NEBRASKA at MARYLAND
NOV. 23, 2019 | MARYLAND STADIUM
COLLEGE PARK, MD. | 2:30 P.M. (CT)
TV - BTN (Brandon Gaudin, James Laurinaitis, Elise Menaker)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network (Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, Ben McLaughlin
SATELLITE RADIO - XM 384/Sirius NA
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com, TuneIn.com
APP AUDIO - Official Huskers App, TuneIn App
2019 Record: 4-6, 2-5 Big Ten
Last Game: Wisconsin (L, 37-21)
Coach: Scott Frost
Career/NU Record: 27-21 (4th Year)/8-14 (2nd Year)
vs. Maryland: 1-1
2019 Record: 3-7, 1-6 Big Ten
Last Game: Ohio State (L, 73-14)
Coach: Michael Locksley
Career/UM Record: 6-38 (4th Full Year)/4-12 (1st Full Year)
vs. Nebraska: 0-0
Nebraska completes its 2019 road schedule on Saturday afternoon, as the Huskers travel to College Park, Md., to take on the Maryland Terrapins. The game from Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium is set to kickoff off shortly after 2:30 p.m. CT (3:30 p.m. local) and will be televised by BTN. The game can be heard on the Husker Sports Network from Learfield-IMG.
Nebraska will enter the contest with a 4-6 record and a 2-5 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Huskers are coming off a 37-21 loss to No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln. Nebraska's offense rolled up 493 yards against the Badgers' stingy defense, but was unable to finish drives in the loss. Nebraska enters the final two games of the regular season needing a pair of victories to extend its season and become bowl eligible.
Maryland was off last Saturday and enters the contest with a 3-7 record, including a 1-6 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Terrapins' explosive offense has been at its best in home games in College Park, averging 35.4 points per game in five 2019 home games. Maryland boasts one of the league's top rushing attacks, averaging better than 170 yards per game with 15 running plays of 40 yards or more this season.
Saturday's game will mark Nebraska's first-ever trip to Maryland, and just the second meeting between the two schools since becoming members of the Big Ten. Nebraska defeated Maryland, 28-7, in Lincoln in 2016 in the only previous matchup between the teams.
Saturday's game is only the second matchup between two of the newest members of the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska defeated Maryland, 28-7, in Lincoln late in the 2016 season.
• Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011 as the 12th member of the conference, three seasons before Maryland and Rutgers joined as the 13th and 14th schools in the league.
• Nebraska held Maryland scoreless for the first three quarters and held the Terrapins to 207 yards in the victory.
• The game will be Nebraska's first at Maryland and first ever game in the state of Maryland.
Nebraska Joins 900-Win Club
Nebraska reached a major milestone in the history of its program with its win at Illinois on Sept. 21, becoming the fifth program in the country with 900 all-time victories. Nebraska joined Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and Alabama in the 900-win club. Oklahoma and Notre Dame joined the 900-win list a week later on Sept. 28.
Rk. School (Wins)
1. Michigan (961)
2. Ohio State (921)
3. Texas (914)
5. Oklahoma (905)
6. Notre Dame (905)
7. Nebraska (901)
Frost Offenses Traditionally Impressive on Opening Drives
One common theme of a Scott Frost-led offense has been a fast start, and that has held true for Frost's tenure in Lincoln. Nebraska has scored points in four of 10 games on its opening drive in 2019.
Nebraska received the opening kickoff against South Alabama and drove nine plays and 81 yards for a touchdown to a take a 7-0 lead. At Colorado, NU drove 96 yards in five plays on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead. The Huskers opened with a field goal on the game's first drive against Northern Illinois. Nebraska got back to its fast starts against Indiana, marching five plays and 75 yards on the game's opening drive. The opening-drive success has continued a theme throughout Frost's head coaching tenure.
• Nebraska scored on its first possession seven times in 12 games in 2018, including six of the final seven games. All seven of NU's opening scoring drives resulted in touchdowns. In Frost's two seasons, Nebraska has scored on its opening possession 11 times in 22 games (10 TD, 1 FG).
