The Huskers arrived in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Thursday to prepare for their first true road game of the season, tonight’s meeting with Rutgers.
Rutgers announced on Friday morning the game sold out. That marks the second straight conference sell out at SHI Stadium for the first time since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten in 2014.
Friday’s game is dubbed “Black Friday” where the Rutgers home fans are meant to wear black. The Scarlets Knights will also wear their all-black uniforms, including helmets, for the game. Nebraska, meanwhile, will be in white helmets and tops with red pants (and stripes on the pants).
⚫️ Friday Knight Under The Lights ⚫️ pic.twitter.com/oIxRvXvJP3
— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) October 7, 2022
Tonight’s matchup, while in pristine playing conditions, came with logistical complications for Nebraska. It’s the first domestic away game of the season, the first game outside of Lincoln under interim head coach Mickey Joseph, in a shortened week.
Enthusiastic Husker fans arrived to SHI Stadium and tailgated in force. Fans in general attended the pre-game football show festivities on the south end of the stadium, just besides the Rutgers practice field. Former Husker Will Compton joined in, marking his second in-person appearance for a Nebraska game after the North Dakota game.
Here’s a look at some of the other scenes, shouts and factoids for Husker fans before kickoff:
>> Nebraska puts its perfect 5-0 New Jersey record on the line tonight. The Huskers haven’t ever lost a game in the state of New Jersey.
>> The Huskers (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten) can move atop the Big Ten West standings with a win tonight. Rutgers (3-2, 0-2) is tied with Michigan State in the Big Ten East cellar.
>> Wahoo native and former Nebraska quarterback Noah Vedral is expected to start today. He started last week against Ohio State and played five non-throwing snaps before being pulled. He’s still healing from an injury in camp. Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said the team is slowly integrating him back into full game time. The Scarlet Knights are also helmed by sophomores Evan Simon and Gavin Wimsatt, who is unlikely to play due to a lingering injury.
>> Dating back to 2018, Nebraska hasn’t beaten consecutive Big Ten opponents for 1,420 days. The Huskers topped Michigan State, 9-6, on the heels of a 54-35 win over Illinois the week before.
>> University of Nebraska Chancellor Ronnie Green and athletic director Trev Alberts also came to SHI Stadium for the game.
>> Nebraska’s top four quarterbacks made the travel roster. Casey Thompson, Chubba Purdy, Logan Smothers and Matt Masker were all dressed in warmups for the Huskers.
>> Defensive back Tommi Hill warmed up with Nebraska’s wide receivers. He came in listed as co-starting cornerback with freshman Malcolm Hartzog.
>> Punter Brian Buschini came out in full pads and warmed up in full equipment. His left ankle is still heavily taped from the sprained ankle he suffered against Oklahoma.
>> Backup place kicker Charlie Weinrich made the travel roster and warmed up alongside Timmy Bleekrode. Junior Cameron Piper and senior Brady Wease also dressed and will long snap on field goals and punts, respectively.
>> Nebraska came into Friday relatively injury free. Tight end Thomas Fidone was left off the roster again as he continues to heal from an injury. Tight ends coach Sean Beckton told Greg Sharpe on this week’s Husker Football Radio Show that Fidone is about 90% back and up to 250 but “as fast as ever.” Beckton offered no timetable and left it up to the medical staff.