Nebraska coping with ‘heartbreaking’ injuries, preps for La Tech


Nebraska carries the momentum of its first win this season when it hosts Louisiana Tech in a non-conference game on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln, Neb.

The Cornhuskers also carry the pain.

The Cornhuskers (1-2) beat Northern Illinois 35-11 last week in their home opener, the first victory under new coach Matt Rhule and the first at Memorial Stadium in nearly a year. But two of Nebraska’s top three running backs suffered season-ending injuries — junior Rahmir Johnson (shoulder) and sophomore Gabe Ervin Jr. (hip).

“It’s heartbreaking,” Rhule said.

Ervin was leading the team in rushing with 196 yards; Johnson had 65 yards on 12 carries.

Nebraska might see the return of starter Jeff Sims, who will practice this week and could play Saturday. Heinrich Haarberg started this past game, throwing for 158 yards and two TDs and rushing for 98 yards and a score.

Louisiana Tech (2-2) is coming off a 40-37 home loss to North Texas in which it rallied from 17 points down in the final 10 minutes, only to lose on a last-seconds field goal.

“We have to turn the page quickly,” Bulldogs coach Sonny Cumbie said. “That is our challenge as coaches is how do we handle this week and how are we going to get better.”

The Bulldogs are led by former Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier, who has thrown for 756 yards and five TDs this season, though Jack Turner threw the game-tying TD pass to Smoke Harris against North Texas. Harris has 24 catches for 288 yards and three TDs in 2023.

A Nebraska win would give the team consecutive home victories for the first time since September 2021.

–Field Level Media

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