Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-13, 1-10) vs Maryland Terrapins (12-10, 6-9)
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021 – 6 p.m. CT
Radio: Husker Sports Network
Internet: FOX Sports App
1. Find a way to finish
So much had been made about Nebraska having to play seven games in five states in just 12 days due to its makeshift schedule following a month-long COVID-19 pause.
Looking at how the Huskers finished the past two games, it’s evident that the grind of that grueling stretch has hit them hard.
After blowing an 11-point lead and nearly giving the game away with an 8:31 scoring drought at Penn State on Sunday, NU once again ran out of gas late in the second half at Maryland on Tuesday.
Nebraska tied the game at 44-44 with just over eight minutes to play, and then the wheels completely fell off. The Terrapins closed the game on a 20-6 run in a 64-50 blowout.
Now, just 22 hours later, the Huskers have to come back and do it all over again tonight. How long will the fumes still left in their tank last?
2. Get Derrick Walker back
Nebraska is a different team when Derrick Walker is on the court, and that fact may have never been more evident than Tuesday night.
After starting the game and playing eight minutes, the junior forward checked out for good with just over six minutes left in the first half.
Head coach Fred Hoiberg said Walker wasn’t feeling well during the game, and NU didn’t want to take any chances by pushing him too hard to stay on the floor.
But as soon as Walker left, the Huskers’ offense imploded. There was no ball movement or flow in the half-court, and NU shot just 28.6 percent from the field in the second half.
The team will see how Walker feels before the game before making a decision on his status for tonight’s rematch. But for Nebraska to have a chance at winning, it needs Walker in the game.
3. Handle an unprecedented situation
Not only will Nebraska be playing its seventh game in 12 days over five states, but it will also be facing a conference opponent in consecutive days for the first time in nearly a century.
The last time the Huskers had to play the same league foe in back-to-back days was back on March 4-5, 1921, against Iowa State, when NU was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.
This will also be the first time since Dec. 2-3, 1976, at Hawaii that Nebraska has faced any opponent twice in two days.
There is no telling how either team will handle this unique situation, though this used to be commonplace 50 years ago.
The Huskers have faced the same opponent in consecutive days more than 100 times in program history, including seven times since World War II.
Maryland 68, Nebraska 58
Robin’s season record: 15-3
vs. the spread: 9-9