Nebraska Preview: Cornhuskers Host Bethune-Cookman
For the first time in nearly a year, Nebraska will take the field trying to string together back-to-back wins as the Cornhuskers take a break from the Big Ten Conference this week to host Bethune-Cookman of the FCS, Saturday (October 27).
The game is a make-up for the September 1 cancellation of the Nebraska-Akron game in Lincoln, which was scrapped by severe weather in the area of Memorial Stadium.
The Wildcats (4-4/2-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), from Daytona Beach, Florida, feature an up-tempo offense featuring what they call 'lightning strikes' - which are touchdown drives of three minutes or less. So far in 2018 BC has 23 of them.
Quarterback Akevious Williams is a dual threat running and throwing the football thanks to an offensive line that has not allowed a sack in four of the first seven games. Williams leads the MEAC in passing efficiency.
The Wildcats get a lot of receivers involved in the offense. Five different players have ten or more catches so far this season.
Defensively, linebacker Marquis Hendrix leads the team in tackles and also has a pair of interceptions. Linebacker Tydaruis Peters is coming off a 12-tackle performance against North Carolina A&T last week. Defensive end Marcus Ford is second in the conference with seven sacks. Nose tackle Uriah Gilbert is tough to run around at 6'3, 330 pounds.
On special teams, the Wildcats are eighth in the nation on kickoff returns, averaging nearly 27 yards a return. They lead the FCS with three kickoff returns for touchdowns.
Bethune-Cookman is the least penalized team in the MEAC.
Kickoff in Lincoln is 11:00 AM, Saturday. You can listen to the game live on ESPN 99.1.
The Cornhuskers (1-6/1-4 Big Ten) will be coming in sky high after their first victory in the Scott Frost era, a 53-28 win over Minnesota in Lincoln last weekend (October 20).
The victory snapped a ten-game losing streak, the longest in Nebraska football history.
Against the Gophers, the Huskers got two big first-quarter touchdown runs from Devine Ozigbo and scored the first 28 points of the game. Ozigbo finished the day with 152 yards on the ground.
Quarterback Adrian Martinez had his best day in a Nebraska uniform, completing 25 of his 29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 125 yards and a score.
Stanley Morgan led all Husker receivers with ten catches for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
In all, Nebraska racked up 659 yards of total offense.
Defensively, after keeping Minnesota off of the scoreboard for most of the first half, the Huskers gave up a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter and then back-to-back touchdowns to start the second half. The first score was set up by a 69-yard pass, the second drive was aided by a pair of Nebraska penalties.
But after watching a 28-point lead shrink to six, the Husker offense responded with a pair of big runs from Maurice Washington to set up a touchdown. Washington finished the day with 109 yards on the ground.
Later, the Big Red defense stuffed the Gophers inside the five-yard line. On Minnesota's next possession Dedrick Young picked off a pass in the end zone.
The 53 points scored by Nebraska were the most for the Huskers as a member of the Big Ten.