Nebraska plays the second of three 2020 home games on Saturday, as the Huskers remain home to take on Big Ten West Division foe Illinois at Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s game will kick off shortly after 11 a.m. with the game televised nationally on FS1.
Nebraska comes into the game with a 1-2 record following a hard-fought 30-23 victory over Penn State on Saturday in Lincoln. The Huskers took a 27-6 lead into halftime after an inspired effort in the first 30 mintues, including two defensive takeaways. Nebraska then held on with two defensive stops inside the 15 in the final five minutes to secure its first victory of the 2020 season. Redshirt freshman quarterback Luke McCaffrey made his first career start in the win and accounted for 219 yards of total offense.
Illinois comes to Lincoln with a 1-3 record, following a 23-20 victory at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon. The Illini rolled up 341 rushing yards in the victory and dominated the second half, posting better than 300 yards of total offense after intermission. The Fighting Illini victory came after they had previously dropped games against Big Ten West teams Wisconsin, Purdue and Minnesota to open the season.
The Fighting Illini are guided by Lovie Smith, who is in his fifth season as the head coach. Smith previously spent 11 seasons as a head coach in the National Football League.
Nebraska carries a four-game win streak in the series into Saturday’s matchup. The last two meetings have been high-scoring affairs with the teams combining for 89 points in a 2018 matchup in Lincoln and 80 points in a Husker come-from-behind win a year ago in Champaign.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Illinois, 13-3-1. The Huskers are 6-1 against the Illini since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011.
• Nebraska has won the past four meetings with Illinois, including 2016 and 2018 victories at Memorial Stadium. The four-game win streak is the longest for Nebraska against any Big Ten opponent.
• Nebraska posted a 54-35 victory over Illinois in 2018. The 54 points ties for the most Nebraska has scored in a conference game in its 10 years in the Big Ten.
• Nebraska and Illinois are scheduled to open the season against each other in both 2021 and 2025. The schools are set to meet in Dublin, Ireland, in Week Zero in 2021, and open the 2025 campaign with a matchup in Champaign.
• Before joining the Big Ten, Nebraska and Illinois last met in a home-and-home series in 1985 and 1986, with the Huskers winning both of those matchups.