The Gophers (5-2 overall, 1-2 conference) are coming off a road win over the Northwestern Wildcats while the Cornhuskers (5-1, 2-0) did not play last weekend.
The Gophers hold a 29-22-2 edge in the matchup, but the Huskers have won the last 16 contests. The Huskers have won both games since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2011.
Top Cornhuskers players
Offense: Ameer Abdullah. The running back averages 136 yards per game and has six touchdowns. He has a fast, slashing home run threat. He has a long this season of 62 yards and topped the century mark in five of the team's six games.
Defense: Randy Gregory. The defensive end is fourth on the Huskers with 27 total tackles. However, the Junior College transfer has produced a team-high eight tackles for a loss that total 50 negative yards. He also has 2.5 sacks, one interception, seven pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Gopher keys to victory
Defense has to get off the field
The Gophers defense has struggled to stop opponents on third down in conference play allowing 24 of 43 third down conversions (55.8 percent). The Huskers have converted 40 of 72 (55.6 percent) in their five wins and 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) in their loss. The Gophers defense has to get off the field when they have the chance to do so.
Get the Husker defense guessing
The UCLA Bruins beat the Huskers and Wyoming Cowboys nearly did by getting the Huskers back on their heels. Both teams put up over 500 yards, the Cowboys topped 600, with a balanced attack of passing and running. The Huskers defense has improved greatly over the last couple games, but the Gophers offensive line can open running lanes.
The Gophers have been blown out in each of the two conference meetings between the two teams. The Gophers are planning on playing both second-year quarterbacks, while the Huskers get senior Taylor Martinez back from a turf toe injury. The Gophers' win over the Wildcats last Saturday has renewed the optimism that the program can take the next step forward. A win over the Huskers would make the team bowl eligible and put it in the thick of the Legends Division race. However, the Huskers are just too good for the Gophers and hold on for the victory. Cornhuskers 24, Gophers 14.