Lincoln - Taylor Kissinger set a school record by connecting on all six of her three-point attempts on her way to a team-high 22 points, shooting Nebraska to an 87-64 win over USC Upstate on Sunday at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The Huskers, who evened their record at 1-1 on the young season, got 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting overall from Kissinger, while her only miss was put back by fellow sophomore Kate Cain, who finished with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Senior forward Maddie Simon gave the Huskers three players in double figures with 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting from the field and a 4-for-4 effort at the free throw line.
As a team, Nebraska shot a solid 53.1 percent (34-64) from the field, including 11-of-24 from three-point range (.458). The Big Red was also 8-of-10 at the free throw line. The Huskers controlled the glass against the Spartans, 42-27.
Kissinger got going early for Nebraska by knocking down all three of her first-quarter three-point attempts to propel the Huskers to a 26-12 lead at the end of the first 10 minutes.
The Big Red maintained a 13-point lead after Kissinger's fourth three with 6:50 left in the second quarter, before USC Upstate rallied to cut the margin to eight points at 41-33 with 1:30 left in the half. USC Upstate's Brianna Lewis scored 10 of her 12 first-half points in the second quarter to keep the Spartans within striking distance before the Huskers took a 43-33 lead to halftime.
The Huskers shot 52 percent (16-30) from the field, including 5-of-12 threes (.417) and all six of their free throws in the first half. USC Upstate hit 43.8 percent (14-32) of its shots, including 4-of-12 threes (.333) and 1-of-2 free throws. Nebraska out-rebounded the Spartans 19-14, but lost the first-half turnover battle 8-7.
Kissinger and the Huskers pushed the lead to 19 points at 67-48 at the end of three quarters, as she connected on both of her three-point attempts in the period. She did not attempt a shot from long range in the fourth quarter to become the first Husker in history to hit all six of her three-point attempts in a game. The only other Husker in history to hit as many as five threes in a game without a miss was Jessica Periago at Indiana on Dec. 5, 2010.
Nebraska got its 11th three of the game on the second triple of the day from senior guard Kristian Hudson to end the scoring in the closing minute. The final 23-point margin was Nebraska's largest lead of the contest.
Hudson, who made her first start as a Husker in place of junior guard Hannah Whitish, finished with six points and three assists. Whitish played 16 minutes in the game but had her streak of 50 straight starts come to an end. She missed significant practice time the past three days while nursing a minor leg injury that occurred in the first half of Nebraska's season-opening loss to Drake on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Whitish did not score Sunday, but did dish out four assists.
Nebraska got a strong game from junior Nicea Eliely, who pitched in eight points and team highs with six rebounds and six assists, while freshman Leigha Brown contributed seven points and four boards off the bench. Junior Grace Mitchell added six points and six rebounds, while freshman Ashtyn Veerbeek also contributed six points. Freshman Sam Haiby managed four points and five assists, while freshman Kayla Mershon completed the scoring for the Big Red with two points.
USC Upstate junior Brianna Lewis led all scorers with 26 points, while adding six assists. She hit 10-of-21 shots from the field and all six of her free throws. DeNisha Swain added 11 points, while Natalia Panufnik gave the Spartans three players in double figures with 10 points.
As a team, Upstate hit 23-of-60 shots (.383), including 6-of-22 threes (.273) while connecting on 12-of-13 free throws. The Spartans also won the turnover battle by a narrow 15-14 margin.
Nebraska opens a five-game road trip on Friday by traveling to Washington State. Tip-off between the Huskers and Cougars in Pullman is set for 7:30 p.m. (CT) with live audio coverage from Huskers.com and the Husker Sports Network and a live video stream provided by Washington State.
Lincoln - Nebraska showcased an explosive offense and an opportunistic defense on its way to an impressive 54-35 win over Illinois on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska's 54 points marked the second straight Big Ten home game that the Huskers set their conference scoring record against another Big Ten team. On Oct 20, the Huskers scored 53 in a 25-point win over Minnesota.
In a game that featured more than 1,100 yards in offense, the Huskers amassed 606 total yards, including 316 on the ground and 290 through the air. The Blackshirts also did their part in helping the offense, nabbing two interceptions and forcing a fumble, while the Huskers also recovered a pair of muffed punts on special teams. Freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez and the offense turned the five Illini mistakes into 24 points.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 3-7 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten, while notching their third consecutive home win at Memorial Stadium. In those three games, the Big Red are averaging 50.7 points per game. Illinois slipped to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the conference.
Nebraska's first-half offensive eruption was ignited by three Illinois turnovers, including a pair of muffed punts, that the Big Red converted into 17 points. The turnovers were the difference in Nebraska's 38-21 halftime lead.
The second muffed punt by the Illini came in the final minute of the half, just seconds after Illinois cut the Nebraska lead to 31-21 with former Husker AJ Bush's third touchdown run with 58 seconds left in the half. The Illinois defense then forced a three-and-out. Isaac Armstrong's low, line drive punt carried 43 yards but bounced off Illinois return man Jordan Holmes' chest and a mad scramble was on, resulting in a recovery by Nebraska special teams stalwart Jeramiah Stovall at the Illinois 7-yard-line with 20 seconds left. Three plays later, Martinez found tight end Jack Stoll in the middle of the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown pass to put the Big Red up 17 points.
It was Martinez's third touchdown pass of the half, as he accounted for 196 total yards in the half, including 129 yards on 12-of-17 passing. He added 67 rushing yards and another score to become the Nebraska freshman season record holder for total yards, which was previously held by Taylor Martinez (2,596 in 2010).
Martinez finished the day with 345 yards of total offense, including 290 yards on 24-of-34 passing. He threw three touchdown passes and one interception.
Nebraska started fast, racing 75 yards in just three plays after winning the coin toss and electing to receive. Martinez opened with an eight-yard run, before rushing over the right end for a 30-yard burst. He capped the drive with a 37-yard scoring strike to Stanley Morgan Jr. to give the Huskers a quick 7-0 lead just 1:02 into the game. It marked the sixth consecutive game that Nebraska scored on its first drive after receiving the opening kickoff.
The Illini's high-powered rushing attack marched back on the Big Red, covering 76 yards on eight plays capped by Bush's 11-yard touchdown run to tie the score with 10:39 left in the first quarter.
Nebraska showed no signs of slowing down, racing 89 yards in seven plays capped by Martinez's nine-yard scoring run to put the Huskers back in front at 14-7 with 7:27 left in the quarter.
Bush struck again with an eight-yard touchdown run to cap a second consecutive eight-play, 76-yard drive to tie the score with 3:40 left in the opening period.
Martinez found Morgan again on the ensuing drive, hooking up with the senior receiver for the second time in the quarter to give Nebraska a 21-14 lead. Morgan finished the day with eight receptions for 131 yards. It was his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and seventh of his career. He finished the day at No. 2 on Nebraska's career receiving yardage list with 2,599.
In a first quarter filled with fireworks, the two offenses combined for 424 total yards, including 241 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 plays for Nebraska.
The second quarter took on a different tone with three huge mistakes by the Illini. The first came on Armstrong's first punt of the game for the Huskers, which carried 37 yards before being dropped by Illini return man Carlos Sandy. Long-snapper Chase Urbach sprinted down the field after his snap and jumped on the loose ball at the Illinois 45.
Martinez and the Huskers drove to the Illinois 10, but had to settle for Barret Pickering's 27-yard field goal to take a 24-14 lead.
Bush and the Illini tried to rally, driving 52 yards in 10 plays before Blackshirt safety Tre Neal stripped the ball while tackling Bush. The Huskers wasted little time converting the turnover to points, as Devine Ozigbo sprinted 66 yards to paydirt for the longest run of his career on the third play of the drive to give Nebraska a 31-14 lead with six minutes left in the half.
Neal finished the game with 10 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles, while Mohamed Barry led the Blackshirts with 11 total tackles on the day to push his season total to 93.
Ozigbo added a four-year touchdown run in the third quarter and a 60-yard touchdown run in the fourth to close the scoring for the Huskers. The senior running back finished the day with 162 yards and a career-high three touchdowns on just 11 carries.
Bush rallied the Fighting Illini for a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive that resulted in his third touchdown run with 58 seconds left in the half to cut the Husker edge to 31-21, but Illinois would get no closer the rest of the way after muffing their second punt of the half less than a minute later. Bush closed with a game-high 187 rushing yards and 313 yards of total offense, while going 11-for-25 for 126 passing yards with two interceptions.
Nebraska finished the half with 356 total yards, including 227 rushing yards, while Illinois put up 292 yards with 209 on the ground.
After forcing three turnovers in the first half, the Blackshirts added a fourth turnover on the opening drive of the second half when Aaron Williams intercepted a Bush pass across the middle to stop the Illini. For Williams, it was his first interception of the season.
Nebraska's offense converted again, covering 82 yards in a season-long 17 plays over 7:53. The Huskers went 3-for-3 on fourth down on the drive, before Ozigbo scored on a four-yard run to give the Big Red a 45-21 lead with 4:07 left in the quarter. Before the drive, Nebraska was just 2-for-11 on fourth down this season.
