Tim Beck respects the challenges his offense will face from Michigan State's top-ranked defense Saturday.
But the respect should be mutual.
After all, Nebraska has beaten Michigan State each of the past two seasons, averaging 26 points and 371.5 yards in those games.
"We've been fortunate our guys have played well," Beck said after Tuesday's practice. "Last year we made some plays when we needed to win the game.
"Maybe our guys relish playing them. Maybe they enjoy it."
Is there concern about Nebraska’s offense being intimidated, considering all the talk about the Spartan defense?
“They’re a good defense, no question about it,” Beck said. “They play hard and they’re physical. And they did that last year and the year before that, too.”
Nebraska won last year’s game 28-24 in East Lansing, Mich. In 2011, the Huskers handed the Spartans their only Big Ten loss, a 24-3 decision in Lincoln.
“We’ll show up on Saturday,” Beck said.
Michigan State this season is allowing 11.6 points per game and only 210.2 yards, fewest in the nation.
Nebraska is averaging 35.9 points (29th nationally) and 446 yards (42nd), but is banged up along the offensive line.
However, junior guard Jake Cotton, who sprained his MCL against Northwestern and sat out last week’s Michigan game, returned to practice Tuesday.
“Jake did practice some, so we’ll see,” Beck said.
Senior tackle Jeremiah Sirles sat out Tuesday with a sprained MCL. He is doubtful for Saturday.
Meanwhile, senior tight end Jake Long (hamstring), who played about 30 snaps against Michigan after missing the previous three games, said his injury is "feeling better every day."
No word on Jamal Turner's injury.