It’s the middle of December and Nebraska is playing a home football game. In fact, Saturday’s matchup with Minnesota marks the Huskers’ latest home game in the 131-year history of the program.
Nebraska comes into the matchup with a 2-4 record following a 37-27 victory over Purdue. Minnesota comes to Lincoln with a 2-3 record but this will be the Gophers first game in 22 days due to COVID-19 protocols.
Saturday’s game is the 61st meeting between Nebraska and Minnesota. The Gophers currently hold a 33-25-2 edge in the all-time series. With that said, the Huskers own a 12-9 advantage in Lincoln. That includes an 11-8 mark at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska-Minnesota football TV channel, time, live stream
TV channel: FS1 (Eric Collins, Ben Leber)
Time: 11 a.m. CT
Date: Saturday, December 12
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 196 and Sirius 108. Internet radio will be available at Huskers.com.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Weather: As a low-pressure system pushes across the middle of the country (just to our south), we are going to see a good chance for accumulating snow. Timing has most of the snow falling Friday into Friday night, but some of that will try to linger into early Saturday morning. Most of it, however, should be out of here by kickoff.
Nebraska-Minnesota football picks, odds
The line: Nebraska -10.5
(per the VI Consensus)
It’s Senior Day for Nebraska.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) December 11, 2020
It’s a weird year, of course, so while players—like senior offensive lineman Brenden Jaimes—will participate in the ceremony, there’s a chance they could return for another year. The NCAA has granted players another year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Jaimes can return for the 2021 season if he wants.
He hasn’t made up his made yet though.
“When that time comes I’ll make a decision,” Jaimes said. “But until then, focused on the team.”
That focus turns to Minnesota, who is coming to Nebraska after two canceled games following COVID-19 protocols. From Nov. 19 through Dec. 3, the Gophers had 49 positive tests (23 student-athletes and 26 staff members) for COVID-19. The team returned to light practices on Dec. 2, and full practices on Dec. 6.
Minnesota will be without players against Nebraska, too, as Coach PJ Fleck said earlier in the week.
“We are going to have players unavailable because of the COVID 21-day protocol. More than 20-plus players that are not available,” Fleck said. “Just from that. Not including injuries or anything like that.”
“There’s that 21-day protocol that still keeps kids out for that long. That’s why we’re in that position that we’re in. But definitely north of 20 players will be missing just from COVID, and then you add in the injuries. This is what it is.”
That includes star wide receiver Rashod Bateman, who opted out of the 2020 season after the team paused activities. As for other players, Nebraska will know more come game time.
Keep an eye on Minnesota running back Mohamed Ibrahim though. He leads the Big Ten in rushing attempts (155), rushing yards (817), rushing touchdowns (13) and scoring (78) despite only having played in five games this season. He’ll test the Nebraska defense, who has done a pretty good job of stopping the run in recent weeks. Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti knows the Gophers will provide another big test though, so the team will have to be ready.
And with snow in the forecast? Things could definitely get interesting on the ground.
For more on the matchup, don’t miss the latest I-80 Preview Podcast.