Huskers and Ducks Meet Saturday on FOX
GAME 2: NEBRASKA at OREGON
SEPT. 9, 2017 | AUTZEN STADIUM
EUGENE, ORE. | 3:30 p.m. (CT)
TV - FOX
RADIO - Husker Sports Network
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 98, XM 198
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com
Record: 1-0, 0-0 Big Ten
Last Game: def. Arkansas State, 43-36
Coach: Mike Riley
Career/NU Record: 109-91 (17th Year)/16-11 (3rd Year)
vs. Oregon: 5-10
Record: 1-0, 0-0 Pac-12
Last Game: def. So. Utah, 77-21
Coach: Willie Taggart
Career/Oregon Record: 41-45 (8th Year)/1-0 (1st Year)
vs. Nebraska: 0-1
Nebraska heads on the road for the first time in 2017 on Saturday, traveling to Eugene, Ore., to take on the Oregon Ducks. Game time for the Big Ten-Pac-12 showdown is set for 3:30 p.m. CT with national television coverage on FOX, and radio coverage on the IMG Husker Sports Network.
The Huskers are coming off a 43-36 victory over Arkansas State in the season opener in Lincoln. Nebraska used a balanced offensive attack against the Red Wolves, rolling up better than 200 yards both rushing and passing in the win. The victory marked the 31st time in 32 seasons Nebraska has posted a victory in its season opener.
The trip to Oregon completes a home-and-home series with the Ducks after NU won in Lincoln last season. The game will also be a homecoming of sorts for Head Coach Mike Riley, who is a native of Corvallis, and coached at Oregon State for 14 seasons.
The Ducks are coming off an impressive 77-21 victory over Southern Utah in their season opener Saturday night. Oregon rolled up 703 yards of total offense in its victory, including 348 rushing yards and 355 yards through the air.
Oregon is under the direction of first-year head coach Willie Taggart, who previously had head coaching stints at Western Kentucky and South Florida before taking over the Ducks.
Nebraska Football Top 10
• Nebraska is 890-372-40 all-time, one of only 10 schools with 800 wins.
• The Cornhuskers rank fourth all-time with their 890 victories.
• Nebraska has won five national titles (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997).
• The Huskers have won 46 conference championships.
• Nebraska’s 53 all-time bowl appearances rank second in NCAA history.
• Three Huskers have won the Heisman Trophy (Rodgers, Rozier, Crouch).
• Nebraska’s 107 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation.
• The Huskers have 110 first-team All-Americans in school history.
• Nebraska football is the only team in any sport in NCAA history to total 100 athletic and academic All-Americans.
• Memorial Stadium has been sold out every game since Nov. 2, 1962, a streak of 355 consecutive sellouts.
• Saturday's meeting wraps up a home-and-home series between the schools. Nebraska defeated Oregon, 35-32, in Lincoln last season. Saturday's meeting wraps up a home-and-home series between the schools. Nebraska defeated Oregon, 35-32, in Lincoln last season.
• Nebraska has won five straight games in the series, outscoring Oregon, 241-60, in that five-game win streak.
• Saturday's game will mark the first time in the past six meetings that neither team has been nationally ranked. Oregon was No. 22 entering last year's game, and Nebraska was ranked in the four previous meetings.
• Nebraska will be playing in the state of Oregon for the first time since a 1952 matchup with Oregon in Portland. Since that game in 1952 in Oregon, the Huskers have played games in 29 states as well as Japan. .
Riley Returns to Homestate for Matchup with Oregon
Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley will return to his homestate for Saturday's matchup with Oregon. A native of Corvallis, Riley attended Corvallis High School, before playing collegiately at Alabama.
Riley served two stints as the head coach at Oregon State, totaling 14 years on the Beavers' sideline. He left Oregon State following the 2014 season to take over as the head coach at Nebraska.
During his tenure at Oregon State, Riley's teams battled Oregon each year in a rivalry known as the Civil War.
