Robert Porcher IV

Husker commit Robert Porcher IV are among the visitors expected Saturday for the Nebraska-Oregon game.

It's not under the lights, but a 2:30 p.m. kickoff won't stop the Huskers from having their second significant recruiting weekend of this season.

Expected visitors include four-star running back Alaric Williams (Gadsden, Alabama), who is committed to home-state school Auburn. He's 6-foot, 205 pounds and appears like he'll weigh his options for a while.

One of the more interesting recruits in town is athlete Trajon Cotton. He's from Sacramento, California, and is versatile, playing safety and quarterback, and is taking a close look at Nebraska and … Oregon.

Other prospects reportedly visiting, according to HuskerOnline.com and HuskersIllustrated.com, include Deiontae Watts (Plano, Texas), a 6-3, 305-pound nose tackle that Nebraska has high on its board, as well as three-star outside linebacker Andrew Ward (Muskegon, Michigan). It's Ward's second trip to Nebraska, and his mother is expected to join him.

These recruits will be surrounded by Husker recruits such as tight end Austin Allen (Aurora), defensive end Robert Porcher IV (Orlando, Florida), offensive tackle Matt Sichterman (King Mills, Ohio) and outside linebacker Willie Hampton (Plantation, Florida). You might recall Hampton was the first commitment in the Nebraska 2017 recruiting class.

To sit or stand: It's been suggested by several in the Husker camp, most notably senior linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey, that this game should be a "No Sit Saturday" for fans at Memorial Stadium.

It's a play off the popular "No Sit Sunday" from the Nebraska-Wisconsin men's basketball game in 2014 in which fans stood all game.

Mike Riley wasn't about to tell fans to stand or sit Saturday. "But it's just a sign that everybody is looking for that something extra to do because it is that kind of game," he said.

While Oregon quarterback Dakota Prukop, a grad transfer from Montana State, has never played in front of 90,000 fans, Riley expects the Ducks to be well-prepared for the noise.

"I think that our crowd will be awesome, I think they'll be a factor cheering for their team," Riley said. "Big games are not new to this Oregon team historically. They'll have some young guys and new guys, who knows how they'll respond or what that means to them. But this team, historically, they've played big games in big arenas."

'Life in the Red' blog

They come in bunches. That's what coaches like to say about turnovers.

Sometimes it feels as if they won't come at all. Last year they didn't come near enough for a Husker team that had just 15 takeaways all season.

Yet here they are after two games in 2016 halfway to topping that. NU has eight takeaways. Sure, it's thanks somewhat to a fourth-quarter meltdown by Wyoming — four turnovers in that period alone, a couple of them you might label as unforced errors.

But it hasn't just been fairy dust or luck that suddenly has the Huskers tied for tops in the country in takeaways early in the season.

Ask Rose-Ivey about it. It's not a complicated answer. A lot of turnovers simply come from just knowing what you're doing, which puts you in the right position to make a play.

He pointed to Chris Jones' interception in the fourth quarter Saturday. "He's literally right on the receiver. He's playing exactly the right technique, outside leverage on the corner route with the safety up top. … Where's the quarterback got to throw it? He's got to throw it outside. So that's a pick."

Then Rose-Ivey dropped a well-placed "Space Jam" reference: "Guys didn't drink Michael Jordan's Super Juice or whatever." Bugs actually refers to it as "Michael's Secret Stuff," but we'll forgive the linebacker for not nailing that since he was 3 when the movie came out.

Point being, the Huskers being in the right position to make plays so far has been a product of offseason studying.

"The cut-up we watched of all our mistakes as linebackers (last year), we just watched it constantly, constantly, constantly," Rose-Ivey said. "And if you guys look at the film, and look at our depth (in the passing game), that was one of the main things we talked about in the spring, was getting better depth and helping those safeties out. It's definitely improved.

"We're on the right track, but like I told the guys today, 'It's only a start.' We have to build upon that start and hopefully finish a lot better."

This week's chat 

Lorie writes: Who is a player you think will have a big game that hasn't done a lot yet this season?

Brian Christopherson: Cethan Carter. It hasn't been his fault he hasn't done a lot statistically. Frankly, he could have had about 80-100 receiving yards if Armstrong had hit him a couple times when he was open. But this seems like the kind of game where Langsdorf might have a clever way or two to get him the ball. Isolate him against some of those Oregon backers who are struggling. Maybe even spring him on that end-around play he runs really well.

Patrick writes: I think these teams are even. Besides the turnover margin, I think whoever wins the "pace battle" wins. If Nebraska can slow the game and get 5-6 yards a carry NU should win, but if Oregon goes into NASCAR mode they win going away.

Christopherson: Pace battle is an excellent way to describe it. You explained one of the biggest keys in just a couple sentences. The other part is NU's defense understanding, yes, Oregon is going to have a few highlight plays. Short memory will be key. This game almost comes down more to the mental part than physical part for Nebraska, I think. Almost need that kind of mindset like they had against Miami two years ago, where it was clear they were going to match the other team's swagger all night long.

Brian Christopherson



Load comments