Nebraska (0-1) is back at it on Saturday after an unexpected week off.
The Huskers’ Week 2 matchup with Wisconsin was canceled following a 52-17 to No. 5 Ohio State in Week 1. Northwestern enters the matchup with a 2-0 record, following a 21-20 win over Iowa in Week 2.
The Huskers and Wildcats have a history of close games in the series. Since joining the Big Ten, Nebraska has won five of nine matchups against Northwestern. That includes a 3-1 record at Ryan Field. Of the nine conference meetings, only two were decided by more than seven points.
Nebraska-Northwestern football TV channel, time, live stream
TV Channel: Big Ten Network (Cory Provus, J Leman, Olivia Dekker)
Time: 11 a.m. CT
Date: Saturday, November 7
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 382 and Sirius 138. Internet radio will be available at Huskers.com.
Location: Ryan Field, Evanston, Illinois
Weather: It’s going to feel like fall, that’s for sure. In fact, it’ll feel more like early October than early November with temperatures reaching the 70s.
Nebraska-Northwestern football picks, odds
The line: Northwestern -3.5
(per the VI Consensus)
“They’re a pretty strong and stout front against whomever they play,” offensive line coach Greg Austin said about Northwestern’s defense earlier in the week.
The Wildcats’ defense has been stout through their first two games of the season. They’ve allowed just 23 total points and 250.0 yards per game in wins over Iowa and Maryland. Northwestern has been especially good at stopping the run, allowing just 70.5 yards rushing per game.
That’s not all. Northwestern’s defense has forced seven turnovers in just two games. So, the Nebraska offense has some work ahead against the Wildcats on Saturday.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald thinks the Huskers’ surprise week off may actually benefit Nebraska. The Wildcats’ win over Iowa was a tough, grind-it-out game, so Fitzgerald thought Nebraska might come into the matchup fresher than Northwestern.
Coach Scott Frost didn’t agree.
“Maybe if this was Week 7 or 8, having a week off would be nice,” he said. “We’ve only played one game. I don’t know. Pat’s one of the smartest guys in the country, but I don’t know if I agree with him on that one.
“… We would have rather played a game last week.”
Whatever the case, Nebraska is just happy to be back on the field. And the Huskers can’t just focus on the Wildcats’ defense. They also can’t let the offense get away with too much. Northwestern, for example, has run the ball effectively and is averaging 234.0 yards per game.
For more on the matchup, head here.