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Codi Childs | | August 25, 2022

15 numbers to know before the Nebraska vs. Northwestern season opener in Ireland

Preseason college football preview with B/R's Adam Kramer

Nebraska and Northwestern will face off Saturday in Dublin, Ireland, to kick off the 2022 season. This game comes as the earliest these two Big Ten conference teams have ever met in the regular season.

FOX will broadcast the game live at 12:30 p.m. ET from Aviva Stadium. 

Here are some numbers to know as we preview this season opener, which is the second Big Ten game ever to be played outside of the country. In 1993, Wisconsin beat Michigan State in Tokyo to clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl.

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1902: The year that marks the first-ever meeting between Nebraska and Northwestern. This battle, which was played on Nebraska’s home turf, saw the Cornhuskers take a 12-0 victory against the Wildcats in their final game of the season. The win capped off an undefeated season for the Huskers in which Nebraska shut out every single opponent they faced by an average of 18.6 points for the margin of victory.

6-9: Northwestern’s all-time record against Nebraska. The Huskers have bested the Wildcats in the majority of their meetings including a commanding 56-7 win last October. The loss was one of nine for the 3-9 Wildcats. Conversely, the win proved to be a highlight of Nebraska’s 3-9 season. It was the Huskers' largest margin of victory and final win of 2021. 

University of Nebraska Nebraska defeats Northwestern in 2021 blowoutNebraska defeats Northwestern in 2021 blowout

657: The number of total yards Northwestern allowed in their 2021 loss against Nebraska. Running back Jaquez Yant ran for 127 yards in the win and set career highs in both carries and yards. He returns to the Huskers this season.

14: Saturday’s matchup will mark the 14th time an FBS conference game has been played outside of the United States. The last time a Big Ten team played in Europe featured a Penn State win versus UCF in August in 2014 in Dublin.

1,358: That’s how many football games Nebraska has played in its 133-year history, per this preview from The Ireland-based opener will be Nebraska’s second-ever game played overseas. The first was in a 1992 victory over Kansas State in Tokyo.

4,050: The distance, in miles, the Cornhuskers will travel from Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Northwestern will travel 3,655 miles from Ryan Field across the pond for Saturday’s matchup. 

Stadia Magazine Aviva Stadium in Dublin, IrelandAviva Stadium will host the Nebraska vs. Northwestern season opener

48,000: The seated capacity of Aviva Stadium for American football, according to Aviva is the national stadium of Ireland and is the playing ground for a host of rugby and soccer games in the country. The venue’s capacity is between that of Nebraska’s home stadium and Northwestern’s home stadium. Memorial Stadium in Nebraska has a capacity north of 85,000 and Ryan Field has a capacity of more than 47,000.

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The average temperature, in degrees, in August in Ireland. Though both the Cornhuskers and Wildcats are used to playing in less than warm weather in their respective climates, the average temperature in both Nebraska and Illinois during this time of year is in the 80s. This game will act as a preview of what is to come this fall for the games in both Lincoln and Evanston.

14-1: The Huskers roll in August. Nebraska’s all-time record in the month of August is 14-1. However, their undefeated August record ended in 2021 with a 30-22 loss against Illinois. 

8: Northwestern has won eight conference titles in the program’s history, including winning consecutive titles in 1930-1931 and 1995-1996. 

Northwestern University Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald

17: As the second-longest tenured coach in all of Big Ten football, head coach Pat Fitzgerald returns for his 17th season leading the Northwestern Wildcats. Fitzgerald led the defense at linebacker in the 1990s and was inducted into the Northwestern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.

University of Nebraska Nebraska football coach Scott Frost

5: Coach Scott Frost returns to the helm of the Nebraska football program for his fifth year as head coach. His coaching record through his first four seasons is 15-29, with a 10-25 record in the Big Ten conference. Foster, a former Husker, won a national title with the program as a member of their roster in 1995 and led the team to another national championship as the starting quarterback in 1997. 

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4: That’s how many full-time offensive starters will return to the Huskers’ roster this season along with five defensive starters.

9: Big Ten games Nebraska and Northwestern will play in the 2022 regular season. In addition to Northwestern, Nebraska’s matchups have games against the following Big Ten programs: Indiana, Rutgers, Purdue, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. Northwestern will play Penn State, Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State, Minnesota, Purdue and Illinois.

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3: Despite an all-time winning record against Northwestern across 15 games, in games decided by eight points or less, Nebraska has only won three times to Northwestern’s five. Meaning, if history repeats, the Huskers may have to blow out the Wildcats to secure the victory.

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