Omar Manning continues to work toward getting on the field for Nebraska and could make his first appearance as soon as this weekend, NU offensive coordinator Matt Lubick said Tuesday.
"We're hoping he can help us this week," Lubick said. "The key is getting him healthy and confident. (And) he is getting healthy. Confidence is knowing your assignment, repping it over and over, and that takes practice, and he's doing a good job of it."
Wan'Dale Robinson led the Huskers with six catches for 49 yards against Ohio State, but no other wide receiver had more than one catch. Nebraska's longest pass play was a 26-yarder to tight end Austin Allen.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Manning would presumably give Nebraska a big, physical, deep threat the team has lacked since Scott Frost became head coach.
"He's explosive. He brings some size to the table; he's definitely our biggest receiver," Lubick said. "He has strong hands, he's physical. So he has a lot of good skill sets that we want to utilize."
The return of Reimer: Sophomore linebacker Luke Reimer was "a little banged up" in the leadup to the Ohio State game, which led to him not making the trip to Columbus, Ohio.
But Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander is hopeful the Lincoln North Star graduate will be back in time to help against Wisconsin.
"He'll be a part of that rotation inside," with seniors Collin Miller and Will Honas, Chinander said.
The 6-1, 220-pound Reimer made a splash on special teams last season before working his way onto the field for Nebraska's defense later in the year. This year, he was part of a group of inside linebackers that Chinander said had a strong preseason.
Reimer's return would provide needed depth after Miller and Honas played the majority of defensive snaps last week.
"It's going to be super important to get Luke back," Chinander said. "We just need to get those guys a little break in the game."
Same as always: No matter who Wisconsin's quarterback is, Nebraska knows what it has to do first, defensive line coach Tony Tuioti said.
"I don't think they're going to change much. They're going to run the football, they're going to try and control the line of scrimmage, and then they're going to try to use play-action pass when they need to," Tuioti said. "But if we can't stop the run, there's no reason for them to stop running the ball."
The Badgers averaged just 3.4 yards per carry while running for 182 yards last week against Illinois. But, in the first two meetings with Nebraska in the Frost era, Wisconsin has run for 370 and 273 yards while averaging well over 7 yards per carry.
"So for us up front it’s about stopping the run, taking away what they do best, and then we can make them one-dimensional and now we get a chance to go after them," Tuioti said. "We got to earn the right to rush the passer, but it starts with stopping the run, and that’s what they do really, really well."
No change in plans: Nebraska's defensive game plan won't change with defensive backs Cam Taylor-Britt and Deontai Williams sitting out the first half Saturday, Chinander said.
Both players will sit after being ejected for targeting in the second half of the Ohio State game. It will be up to some of NU's younger players — Myles Farmer, Ronald Delancy, Noa Pola-Gates, Isaac Gifford and Quinton Newsome, for example — to fill the void.
All have gotten reps in the Huskers' defensive scheme and would be ready to go if needed.
"They understand the calls; they’ve been getting a lot of reps. It’s not like you’re throwing some guys in there that have never played. They’ve executed all the defense; I trust those guys," Chinander said. "So I think our game plan is going to be tailored to Wisconsin and not necessarily tailored to the personnel we have in the football game."
Homecoming for Rogers: Last Saturday's game was special for defensive lineman Casey Rogers, and not only because he saw his first extensive action in a Nebraska uniform.
"I was originally born in Columbus right next to the stadium," Rogers said Tuesday. "So it was pretty special to play just about 500 yards from where I was born. It was awesome."
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is almost in the shadow of Ohio Stadium, located just to the south of the Buckeyes' home field. Rogers was born in 1998, while his father Lelan was the lacrosse coach at Ohio Wesleyan.
The 6-4, 300-pound Rogers made the first four tackles of his career against the Buckeyes after playing in four games last season and redshirting in 2018.
It was special. It was a really cool feeling, especially against a team like Ohio State," Rogers said. "But it's everything I've ever trained for; it's everything I've ever wanted, so it was expected just to go out there and work as hard as I can no matter what."
Watch now: Here's what Chinander, McCaffrey are saying about loss to OSU, and the Badgers coming to town
Watch now: Chinander on what he expects from a QB-depleted Wisconsin team
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Watch now: Tuioti emphasizes importance of stopping run vs. Wisconsin
Watch now: Lubick evaluates OSU game, gives updates on newcomers
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