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Riley updates injuries, coaching rumors swirl amid Monday press conference

By Tommy Rezac

Nebraska (4-6, 3-4 Big Ten) will kick off against No. 13 Penn State (8-2, 5-2 Big Ten) at Beaver Stadium in State College, PA at 3 p.m. central time on Saturday.

Husker Sports Network pregame coverage will start at 10 a.m. on KLIN, but Inside Husker Sports will get pregame coverage started early at 9 a.m.

Penn State was a 24-point favorite as of Monday morning. Nebraska is 9-7 all-time against the Nittany Lions.

Depth Chart and Injury Update

Jr. LB Luke Gifford, while still listed No. 1 as an outside linebacker on the depth chart, head coach Mike Riley said Gifford will have surgery on his hip this week, which puts an end to his 2017 season.

Elsewhere, Jr. QB Tanner Lee, who didn’t play the second half against Minnesota due to an “impact migraine,” will undergo concussion protocol this week. He’s currently “day-to-day” for Penn State.

So. CB Eric Lee is still in concussion protocol, and remains day-to-day.

Riley says RFr. Patrick O’Brien is preparing this week as if he will start. Jr. Andrew Bunch will be his top backup if that’s the case.

Jr. S Aaron Williams (neck) will practice Monday and should be able to play, depending on how he handles contact during the week. Sr. TE Connor Ketter (back) is close to being game ready, as is Fr. RB Jaylin Bradley (ankle).

“I would think Bradley should be ready to play,” Riley said. “I think he probably could have played in the (Minnesota) game.”

Jr. NT Mick Stoltenberg (knee), Sr. LB Chris Weber (stinger), and Jr. LB Dedrick Young (lower back) are both probable.

So. WR Conor Young (ankle) has been ruled out Saturday.

Message to Fans

Riley was asked if he had a message to members of the fan base that may be losing interest or have already lost interest in the 2017 season.

“I know everybody, and when I said that players, coaches, fans, everybody is disappointed in what is going on,” Riley said. “This place has maintained their passion for their teams and Husker football for a long time and I am certain that they will continue to do that and they should.

“I love this team, I love their approach every week and we have had very few issues except for the games and I appreciate that. The work that they try to do to get ready and the same with the coaches. I am positive the fans will forever love their team.”

In Other News

Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos told ESPN’s Mitch Sherman on Monday that Mike Riley will in fact finish out the 2017 season, which had been anticipated after hearing crickets from administration on Sunday.

“That’s just how I operate,” Moos said.

Also, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg told “The Bottom Line” with Mike’l Severe that Nebraska has informed Central Florida that they are interested in hiring football coach Scott Frost.


Nebraska’s final game of the season against Iowa at Memorial Stadium will be a 3 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Nov. 24.

The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Additional Audio

You can contact Tommy at 402-840-5226, or you can follow him on Twitter @Tommy_KLIN.

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