• Over the last three seasons - 2018-19 at Nebraska and 2017 at UCF - Frost's offenses have scored a touchdown on their opening possession 19 times in 35 games (54 percent). The average length of the touchdown drive in that span is 74 yards.
• In three-plus years as a head coach, Frost's offenses have scored on their opening drive 24 times in 48 games, with 22 touchdowns and two field goals. In 88 games over seven seasons as a play-caller, Frost's offenses have scored on their first possession of the game 45 times, putting points on the board in more than half of their opening possessions.
• NU received the opening kickoff nine times in 2018 and scored touchdowns on six of those drives while punting only once. The Huskers had a game-opening touchdown drive to take a 7-0 lead in five straight games during the Big Ten Conference season.
• The Huskers scored on nearly 60 percent of their opening possessions in 2018, even with a pair of drive-ending turnovers in opponent territory. Nebraska's average touchdown drive covered more than 74 yards, including one 80-yard touchdown march and five 75-yard scoring drives.
• Frost's Opening Drive Scoring Percentage: 51% (45 of 88 drives)
• Frost's Opening Drive Touchdown Percentage: 44% (39 of 88 drives)
Mills Finds Rhythm Against Badgers
Junior running back Dedrick Mills had the finest day of his Nebraska career against Wisconsin. Mills rushed 17 times for a career-high 188 yards and a touchdown. He had 13 carries and 112 yards before halftime.
• Mills topped his previous Nebraska high of 116 yards against Northern Illinois. His previous collegiate career high was 169 yards against Kentucky in 2016, while Mills was playing at Georgia Tech.
• Mills' 188 yards marked the most rushing yards against the Badgers this season, and he was just the second player to top the century mark. Only Ohio State's JK Dobbins (163 yards) had also topped 100 yards against a Badger defense that was allowing just 84 rushing yards per game before last week's game.
• Mills had 11 rushes of more than 10 yards against the Badgers and averaged 11.1 yards on his 17 carries in the game.
Husker Offense Showing Versatility
The 2019 Nebraska offense has shown the versatility to both strike quickly and drive the length of the field. Through 10 games, Nebraska has 19 scoring drives that have covered 75 yards or more. The Husker offense has been strong the past three games, averaging 460.7 yards of total offense, including 207.0 rushing yards and 253.7 per game through the air.
• Last week against Wisconsin, Nebraska totaled 493 yards of offense against a Badger defense that was allowing 231.4 yards per game entering the contest. The Huskers rushed for 273 yards, which was 189 yards more than the Badgers' average allowed prior to the game.
• Nebraska produced 12 plays of 20 yards or more against Wisconsin. The Badgers had allowed 25 plays of 20 yards or more in their first nine games. Nebraska topped 200 yards both rushing and passing against Wisconsin, the fourth time this season the Huskers reached that milestone.
• Against Colorado, Nebraska had two touchdown drives of 95 yards or longer (95 and 96). That marked the first time the Huskers have had two 95-yard scoring drives in the same game since the 2000 Fiesta Bowl against Tennessee (97- and 99-yard touchdown drives).
• Nebraska had two long scoring plays at Colorado with touchdown passes of 65 (Martinez-Spielman) and 75 yards (Martinez-Washington). That marked the first time the Huskers had multiple 65-yard pass plays in the same game since 2006 against Kansas.
• Nebraska flashed its quick-strike ability and explosiveness against Northern Illinois. Nebraska produced nine plays of 20 yards or more against the Huskies, including eight before halftime. The eight first-half chunk plays matched Nebraska's combined total in its first two games.
• The Huskers had a season-high 14 plays of 20 yards or more against Illinois. In the process, Nebraska topped 300 yards in both rushing and passing to mark just the second time in school history the Huskers have reached that milestone.
• Nebraska's 674 yards of total offense at Illinois was its most against a conference opponent since posting 710 yards against Kansas State in 2007.
• Nebraska also topped 500 yards against Indiana with 514 total yards, including 294 passing yards and 220 on the ground.
Offense Ranks Among Nation's Top Big-Play Units
Nebraska's offense has numerous big-play weapons that have helped the Huskers stress opposing defenses. Highlighted by 14 plays of 20 yards or more at Illinois and 12 20-plus plays against Wisconsin, Nebraska ranks as one of the Big Ten and national leaders in producing chunk plays.
• Nebraska has 64 scrimmage plays of 20-plus yards to rank second in the Big Ten and 13th nationally.
• The Huskers lead the Big Ten in plays of 40+ yards (19).
• On the ground, Nebraska ranks among the top three in the Big Ten in rushes of 30+ (9), 40+ (9), 50+ (3) and 60+ (2) yards.
Spielman Continues to Climb Husker Charts
Junior wide receiver JD Spielman has made Husker history as the only player in program history to have a 200-yard receiving game. Spielman is also leaving his mark on Nebraska's career record book. He has 160 career catches for 2,408 yards, ranking fifth at Nebraska in career receptions and sixth in career yardage.
• Spielman reached 2,000 and 1,000 career receiving yards faster than any other Husker. He hit 2,000 yards at Illinois on Sept. 21, breaking the 2,000-yard barrier in 25 games. He reached 1,000 career yards in only 15 games, eclipsing Heisman winner Johnny Rodgers (16 games).
• Spielman needs 30 catches and 337 yards to become Nebraska's all-time leader in both categories. He averaged 61 catches and 842 receiving yards per season in his first two years. On a per-game basis in his 31-game career, Spielman averages 5.2 receptions and 77.7 receiving yards.
• Spielman is the only player in school history to record 100 catches prior to his junior season.
• Spielman owns the only two 200-yard receiving games in Husker history (200 yards vs. Ohio State in 2017 and 209 yards at Wisconsin in 2018).
• Spielman is the only wide receiver in school history to have two career games with double-digit receptions (11 vs. Ohio State in 2017 and 10 vs. Purdue in 2018). Running back Marlon Lucky is the only other Husker to have two career games with double-digit catches.
• Spielman had more than 800 receiving yards in each of his first two seasons, joining Johnny Rodgers and Stanley Morgan Jr. as the only Huskers with two 800-yard receiving seasons. Spielman is 40 yards from becoming the first Husker to record three 800-yard receiving seasons.
• Spielman had more than 50 catches in each of his first two seasons, joining Johnny Rodgers, Kenny Bell and Stanley Morgan Jr. as the only players in program history with multiple 50-catch seasons. No Husker has ever had three 50-catch seasons. Spielman has 39 receptions in 2019.
• Spielman opened the 2019 season with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown against South Alabama, marking his second career punt return score. He had a 77-yard punt return touchdown last season against Bethune-Cookman. He also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in his first career touch against Arkansas State in the 2017 season opener. Spielman is one of only eight players in program history to return both a punt and kickoff for a touchdown.
• Spielman had a 65-yard TD reception at Colorado, his sixth career touchdown of at least 65 yards. The 65-yard catch at Colorado was one of seven Spielman receptions of at least 40 yards in 2019. His seven catches of 40-plus yards ranks sixth nationally.
• Spielman had seven catches for 160 yards at Illinois, marking his third-highest receiving total at Nebraska. It was his sixth career 100-yard receiving game.
• Spielman is averaging 19.5 yards per reception, a mark that ranks third in the Big Ten. His yards per catch average ranks third in NU history among players with 30 or more catches in a season.
Martinez Drives Husker Offense
Quarterback Adrian Martinez earned freshman All-America honors in 2018 as he helped NU rank 25th nationally in total offense. Martinez made 11 starts, more than all other true freshmen quarterbacks in NU history combined. He completed nearly 65 percent of his passes for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for 629 yards and eight scores.
• Martinez ranked 12th nationally and first among freshmen with an average of 295.1 yards of total offense per game in 2018, a school record. In addition to the school record, it smashed the Huskers' previous freshman record of 199.7 yards per game set by Taylor Martinez in 2010.
• Martinez's average of 295.1 yards of total offense per game marked the 10th-best total offense average by a freshman in FBS history, including the fifth-highest mark by a true freshman and the highest mark ever by a true freshman quarterback for a Power Five team.
