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Heinrich Haarberg and Rocky Lombardi Slinging the Pig Today: Northern Illinois v. Nebraska Game Thread

Welcome to our third Game Thread of the 2023 Nebraska football season. This is Matt Rhule’s first home game. Will be excited to see him come out of the tunnel walk today. Should be fun.

Nate M’s Quick Thoughts: I believe this is going to be a difficult game for Nebraska to win. Northern Illinois opened up their season with a win over Boston College then stumbled against the Southern part of their state because they couldn’t take care of the ball. That sounds familiar.

Starting the backup quarterback in Heinrich Haarberg isn’t going to help things either. I would love it if Haarberg plays well enough that we end up having a quarterback controversy. Maybe it would push Sims to play to a higher level and take care of the ball.

Maybe that’s the best thing that could come out of this game.

Nate M’s Prediction: Going up against a 6th year quarterback who has already played in Memorial Stadium gives me heart burn. I think Northern Illinois is going to stack the box and force Haarberg to throw the ball and it won’t go well.

Nebraska will need a defensive touchdown to win today. They won’t get it.

Northern Illinois 10 – Nebraska 7.

Date: Today!

Location: The Beautiful Magnificent Astounding Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE.

Time: 6 p.m. Central.

TV Broadcast Info: FS1 (Jeff Levering and Mark Helfrich)

Radio Broadcast Info: Husker Radio Network (Greg Sharpe, Damon Benning and Jessica Coody)

Internet Radio:

Nebraska-Northern Illinois Series History:
Nebraska and Northern Illinois will meet for the fifth time in program history on Saturday night in

Lincoln. The Huskers hold a 3-1 edge with all four games being played at Memorial Stadium.

• Nebraska rushed for better than 400 yards in each of the first two series meetings in 1989 and 1990.

• The Huskers won the most recent meeting between team teams in 2019, with a 44-8 victory. Ironcially, that game also followed a Husker trip to Boulder to play Colorado.

• Northern Illinois’ lone victory in the series was in 2017, with the Huskies escaping Lincoln with a 21-17 victory on the strength of two defensive touchdowns.

• Nebraska has a 7-1 all-time record against current members of the Mid-American Conference, with the lone setback the 2017 loss to the Huskies. Nebraska’s most recent game against a MAC opponent was a 28-3 win over Buffalo in 2021.

The Matchup from Huskers Game Notes:

After a two-game road trip to open the season, Nebraska opens its 2023 home season on Saturday night when the Huskers play host to Northern Illinois at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff between the Huskers and Huskies is set for shortly after 6 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on FS1 and the radio broadcast can be heard on the Huskers Radio Network, and the official Huskers App.

Nebraska’s Sept. 16 home opener is the latest in the calendar for the Huskers since they opened their 1981 home schedule on Sept. 19 (excluding 2020 Covid season). The home opener begins a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Memorial Stadium in 2023. Nebraska began playing its home games at Memorial Stadium in 1923 and has won nearly 75 percent of its home games in the historic venue over the past century. Included in that is a 77-19-4 record in home openers at Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska enters Saturday’s matchup with an 0-2 record following a 36-14 loss at then-No. 22 Colorado on Saturday. The Huskers and Buffs were scoreless for the game’s first 25 minutes before the Buffs scored 13 points in the final 4:20 of the first half to take control. Nebraska pulled within six midway through the third quarter but could get no closer. Colorado capitalized on Nebraska miscues, with 17 of its points coming off of Husker turnovers.

Northern Illinois heads to Lincoln with a 1-1 record following a 14-11 loss against Southern Illinois on Saturday in DeKalb, Ill. Like Nebraska, a big factor in the loss was in the turnover department, as the Huskies were -3 in the loss to Southern Illinois. The Huskies had opened the season with an impressive 27-24 overtime victory at Boston College on Sept. 2.

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