Huskers Ready for ‘Fistfight’ With Spartans

Frost and players discuss the loss to Oklahoma and the challenge vs. Michigan State

Facing a ranked opponent on the road for the second consecutive week, coach Scott Frost said his Huskers "know we're in for a fistfight” against Michigan State.

The Huskers face the No. 20 Spartans in a 6 p.m. CDT game Saturday on FS1. “It’s going to be a fun environment,” Frost said during Monday's Nebraska football game-week press conference.

Stopping MSU running back Kenneth Walker III will be a particular challenge. He leads the nation with 164.3 rushing yards per game.

The Huskers' stable of running backs will be minus true freshman Gabe Ervin, who injured a knee in Saturday's loss at Oklahoma when he went down without contact late in the third quarter. Frost said it was a patellar tendon injury that could end Ervin's season,  though a full evaluation from doctors is still pending.

Rahmir Johnson rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries against Oklahoma and caught three passes for 48 yards.

Rahmir Johnson rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries against Oklahoma and caught three passes for 48 yards.

Rahmir Johnson made his first career start in Norman after grading out best among the running backs during last week's practices. "I thought he took advantage of the opportunity," Frost said while noting that the coaches are still looking for a top guy to emerge at the position. Johnson was the Huskers' third different starter at running back in four games. Ervin started the first two.

As for Connor Culp's struggles, Frost said he has "a lot of faith" in the senior placekicker but said competition will continue at the position.

Frost called the offensive line "a work in progress" that's "getting closer" every week. "We need those guys to come off the ball and create some momentum," he said. Left guard remains a position without a clear No. 1 man.

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