Huskers Host Hoosiers for First Time Since 1977

LINCOLN, NEB. | 2:30 P.M. (CT)

2019 Record: 4-3, 2-1 Big Ten
Last Game: Minnesota (L, 34-7)
Rankings: NR
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 27-18 (4th Year)/8-11 (2nd Year)
vs. Indiana: First Meeting

2019 Record: 5-2, 2-2 Big Ten
Last Game: Maryland (W, 34-28
Rankings: RV
Coach: Tom Allen
Career/IU Record: 15-17 (3rd Year)/Same
vs. Nebraska: First Meeting

The Matchup
Nebraska gets back to its Big Ten schedule following a bye week, by playing host to Indiana in a cross-division matchup on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.The game is set to kick off shortly after 2:30 p.m. CT and will be televised by BTN. The game can be heard on the Husker Sports Network from Learfield-IMG.

Nebraska will enter the contest with a 4-3 overall record and a 2-2 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Huskers dropped a 34-7 contest at Minnesota on Oct. 12, prior to a bye week. Nebraska will look to get back on track at home, where the Huskers have won seven of their past eight games dating back to last season.

Indiana will come to Lincoln with a 5-2 record, including 2-2 in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers are coming off a 34-28 victory at Maryland on Saturday. Indiana owns a high-powered passing attack, averaging 307.3 yards per game through the air.  The Hoosiers also have one the league’s most improved defensive units, allowing just 297.0 yards and 20.9 points per game.

Saturday will mark Nebraska’s annual Military and Veteran’s Salute at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers will honor retired and active military members throughout the game, including a joint Color Guard during the National Anthem.

Series History
The schools have met 20 times in series history, but just once as Big Ten opponents. The Huskers defeated Indiana, 27-22, in Bloomington in 2016.

• Indiana holds a 9-8-3 edge in the all-time series, including a 7-5-2 lead in the series in Lincoln.

• Nebraska has won each of the past five meetings between the schools, including four straight seasons from 1975 to 1978.

• Among Big Ten schools, Indiana was Nebraska’s third-most common opponent before the Huskers joined the league in 2011.

Nebraska Joins 900-Win Club
Nebraska reached a major milestone in the history of its program with its win at Illinois on Sept. 21, becoming the fifth program in the country with 900 all-time victories. Nebraska joined Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and Alabama in the 900-win club. Oklahoma and Notre Dame joined the 900-win list a week later on Sept. 28.

Rk. School (Wins)
1. Michigan (958)
2. Ohio State (918)
3. Texas (913)
4. Alabama (912)
5. Oklahoma (903)
6. Notre Dame (902)
7. Nebraska (901)

Frost Offenses Traditionally Impressive on Opening Drives
One common theme of a Scott Frost-led offense has been a fast start, and that has held true for Frost’s tenure in Lincoln. Nebraska has scored points on three of seven drives in 2019.

Nebraska received the opening kickoff against South Alabama and drove nine plays and 81 yards for a touchdown to a take a 7-0 lead. At Colorado, NU drove 96 yards in five plays on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead. The Huskers opened with a field goal on the game’s first drive against Northern Illinois. The opening-drive success has continued a theme throughout Frost’s head coaching tenure.

• Nebraska scored on its first possession seven times in 12 games last season, including six of the final seven games. All seven of NU’s opening scoring drives resulted in touchdowns. In Frost’s two seasons, Nebraska has scored on its opening possession 10 times in 19 games.

• NU received the opening kickoff nine times in 2018 and scored touchdowns on six of those drives while punting only once. The Huskers had a game-opening touchdown drive to take a 7-0 lead in five straight games during the Big Ten Conference season.

• The Huskers scored on nearly 60 percent of their opening possessions in 2018, even with a pair of drive-ending turnovers in opponent territory. Nebraska’s average touchdown drive covered more than 74 yards, including one 80-yard touchdown march and five 75-yard scoring drives.

• Over the last three seasons – 2018-19 at Nebraska and 2017 at UCF – Frost’s offenses have scored a touchdown on their opening possession 18 times in 32 games (56 percent). The average length of the touchdown drive in that span is 74 yards.

• In three-plus years as a head coach, Frost’s offenses have scored on their opening drive 23 times in 45 games, with 21 touchdowns and two field goals. In 85 games over six-plus seasons as a play-caller, Frost’s offenses have scored on their first possession of the game 44 times, putting points on the board in more than half of their opening possessions.

