebraska. The Illini ranks No. 13 among 14 Big Ten teams in total defense (462.3 yards allowed per game) and No. 10 in scoring defense (34.3 points per game).
“It’s on record what they’ve done to us the last couple of times we played them,” Smith said on Monday. “We haven’t done well enough, they’ve played outstanding football the last couple of times we’ve played them. That’s why we’re anxious to see if we can slow ’em down just a little bit more than we have in the past.
“They have a good offense that put up a whole lotta yards against us. They run a spread offense and they ran it well against us.”
With that said, Frost is also just as aware of what Illinois can do from past performances.
“They hit the crap out of us last year,” Frost said.
We’ll see what happens in 2020.
For more on the matchup, don’t miss the latest I-80 Preview Podcast.