So far, 2014 has been a down year for Big Ten football - but don't tell that to Nebraska.

Through four games, the Cornhuskers are one of just two Big Ten teams (Penn State) with a perfect record (4-0), the only squad in the West Division without a loss this season.

Nebraska's stock is on the rise in the national polls, ranked 21st in the AP poll, 19th in the USA Today/Coaches poll this week as they get ready to open conference play.

(Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

The Huskers roar into Saturday night's game against Illinois on the strength of a 41-31 win over Miami last weekend.

It was game that featured a record breaking performance for Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, a three turnover night from the Blackshirt defense, and a number of hard hitting plays, both before, and after, the whistle.

I talked to the 'Voice of the Huskers' Greg Sharpe about the win over the Hurricanes:

CHAMPAIGN, IL - SEPTEMBER 20: Head coach Tim Beckman of the Illinois Fighting Illini protests a call to the officials during the game against the Texas State Bobcats at Memorial Stadium on September 20, 2014 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

The Big Ten opener comes against an Illinois team that is 3-1, but still trying to find some consistency under head coach Tim Beckman.

I asked Greg about the match-up with an Illini team that comes in as 20-point underdogs:

Kickoff is 8:00pm Saturday in Lincoln.

Catch all of the Cornhusker action all season long on ESPN 99.1.