In clearly Nebraska's best special teams effort of the season, the Huskers extended the lead to 47-21 early in the fourth quarter with its first blocked punt of the year off the hands of Marquel Dismuke, which rolled out the back of the end zone for a safety.
The Illini managed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns around Ozigbo's 60-yard scoring sprint to make the final margin. Nebraska senior defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg put the exclamation point on the Husker win in the closing minute with his first career interception to give the Blackshirts their fifth turnover of the day. It marked the the most turnovers Nebraska has gained since getting six against Wyoming in 2016. It also marked the third straight game that the Big Red has gained at least three turnovers.
Nebraska will complete its home schedule next week when the Huskers play host to Michigan State on Senior Day at Memorial Stadium. Kick-off time and television information will be announced soon.
12:10 - NEB - Marquel Dismuke blocked punt for safety, NEB 47-21
7:44 - ILL - RaVon Bonner 2 run (McLaughlin kick), 3 plays, 39 yards, 1:22, 47-28
6:15 - NEB - Ozigbo 60 run (Pickering kick), 3 plays, 75 yards, 1:29, NEB 54-28
3:21 - ILL - Dre Brown 15 run (McLaughlin kick), 7 plays, 93 yards, 2:46, NEB 54-35
Scoring SummaryNebraska 54, Illinois 35
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Nebraska)
First Quarter (21-14)
13:58 - NEB - Stanley Morgan Jr. 37 pass from Adrian Martinez (Barret Pickering kick), 3 plays, 75 yards, 1:02, NEB 7-0
10:39 - ILL - AJ Bush 11 run (Chase McLaughlin kick), 8 plays, 76 yards, 3:14, 7-7
7:27 - NEB - Martinez 9 run (Pickering kick), 7 plays, 89 yards, 3:06, NEB 14-7
3:40 - ILL - Bush 8 run (McLaughlin kick), 8 plays, 76 yards, 3:43, 14-14
1:54 - NEB - Morgan 32 pass from Martinez (Pickering kick), 5 plays, 75 yards, 1:46, NEB 21-14
Second Quarter (38-21)
10:36 - NEB - Pickering 27 FG, 7 plays, 35 yards, 3:19, NEB 24-14
6:00 - NEB - Devine Ozigbo 66 run (Pickering kick), 3 plays, 77 yards, 1:13, NEB 31-14
0:58 - ILL - Bush 2 run (McLaughlin kick), 12 plays, 75 yards, 5:02, NEB 31-21
0:03 - NEB - Jack Stoll 12 pass from Martinez (Pickering kick), 3 plays, 7 yards, 0:17, NEB 38-21
Third Quarter (45-21)
4:12 - NEB - Ozigbo 4 run (Pickering kick), 17 plays, 82 yards, 7:48, NEB 45-21
Fourth Quarter (54-35)
12:10 - NEB - Marquel Dismuke blocked punt for safety, NEB 47-21
7:44 - ILL - RaVon Bonner 2 run (McLaughlin kick), 3 plays, 39 yards, 1:22, 47-28
6:15 - NEB - Ozigbo 60 run (Pickering kick), 3 plays, 75 yards, 1:29, NEB 54-28
3:21 - ILL - Dre Brown 15 run (McLaughlin kick), 7 plays, 93 yards, 2:46, NEB 54-35
The Nebraska men's basketball team continues its opening week schedule on Sunday afternoon, as the Huskers take on Southeastern Louisiana. Tipoff from a sold-out Pinnacle Bank Arena is set for 3 p.m. Any game returned tickets would be available at PBA beginning 90 minutes before tipoff.
Sunday's game will be carried nationally on ESPNU with Jon Meterparel and Brooke Weisbrod on the call. The game is also available on the ESPN app on most mobile devices, including Apple TV.
Fans can follow all of the action across the state of Nebraska on the IMG Husker Sports Network with Kent Pavelka and Jake Muhleisen on the call. The game will also be available on Huskers.com, on the Huskers app, on TuneIn Radio and the TuneIn Radio app and on SiriusXM radio.
Sunday's game is the second Lincoln Regional round of the Hall of Fame Classic Powered by ShotTracker. The championship rounds will be at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Nov. 19-20 with NU, Texas Tech, Missouri State and USC comprising the four-team field.
Sunday's game is also the annual Toys for Tots game, as fans are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys along with cash donations for the Marines Toys for Tots program. Volunteers will be collecting donations at locations around Pinnacle Bank Arena to benefit area youth. In addition, Veterans, active, and retired military personnel will receive one standing room only ticket by showing their valid military ID at the Pinnacle Bank Arena box office on Sunday.
