After beginning the front half of the college football season, Nebraska has the worst record in school history at 0-6, the Huskers will search for their first win of season at home against the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Minnesota is 3-3 on the season and coming off of three straight losses including last week’s loss to Ohio State, 30-14.
For the Golden Gopher offense, at the helm will be freshman Zack Annexstad. Annexstad has 1,142 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions on the season. He is a true pocket passer with little ability to run so getting after him in the pass game will be crucial for Nebraska.
On the ground, the Gophers will be led by freshman Mohamed Ibrahim. Ibrahim has 71 carries, 415 yards, and two touchdowns to lead the Gophers. This includes a big game last week against Ohio state in which he carried the ball 23 times for 157 yards and those two touchdowns. He has a nice average of 5.8 yards per carry so he is a home run hitter for this Golden Gopher team.
Junior Tyler Johnson will be the main target for Annexstad. He has 36 catches for 521 yards and six scores. Johnson is averaging 14.5 yards per catch so he has shown the ability to make big plays.
Senior linebacker Blake Cashman has been a steady linebacker as he has recorded 47 tackles this season. That also includes 8.5 tackles for loss this year so he will be the anchor of that defense. On the defensive line Carter Coughlin is having a big season with 22 tackles and a whopping seven sacks. The Husker offensive line will need to keep tabs on him as he can cause a lot of problems.
For Nebraska, it was another week that looked the corner was turned as they claimed a lead over Northwestern for a good chunk of the fourth quarter, the the Wildcats forced overtime and won the game 34-31.
One of the major bright spots was the ability to run the ball. The Husker offense accumulated 231 yards and were led by senior Devine Ozigbo as he recorded 159 yards on 22 carries and two scores. Martinez once again looked pretty solid recording 251 yards and a touchdown to lead the Big Red through the air.
Look for that ability to run the ball to set up the pass for the Huskers. JD Spielman continues to put up good numbers with an eight catch 76 yard game. He added a score as well to his tally. With the numbers lagging behind this season for senior Stanley Morgan Jr., he is due for a big game. Watch for him to breakout against a younger secondary for the Golden Gophers.
On the defensive side, Nebraska allowed just 32 yards on the ground due to great tackling and excellent run fits. But the Husker defense allowed 455 yards passing and a crucial late game drive to give Northwestern an opportunity to win the game.
It will be pivotal for Nebraska to stop the run like last week, and be effective in pass defense. Linebackers, senior Luke Gifford and junior Mohammed Barry have continued their steady play as they hold down that side of the rock. Watch for the Huskers to be much more aggressive in pass defense looking to force more turnovers in a must win game.
You can hear the game on Nebraska’s longest running affiliate 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM with pregame beginning at 11:30 A.M. and kickoff set for 2:30 P.M.