Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Huskers Return Home, Host Illini at 11 AM on BTN

By NU Athletic Communications

LINCOLN, NEB. | 11 A.M. (CT)

TV - BTN (Brandon Gaudin, Glen Mason, Elise Menaker)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin)
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 99, XM 201
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App

Record: 2-7, 1-5 Big Ten
Last Game: lost to Ohio State, 36-31
Rankings: NR
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 21-14 (3rd Year)/2-7 (1st Year) 
vs. Illinois: 0-0

Record: 4-5, 2-4 Big Ten
Last Game: def. Minnesota, 55-31
Rankings: NR
Coach: Lovie Smith
Career/ILL Record: 98-111 (14th Year)/9-24 (3rd Year)
vs. Nebraska: 0-2

The Matchup
Nebraska returns to Memorial Stadium on Saturday for a Big Ten West Division matchup with Illinois. The game will be televised on BTN with kickoff set for 11 a.m. The contest can also be heard on the IMG Husker Sports Network.

Nebraska enters the game at 2-7 overall and 1-5 in Big Ten play, following a 36-31 loss at No. 8 Ohio State on Saturday. The Huskers held a 21-16 halftime advantage, before the Buckeyes rallied in the second half for a victory. Nebraska continued to make strides in the matchup at Ohio State, putting up 450 yards of total offense, while the defense had three takeaways for the second straight week.

Illinois comes to Lincoln with a 4-5 record, including a 2-4 conference mark. The Fighting Illini are coming off an impressive 55-31 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. Illinois has built its offensive attack in 2018 around a strong rushing attack. Illinois averages 249.4 rushing yards per game and rolled up 430 rushing yards in last week's win against Minnesota.

Nebraska has won four of five meetings with Illinois since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011. Nebraska is a perfect 3-0 against the Illini in Lincoln.

This Week's Numbers
100 -
Saturday's game will mark Nebraska's annual Veterans Day/Military Salute at Memorial Stadium. In conjunction with the game, Nebraska will be recognizing the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on Saturday and at a Sunday morning Armistice Day Display Dedication. .

1,2 - Illinois and Nebraska are the nation's first and second-most improved rushing teams in 2018. The Illini average 143.8 yards per game more than in 2017, while NU rushes for 216.6 yards per game, an improvement of 109 yards per contest over 2017.

2500 - Stanley Morgan Jr. needs just 32 receiving yards to hit 2,500 career receiving yards. He would be the second Husker to reach that milestone. Morgan Jr. needs just 12 receiving yards to move into second place on the Nebraska career receiving yardage list.

Nebraska-Illinois Series
• As members of the Big Ten West Division, Nebraska and Illinois meet each season.

• Nebraska has captured four of the five meetings since joining the Big Ten, with each of its four victories by 15 or more points. 

• Nebraska has won the three meetings at Memorial Stadium since 2013 by an average score of 38.3-16.3.

• One of Nebraska's memorable victories in the series occurred on Oct. 3, 1925, a 14-0 Nebraska win in Champaign. It was the only time in Red Grange's Illinois career that he was held scoreless in a home game. 

NU to Wear 'Memorial Tribue' Alternate Uniforms Saturday
Nebraska will wear new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniforms Saturday when the Huskers take on Illinois.

2018 marks 100 years since the culmination of World War I (WWI). The new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniforms pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, while also celebrating Memorial Stadium. The venue was originally named Memorial Stadium to honor the more than 700 Nebraskans who died in WWI and those who served in the Civil War, Spanish-American wars. Memorial Stadium also honors Nebraskans who have served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and more.

In collaboration with University of Nebraska Athletics, the new adidas Primeknit A1 ‘Memorial Tribute’ alternate uniform was specifically inspired by the first team to play in Memorial Stadium and continues the school’s age-old tradition of honoring Nebraska’s veterans. The field hosted its first football game on October 20, 1923 and this will be the Huskers’ 96th season at the stadium.
Similar to the 1923 Huskers’ jerseys, the 2018 Nebraska ‘Memorial Tribute’ uniform features a throwback tonal, paneled front. The buff-colored pant is designed to resemble the first façade of Memorial Stadium, which was also a characteristic of the 1923 uniform. Additionally, the new alternate uniform showcases key aspects of the 85,000-seat stadium, including the numbers and fonts which were inspired by the original clock in Memorial Stadium.

To complete the head-to-toe look, the team will wear a replica contemporary form 1923 helmet, complete with cream-white stitched strapping details, along with traditional black adizero 5-Star and FREAK cleats.

Offense Hopes to Sustian Strong Momentum
Head Coach Scott Frost and his staff oversaw one of the nation's most potent offenses at UCF in 2017. In the past six games, Frost's Nebraska offense has posted numbers among the nation's best units.

Nebraska has gained at least 450 yards in each of the past six games, tying a school record for the longest such 450-yard streak in NU history. NU also topped 450 yards in sixth straight games in 1972, 1982, 1994 and 1995.

Nebraska opened the year with 565 yards of total offense against Colorado, and has since posted three more games with better than 500 yards. NU had a season-high 659 yards against Minnesota, after posting 582 yards against Purdue and 518 yards at No. 16 Wisconsin. 

• Nebraska averages 468.9 yards of total offense to rank third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally.

• Nebraska's 659 yards of offense against Minnesota was its highest total since gaining 787 yards against FAU in the 2014 season opener.

• The total offense output against Minnesota was Nebraska's largest in a Big Ten Conference game (since 2011). It was NU's highest total offense in a conference game since having 710 yards against Kansas State in 2007. 

