Can the Huskers make it two in a row? This afternoon marks the first game of the season Nebraska has been favored — the betting line has floated around 14 points all week.
Big Red fans are feeling good about their teams chances; in our Twitter poll, nearly 95% selected, "Huskers got this."
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11 a.m. | Memorial Stadium | TV: FS1 | Radio: Husker Sports Network
2:40 p.m. That'll do it. Illinois comes to Lincoln and beats Nebraska 41-23 at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers drop to 1-3 this season and will most certainly be scratching their heads after this one.
2:34 p.m. Adrian Martinez enters the game and takes Nebraska to the end zone, capped by a 4-yard pass to Levi Falck.
Illini lead 41-23 with just over two minutes left in the game.
2:26 p.m. Luke McCaffrey tries the deep ball — and he is intercepted. Nebraska's fifth turnover of the game.
2:00 p.m. Terrible moment at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska linebacker Collin Miller had to be carted off the field after a collision with an Illinois ball carrier.
Fellow ILBs Will Honas and Luke Reimer are kneeling together at the goal line, holding each others hands and looking at the ground as medical personnel prepares Miller for the stretcher. Just brutal.— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) November 21, 2020
1:46 p.m. End of third quarter, Illinois leads 38-17.
1:44 p.m. The Huskers pick up a fourth down, but Wan'Dale Robinson fumbles, recovered by Illinois.
1:37 p.m. Nebraska's two-score deficit is short-lived. It's Illinois by 21 points after the visiting team sustains another long drive, finished off by Brandon Peters' 1-yard TD sneak.
2:31 left in the third quarter.
1:22 p.m. Wan'Dale Robinson with Nebraska's play of the game. He takes a handoff and bobs, weaves and contorts himself 32 yards down the field to Illini 1-yard line. It really was an impressive play.
Then, Luke McCaffrey takes it from there, punching it in to trim Illinois' lead to 31-17.
1:13 p.m. Illinois tacks on a field goal via James McCourt's right leg. The drive was extended by a fake punt on fourth time. Perhaps more detrimental for the Huskers than three points is that Illinois ate up nearly seven minutes of time on that drive.
12:43 p.m. Halftime: Illinois 28, Nebraska 10.
12:38 p.m. Huskers try to sneak in a score before halftime, but Luke McCaffrey is intercepted on a deep pass to Levi Falck. Just not clicking today for the redshirt freshman.
12:36 p.m. Parker Gabriel's assessment on the stagnant passing game, signed and delivered from the Memorial Stadium press box, which offers an optimal aerial view of receivers downfield:
I'm no expert, but so far today, receivers getting open has not been the issue. Couple of drops, several instances of the ball not being delivered.— Parker Gabriel (@HuskerExtraPG) November 21, 2020
12:23 p.m. Luke McCaffrey looks off the mark as a passer today. He's overthrowing guys, underthrowing guys, delivering passes late. Cue the clamoring for Adrian Martinez.
12:20 p.m. OK, we can say it. Nebraska, which entered as 16-point favorites, is in trouble. Illinois rips off 89 yards in four (!!!) plays, and Mike Epstein's 1-yard rush gives the Illini a 28-10 lead with five minutes before halftime.
12:12 p.m. Nebraska drives the field, punches in a fourth-and-goal from the Illini 1-yard line, but the score is nixed by Cameron Jurgen's holding penalty. Huskers have to settle for a field goal, which Connor Culp drills from 30 yards to trim Illinois' lead to 21-10 with seven minutes left before halftime.
Penalties cropping up for the Huskers:
12:01 p.m. Blackshirts show up:
11:56 a.m. Nebraska picks up a first down but the drive stalls from there. Two costly drops, especially Austin Allen's mishap on a second-down play that could have made for a more manageable third down.
11:49 a.m. Touchdown, Illini. Illinois having its way on third downs this afternoon. Brandon Peters finds Josh Imatorbhebhe on a 28-yard pass over Dicaprio Bootle's coverage.
Nebraska trails 21-7 with 13 minutes left in the first half.
11:43 a.m. End of first quarter. A forgettable one for the home team. Illinois leads 14-7.
11:37 a.m. Nebraska turns it over. No controversy on this one. Cam Jurgens' fourth-down snap sails over Luke McCaffrey's head, who scoops the ball and tries to make a play but his pass is intercepted. Leading 14-7, Illinois takes over on its own 35 with 2:32 left in the first quarter. It's worth noting McCaffrey had two errant passes on potential "chunk" plays for the Huskers, an area the group places plenty of emphasis on.
11:29 a.m. Back and forth we go. Illinois reclaims the lead on another Chase Brown rushing touchdown. His 35-yard run down to the Husker 2-yard line set up the score. Illini having success on the ground.
14-7, Illinois, with 5:39 left in the first period.
11:07 a.m. Tie game. The Huskers march down the field for the equalizer, punctuated by Luke McCaffrey's 5-yard run. 12 plays, 71 yards. NU ran the ball on the last six plays of that drive. Marvin Scott had four carries for 20 yards.
11:05 a.m. Well. 7-0 Illinois. Nebraska fumbles on its first play from scrimmage on what appeared to be an incomplete pass by Luke McCaffrey. The play, perhaps inexplicably, was not reviewed. Then, Illinois goes 21 yards on three plays, capped off by Chase Brown's 3-yard touchdown run.
One of the weirdest starts you'll see. Incomplete pass or fumble?
11:01 a.m. Illinois wins the coin toss and elects to defer. Huskers to start with the rock. It's game time.