Friday's Nebraska vs. Rutgers game in Piscataway, New Jersey, is far from a showdown the whole country is anticipating, but it is intriguing because both sides have the opportunity to pick up a much-needed victory as they continue fighting for bowl eligibility. The Cornhuskers and Scarlet Knights have gotten off to shaky starts in 2022, but one of them will leave with an important win.
By the end of September, Nebraska had fired coach Scott Frost and dropped to 1-3 following a blowout at the hands of Oklahoma. The Huskers needed a win in the worst way, and they got it against the lowly Indiana Hoosiers last weekend. Nebraska got decent performances from the offense and the defense, and that could be something for interim coach Mickey Joseph to build upon.
After a 3-0 start in nonconference play, Rutgers has dropped its first two Big Ten games of the season. The most recent loss was a 49-10 beatdown by the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, and the Scarlet Knights still have not scored more than 22 points against an FBS opponent. That could be an issue against Nebraska, which has at least shown some level of explosiveness on the offensive side of the ball.
More information about how to watch this Big Ten cross-divisional matchup can be found below.
How to watch Nebraska vs. Rutgers live
Date: Friday, Oct. 7 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: SHI Stadium -- Piscataway, New Jersey
TV: FS1 | Live stream: fuboTV
Three players to watch
Casey Thompson, Nebraska QB: Thompson gives the Cornhuskers some degree of dual-threat ability from the quarterback position, but his rushing numbers have been tanked by sacks through the first five games. Still, when given time, Thompson has been effective in 2022. Against Indiana, Thompson threw for 270 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception while adding a rushing score. The Rutgers defense should provide more resistance, but look for Thompson to make some plays for this Huskers offense.
Tyreem Powell, Rutgers LB: The Scarlet Knights will task Powell with making sure Thompson doesn't do too much damage on Friday night. Powell currently leads Rutgers with three sacks on the season, and considering the lack of protection for Thompson so far, he could add to that total against Nebraska. If the Huskers can't keep him in check, they will find themselves in a rock fight.
Trey Palmer, Nebraska WR: The LSU transfer is coming off a breakout performance against Indiana. Last weekend, Palmer hauled in eight catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. He now leads the team in receptions (36), receiving yards (480) and receiving touchdowns (2). Palmer has provided a source of optimism for the Cornhuskers, and Rutgers will have its hands full trying to contain him.
Nebraska vs. Rutgers prediction
The thought of trusting either one of these teams is a little nerve wracking. I wonder whether the Rutgers offense can really keep pace with Nebraska, but the Huskers are allowing 32.6 points per game. Then again, if the Scarlet Knights offense was going to break out, it would have scored more than 16 points against Temple. Nebraska goes into Piscataway and handles its business to get the win and the cover. Prediction: Nebraska -3
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 6, and which Top 25 favorite will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $3,100 in profit over the past six-plus seasons -- and find out.