Nebraska coach Mike Riley says the Huskers’ ground game will be challenged on Saturday when they host Illinois. Through four games the Huskers rank third in the Big Ten in rushing by averaging 242 yards per game.
“Their defensive front is the best one that we will have faced so far”, said Riley. “They have got two defensive ends that are good. Their defensive tackles are good players so their front will be tough.”
Former Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith is in his first year with the Illini and says their defense has been hurt by mobile quarterbacks in their 1-2 start to the season. Smith says they need to get it fixed before going up against the Tommy Armstrong led Husker offense.
“This is the best running quarterback we have played so the challenge is there”, said Smith. “Nebraska has great skill at tight end, running back, wide out and their quarterback really can beat you.”
Saturday’s game will be the Big Ten opener for Illinois. The Huskers are 4-0 and opened the conference race with a 24-13 win at Northwestern.