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Nebraska head coach Mike Riley with wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey (1) during pregame at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. 

TED KIRK, Journal Star

Nebraska head coach Mike Riley on Thursday said the staff, "thinks" senior wide receiver De'Mornay Pierson-El (shoulder) will be available Saturday afternoon against Oregon and "hopes" the same for right tackle David Knevel (ankle). 

Knevel left the game for three fourth-quarter snaps, but returned for NU's final drive of the game.

"We're just going to see how (Knevel) responds by game time, probably," Riley said.

If he can't play, redshirt freshman Matt Farniok will start. 

"It's been pretty seamless," Riley said. "If indeed he ends up playing, it will be a good baptism for him, for sure." 

He didn't hesitate when asked who he expects to step up if Pierson-El can't play: Freshman Tyjon Lindsey. 

Other highlights: 

* Riley received a pair of firsthand air-quality updates from the Wilamette Valley on Thursday. 

"Kate Riley this morning said it was a lot better today," Riley said, referring to his daughter. "And then (associate athletic director for football operations Dan Van De Riet) said it was getting worse as he drove south from Portland, but I haven't talked to him since that time. 

I think they're all expecting it to be kind of OK by the time we play the game." 

He added the teams are prepared to take steps like having extra oxygen available on the sidelines. 

*Asked if Oregon will run the ball more than Arkansas State, Riley said he thought they would, but added, "They may have liked what they saw in the game film."

* Riley thinks his young players will react well to a hostile environment. Said, "I don't think Tyjon Lindsey will blink. I don't think Deontre Thomas will blink." 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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