• Riley owns a 5-10 record against Oregon, with three victories over ranked Duck teams, including last year's win in Lincoln.
• Riley's 2007 Oregon State team posted an overtime victory over No. 18 Oregon in Eugene. The winning touchdown in that game was scored by James Rodgers, who is now Nebraska's Director of Player Development.
Nebraska has Long History of Battling Pac-12 Foes
Nebraska’s meeting with Oregon continues a tradition of playing marquee non-conference games against Pac-12 opponents. Since 1983, Nebraska has played 31 regular-season non-conference games against teams that were in the Pac-12 at game time.
• Nebraska is 23-8 against the Pac-12 in regular season games since 1983, including 3-0 against Oregon. Additionally in the regular season since 1983, NU is 6-1 vs. Arizona State, 5-3 vs. UCLA, 2-0 vs. California, 4-2 vs. Washington, 2-0 vs. Oregon State, 1-0 vs. Washington State and 0-2 vs. USC. Nebraska is 49-18-2 all-time against current Pac-12 member Colorado, a Husker foe in the Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 Conferences.
• Nebraska has also played five bowl games against Pac-12 teams in that time period, going 2-3 in those games.
• Nebraska played at least one non-conference game against a Pac-12 foe for 17 straight seasons from 1983 to 1999.
• Nebraska Head Coach Mike Riley is 2-0 against Pac-12 foes while at Nebraska. The Huskers defeated Oregon last season in Lincoln and posted a win over UCLA in the 2015 Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif.
• Nebraska has six games on its future schedules against Pac-12 opponents. The Huskers are set to meet Colorado four times between 2018 and 2024, beginning with a Sept. 8, 2018, matchup at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska will play Arizona in 2028 and 2031.
Huskers Look for Success in 2017 Road Opener
Nebraska will open its 2017 road schedule on Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium. This marks Nebraska's only non-league road game, before four Big Ten road games later this season.
• Riley is 1-1 in road openers at Nebraska. The Huskers defeated Northwestern last season in Evanston, after losing in overtime at Miami in 2015.
• Nebraska is 14-6 in its past 20 road openers dating back to 1997.
Trip to Oregon Part of Attractive 2017 NU Schedule
The trip to Oregon on Saturday is part of an impressive 2017 schedule for the Huskers.
Nebraska plays host to a strong seven-game home schedule, as part of an attractive schedule that includes nine Big Ten games. Nebraska posted a perfect 7-0 home record in 2016, just the second undefeated record in Lincoln since 2001.
The home schedule will be highlighted by matchups against 2016 College Football Playoff participant Ohio State, Big Ten West Division champion Wisconsin and Iowa. Northwestern and Rutgers will also visit during Big Ten play. Nebraska will host Northern Illinois in non-conference play on Sept. 16.
The Huskers make Big Ten road trips to Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and 2016 Big Ten champion Penn State. Nebraska’s 2017 schedule features games against seven teams that played in a bowl game last year.
Riley in Third Season at Helm of Husker Program
Head Coach Mike Riley is in his third season as the Nebraska head coach in 2017. Riley has guided the Huskers to a 16-11 record.
• Riley is in his 26th season as a head coach, tying for the second-most experience of any FBS head coach entering the 2017 season.
• Riley is one of eight active FBS head coaches who also has experience as an NFL head coach.
• Riley owns 16 victories over nationally ranked opponents during his college head coaching tenure.
First-Time Starters Make Debut Against Arkansas State
While veterans hold many key positions in the Husker lineup, Nebraska is also looking to several new faces to play key roles in 2017. In the season opener against Arkansas State, six Huskers made their first carer starts at Nebraska. Five of those players were making their first college starts in addition to Lee making his first start in Lincoln.
