The Matchup: Rutgers vs. Nebraska

Nebraska City News-Press

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HUSKERS

Record: 2-5, 2-5 Big Ten

Last Game: Minnesota (L, 24-17)

Rankings: NR

Coach: Scott Frost

Career/NU Record: 30-27 (5th Year)/11-20 (3rd Year) 

vs. Rutgers: First Meeting

SCARLET KNIGHTS

Record: 3-5, 3-5 Big Ten

Last Game: at Maryland (W, 27-24, OT)

Rankings: NR

Coach: Greg Schiano

Career/RU Record: 71-72 (1st/12th Year)/Same

vs. Nebraska: First Meeting

SERIES HISTORY

All-Time Series: Nebraska leads, 4-0

As Big Ten Foes: Nebraska leads, 3-0

In Piscataway: Nebraska leads, 1-0

Last Game: Nebraska, 27-17 (9/23/17)

Win Streak: Nebraska, 4 games

The Matchup

Nebraska completes its abbreviated 2020 regular season this weekend, when the Huskers take on Rutgers in the Big Ten's Champions Week matchup. The contest will be played at Rutgers' SHI Stadium on Friday,  Dec. 18, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. Central (7:30 p.m. local time). The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. 

Nebraska comes into the Champions Week game with a 2-5 record following a 24-17 setback against Minnesota on Saturday in Lincoln. The Huskers fell behind by 10 points in the first quarter, but rallied to take a second-quarter lead. However, Nebraska could not get its offense moving in the second half ,and Minnesota controlled the clock to secure the victory. 

The Huskers will be facing the Scarlet Knights for the first time since 2017, and making their first trip to Piscataway since a 2015 victory. Nebraska holds a 4-0 edge in the all-time series between the two schools, including a 3-0 mark since Rutgers joined the Big Ten in 2014.

Rutgers comes into the game with a 3-5 record, following a 27-24 overtime victory at Maryland on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights are one of the nation's most improved teams in 2020, posting three Big Ten wins after going winless in league play in 2018 and 2019. 

Coach Greg Schiano is completing the first season of his second stint as Rutgers' head coach. Schiano guided Rutgers from 2001 to 2011, before moving on to the professional ranks. Schiano's team features a balanced offense that completes better than 63 percent of its passes. The Scarlet Knights have featured an opportunistic defense, forcing 15 turnovers in eight games this season.

Series History: Nebraska vs. Rutgers

Friday's game will mark the fifth all-time meeting between Nebraska and Rutgers and the fourth as members of the Big Ten Conference. This will be the first meeting since 2017, and the first under Coach Scott Frost. 

• Nebraska owns a 4-0 series edge over the Scarlet Knights. The average margin of victory in those four games is 18.3 points per game. 

• This will be the second all-time meeting in Piscataway. The Huskers won at Rutgers, 31-14, in 2015. 

• Nebraska and Rutgers are next scheduled to meet in the regular season on Sept. 24, 2022, in Piscataway.

Nebraska Set for Third December Football

The matchup with Rutgers will be the Huskers' third game in the month of December, the most December games in school history. The stretch began at Purdue on Dec. 5, followed by last week's game at Memorial Stadium with Minnesota. 

• The Dec. 12 game against Minnesota was the latest home game in school history and the first December home game in the 98-season history of Memorial Stadium.

• The December games mark Nebraska's first December regular-season games since a matchup with Kansas State in the Tokyo Bowl on Dec. 5, 1992.

• Since that 1992 game, Nebraska's only December contests had been conference championship games (6 times) or bowl games (11 times).

• Before the game at Purdue on Dec. 5, the last time Nebraska played a December game at home or on an opponent's home field was a Dec. 4, 1982, game at Hawaii.

Frost in Third Season Leading Huskers

Scott Frost is in his third season at Nebraska in 2020. The consensus 2017 national coach of the year, Frost owns a 30-27 career record in five seasons as a collegiate head coach.

• Frost is 11-20 at Nebraska, with 12 losses by eight or fewer points, including eight by five or fewer points.

• At UCF, Frost became the first coach in FBS history to turn a winless team into an undefeated team in just two years.

• Of Frost's 10 assistant coaches, seven have been with him in each of his five seasons as a collegiate head coach, while Mike Dawson has been on four of Frost's five staffs.

• In 14 years as a full-time assistant or head coach, Frost's teams have posted a 133-45 record, averaging nearly 10 wins per season. Frost has been a part of seven conference championship teams in his 13 seasons and has twice coached in the national championship game.

• Frost's teams have been ranked in the top 15 in 10 of his previous 13 seasons, including eight final top-10 rankings and six final top-five rankings.

Martinez Numbers Ranking Among Nation's Best QBs

Adrian Martinez has put up statistics in his three seasons that have him ranked among the Nebraska all-time leaders in several categories. Martinez has thrown for 5,373 career yards, rushed for 1,619 yards and totaled 6,992 yards of offense.

Martinez owns three Nebraska career records, four season records and one game record, which he has set on two occasions, most recently at Iowa on Nov. 27. Last season, Martinez was just the second Husker sophomore to be a team captain since 1930, and he again holds that distinction this year, becoming one of just 13 two-time captains in Nebraska history.

• Martinez is Nebraska's all-time leader in total offensive yards per game (259.0) and 400-yard total offense games (4). He has produced four of Nebraska's 16 individual 400-yard total offense performances, and Martinez's career average of 259.0 yards of total offense per game is more than 20 yards higher than any other Husker quarterback who played in at least 15 career games.

• Martinez averaged a school-record 295.1 yards of total offense per game as a true freshman in 2018. That average ranked 12th nationally, led all freshmen and was the ninth-highest average by a freshman in NCAA history, including the third-best mark by a true freshman.