• Nebraska has four 500-yard offensive games this season. NU has not had five 500-yard total offense games in a season since 2000. 

• Nebraska has gained better than 450 yards in each of the past six games and has never had seven straight 450-yard games. 

• The consecutive 500-yard games against Purdue and Wisconsin marked the first time NU had back-to-back 500-yard outputs in Big Ten games. It was the first time NU had consecutive 500-yard games in conference play since the final two Big 12 games in 2007. • The 565 yards against Colorado in the opener marked the first 500-yard total offense game for the Huskers since posting 556 yards at Northwestern in 2016. 

• The total offense output against Colorado was the best at the time by Nebraska in 35 games, dating back to a 610-yard effort against Southern Miss in 2015. 

• Nebraska is one of only six Power Five Conference schools averaging 200 rushing yards and 250 passing yards per game. The other teams in that group include Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Syracuse.

Frost and Staff Guiding Another Offensive Revival
After helping turn Central Florida into the nation’s most improved offense in 2017, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost and his five offensive assistants - all of whom were on Frost’s UCF staff last season - are producing an encore performance this season in Lincoln.

• Nebraska is averaging 83.9 more total yards this season than it did last year, helping the Huskers climb 68 spots in the national rankings from 87th in 2017 to 19th this season.

• NU is averaging 109.1 more rushing yards in 2018 than it did in 2017, helping the Huskers climb 87 spots in the national rankings from 119th in 2017 to 32nd this season.

• Nebraska’s offensive turnaround is led largely by underclassmen, who have produced 80.2 percent of the Huskers’ total offensive yards. In fact, NU’s freshmen and sophomores have combined to average 361.4 yards of total offense per game.

• In its second season at UCF in 2017, the staff helped the Knights increase their offense by 179.7 yards per game from the 2016 season, as the Knights climbed from 113th nationally in total offense in 2016 to fifth in 2017.

Nation's Most Improved Rushing Games to Battle
The naton's two most improved rushing teams will square off on Saturday in Lincoln. Illinois is averaging 249.4 rushing yards per game, a 143.8-yard improvement over last season. Nebraska averages 216.6 yards per game, 109.1 yards better than 2017.

• Leading the improved rushing attacks, are two of the naton's top runners in yards per attempt. Illinois' Reggie Corbin leads the Big Ten averaging 9.1 yards per carry. Nebraska's Devine Ozigbo averages 6.9 yards per rush, including 7.3 ypc in conference games. 

• Nebraska has a history of success in the running game against Illinois. In the last four games vs. the Illini in Lincoln (1985, 2013, 2014, 2016), Nebraska has averaged 363 rushing yards per game, including more than 450 yards in both 1985 and 2014. 

• In five meetings as Big Ten opponents, Nebraska has had five 100-yard rushers, including a pair of 200-yard rushing games by Ameer Abdullah. Most recently, Ozigbo rushed 18 times for 106 yards and a touchdown at Illinois last season. 

Record Duo Continues to Shine
In 2017, Stanley Morgan Jr. and JD Spielman combined for 1,816 receiving yards, the highest two-player total in Husker history.

Morgan set an NU record with 986 receiving yards in 2017. Spielman added 830 receiving yards, a total that ranked seventh in school history and was the most ever by a Husker freshman.

The duo is once again helping provide an explosive offense for Nebraska in 2018, and is on track to produce bigger numbers this fall.

• In nine games in 2018, the duo has combined for 110 receptions for 1,472 yards and 13 touchdowns. Those totals put them ahead of their combined pace in the 2017 season.

• Spielman and Morgan are one of four pass-catching duos in the nation to each have more than 700 receiving yards in 2018. The other schools with a pair of 700-yard receivers are Hawaii, Oklahoma and Old Dominion.

Martinez Brings Dual Threat to Nebraska Offense
Martinez has shown the ability to be a perfect fit in Coach Scott Frost's high-powered offense. Martinez has excelled in the past six weeks, leading the Nebraska offense to at least 450 yards each game.

Martinez has topped 400 yards of total offense three times in 2018, and has thrown for better than 250 yards in five straight Big Ten games.

Against Purdue on Sept. 29, Martinez threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 91 rushing yards. His 414 yards of total offense set a then-record for true freshman passing and total yards.

Martinez set a higher bar at Wisconsin. He threw for a Nebraska freshman record 384 yards and two touchdowns and accounted for a freshman record 441 yards of total offense.

He added his third career 400-yard total offense game with a complete effort against Minnesota. Martinez completed 25-of-29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He added a career-high 125 rushing yards and a touchdown and had a career-long 53-yard run.

• Martinez's 86.2 percent accuracy against Minnesota set a Nebraska record for best completion percentage with a minimum of 20 attempts. Martinez broke a record held by Dave Humm that stood for 44 years. The 86.2 completion rate was also the best in the FBS ranks this season for a player with more than 25 pass attempts.

• Martinez's three 400-yard career total offense games has already tied a Nebraska career record, matching Joe Ganz's career mark. He has five 300-yard total offense games this season, one shy of the NU season record.

• The 441 yards of total offense against Wisconsin not only set a school freshman record, it also ranked fourth on the overall single-game chart. His 414 yards of total offense against Purdue ranked 11th in school history.

• Martinez ranks third nationally among FBS freshmen in passing yards per game (240.3). He threw for more than 250 yards in a four-game stretch from Purdue to Minnesota, becoming the first NU quarterback to do that since 2015, and has topped 250 yards in five of six conference games.

Nebraska's full notes package can be found in the PDF file at the top of this page


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