• Frost’s Opening Drive Scoring Percentage: 52% (44 of 85 drives)
• Frost’s Opening Drive Touchdown Percentage: 45% (38 of 85 drives)

Blackshirt Defense Looks for Strong Second Half
The Nebraska defense has focused on taking a step forward in 2019, specifically causing more turnovers and big impact plays. Nebraska has shown that ability in stretches this season, particularly in home wins over South Alabama and Northern Illinois.

• Nebraska has 11 takeaways through seven games to rank seventh in the Big Ten in that category.

• Nebraska had five takeaways against South Alabama, including four in the second half. The five takeaways matched the most in two seasons under Scott Frost (Illinois, 2018) and was only the fourth time since 2010 that a Nebraska defense recorded five or more takeaways.

• Nebraska scored a pair of defensive touchdowns against the Jaguars–a 38-yard interception return by Eric Lee Jr. in the third quarter and a fumble recovery in the end zone by Alex Davis in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.  The two defensive touchdowns marked the first time Nebraska scored a pair of defensive touchdowns since having two interception returns for touchdowns against Southern Miss in 2013. Nebraska is seventh in the nation in defensive touchdowns.

• Lee’s interception return for a touchdown was the first by a Husker since Marcus Newby had an interception for a touchdown against Northwestern in 2017.

• Davis’ fumble recovery for a touchdown was the first by the Huskers since Josh Mitchell returned a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown against Miami in 2014.

• Nebraska also scored on a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown by JD Spielman in the third quarter. The three non-offensive touchdowns were a first for Nebraska since the Huskers had three defensive touchdowns in a 31-3 win over Wake Forest in 2005.

• NU’s effort against South Alabama marked the 16th time in school history the Huskers have scored on offense, defense and special teams in the same game.  It was the first time since 2012 NU had accomplished that feat, and the first instance against an FBS opponent since 2009 at Colorado.

• Nebraska has added six takeaways over the past six games, including a critical interception by Lamar Jackson against Northwestern with 1:00 remaining to set up a game-winning field goal.

• Nebraska has averaged 2.0 takeaways in its past 11 games. Prior to that, Nebraska averaged 1.0 takeaway in its 30 previous games spanning three seasons.

• The Huskers have forced three or more turnovers in four of their last 12 games. Before the current stretch, NU had not forced three turnovers in 30 games dating back to game two in 2016.

• Nebraska has forced 18 fumbles in its past 12 games. Prior to that, Nebraska had forced just 14 fumbles in its previous 34 games.

• Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander has a history of producing disruptive defenses. In 44 games as a defensive coordinator (UCF, Nebraska) Chinander’s defenses have scored 11 touchdowns.

Bootle and Jackson Break Up Opponent Passing Games
Junior Dicaprio Bootle and senior Lamar Jackson team up to give Nebraska one of the Big Ten’s top cornerback tandems. Jackson has two interceptions and a team-high nine 11 breakups in 2019. Bootle ranks second on the team with five breakups.

• Jackson is tied for fourth in the nation in passes defended at 1.9 per game and is second nationally with 11 breakups. Jackson had his second interception of the season with 1:00 remaining against Northwestern. His pick and 11-yard return set up Nebraska’s game-winning field goal.

• Jackson had a career-high four breakups against Northern Illinois, bettering his previous career high of two breakups in a single game. He has posted two breakups in three additional games this season.

• Jackson is two breakups shy of the top 10 in Nebraska single-season breakups. He is within striking distance of the school record of 17 PBU by DeJuan Groce in 2000.

• In 2018, Bootle broke up 15 passes and had 39 tackles in his first season as a starter. Bootle helped Nebraska rank 34th nationally in pass efficiency defense.

• Bootle ranked ninth nationally in breakups and 16th nationally in passes defended per game (1.3) in 2018. His 15 pass breakups ranked second on Nebraska’s season chart and were the most since Groce’s school-record 17 PBU in 2000.

• Bootle earned third-team All-Big Ten honors last year, becoming the first Husker cornerback to be honored by the conference in four seasons.

Safety Cam Taylor-Britt joins the cornerback tandem as a play-maker in the Nebraska secondary. Taylor-Britt began the season at corner before shifiting to safety. He has caused four fumbles this season, the most by a Husker in seven seasons. His four forced fumbles rank fourth in the nation. Taylor also has 32 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions and two pass breakups.

Husker Offense Showing Versatility
The 2019 Nebraska offense has shown the versatility to both strike quickly and drive the length of the field.

• Against Colorado, Nebraska had two touchdown drives of 95 yards or longer (95 and 96). That marked the first time the Huskers have had two 95-yard scoring drives in the same game since the 2000 Fiesta Bowl against Tennessee (97- and 99-yard touchdown drives).

• Through seven games, Nebraska has 14 scoring drives that have covered 75 yards or more.