The Huskers, who are ranked 25th in the USA Today coaches poll, had little trouble in their opener, routing Mississippi Valley State, 106-37, on Tuesday evening. Glynn Watson Jr. led four Huskers in double figures with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while James Palmer Jr. had 15 of his 17 points in the first half, as the Huskers built a 42-point halftime lead. NU emptied the bench as all 12 players who dressed played between six and 23 minutes. Nebraska's 69-point margin was the second largest in more than a century, while the 106 points marked the most by a Husker team since 2005.
Nebraska's defense forced 19 turnovers and harassed the Delta Devils into 19 percent shooting, including 1-of-15 from 3-point range. The 37 points allowed and 13 first-half points allowed were lows in the Tim Miles era.
Southeastern Louisiana comes into the weekend with a 0-1 record, as they will take on William Carey on Friday before coming to Lincoln. The Lions, who went 22-12 and reached the NIT for the first time in school history, lost to LSU in their opener on Tuesday. Freshman Parker Edwards led SELU with 25 points - all coming in a 10-minute span of the second half.
OPENING NUMBER18 - Nana Akenten had a career-high 18 points off the bench in just 13 minutes on Tuesday. Akenten played just 21 minutes as a freshman, totaling seven points. He had five of Nebraska's 15 3-pointers, NU's highest total since hitting 15 against Miami on Dec. 20, 2006.
SCOUTING SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA
Under fifth-year Head Coach Jay Lander, the Lions head into a pair of weekend games, as they will host William Carey on Friday before traveling to Lincoln. Lander's teams have improved their win total each season, culminating with a 22-12 record in 2017-18 when Southeastern Louisiana won the Southland Conference regular-season title and earned a berth to the NIT. The 22 wins were the most by the school since the 2004-05 season, and Southeastern Louisiana was picked second in the Southland Conference preseason poll.
The 2018-19 squad opened the year with a 94-63 loss at No. 23 LSU on Tuesday night. In that game, the Lions shot just 29 percent in the first half as LSU took a 48-18 lead into the locker room. Freshman Parker Edwards was the bright spot, coming off the bench with 25 points, including 6-of-8 from 3-point range, in just 10 minutes. Moses Greenwood also finished in double figures with 12 points and seven boards, while LSU limited Marlain Veal to one point in 26 minutes. Veal, who was a first-team All-Southland Conference selection, is coming off a knee injury after averaging 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game last season. Greenwood started 13 games last season and averaged 10.2 points and a team-high 5.6 rebounds per game while blocking a team-high 30 shots.
Series history: Nebraska won both previous meetings posting victories in 2010 and 2015. In the most recent matchup, NU posted a 92-65 win on Nov. 22, 2015. In that game, the Huskers scored the first 12 points as part of a game-opening 19-2 run. Glynn Watson Jr. led four Huskers in double figures with 14 points. The other meeting was a 77-59 Husker win on Jan. 5, 2010. The Huskers are 9-2 all-time against the current members of the Southland Conference.
LAST TIME OUT
Glynn Watson Jr. tallied 19 points to lead four Huskers in double figures, as the No. 25 (Coaches) Nebraska Cornhuskers blitzed Mississippi Valley State, 106-37, Tuesday evening in the opener for both teams.
Watson, who played just 19 minutes, was 7-of-10 from the field, including five 3-pointers, as Nebraska built a 24-5 lead in the first nine minutes
and cruised to the win.
Nana Akenten came off the bench with 18 points, while James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland added, 17 and 10 points, respectively. In all, 11 of the 12 players who dressed got into the scoring column, as no Husker played more than 22 minutes.
Nebraska limited MVSU to just 19 percent shooting on the evening, including 3-of-32 in the first half, and forced 19 turnovers that led to 32 Husker points.
WHAT IS BACK FOR THE BIG RED
The Huskers enter the 2018-19 season welcoming back three starters and nine letterwinners from a team that went 22-11 and finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a 13-5 mark. The group includes All-Big Ten performers James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland and three-year starter Glynn Watson Jr., all of whom averaged double figures in 2017-18. NU also returns junior forward Isaiah Roby, who started 13 of NU’s final 14 games - all but Senior Night - and led NU in both rebounding (6.3 rpg) and blocked shots (2.0 bpg).
Nebraska returns 73.4 percent of its scoring, 61.4 percent of its rebounding, 71.5 percent of its assists and 67.2 percent of its blocked shots from last year. Last year, NU averaged 72.3 points per game, its highest average since the 1996-97 season (72.9 ppg). It is only the third time in the last 15 seasons that Nebraska returns at least 70 percent of its scoring from the previous season.
- Nebraska's 3,432 returning points ranks 13th nationally entering the 2018-19 season. Among Big Ten programs, only Iowa, which has 4,246 returning points has more points returning than the Big Red.
