Nebraska coach Mike Riley was part of a long rivalry at his previous coaching stop, Oregon State. The Beavers and Oregon engage in an annual end-of-season game dubbed the “Civil War.” The Huskers haven’t had that kind of rival for some time — certainly not since joining the Big Ten — but Riley does see the Nebraska-Iowa game developing some heat over the next several years.
Tommy Armstrong won’t have to undergo any concussion protocol this week, but he has been listed as day-to-day by Nebraska coach Mike Riley as the quarterback recovers from a hamstring injury suffered on his game-winning touchdown run against Minnesota.
One of the best wide receivers in school history, senior Jordan Westerkamp ranks among the top five in most receiving categories at NU. He missed two games earlier this season after suffering a back injury against Illinois on Oct. 1.
Nebraska had watched opponents starting to put the brakes on its run game over the last month, and it bottomed out at Ohio State. The 78 rushing yards against the Buckeyes marked the Huskers’ lowest output since being held to 77 last season at Purdue.
After playing in all 13 games as a freshman in 2014, junior wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El dealt with foot and knee injuries in 2015, limiting him to five games. He totaled eight touchdowns in his first 18 games at Nebraska, but has yet to score this season as he continues to get more comfortable on the field.
It’s possible that Nebraska could be heading into the Illinois game without offensive guard Tanner Farmer and receiver Alonzo Moore, with head coach Mike Riley calling both doubtful on Monday.
Senior defensive tackle Kevin Maurice said the feeling around the team is positive compared to where Nebraska was at this time last year, but added the Huskers still have a lot of work to do. Nebraska started the season with three home games and will begin Big Ten play Saturday night at Northwestern.