Nebraska is adjusting on the fly with quarterback and injury issues entering game against La Tech

Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule lets referees know he did not call a timeout against Northern Illinois during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
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Louisiana Tech (2-2) at Nebraska (1-2), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Big Ten Network)

Line: Nebraska by 20 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Nebraska leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

As if Nebraska first-year coach Matt Rhule's job isn't hard enough, he now has a mini quarterback controversy on his hands and has lost two of his top three running backs to season-ending injuries. Rhule and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield will use this game to figure out the best path forward with second-ranked Michigan up next.

KEY MATCHUP

Louisiana Tech WR Smoke Harris vs. Nebraska secondary. Harris is in his sixth season with the Bulldogs and their most versatile player. He has 24 catches for 288 yards and three touchdowns and no drops in 30 targets. He also returns kicks and punts. The Huskers should be prepared. They faced multiple elite receivers two weeks ago against Colorado.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Louisiana Tech: QBs Hank Bachmeier or Jack Turner. Bachmeier is the Boise State transfer who started 29 games over four years before leaving the Broncos four games into last season. His Boise State resume includes wins over Florida State and nationally ranked BYU and Fresno State. He was knocked out of last week's 40-37 loss to North Texas with a shoulder injury and his status was up in the air early in the week. Turner has limited experience.

Nebraska: QBs Jeff Sims or Heinrich Haarberg. Rhule says his decision on a starter won't be public knowledge until game day. Sims, who committed six turnovers in the first two games on the road against Power Five opponents, sat out last week's home game against Group of Six Northern Illinois with an ankle injury. Haarberg threw for two touchdowns and ran for one in a solid performance in the 35-11 win.

FACTS & FIGURES

Ex-Husker Decoldest Crawford plays for the Bulldogs. Crawford missed last season because of injury but is well-known in Nebraska for appearing in an ad for an Omaha heating-and-air conditioning company that played off his first name. ... Nebraska is third nationally in rushing defense (46.3 ypg) and sacks (14). The Huskers have held three straight opponents under 60 yards on the ground for the first time since 2008. ... Nebraska is 7-0 against current members of Conference USA. ... The Bulldogs have had at least one play from scrimmage go for at least 50 yards in five straight games.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll