There is no doubt when coming to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln students will be surrounded with Husker sports from soccer games on day one to the end of the school with baseball at Haymarket Park. The key is, with adapting to college life and a plethora of new experiences, knowing which sporting events should you really make sure to get to. Here’s a list of some of the biggest matchups this fall:
Wisconsin, Saturday, Oct.10
Sure, you’ll want to get to BYU game Saturday, Sep. 5 to see coach Mike Riley’s inaugural game as the Husker’s head coach, but what you’ll really want to find out is how he will do against a top tier program. After last year’s spanking from the Badgers, returning Huskers will be out for revenge. They have the opportunity to start off the Mike Riley era with a solid win against a solid program. Those are the wins fans are looking for in the new coach.
Northwestern, Saturday, Oct. 24
The last time Northwestern was in town, quarterback Ron Kellogg III tossed a Hail Mary to wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp to give the Huskers a 27-24 against the Wildcats as time expired. Maybe the Wester-catch was the start of a recurring trend for exhilarating Northwestern-Nebraska games.
Michigan State, Saturday, Nov. 7
In the final seconds last fall against Sparty, quarterback Tommy Armstrong and the Huskers were marching down the field in what looked like a wild comeback for Nebraska. The game ended with a heartbreaking interception and a 27-22 loss in East Lansing, Michigan. There is no doubt Armstrong and company have that memory burning in the back of their mind as they prepare for the 2015 campaign.
Kansas, Friday, Aug. 21
Before classes start Monday, get outside and check out the Husker soccer team against the Jayhawks. Kansas ranks No. 37 in the College Soccer Rankings, making an early big time match up for Nebraska. If you’re not from the area, the Nebraska-Kansas game provides the perfect experience for capturing your first fall Nebraska night under the lights.
Central Michigan, Friday, Aug. 28
One of the best things about college soccer games at Nebraska is that there are always free t-shirts and other merchandise being given out to students. Another reason why it’s great is that they play a lot of games in a short amount of time. Back-to-back Friday nights watching the Husker soccer team will provide an ideal experience to learn what it means to be a Husker fan and meet new friends.
BYU, Monday, Aug. 31
After a long day of class, finish up your homework and head over to the field to catch forward Jaycie Johnson, who finished her sophomore season last fall leading the team with 25 points, and the team face BYU. The Cougars ranked higher than the Huskers heading into the season, which will provide the Huskers another quick opportunity to catch early credibility before Big Ten play starts.
Wisconsin, Saturday, Oct. 24
Some of the best volleyball happens later in the season when Big Ten competition starts. Wisconsin, ranked No. 4 in the nation, swept the Husker ladies last fall in Madison, Wisconsin. The Huskers finished 23-10 last season (14-6 in the Big Ten) and are looking to be at the top of the conference by next winter. With Wisconsin in the way, it will be interesting to see how Nebraska handles everything at home.
Illinois, Wednesday, Nov. 25
The Nebraska volleyball team is ranked No. 11 in the country heading into next season. Illinois is ranked No. 10. Illinois finished 14-1 at home last year, but only 9-4 on the road. With the Illini in their grasps at the Devaney Center, you’ll want to see if NU can switch the table on them.
Penn State, Saturday, Nov. 28
Though the game occurs during Thanksgiving break weekend, Penn State-Nebraska is a must see. Penn State is heading into next fall placed at No. 6, but the Nittany Lions usually find a way to finish within the top-five, if not the top-three. The Nittany Lions are without a doubt the Huskers’ hardest opponent lined up for the fall, but with the Bob Devaney Sports Center filled with red, they might have enough home advantage to top PSU. If a chance for an upset that big could occur anywhere near you while at Nebraska, this is one you should circle on the calendar.