First-Time starters in season opener
• Tre Bryant, IB
• Tyler Hoppes, TE
• Connor Ketter, TE
• Luke Gifford, LB
• Eric Lee Jr., CB
Bryant Carries Heavy Load in Nebraska Run Game
Sophomore I-back Tre Bryant earned the starting job with a strong preseason practice effort. The 5-11, 200-pound Bryant then showed Husker fans why he sits atop the depth chart in the season opener.
Bryant carried 31 times for 192 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. It marked the most rushing yards for a Husker in 25 games, dating back to Terrell Newby's 198 yards against South Alabama in 2015.
• Bryant's 31 carries were the most by a Husker since Ameer Abdullah carried 35 times for 229 yards against Miami in September of 2014.
• Bryant's previous career highs were 13 carries for 56 yards against Maryland last season. Bryant reached those totals before halftime against Arkansas State with 13 carries for 78 yards before intermission.
• Bryant had the two longest carries of his career with runs of 24 and 35 yards. The 24-yarder set up a second-quarter touchdown, while his 35-yard rush came on the opening drive of the second half and led to another touchdown.
• Bryant was impressive on first down, averaging 6.6 yards per carry on first-down attempts.
• Only four FBS players through Saturday games posted more rushing yards than Bryant's 192-yard effort.
Lee Makes Solid NU Debut
Quarterback Tanner Lee was efficient and turnover-free in his Nebraska starting debut. The 6-4, 220-pound Lee became just the third opening-day starting quarterback for the Huskers since 2010, joining Taylor Martinez and Tommy Armstrong Jr.
Lee completed 19-of-32 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns against the Red Wolves. He also guided an NU offense that did not have a turnover for the fourth time in five games dating back to last season.
• The 238 passing yards by Lee were the third-most by an NU quarterback in their starting debut. The yardage total trailed only Ryker Fyfe (407 yards at Purdue, 2015) and Joe Ganz (405 yards at Kansas, 2007). Lee's 238 yards were the most passing yards by a first-time starter in a Husker win.
• Lee has made 20 collegiate starts, including 19 as the starting quarterback at Tulane in 2014 and 2015.
Veteran Receicing Duo Leading Passing Attack
Junior Dedrick Young II looks to lead Nebraska’s linebackers this fall as the Huskers transition from a 4-3 defensive scheme to a 3-4 attack. Young played on the outside the past two seasons, but has moved to an inside linebacker spot, where he and senior Chris Weber give NU a veteran inside linebacker tandem.
Young has totaled 121 tackles in his first two seasons. He ranks second among all 2017 Huskers in career tackles despite his junior status. He is only the third Husker to record 100 tackles prior to his junior season.
Veteran Receiving Duo to Lead Passing Attack
Lee has the luxury of two veteran and proven pass catchers to lead the receiving corps. Senior De'Mornay Pierson-El and junior Stanley Morgan Jr. both have extensive playing experience and are poised for strong 2017 seasons.
The duo leads a receiving corps that also features a pair of explosive newcomers in redshirt freshman JD Spielman and true freshman Tyjon Lindsey.
• Morgan was Nebraska's second-leading receiver last season with 33 catches for 453 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He opened the season in strong fashion on Saturday night with five receptions for 102 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown reception.
• Morgan's five catches tied his career high while his 102 receiving yards marked the first time he has topped the century mark as a Husker. His 44-yard catch was the second longest catch in his three seasons as a Husker.
• Morgan is nearing the Huskers' 1,000-yard receiving club. He has 63 career receptions for 859 yards, leaving him 141 yards from becoming the 25th Husker with 1,000 receiving yards.
• Pierson-El earned All-America honors as a punt returner in 2014 and has shown flashes of his potential as a receiver. He opened the 2017 season with two catches for 20 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown.
• Pierson-El is a versatile performer who is an electrying punt returner and is used in the NU run game. Against Arkansas State, he rushed two times for 23 yards and narrowly missed a 71-yard touchdown run as he just stepped out of bounds.