• Nebraska had two long scoring plays at Colorado with touchdown passes of 65 (Martinez-Spielman) and 75 yards (Martinez-Washington). That marked the first time the Huskers had multiple 65-yard pass plays in the same game since 2006 against Kansas.

• Nebraska flashed its quick-strike ability and explosiveness against Northern Illinois. Nebraska produced nine plays of 20 yards or more against the Huskies, including eight before halftime. The eight first-half chunk plays matched Nebraska’s combined total in its first two games.

• Nebraska had a pair of 60-yard runs against Northern Illinois. Dedrick Mills had a career-long 61-yard run in the first quarter, and Maurice Washington had a personal-best 60-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. That marked the second time since last November that Nebraska produced a pair of 60-yard runs in the same game.

• The Huskers had a season-high 14 plays of 20 yards or more against Illinois. In the process, Nebraska topped 300 yards in both rushing and passing to mark just the second time in school history the Huskers have reached that milestone.

• Nebraska’s 674 yards of total offense at Illinois was its most against a conference opponent since posting 710 yards against Kansas State in 2007.

Spielman Continues to Climb Husker Charts
Junior wide receiver JD Spielman has already made Husker history as the only player in program history to have a 200-yard receiving game. Spielman is also leaving his mark on Nebraska’s career record book. He has 145 career catches for 2,117 yards, ranking fifth at Nebraska in career receptions and sixth in career yardage.

• Spielman reached 2,000 and 1,000 career receiving yards faster than any other Husker. He hit 2,000 yards at Illinois on Sept. 21, breaking the 2,000-yard barrier in 25 games. He reached 1,000 career yards in only 15 games, eclipsing Heisman winner Johnny Rodgers (16 games).

• Spielman needs 45 catches and 630 yards to become Nebraska’s all-time leader in both categories. He averaged 61 catches and 842 receiving yards per season in his first two years. On a per-game basis in his 28-game career, Spielman averages 5.2 receptions and 75.6 receiving yards.

• Spielman is the only player in school history to record 100 catches prior to his junior season.

• Spielman owns the only two 200-yard receiving games in Husker history (200 yards vs. Ohio State in 2017 and 209 yards at Wisconsin in 2018).

• Spielman is the only wide receiver in school history to have two career games with double-digit receptions (11 vs. Ohio State in 2017 and 10 vs. Purdue in 2018). Running back Marlon Lucky is the only other Husker to have two career games with double-digit catches.

• Spielman had more than 800 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons, joining Johnny Rodgers and Stanley Morgan Jr. as the only Huskers with two 800-yard receiving seasons. No Husker has ever had three 800-yard receiving seasons. With 469 yards in seven games, Spielman is on pace to reach that plateau again in 2019.

• Spielman had more than 50 catches in each of his first two seasons, joining Johnny Rodgers, Kenny Bell and Stanley Morgan Jr. as the only players in program history with multiple 50-catch seasons. No Husker has ever had three 50-catch seasons.

• Spielman opened the 2019 season with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown against South Alabama, marking his second career punt return score. He had a 77-yard punt return touchdown last season against Bethune-Cookman. He also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in his first career touch against Arkansas State in the 2017 season opener. Spielman is one of only eight players in program history to return both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown.

• Spielman had a 65-yard TD reception at Colorado, his sixth career touchdown of at least 65 yards. The 65-yard catch at Colorado was one of four Spielman receptions of at least 40 yards in 2019.

• Spielman had seven catches for 160 yards at Illinois, marking his third-highest receiving total at Nebraska. It was his sixth career 100-yard receiving game.

Robinson Making Big Impact in Freshman Season
Freshman receiver Wan’Dale Robinson provides Nebraska with an explosive receiving, rushing and return threat in 2019.

A true freshman from Frankfort, Ky., Robinson keyed Big Ten wins against Illinois and Northwestern. At Illinois, he was called on as a running back and had 19 carries for 89 yards and a touchdown, while also catching eight passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns. His play in the 42-38 win earned him Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week Honors.

Against Northwestern, Robinson again won the Big Ten freshman weekly honor. He totaled 186 all-purpose yards, including seven catches for a career-high 123 yards, the most receiving yards ever by a Husker true freshman. He had a career-long 42-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, a career-long 49-yard catch in the third quarter and a key 32-yard catch on Nebraska’s game-winning drive.

• Robinson ranks third nationally among all freshmen and leads all Power Five Conference freshmen in all-purpose yards per game (105.4 ypg).

• Robinson’s 336 receiving yards and 27 receptions are the most ever by a Nebraska true freshman.