scouting report Gophers at nebraska

11 a.m. Saturday • Memorial Stadium • FS1 • (100.3 FM)

Huskers focus on run defense

A look at the Cornhuskers

The Cornhuskers (2-4), who won at Purdue 37-27 last Saturday, are looking for their first back-to-back victories of the season. The Cornhuskers opened the season with losses at Ohio State and at Northwestern. After defeating Penn State, 30-23, the Cornhuskers committed five turnovers in a 41-23 loss at home to Illinois. Two weeks ago, the Cornhuskers lost at Iowa. Cornhuskers coach Scott Frost told reporters this week, "Well you gotta learn from a win and learn from a loss. I've really seen our habits and a lot of things around the building get better the last couple weeks. Coming off a win you have to double down and do even more of it — make sure you're focused, focus is good, your practice habits are good, your effort is good and I expect the guys to respond well this week." One area of improvement for the Cornhuskers last week was in run defense. After allowing 204.4 rushing yards per game in their first five games, the Cornhuskers limited Purdue to minus-2 yards rushing last week. The Gophers rushed for 322 yards and four touchdowns in the 34-7 victory over the Cornhuskers last year.

Who to watch

Nebraska QBs Adrian Martinez and Luke McCaffrey and OL Brenden Jaimes

Martinez, a junior, has started four games and McCaffrey, a redshirt freshman, has started two for the Cornhuskers. Martinez, who did not play against the Gophers last year because of injury, is ranked second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally in completion percentage (70.8). He has passed for 689 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 268 yards and four touchdowns. McCaffrey has passed for 466 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 364 yards and three touchdowns. Left tackle Brenden Jaimes, a 6-6, 300-pound senior, made his 39th consecutive start last Saturday. It's the most consecutive starts by an offensive lineman in school history. Frost told reporters, "Well he's been a key piece of what we've been doing. He's been committed and dedicated so we're grateful we have him."

From the coach Scott Frost

Describing the Gophers' 34-7 victory over the Cornhuskers in Minneapolis last year, Frost told reporters this week, "They whipped us last year up there, they did a great job with game plan, coaching and playing and certainly got the better of us. They just outphysicaled us, they executed better, they played harder than us, they beat us." The Cornhuskers got a boost last week from the return of RB Dedrick Mills, who had missed two games because of injury. Mills has rushed for 155 yards on 47 carries. "We've been missing him he's our only veteran back there," Frost said. This week, he said, the Cornhuskers need "to establish a run game on offense and that doesn't change week-to-week, but these guys really demand it out of you when you play Minnesota."

Joel Rippel