- Entering the season, Nebraska's returnees have combined for 160 career starts for the Big Red and 214 games at the Division I level. Copeland (49 starts at Georgetown) and Palmer (five starts at Miami) both cracked the starting lineups at their previous schools before coming to Nebraska.
|Returning Power Conference Players w/50 Assists & Blocks|
|Huskers w/50 Assists & Blocks|
Isaac Copeland Jr. made a successful return to action following back surgery and put together a strong junior season. The 6-foot-9 forward was second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.1 rpg) and blocked shots (1.0 bpg), setting personal bests in all three areas. In all, he reached double figures 23 times, including five 20-point performances. He turned in a solid effort in Tuesday's win with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting and four rebounds in 23 minutes.A top-20 recruit coming out of high school, Copeland earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors by averaging 13.5 points on 51 percent shooting, including 43 percent from 3-point range, and was in double figures in eight of his final nine Big Ten contests. Copeland graduated from Nebraska in May and is working on his Masters Degree.
FILLING UP PINNACLE BANK ARENA
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be full once again in 2018-19, as the NU Athletic Ticket Office announced on September 25 that general public season tickets are sold out for the upcoming season. It is the fourth time in the past six seasons that the Huskers have sold out their entire season allotment of tickets at Pinnacle Bank Arena. In all, nearly 15,000 season tickets have been sold for the 2018-19 season, including the Red Zone student section.
Since moving into PBA in 2013-14, the Huskers have ranked in the top-15 in attendance nationally all five years, and are one of only nine schools in the country to average 15,000+ fans per contest in that span.
In addition, 300-level seats are available for NU's games against Western Illinois (Nov. 24), Cal State Fullerton (Dec. 22) and Minnesota (Feb. 13). Every other remaining home game this season is sold out.
Pinnacle Bank Arena Attendance Since 2013-14
|2013-14 (1st year of PBA)||15,419 (13th)|
The Huskers have been strong at protecting its home court at Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in 2013-14.
- NU enters Sunday's game with Southeastern Louisiana with a 12-game home winning streak, the longest among power conference schools and eighth-longest home win streak nationally.
- With Tuesday's win over Mississippi Valley State, Nebraska tied its longest winning streak since moving into Pinnacle Bank Arena. NU won 12 straight between Jan. 20-Nov. 18, 2014.
- NU has posted a 60-24 (.714) record in Pinnacle Bank Arena since it opened in August of 2013, including a 16-1 mark in 2017-18. Against non-conference foes, NU is 32-7 in PBA (.821). Since the start of the 2006-07 season, NU is 95-12 against non-conference foes (.888).
- Nebraska went 16-1 at Pinnacle Bank Arena in 2017-18 with the only loss coming in a one-point setback against then-No. 13 Kansas on Dec. 16. NU's .941 home winning percentage is the best since the 1982-83 campaign, while the 16 home wins was one shy of the school record.
- Nebraska went a perfect 9-0 at home in Big Ten play and won its two Big Ten home games against ranked teams by an average of 15.0 points per game. NU's 9-0 mark - the only unbeaten mark in the Big Ten - marked the first time the Huskers went unbeaten in conference play at home since the 1965-66 season. All of the other eight seasons with a perfect conference home record were between 1908 and 1921.
For the first time since 2014, the Nebraska men’s basketball team is nationally ranked, as the Huskers are ranked No. 25 in the preseason USA TODAY Sports coaches poll released Oct. 25.
The Huskers return three starters, including All-Big Ten selections James Palmer Jr. and Isaac Copeland Jr, and their top four scorers from a team that went 22-11 and reached the NIT last season. In 2014-15, the Huskers were ranked in the first two coaches polls and were ranked 21st on Nov. 17, 2014.
Nebraska is one of four Big Ten teams in the preseason coaches poll, joining Michigan State (10), Michigan (18) and Purdue (22). In addition, the Huskers’ ACC/Big Ten Challenge opponent is also ranked as Clemson enters the poll at No. 23. The Huskers were receiving votes in the AP poll released earlier this month.
GATES JOINS HUSKER STAFF
The only new face on the Husker bench is a familiar one to Big Ten fans, as Armon Gates joined the Husker coaching staff this past May. Gates, a native of Chicago, returns to the Big Ten after recently serving as associate head coach at the University of Florida under Mike White. Gates has coached and developed all-conference performers at three schools during his coaching career.
For the past five seasons (2013-18), Gates was at Northwestern under Chris Collins, helping the Wildcats to a pair of 20-win seasons, including the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017. He also helped bring a top-30 recruiting class to Northwestern in 2014, while the 2018 class is listed as high as 24th nationally by 247Sports.
