Nebraska vs. Northwestern: TV Schedule, Live Stream, Radio, Game Time and More

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 05: Wide receiver Tim Marlowe #6 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers gets squeezed by defensive back Ibraheim Campbell #24 and cornerback Jeravin Matthews #3 of the Northwestern Wildcats during their game at Memorial Stadium November 5, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Northwestern beat Nebraska 28-25. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Big Ten football continues on Saturday afternoon as the Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-2) travel to Illinois to take on the Northwestern Huskies (6-1), with both teams looking to keep pace with the leaders in the Big Ten Legends division.

An unranked Northwestern squad walked into Lincoln last season and took down the Cornhuskers, 28-25, knocking off the then-No. 10 team in the country and giving Northwestern their first win against Top-10 competition in two years.

Nebraska was on a bye last week, while Northwestern is coming off of a 21-13 win on the road against Minnesota.

Here's everything you need to know heading into this key game for both teams heading into the second half of the season. 

Where: Ryan Field, Evanston, Illinois

When: Saturday, October 20 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ABC

Live Stream: BTN2GO

Listen: Husker Sports NetworkWGN 720 AM 

Betting Line: Nebraska (-4.5) via Vegas Insider

Key Storyline: Who Can Stay Alive for the Big Ten Championship Game?

While both Nebraska and Northwestern trail Iowa and Michigan in the Big Ten's Legends division, they both only have one loss in conference play.

Both squads have Iowa and Michigan still to come on their schedules, and a second loss in Big Ten play will all but assure them of being out of contention for the division lead by the time those games come up on their schedules.

Who Might Not Play for Nebraska (via USA Today)

RB Rex Burkhead (Knee): Questionable for Saturday

LB Zaire Anderson (Knee): Out for Season

WR Tyler Wullenwaber (Knee): Out for Season

WR Tim Marlowe (Collarbone): Out for Season

Who Might Not Play for Northwestern (via USA Today)

CB Demetrius Dugar (Undisclosed): Questionable for Saturday

DB Jimmy Hall (Undisclosed): Questionable for Saturday

S Hunter Bates (Undisclosed): Questionable for Saturday

LB Roderick Goodlow (Undisclosed): Out for Season

LB Ifeadi Odenigbo (Undisclosed): Out for Season

BCS/Top-25 Implications

Both Nebraska and Northwestern were ranked in the AP Top 25 at one point this season, but currently find themselves on the outside looking in of every Top 25 poll.

While there's no immediate danger of falling out of the Top 25, the winner will move one step closer to improving their standing on the national stage while the loser will fall further into irrelevance.

What They're Saying

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald told reporters that when his team walked out of Lincoln last year with a victory over Nebraska, they were riding a wave of momentum that they got from a win over Indiana the week before, a game that ended a five-game losing streak for the Wildcats. (h/t Fox Sports)

Fitzgerald said the momentum from a win at Indiana carried over to the #Nebraska game last year. #Northwestern repeat?

— Nick Medline (@NicholasMedline) October 15, 2012

It remains to be seen whether a win over Minnesota last week, on the heels of a loss to Penn State, will provide the same momentum needed to fend off the Cornhuskers for a second straight season.

Nebraska Player to Watch: RB Ameer Abdullah

Whether Rex Burkhead plays or not, Ameer Abdullah is going to see plenty of action against a Northwestern defense that ranks 22nd against the run, allowing just under 105 yards rushing per game and a total of eight rushing touchdowns on the season.

Abdullah averages 184.33 total yards per game, fifth in the country. Abdullah's ability to run the ball, along with being able to give the Cornhuskers good field position when he's returning kickoffs and punts will be key to Nebraska being able to take down the Wildcats.

Northwestern Player to Watch: RB Venric Mark

Like Ameer Abdullah, Venric Mark ranks top five in the nation in all-purpose yardage, just ahead of his Cornhusker counterpart with 184.57 yards per game, good enough for fourth in the country.

With Nebraska's defense ranking 91st against the run, allowing more than 189 yards per game on the ground and nine touchdowns, Mark's ability to get going early will put the Wildcats in a position to win the battle for time of possession and keep the ball out of Abdullah's hands.

Prediction: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 24

This one is going to be a battle, with the lead changing hands multiple times as both defenses struggle to contain explosive playmakers on offense.

Nebraska has had nearly two weeks to prepare for the game, and that extra attention to detail gives them the edge they need to pull out the win on the road against a very tough Northwestern squad.


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