Nebraska looks to end struggles at home, hosts Northern Illinois


Nebraska will try to win its first game at home in nearly a year when it hosts Northern Illinois in a nonconference matchup on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

The Cornhuskers (0-2) last won at Memorial Stadium, where they have sold out 389 consecutive games, on Oct. 1, 2022, when they beat Indiana. They have yet to play at home this season, opening the year at Minnesota and Colorado, leading to the latest home opener since 1981.

“We’re excited to play at home, excited to play in front of our fans,” first-year Nebraska coach Matt Rhule said.

Georgia Tech transfer Jeff Sims lost two fumbles and threw an interception in a 36-14 loss to the Buffaloes after getting picked off three times in the season opener. But Rhule said Sims will under center if an ankle sprain that he suffered against Colorado isn’t too serious.

“Jeff is our starting quarterback,” Rhule said. “That being said, we can’t keep turning the ball over.”

If Sims can’t go, either Heinrich Haarberg or Chubba Purdy will start.

Northern Illinois (1-1) turned it over three times in a 14-11 home loss to FCS Southern Illinois last Saturday, wiping away all the momentum that came from winning at Boston College in the season opener.

The Huskies outgained Southern Illinois 360-217 but only managed to score twice on six possessions that ended up at or inside their opponent’s 35-yard line.

“We just couldn’t get anything going as a team,” NIU coach Thomas Hammock said. “I thought our defense played phenomenally, gave us a chance to win.”

NIU is 7-40-1 all-time against current Big Ten schools, including a win at Nebraska in 2017.

Nebraska has lost to a Group of Five opponent three times since 2017, falling at home to Georgia Southern last September. That defeat led to coach Scott Frost’s firing the next day.

–Field Level Media

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