• Martinez also set NU season records for 300-yard total offense games (7) and 400-yard total offense games (3) in 2018.

• Martinez has been one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks. He is one of only six active FBS quarterbacks with 5,000 career passing yards and 1,500 career rushing yards. Martinez is only the third Husker with 5,000 career passing yards and 1,500 career rushing yards.

• Martinez set an NU record with an 86.2 completion percentage against Minnesota in 2018, connecting on 25-of-29 passes for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He bettered that mark earlier this season at Iowa, connecting on 18-of-20 passes for a school-record 90.0 percent completion rate. 

• Martinez is completing 68.3 percent of his passes this season, a mark that would be a school record. 

• In the Iowa game, Martinez became the sixth Husker with 5,000 career passing yards. He has moved to No. 4 on the Nebraska career passing list with 5,373 career yards. 

• Martinez is tied for the team lead with 364 rushing yards and ranks seventh nationally among quarterbacks in rushing yards per game. He is seventh in school history in quarterback rushing yards.

• At Illinois in 2019, Martinez produced the second 300-yard passing and 100-yard rushing performance in Nebraska history (328 passing, 118 rushing). His career-high 446 yards of total offense was the third-highest total in program history.

• In 2018, Martinez became just the sixth freshman in NCAA history to average 200 passing yards and 50 rushing yards per game and just the second true freshman to hit those marks. Martinez was also one of only four FBS quarterbacks - regardless of class - who averaged 225 passing yards and 50 rushing yards per game in 2018.

Jaimes Sets School Record for Consecutive OL Starts

Brenden Jaimes has been a mainstay on the Husker offensive line the past four seasons. Jaimes started the final nine games at right tackle as a true freshman in 2017, earning the most starts by a true freshman offensive lineman in Nebraska history. He has started every game at left tackle the past three seasons.

• Jaimes has made 40 consecutive starts, the most ever by a Husker offensive linemen. His 31 consecutive starts at left tackle are the third-most ever at the position in program history.

• Jaimes has started every game he has played, giving him 40 career starts. Against Minnesota, Jaimes became only the second Nebraska offensive lineman to start 40 games, joining Jeremiah Sirles, who earned 41 starts for the Big Red from 2010 to 2013.

• In addition to Jaimes' 40 consecuvie starts, classmate Matt Farniok made his 31st consecutive start on the offensive line against Minnesota. Together, Jaimes and Farniok are two of only 12 offensive linemen in program history to start 30 consecutive games.

Huskers' Youth Showing Potential in 2020

McCaffrey and Robinson headline Nebraska's youth movement, but several other underclassmen have made significant impacts in 2020. 

• Against both Penn State and Illinois, six of Nebraska's 11 offensive starters were either freshmen or sophomores, including four freshmen. 

• Senior Dedrick Mills is Nebraska's top running back, but missed most of three games with an injury. In his place, three freshmen stepped up, including true freshman Marvin Scott III and redshirt freshmen Ronald Thompkins and Rahmir Johnson.

• True freshman receiver Zavier Betts has 12 receptions for 131 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown catch against Penn State. Betts had a season-high five catches at Purdue. Fellow true freshman receiver Alante Brown made a start against Penn State and is one of NU's top kickoff returners. He has 216 all-purpose yards this season.

• Redshirt freshmen Bryce Benhart (RT) and Ethan Piper (LG) are key members of the Husker offensive line. Benhart has started all seven games at right tackle, while Piper has started the last six games at left guard. Those are six of just eight games in school history when Nebraska has started a pair of freshmen offensive linemen. Current seniors Brenden Jaimes and Matt Farniok started on the same offensive line against Northwestern and Minnesota in 2017.

• Sophomore linebacker Luke Reimer led Nebraska in tackles at Iowa with 12 stops, including 11 solo tackles. Reimer's 11 solo tackles were the second-most by a Husker in a Big Ten Conference game, trailing only Lavonte David's 14 solo stops at Michigan in 2011. The Iowa game marked the second time this season he has led NU in tackles (10 at Northwestern). 

• On the season, Reimer is fifth on the team with 40 tackles, while ranking second on the team with 5.0 tackles for loss and two sacks. He ranks among the Big Ten leaders with 4.8 solo tackles per game. 

• Reimer had a tackle for loss in five straight games (Northwestern-Purdue). He is the first Husker to have a tackle for loss in five straight games since Luke Gifford had a TFL in seven straight games between the 2017 and 2018 seasons. 

Nebraska Among Top All-Time Programs

Nebraska is playing its 131st season this fall, and the Huskers boast a 904-400-40 all-time record in 1,344 games (.688). Nebraska is one of eight programs with 900 wins.

• Nebraska joined the 900-win club at Illinois on Sept. 21, 2019, along with Michigan, Ohio State, Texas and Alabama in that club. Notre Dame, Oklahoma amd Penn State have since joined that elite club.

• Since 1970, Nebraska owns a 470-159-5 record (.745) with five national championships. The Huskers rank second among all FBS programs in national titles and third in wins since 1970.

• Nebraska boasts 27 10-win seasons in school history, including 24 since 1970. The Huskers also have 12 seasons with 11 or more wins, seven seasons with 12 or more wins and three 13-win seasons.

• The Huskers own 50 nine-win seasons, tied with Alabama for the most in NCAA history. Forty- two of those nine-win seasons have come since 1970 and 48 since 1962, 13 more than any other school.

• Nebraska was the first team in NCAA history to win 100 games in consecutive decades, leading the nation with 103 wins in the 1980s and ranking second with 108 wins in the 1990s.

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