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Illinois057719
25  Nebraska14913339
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39


Illinois (3-1) at Nebraska (3-1)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 5, 12 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Memorial Stadium (87,000) -- Lincoln, Nebraska. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Illinois 3-0, Nebraska 3-1. Away Record: Illinois 0-0, Nebraska 0-0. Neutral Record: Illinois 0-1, Nebraska 0-0. Conference Record: Illinois 0-0, Nebraska 0-0. Series Record: Nebraska leads, 7-2-1.

GAME NOTES: For the first time as Big Ten Conference opponents, the Nebraska Cornhuskers will face the Illinois Fighting Illini as the two are set to square off Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

This marks the conference opener for both teams, and it is the first true road game of the season for Illinois. The Fighting Illini are looking to snap a 14- game conference losing streak dating back to 2011, although they have already eclipsed last year's win total with a 3-1 start after non-league play. They are coming off last weekend's 50-14 rout of Miami-Ohio.

Nebraska is coming off a bye and will have had two weeks to prepare. In their last action, the Cornhuskers wrapped up the non-league portion of their schedule with a 59-20 win over South Dakota State on Sept. 21. Saturday's Homecoming contest concludes the team's five-game homestand.

Nebraska leads the all-time series, 7-2-1, although this marks the first meeting between these two schools since 1986.

The Illinois offense is averaging a robust 478.5 yards and 40.2 points per contest, and the team has scored a school-record 161 points over its first four games.

The proverbial light bulb has seemingly illuminated for fourth-year starting quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, who is completing 67 percent of his passes while averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game. Scheelhaase leads the Big Ten in passing efficiency (174.8, 10th), passing yards per game (290.5, 17th) and total offense (298.3 ypg, 27th) through four games. Last week against Miami, he set a school record for TD passes in a quarter when he threw four in the second quarter. For comparison, he totaled four TD passes in 10 starts all of last season.

The leader of the Illini defense is senior linebacker and Butkus Award candidate Jonathan Brown, who currently leads the Big Ten and ranks sixth nationally in tackles per game (11.8). Sophomore linebacker Mason Monheim is right on his heels, ranking second in the conference with 9.5 stops per game. That duo is to the defense what Scheelhaase has been to the offense.

As a unit, however, Illinois has had its struggles defending the pass until limiting Miami to only 95 passing yards last week. Still, Illinois ranks 97th nationally with 271.5 passing yards per game allowed. The Illini have notched only one interception on the season, a total they certainly hope to increase in this matchup. Despite giving up yards between the 20s, opponents have failed to score a touchdown in seven of 16 trips inside the red zone.

Nebraska's offense put on a clinic against South Dakota State, piling up 34 first downs to go along with 335 rushing yards and 310 passing yards to mark the first time in school history the team went over 300 yards in both rushing and passing. The 645 yards of total offense is the highest total in six seasons under coach Bo Pelini, and it marked the second time this season the Cornhuskers managed to eclipse 50 points on the scoreboard.

While the gaudy numbers came against an opponent from the FCS, they also came without injured starting quarterback Taylor Martinez, who is probable for Saturday's game with a foot injury. In his place against South Dakota State, Tommy Armstrong, Jr. and Ron Kellogg III combined to complete 20-of-24 passes for 305 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Ameer Abdullah tacked on 139 rushing yards and a score.

The defense has been another story for Nebraska, last Saturday's blowout win not withstanding. The unit enters Saturday's contest ranked 107th in the nation in total defense (463.8 ypg) and is allowing an average of 27.0 points per game. On the ground, opponents have averaged a healthy 4.9 yards per carry. The Huskers have also allowed 284.2 passing yards per game, although they have been able to generate nine interceptions.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste is among the national leaders with four interceptions, while teammate Ciante Evans has three. In the win over South Dakota State, Nebraska tallied five sacks and a pair of interceptions. However, Jackrabbits running back Zach Zenner went off for 202 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 21 carries.

This matchup has all the makings of a high-scoring shootout, as both offenses can score in bunches while both defenses have been a bit too generous at times. Give a slight edge to the Cornhuskers, who are playing at home and have won 35-of-38 league openers.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nebraska 45, Illinois 35

10/02 10:34:48 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13