Nebraska Cornhuskers at Minnesota Golden Gophers
2:30pm CDT, ABC/ESPN
Although this is now a conference game, it almost doesn't feel like it for Minnesota fans. The Nebraska Cornhuskers may be new to the Big Ten, but since 1900 the Golden Gophers and Cornhuskers have met 51 times on the football field, far more than any other Big Ten opponent Nebraska has faced. Nebraska and Minnesota played every season from 1900-12, then off and on until playing each season from 1934-52. Minnesota leads the all-time series 29-20-2, but they have lost fourteen straight. The teams last met in 1990, and in the last seven meetings in the series Minnesota has been outscored 377-17.
SB Nation's Corn Nation is looking forward to seeing how the Cornhuskers respond off their bye week. Nebraska's last contest was the largest come from behind win in school history as they came back from 21 down to defeat Ohio State:
Tom Osborne probably summed it up best when Nebraska's inaugural Big Ten schedule was released, featuring games against at Wisconsin, Michigan, and Penn State along with home games against Ohio State, Michigan State, and Iowa: "Whoa!" Nebraska's only opponent that failed to make a bowl game in 2010: Minnesota. I'm sure many Husker fans were looking forward to a mid-season breather against the Gophers this season. Even more importantly, get a chance to see Nebraska's worst defensive coordinator of the past fifty or more years on the other sideline.
Nebraska has been solid offensively behind the runner of Rex Burkhead and quarterback Taylor Martinez, but the defense has been a bit of a question mark. The famed Blackshirts gave up over 40 points to Wisconsin in their inaugural Big Ten game, and Ohio State was able to move the ball well before Braxton Miller left with an injury.
The Daily Gopher does not like Minnesota's prospects for breaking the long losing streak in the series, as it notes that the Golden Gophers have struggled on the lines:
Among the litany of problems that this Gopher football team is experiencing, perhaps the one that may actually be the largest symptom of all is the line play on both sides of the ball. It ain't been pretty. This is a football team that can't protect its QB, can't get to the other team's QB, has a difficult time running the ball, and a difficult time stopping the run.