• Martinez became the sixth freshman in NCAA history to average 200 passing yards and 50 rushing yards per game. He was just the second true freshman to hit those marks in FBS history and the first true freshman at a Power Five school to average 200 passing yards and 50 rushing yards.
• Martinez averaged 237.9 passing yards per game and 57.2 rushing yards per game in 2018, one of four FBS quarterbacks to average 225 passing yards and 50 rushing yards per game in 2018.
• Martinez set Nebraska freshman records in completions (224), completion percentage (64.6), passing yards (2,617), passing touchdowns (17), total offensive yards (3,246) and total touchdowns (25). His 629 rushing yards were the most ever by a Husker true freshman quarterback and the most by any Nebraska true freshman since 2002.
• Martinez posted an 86.2 completion percentage against Minnesota last October, setting a Nebraska record for the highest completion percentage with a minimum of 20 attempts.
Blackshirt Defense Looks for Disruptive Finish to 2019
The Nebraska defense had a focus of causing more turnovers and big impact plays in 2019. Nebraska has shown that ability in stretches this season, particularly in home wins over South Alabama and Northern Illinois.
• Nebraska has 15 takeaways to rank eighth in the Big Ten in that category.
• Nebraska had five takeaways against South Alabama, including four in the second half. The five takeaways matched the most in two seasons under Scott Frost (Illinois, 2018) and was only the fourth time since 2010 that a Nebraska defense recorded five or more takeaways.
• Nebraska scored a pair of defensive touchdowns against the Jaguars–a 38-yard interception return by Eric Lee Jr. in the third quarter and a fumble recovery in the end zone by Alex Davis in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring. The two defensive touchdowns marked the first time Nebraska scored a pair of defensive touchdowns since having two interception returns for touchdowns against Southern Miss in 2013.
• Nebraska also scored on a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown by JD Spielman in the third quarter. The three non-offensive touchdowns were a first for Nebraska since the Huskers had three defensive touchdowns in a 31-3 win over Wake Forest in 2005.
• NU's effort against South Alabama marked the 16th time in school history the Huskers have scored on offense, defense and special teams in the same game. It was the first time since 2012 NU had accomplished that feat, and the first instance against an FBS opponent since 2009 at Colorado.
• Nebraska has added 10 takeaways since the opener, including a critical interception by Lamar Jackson against Northwestern with 1:00 remaining to set up a game-winning field goal.
• Nebraska has averaged 1.9 takeaways in its past 14 games. Prior to that, Nebraska averaged 1.0 takeaway in its 30 previous games spanning three seasons.
• Nebraska has forced 20 fumbles in its past 15 games. Prior to that, Nebraska had forced just 14 fumbles in its previous 34 games.
Freshman Make Impact on Offensive Line
Nebraska, which has no seniors on its offensive line depth chart, has had three freshmen earn playing time on the line this season.
• Redshirt freshman Cameron Jurgens has started all 10 games at center. He is the first freshman (true or redshirt) to start a game at center for Nebraska since the NCAA restored freshmen eligibility in 1972.
• Jurgens, who spent the majority of his redshirt season working at tight end, also became only the sixth freshman offensive lineman (true or redshirt) to start a season opener for Nebraska.
• Redshirt freshman Will Farniok has played in two games at center for the Huskers. True freshman Bryce Benhart is Nebraska's No. 2 right tackle and saw his first action against Northern Illinois.
Freshmen Offensive Linemen to Start a Husker Season Opener (modern era)
• Cameron Jurgens, Center (RFr., 2019)
• Nick Gates, Right Tackle (RFr., 2015)
• Tyler Moore, Right Tackle (True Fr., 2011)
• Jeremiah Sirles, Left Tackle (RFr., 2010)
• Marcel Jones, Right Tackle (RFr., 2008)
• Richie Incognito, Left Tackle (RFr., 2002)
Mike Spargo after Burwell
Mills piled up his career-best totals on just 17 carries, averaging 11.1 yards per tote, including a 12-yard touchdown run to open the scoring in the first quarter. Sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez added 89 yards on the ground despite being sacked four times for 34 yards, as the Huskers totaled 273 rushing yards in the game. Nebraska, which slipped to 4-6 overall and 2-5 in the Big Ten, finished with 493 total yards, including 220 yards on 13-of-23 passing from Martinez against the Badgers.