THORBJARNARSON REPRESENTS ICELAND AT EUROPEAN U-20 CHAMPIONSHIPS
Husker sophomore Thorir Thorbjarnarson spent part of the summer representing his native Iceland for the U-20 National Team. At the FIBA U-20 European Championships, he averaged 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals per game, ranking second on the team in scoring and first in assists. He closed tournament action with three straight double figure efforts and averaged 18.5 points on 67 percent shooting, including 55 percent from 3-point range, in Iceland’s final two contests. Thorbjarnarson was solid in NU's opener, tallying career highs in both points (nine) and rebounds (four) vs. MSVU.
|Tai Webster||New Zealand|
|Leslee Smith||British Virgin Islands|
Nebraska Coach Tim Miles is poised to become just the fourth Husker coach to win 100-or-more games at Nebraska in the coming weeks. Miles enters his seventh season needing only 10 wins to pass both Doc Sadler and Moe Iba for third place on NU’s career wins chart.
Nebraska’s biggest improvements came on the defensive end in 2017-18, going from 13th to 6th in the Big Ten in field goal percentage defense and from 14th to 2nd in 3-point percentage defense. NU ranked in the top-75 nationally in both field goal defense (74th) and 3-point percentage defense (32nd) last season.The defense has been stout in the early going of 2018-19, as Nebraska held Wayne State (exhibition) and Mississippi Valley State to a combined 21.3 percent shooting, including just 6-of-37 from 3-point range. NU allowed just 37 points in its opener, the sixth-lowest total allowed in school history.
|2016-17 Season||2017-18 Season|
|Category||Overall (Rk.)||B1G (Rk.)||Overall (Rk.)||B1G (Rk.)|
|PPG Allowed||73.0 (12)||76.4 (12)||68.6 (10)||66.5 (5)|
|FG Pct. Def.||.447 (13)||.459 (13)||.423 (6)||.411 (2)|
|3-Pt. Pct. Def.||.399 (14)||.425 (14)||.322 (2)||.279 (1)|
ALLEN MAKES IMPACT FOR LINCOLN KIDS
Sophomore guard Thomas Allen coordinated a back-to-school drive for the kids of Everett Elementary School in Lincoln. Allen spearheaded the efforts, using traditional and social media to get the word out on the event, which took place on Aug. 4. In all, more than five vans of materials were donated that day with other Husker teams and university staffers making contributions for the event.
• The sixth-ranked Nebraska volleyball team, coming off its third straight win, will face No. 15 Michigan at Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CT).
About the Huskers
Foecke, Maloney Captain Young Husker Squad
Stivrins, Sweet Stepping Up in Sophomore Seasons
Sun Shining for Huskers
Young Huskers Making Instant Impact
Smith Makes Return to Huskers
Huskers Will Play School-Record 19 Home Matches
Huskers Record 250th Consecutive Regular-Season Sellout
Huskers Ranked No. 6 in AVCA Coaches Poll
Cook Adds to Legacy; Joins AVCA Hall of Fame
Husker Fans Set Attendance Standard Once Again
Cook’s Coaching Tree Continues to Grow
Foecke Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
Nebraska Volleyball Retires Jersey of Sarah Pavan
Coach Cook post-match Iowa
NEBRASKA vs. ILLINOIS
NOV. 10, 2018 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 11 A.M. (CT)
TV - BTN (Brandon Gaudin, Glen Mason, Elise Menaker)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin)
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 99, XM 201
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com, TuneIn.com
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App
Record: 2-7, 1-5 Big Ten
Last Game: lost to Ohio State, 36-31
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 21-14 (3rd Year)/2-7 (1st Year)
vs. Illinois: 0-0
Record: 4-5, 2-4 Big Ten
Last Game: def. Minnesota, 55-31
Coach: Lovie Smith
Career/ILL Record: 98-111 (14th Year)/9-24 (3rd Year)
vs. Nebraska: 0-2
Nebraska returns to Memorial Stadium on Saturday for a Big Ten West Division matchup with Illinois. The game will be televised on BTN with kickoff set for 11 a.m. The contest can also be heard on the IMG Husker Sports Network.
Nebraska enters the game at 2-7 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten play, following a 36-31 loss at No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday. The Huskers held a 21-16 halftime advantage, before the Buckeyes rallied in the second half for a victory. Nebraska continued to make strides in the matchup at Ohio State, putting up 450 yards of total offense, while the defense had three takeaways for the second straight week.
Illinois comes to Lincoln with a 4-5 record, including a 2-4 conference mark. The Fighting Illini are coming off an impressive 55-31 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Illinois has built its offensive attack in 2018 around a strong rushing attack. Illinois averages 249.4 rushing yards per game and rolled up 430 rushing yards in last week's win against Minnesota.