• Pierson-El has 57 career catches for 706 yards and seven touchdowns.
Five Players Elected as 2017 Team Captains
The Nebraska football program named five team captains on Saturday, Aug. 26, as selected by a vote of their teammates.
The group consists of three seniors and two juniors, and three players on offense and two defensive standouts. The 2017 captains also include three Nebraska natives and two players who began their Husker career as walk-on student-athletes before earning scholarships.
2017 Nebraska team captains
• Jerald Foster, Jr., OG, Lincoln, Neb.
• Joshua Kalu, Sr., S, Houston, Texas
• Tanner Lee, Jr., QB, Destrehan, La.
• Luke McNitt, Sr., FB, Kearney, Neb.
• Chris Weber, Sr., LB, Elkhorn, Neb.
• The three Nebraska natives (Foster, McNitt, Weber) to be named captains is the most in-state captains since Nebraska also had three in-state captains in 2001 (Eric Crouch, Jeremy Slechta, Dave Volk). The Huskers have had at least one Nebraska native as a captain for 12 consecutive seasons.
• Foster is the third captain from Lincoln in four seasons, joining Jake Cotton (2014) and Josh Banderas (2016).
• A Husker offensive lineman has served as a captain for five straight seasons. Foster joins Spencer Long (2013), Jake Cotton (2014), Alex Lewis (2015) and Dylan Utter (2016).
• Kalu is the fifth defensive back to be a captain since 2013, joining Ciante Evans (2013), Corey Cooper (2014), Josh Mitchell (2014) and Nathan Gerry (2015, 2016).
• McNitt and Weber are the fourth and fifth players since 2013 to earn the role of a captain after starting their career as a walk-on. They join Spencer Long (2013), Jack Gangwish (2015) and Dylan Utter (2016) in that group.
• McNitt is the first fullback to serve as a captain since Judd Davies in 2003.
• Lee’s selection marks the fourth time in six seasons a quarterback has served as a Husker captain, joining Taylor Martinez (2012, 2013) and Tommy Armstrong Jr. (2015).
Nebraska Walk-On Tradition Continues
Mike Riley placed six former walk-ons on scholarship before the start of the season. Five of the six members of the group are fifth-year seniors and four are Nebraska natives.
Walk-ons awarded scholarships
• Brett Classen, WR (Medina, Minn.)
• Cole Conrad, OL (Fremont, Neb.)
• Tyler Hoppes, TE (Lincoln, Neb.)
• Connor Ketter, TE (Norfolk, Neb.)
• Luke McNitt, FB (Kearney, Neb.)
• Gabe Rahn, WR (Le Mars, Iowa)
Nebraska has a long tradition of relying on its walk-on program to help build the foundation of the program. Six walk-ons have gone on to earn first-team All-America honors for Nebraska, while 13 walk-ons have earned first-team academic All-America recognition.
2017 Huskers Feature Prominent Fathers
Husker fans could see some famous faces at Nebraska games this fall, as three freshmen feature prominent fathers.
• Redshirt freshman JD Spielman is the adopted son of Minnesota Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, and JD's uncle is former Ohio State All-America linebacker and NFL standout Chris Spielman, who now serves as an NFL analyst for Fox Sports.
• Freshman fullback Ben Miles is the son of former national championship head coach Les Miles. Les compiled a 141-55 record in 15 seasons as a head coach at Oklahoma State and LSU. He led the Tigers to the 2007 national title and an appearance in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.
• Freshman wide receiver Kade Warner is the son of former two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner. In addition to a distinguished Arena Football League career, Kurt enjoyed a 12-year NFL career with the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals. He threw for more than 32,000 yards in his career and ranks seventh in NFL history with an average of 260.8 passing yards per game. Kurt was also a four-time Pro Bowler, a two-time NFL MVP (1999 & 2001) and the Super Bowl XXXIV MVP. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
Nebraska's full notes package can be found in the PDF file at the top of this page