Wyoming vs. Nebraska, 9/10

Wyoming cornerback Antonio Hull (21) breaks up a pass in the end zone intended for Nebraska wide receiver Brandon Reilly (87) in second-quarter action at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016.

The Huskers have four key players who are considered "questionable" for Saturday's showdown with Oregon. "We hope they turn to probable real fast," Mike Riley said.

The Husker head coach noted during Monday's news conference that senior wide receivers Brandon Reilly (hamstring) and Alonzo Moore (shoulder), as well as true freshman Lamar Jackson (groin), came out of the Wyoming game dinged up.

He also said sophomore defensive tackle Mick Stoltenberg, who missed the Wyoming game after minor knee surgery, is day-to-day with his status hopefully known by Thursday.

Moore, who has 201 yards receiving in the first two games, told media he expects to play.

Reilly, who also attended the Monday news conference, may be more iffy, according to his own words.

"I wouldn't say confident," Reilly said of his belief he'll play against Oregon. "But you know, I'll live in the training room 24-7 this week and hopefully I can get back."

Reilly was like other Huskers who said they have to treat Oregon as just another game.

However, his next line spoke to the added meaning this game seems to have for a Nebraska program looking to get back into the national conversation.

"It's probably a little more difficult just, you know, the history and tradition and dominance they have shown over decades," Reilly said of treating Oregon like any other game. "Obviously tough for me, too. I've been looking forward to this game for a couple years now, and so, hopefully I get some good luck in the next few days."

Cleaning it up: After two weeks of football, the Huskers are 114th out of 128 FBS teams in penalty yardage, averaging 86.5 yards.

Riley counted three late hits and an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty among Nebraska's flags against Wyoming.

"We've tried to make an emphasis of hits on the sidelines," the coach said. "Those are easy to call, easy to see. That's where you see the majority of them. We had two more late hits that were not necessary at all. ... So that all has to be corrected."

Sophomore left tackle Nick Gates was called for one of the late hits after a play.

"I probably shouldn't have done what I did, but I was trying to play physical, play aggressive, play to the whistle. Sometimes I play a little after the whistle and they got me that time," Gates said.

He also added he can't "stop playing the way I play," but said he has to watch it closer. "And when I hear the whistle, stop after that."

Running Ducks: Speed is always the thing people mention first with the Ducks and Riley agrees it's been a consistent ingredient for their offense for a long time.

"But I also think it's versatility in the offense," the coach said. "You know, everybody might think about it like a spread offense, passing offense, but it's not. It is predicated on the run and has been for a long time. Running with the running back, running with the quarterback, has always been a big issue there."

Oregon running back Royce Freeman already has 294 yards rushing in two games, averaging 9.2 yards per carry. He has 3,495 rushing yards in his career, which ranks fifth among all active FBS players.

Junior safety Kieron Williams was asked if it's actually fun to play against a fast-tempo team such as Oregon because it means there's more snaps to play.

“That's one way to think of it," he said with a smile. "That's a bright side, I guess."

Cranked up: Saturday's game will mark the 350th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium. Senior linebacker Michael Rose-Ivey even made this request to fans on Twitter: #NoSitSaturday.

Sit or stand, Riley expects Husker fans will bring the noise.

"Let's go. Let's get it cranked up," the coach said. "I think that it's always a factor when you're playing on the road in a game like this. Well, when we're going to Autzen (Oregon’s home stadium) next year, it will be the same way."

Gerry honored: Nebraska senior Nate Gerry was named Big Ten defensive player of the week. Gerry had two interceptions in the Huskers' 52-17 win against Wyoming.

— Brian Christopherson

Reach the writer at 402-473-7439 or bchristopherson@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.


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