Nebraska has won four of five meetings with Illinois since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011. Nebraska is a perfect 3-0 against the Illini in Lincoln.
This Week's Numbers
100 - Saturday's game will mark Nebraska's annual Veterans Day/Military Salute at Memorial Stadium. In conjunction with the game, Nebraska will be recognizing the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on Saturday and at a Sunday morning Armistice Day Display Dedication. .
1,2 - Illinois and Nebraska are the nation's first and second-most improved rushing teams in 2018. The Illini average 143.8 yards per game more than in 2017, while NU rushes for 216.6 yards per game, an improvement of 109 yards per contest over 2017.
2500 - Stanley Morgan Jr. needs just 32 receiving yards to hit 2,500 career receiving yards. He would be the second Husker to reach that milestone. Morgan Jr. needs just 12 receiving yards to move into second place on the Nebraska career receiving yardage list.
• As members of the Big Ten West Division, Nebraska and Illinois meet each season.
• Nebraska has captured four of the five meetings since joining the Big Ten, with each of its four victories by 15 or more points.
• Nebraska has won the three meetings at Memorial Stadium since 2013 by an average score of 38.3-16.3.
• One of Nebraska's memorable victories in the series occurred on Oct. 3, 1925, a 14-0 Nebraska win in Champaign. It was the only time in Red Grange's Illinois career that he was held scoreless in a home game.
NU to Wear 'Memorial Tribue' Alternate Uniforms Saturday
Nebraska will wear new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniforms Saturday when the Huskers take on Illinois.
2018 marks 100 years since the culmination of World War I (WWI). The new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniforms pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, while also celebrating Memorial Stadium. The venue was originally named Memorial Stadium to honor the more than 700 Nebraskans who died in WWI and those who served in the Civil War, Spanish-American wars. Memorial Stadium also honors Nebraskans who have served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and more.
In collaboration with University of Nebraska Athletics, the new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniform was specifically inspired by the first team to play in Memorial Stadium and continues the school’s age-old tradition of honoring Nebraska’s veterans. The field hosted its first football game on October 20, 1923 and this will be the Huskers’ 96th season at the stadium.
Similar to the 1923 Huskers’ jerseys, the 2018 Nebraska ‘Memorial Tribute’ uniform features a throwback tonal, paneled front. The buff-colored pant is designed to resemble the first façade of Memorial Stadium, which was also a characteristic of the 1923 uniform. Additionally, the new alternate uniform showcases key aspects of the 85,000-seat stadium, including the numbers and fonts which were inspired by the original clock in Memorial Stadium.
To complete the head-to-toe look, the team will wear a replica contemporary form 1923 helmet, complete with cream-white stitched strapping details, along with traditional black adizero 5-Star and FREAK cleats.
Offense Hopes to Sustian Strong Momentum
Head Coach Scott Frost and his staff oversaw one of the nation's most potent offenses at UCF in 2017. In the past six games, Frost's Nebraska offense has posted numbers among the nation's best units.
Nebraska has gained at least 450 yards in each of the past six games, tying a school record for the longest such 450-yard streak in NU history. NU also topped 450 yards in sixth straight games in 1972, 1982, 1994 and 1995.
Nebraska opened the year with 565 yards of total offense against Colorado, and has since posted three more games with better than 500 yards. NU had a season-high 659 yards against Minnesota, after posting 582 yards against Purdue and 518 yards at No. 16 Wisconsin.
• Nebraska averages 468.9 yards of total offense to rank third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally.
• Nebraska's 659 yards of offense against Minnesota was its highest total since gaining 787 yards against FAU in the 2014 season opener.
• The total offense output against Minnesota was Nebraska's largest in a Big Ten Conference game (since 2011). It was NU's highest total offense in a conference game since having 710 yards against Kansas State in 2007.
• Nebraska has four 500-yard offensive games this season. NU has not had five 500-yard total offense games in a season since 2000.
• Nebraska has gained better than 450 yards in each of the past six games and has never had seven straight 450-yard games.
• The consecutive 500-yard games against Purdue and Wisconsin marked the first time NU had back-to-back 500-yard outputs in Big Ten games. It was the first time NU had consecutive 500-yard games in conference play since the final two Big 12 games in 2007. • The 565 yards against Colorado in the opener marked the first 500-yard total offense game for the Huskers since posting 556 yards at Northwestern in 2016.
• The total offense output against Colorado was the best at the time by Nebraska in 35 games, dating back to a 610-yard effort against Southern Miss in 2015.
