Nebraska at Penn State

Posted: November 25, 2013

When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Where: Beaver Stadium, State College, Pa.

Records: Nebraska, 7-3, 4-2 Big Ten. Penn State, 6-4, 3-3.

TV/Radio: Big Ten Network; WNTP-AM (990), WNPV-AM (1440).

Coaches: Nebraska, Bo Pelini (sixth season, 56-23); Penn State, Bill O'Brien (second season, 14-8).

Series: The Cornhuskers have won the last three games against Penn State and hold an 8-7 lead overall. The Nittany Lions' victory in 2002 was vacated by the NCAA.


The Nebraska pass rush, which has accounted for 32 sacks (tops in the Big Ten) this season, could make matters difficult for Nittany Lions freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Sophomore defensive end Randy Gregory leads the conference with 8.5 sacks.

The Cornhuskers lost five fumbles in last week's loss to Michigan State and are last in the league with a minus-12 turnover figure in Big Ten games. Penn State also struggles with turnovers; it has 12 fumbles on the season, only one fewer than Nebraska. Whoever fights that trend the best could emerge as Saturday's winner.

Nebraska junior Ameer Abdullah leads the Big Ten with 1,336 rushing yards and is sixth in FBS with his 133.6-yard average. The season high for rush yards allowed by the Nittany Lions this season is 147 by Ohio State's Carlos Hyde on Oct. 26.


Penn State's Bill Belton (796 rushing yards) and Zach Zwinak (725) are the first pair of running backs to rush for more than 700 yards in the same season since Ki-Jana Carter (1,026) and Mike Archie (766) in 1993. In 2005, running back Tony Hunt (1,047) and quarterback Michael Robinson (806) topped 700.

Cornhuskers quarterback Taylor Martinez, the Big Ten's leader in career total offense (10,233 yards) among active players, has seen action in just four games this season. He has been out since the Oct. 26 game against Minnesota with a foot injury.

If Penn State cornerback Jordan Lucas makes a big play, watch to see what happens next. After his interception last week against Purdue, Lucas acted as if he were taking a "selfie" of himself and safety Malcolm Willis. Bill O'Brien says on-field celebrations are fine as long as they are not focused on one player. - Joe Juliano

comments powered by Disqus