The visiting Badgers managed 482 total yards, including 204 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries from running back Jonathan Taylor. His total helped Wisconsin roll up 320 yards on the ground. UW quarterback Jack Coan went 13-for-21 through the air for 162 yards with one touchdown.
Although Wisconsin won by two scores, Nebraska finished with more total yards but missed three golden opportunities to score in the second half. Early in the third quarter, Nebraska had 1st-and-10 at the UW 24, before taking a long sack. The Huskers gained back the 21 yards lost on the play, setting up a 41-yard field goal attempt. However NU missed the field goal.
In the fourth quarter, Nebraska's final two drives entered the Wisconsin red zone before the Huskers were stopped on downs at the UW 17 with 10:52 left. On NU's final drive, the Huskers moved all the way to the UW 4, but were stopped at the goal line on 4th down with 2:11 on the clock.
Both teams committed a turnover in the game that was converted to points by the opposing offenses, but one the biggest differences in the game came on special teams, including Badger Aron Cruickshank's 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with 5:16 left in the opening quarter.
The two teams went to the second quarter tied at 7-7 before the Badgers took their first lead on Collin Larsh's 31-yard field goal with 11:22 left in the half. Nebraska answered with a five-play, 73-yard drive capped by Martinez's two-yard touchdown run with 9:32 left to give the Huskers a 14-10 lead.
Wisconsin answered with a five-play drive of its own capped by Coan's 55-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Taylor to put the Badgers back in front at 17-14. UW gained more momentum on Nebraska's next offensive play, when Martinez's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Jack Sanborn to set the Badgers up at the Big Red 21. Three plays later, Jonathan Taylor pounded his way in from one yard out to take a 24-14 lead.
Larsh added a 24-yard field goal for the Badgers with 11 seconds left in the half to take a 27-14 lead to the halftime locker room. It grew to 34-14 on Jonathan Taylor's 11-yard touchdown run with 4:50 left in the third quarter to cap a run of 24 straight points for Wisconsin.
But the Huskers continued to fight, flying 75 yards in four plays, culminating with Martinez's 23-yard touchdown strike to a wide open JD Spielman with 3:19 left in the third to pull within 34-21.
Nebraska wraps up its Big Ten road schedule by traveling to Maryland next Saturday to battle the Terrapins. Kick-off in College Park is set for 2:30 p.m. with live television coverage by BTN.
Wisconsin 37, Nebraska 21
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Attendance: 88,842 (374th consecutive sellout)
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019
First Quarter (7-7)
NEB - 5:27 - Dedrick Mills 12 run (Barrett Pickering kick) - 5 plays, 63 yards, 1:48 - NEB 7-0
WIS - 5:16 - Aron Cruickshank 89 KOR (Collin Larsh kick) - 7-7
Second Quarter (Wisconsin, 27-14)
WIS - 11:22 - Larsh 31 FG - 10 plays, 53 yards, 4:44 - WIS 10-7
NEB - 9:32 - Adrian Martinez 2 run (Pickering kick) - 5 plays, 73 yards, 1:46 - NEB 14-10
WIS - 6:39 - A.J. Taylor 55 pass from Jack Coan (Larsh kick) - 5 plays, 86 yards, 2:46 - WIS 17-14
WIS - 5:03 - Jonathan Taylor 1 run (Larsh kick) - 3 plays, 21 yards, 1:25 - WIS 24-14
WIS - 0:11 - Larsh 24 FG - 13 plays, 73 yards, 3:55 - WIS 27-14
Third Quarter (Wisconsin 34-21)
WIS - 4:50 - Jonathan Taylor 11 run (Larsh kick) - 9 plays, 76 yards, 5:29 - WIS 34-14
NEB - 3:19 - JD Spielman 23 pass from Martinez (Pickering kick) - 4 plays, 75 yards, 1:31 - WIS 34-21
Fourth Quarter (Wisconsin 37-21)
WIS - 5:25 - Larsh 30 FG - 10 plays, 72 yards, 5:27 - WIS 37-21