• Nebraska is one of only six Power Five Conference schools averaging 200 rushing yards and 250 passing yards per game. The other teams in that group include Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Syracuse.
Frost and Staff Guiding Another Offensive Revival
After helping turn Central Florida into the nation’s most improved offense in 2017, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost and his five offensive assistants - all of whom were on Frost’s UCF staff last season - are producing an encore performance this season in Lincoln.
• Nebraska is averaging 83.9 more total yards this season than it did last year, helping the Huskers climb 68 spots in the national rankings from 87th in 2017 to 19th this season.
• NU is averaging 109.1 more rushing yards in 2018 than it did in 2017, helping the Huskers climb 87 spots in the national rankings from 119th in 2017 to 32nd this season.
• Nebraska’s offensive turnaround is led largely by underclassmen, who have produced 80.2 percent of the Huskers’ total offensive yards. In fact, NU’s freshmen and sophomores have combined to average 361.4 yards of total offense per game.
• In its second season at UCF in 2017, the staff helped the Knights increase their offense by 179.7 yards per game from the 2016 season, as the Knights climbed from 113th nationally in total offense in 2016 to fifth in 2017.
Nation's Most Improved Rushing Games to Battle
The naton's two most improved rushing teams will square off on Saturday in Lincoln. Illinois is averaging 249.4 rushing yards per game, a 143.8-yard improvement over last season. Nebraska averages 216.6 yards per game, 109.1 yards better than 2017.
• Leading the improved rushing attacks, are two of the naton's top runners in yards per attempt. Illinois' Reggie Corbin leads the Big Ten averaging 9.1 yards per carry. Nebraska's Devine Ozigbo averages 6.9 yards per rush, including 7.3 ypc in conference games.
• Nebraska has a history of success in the running game against Illinois. In the last four games vs. the Illini in Lincoln (1985, 2013, 2014, 2016), Nebraska has averaged 363 rushing yards per game, including more than 450 yards in both 1985 and 2014.
• In five meetings as Big Ten opponents, Nebraska has had five 100-yard rushers, including a pair of 200-yard rushing games by Ameer Abdullah. Most recently, Ozigbo rushed 18 times for 106 yards and a touchdown at Illinois last season.
Record Duo Continues to Shine
In 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. and JD Spielman combined for 1,816 receiving yards, the highest two-player total in Husker history.
Morgan set an NU record with 986 receiving yards in 2017. Spielman added 830 receiving yards, a total that ranked seventh in school history and was the most ever by a Husker freshman.
The duo is once again helping provide an explosive offense for Nebraska in 2018, and is on track to produce bigger numbers this fall.
• In nine games in 2018, the duo has combined for 110 receptions for 1,472 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those totals put them ahead of their combined pace in the 2017 season.
• Spielman and Morgan are one of four pass-catching duos in the nation to each have more than 700 receiving yards in 2018. The other schools with a pair of 700-yard receivers are Hawaii, Oklahoma and Old Dominion.
Martinez Brings Dual Threat to Nebraska Offense
Martinez has shown the ability to be a perfect fit in Coach Scott Frost's high-powered offense. Martinez has excelled in the past six weeks, leading the Nebraska offense to at least 450 yards each game.
Martinez has topped 400 yards of total offense three times in 2018, and has thrown for better than 250 yards in five straight Big Ten games.
Against Purdue on Sept. 29, Martinez threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 91 rushing yards. His 414 yards of total offense set a then-record for true freshman passing and total yards.
Martinez set a higher bar at Wisconsin. He threw for a Nebraska freshman record 384 yards and two touchdowns and accounted for a freshman record 441 yards of total offense.
He added his third career 400-yard total offense game with a complete effort against Minnesota. Martinez completed 25-of-29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He added a career-high 125 rushing yards and a touchdown and had a career-long 53-yard run.
• Martinez's 86.2 percent accuracy against Minnesota set a Nebraska record for best completion percentage with a minimum of 20 attempts. Martinez broke a record held by Dave Humm that stood for 44 years. The 86.2 completion rate was also the best in the FBS ranks this season for a player with more than 25 pass attempts.
• Martinez's three 400-yard career total offense games has already tied a Nebraska career record, matching Joe Ganz's career mark. He has five 300-yard total offense games this season, one shy of the NU season record.
• The 441 yards of total offense against Wisconsin not only set a school freshman record, it also ranked fourth on the overall single-game chart. His 414 yards of total offense against Purdue ranked 11th in school history.
• Martinez ranks third nationally among FBS freshmen in passing yards per game (240.3). He threw for more than 250 yards in a four-game stretch from Purdue to Minnesota, becoming the first NU quarterback to do that since 2015, and has topped 250 yards in five of six conference games.