Nebraska Preview: Cornhuskers Host Troy
One week after letting one slip away at home, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have one final chance to post a non-conference win in 2018 when they host Troy, Saturday (September 15) morning, in a game you can hear on ESPN 99.1.
The Huskers (0-1) will have a game-time decision to make about the status of starting quarterback Adrian Martinez, who left the Colorado game early with a knee injury. Andrew Bunch would get the start if Martinez can't go. Bunch was 4-of-9 passing last week.
This week's opponent is Troy University out of Alabama.
The Trojans (1-1), from the Sun Belt Conference, are coming off back-to-back ten win seasons, but have a very young roster with just a dozen scholarship seniors.
Their offense has amassed nearly identical totals running (416 yards) and throwing (440 yards) the football in 2018.
Quarterback Kaleb Barker has completed 65 percent of his passes for five touchdowns in two games. Deondre Douglas and Damion Willis have combined for 18 of those catches for 203 yards and four scores.
On the ground, Barker, Jabir Daughtry-Frye, DK Billingsley, BJ Smith, and Jamarius Henderson are all averaging better than 30 yards a game.
Troy's offense has been very good in the Red Zone (8-of-10), but has allowed eight sacks in two games.
Defensively, the Trojans are in the Top Ten in the nation in forcing turnovers this season and were second in the FBS in tackles for loss (112) last season.
In 2018, Antonio Showers has two sacks. Tron Folsom has a pair of interceptions.
On special teams, a trio of players have kickoff returns for touchdowns in their careers, including Marcus Jones, who had three last season.
Kickoff in Lincoln is 11:00 AM, Saturday. You can listen to the game live on ESPN 99.1.
The Huskers open Big Ten Conference play at Michigan next Saturday (September 22).
Last Saturday (September 8) Nebraska fumbled away their first two possessions, part of three total turnovers to go with 11 penalties, in a 33-28 loss to Colorado.
A Greg Davis fumble on the first possession and a Martinez turnover on the second possession each led to Buffalo touchdowns and an early 14-0 deficit for the Huskers.
But Nebraska's offense responded with three long touchdown drives to reel off 21 straight points and led 21-17 at halftime. Martinez finished the first half 9-of-11 passing for 86 yards and with eight carries for 86 yards and two scores.
The Huskers extended the lead to eight in the third quarter when Martinez hooked up with JD Spielman for a 57-yard score to make it 28-20.
But the offense sputtered on the final five drives of the game with a missed field goal, a pair of unsuccessful fourth down conversions, a punt, and a Martinez interception. Martinez was knocked out of the game with less than five minutes to play.
Colorado quarterback Steven Montez orchestrated the game-winning seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive in the final 2:23. The drive was kept alive by a personal foul penalty on Nebraska's Antonio Reed third-and-24.
I talked with the 'Voice of the Huskers' Greg Sharpe about Colorado loss and the match-up with Troy: