LINCOLN – Nebraska will attempt to break a 19-game losing streak against ranked opponents when it hosts Illinois at Memorial Stadium Saturday.

Illinois will arrive in Lincoln with a 6-1 record and a 3-1 mark in the Big 10. Illinois, which has won its past five games, is ranked 17th in the AP poll and holds a half game lead in the west division race.

Illinois’ defense is considered one of the best in the nation, allowing 8.9 points per game.

A win Saturday would give Nebraska its firsts win against a ranked opponent since a 35 to 32 win over Oregon in September of 2016.

The Huskers have lost their past 19 games against ranked opponents.

Kickoff is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. on News Channel Nebraska radio stations across the state, including 98.7 FM in Sidney and 103.1 FM in Nebraska City. 

LINCOLN, NEB. | 2:30 PM (CT)

Record: 3-4, 2-2 B1G
Last Game: at Purdue (L, 43-37)
Rankings: NR
Coach: Mickey Joseph
Career/NU Record: 15-9 (3rd Year)/2-2 (1st Year)
vs. Illinois: First Meeting

Record: 6-1, 3-1 B1G
Last Game: vs. Minnesota (W, 26-14)
Rankings: AP - 17, Coaches - 18
Coach: Bret Bielema
Career/Illinois Record: 108-66 (14th Year)/11-8 (2nd Year)
vs. Nebraska: 3-1

All-Time Series: Nebraska leads, 13-5-1
In Lincoln: Nebraska leads, 9-2
As Big Ten Foes: Nebraska leads, 6-3
Last Game: Illinois, 30-22 (8/28/21) (in Champaign)
Win Streak: Illinois, 2 games

The Matchup
Nebraska returns to Lincoln to begin the final stretch of the 2022 season when it takes on Illinois on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Game time for the matchup between the Huskers and No. 17/18 Illinois is set for 2:30 p.m. CT, with television coverage provided by ABC.

The Huskers are coming off their second bye week of the season, following a 43-37 setback at Purdue on Oct. 15. The loss to the Boilermakers dropped Nebraska to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten Conference play. The Illinois game starts a stretch of five games in 27 days to end the 2022 regular season, with three of the next four games in Lincoln.

Nebraska was electric on offense at Purdue, averaging 9.2 yards per play with five plays that covered at least 30 yards in the game. Wide receiver Trey Palmer set a Nebraska single-game receiving record with 237 yards on his seven receptions, while totaling 297 all-purpose yards. Despite the effort by the offense, Purdue secured the six-point win by controlling the football for nearly 43 minutes, allowing the Boilermakers to run 101 offensive plays.

Illinois comes to Lincoln with a 6-1 overall record and a 3-1 mark in Big Ten Conference play. The Fighting Illini are ranked 17th in this week's Associated Press Poll and check in at No. 18 in the coaches poll. Illinois has won its past five games, and at 3-1 in the league it holds a 1/2 game lead in the Big Ten West Division race.

The Illini are led by one of the nation's best defenses. Illinois ranks first in the nation in scoring defense (8.9 ppg) and total defense (221.0 ypg), and is second nationally with 18 takeaways. Offensively, Illinois averages nearly 200 rushing yards per game and ranks in the top 10 nationally in time of possession.

Series History: Nebraska vs. Illinois
Nebraska and Illinois will meet for the 10th consecutive season on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011, the Huskers hold a 6-3 edge in the matchup between the schools, but Illinois has won the past two meetings.

• With Illinois ranked No. 17 in the Associated Press poll, this marks the second time in 20 all-time meetings the Illini have been ranked at game time in a meeting with Nebraska. Illinois was ranked No. 20 at game time in 1985. The Huskers have been ranked in four meetings with Illinois, most recently 15th in 2016, when NU won 31-16.

• The schools met just twice between 1953 and 2013, with a home-and-home series in 1985 and 1986.

Huskers Look for Win Against Ranked Opponent
Nebraska will be facing a second game of the 2022 season against a ranked opponent on Saturday. In addition to No. 17 Illinois, Nebraska faced then No. 6 Oklahoma earlier this season, losing 49-14. Nebraska has one additional game against a currently ranked team, traveling to No. 4 Michigan on Nov. 12.

• A win on Saturday would give Nebraska its first win against a ranked opponent since a 35-32 victory over No. 22 Oregon on Sept. 17, 2016. The Huskers have dropped their past 19 games against ranked opponents.

Palmer on Track for Record-Setting 2022 Campaign
Receiver Trey Palmer has been an impact newcomer in his first season in Lincoln. The transfer from LSU set a Nebraska single-game record with 237 receiving yards on seven catches at Purdue, with touchdown catches of 37 and 72 yards. Palmer is on track to shatter several other Nebraska records in his first season in Lincoln, and his play is being recognized nationally. In early October, Palmer was added to the watch list for the 2022 Biletnikoff Award, and he is also a member of the Paul Hornung Award Watch List.

• Palmer has 47 receptions for 781 yards and five touchdowns to pace the Huskers. In addition to his school record 237-yard effort at Purdue, Palmer had eight catches for 157 yards against Indiana, including a 71-yard reception for the go-ahead TD in the fourth quarter.

• Palmer added a 60-yard run at Purdue and his 297 all-purpose yards were the fifth highest in school history, and the most by a Husker since 2014.

• Palmer averages 111.6 receiving yards per game to rank fourth nationally and first in the Big Ten. He is currently 22 yards ahead of the school record for receiving yards per game average, set by Stanley Morgan Jr. (89.6 ypg, 2017).

• With 781 receiving yards through seven games, Palmer is just 49 yards shy of cracking the top 10 on the NU single-season receiving yardage list. He is 223 yards from Stanley Morgan Jr.'s school record of 1,004 receiving yards in 2018.

• Palmer's 48 receptions are the second-most ever for Husker through the season's first seven games. He is just eight receptions from the single-season top 10 on the NU receptions list, and is on track to break the single-season record of 75 receptions (Marlon Lucky, 2007). Palmer ranks 15th nationally in receptions per game (6.7).

• Palmer caught go-ahead touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of back-to-back wins over Indiana and Rutgers earlier this month. He enters the Illinois game with a TD catch in four straight games, the longest streak since JD Spielman also caught a touchdown in four straight games in 2018.

• Palmer has had at least 64 receiving yards in every game, and his receiving totals have represented the seven highest yardage totals of his college career. Palmer has at least four catches in all seven games.

• Palmer's nine catches of 30 yards or more rank first in the nation.

• Palmer is a member of the Paul Hornung Award Watch List and is a key figure in NU's return game.

This Week's Numbers
2 - Nebraska will be facing its second ranked opponent of the season when No. 17/18 Illinois visits Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Huskers' dropped their first matchup against a ranked team this season, losing to then No. 6 Oklahoma on Sept. 17.

3 - Quarterback Casey Thompson has produced three 300-yard passing games this season, including his last outing at Purdue. The Nebraska season record for 300-yard passing games is five by Joe Ganz in 2018.

11 - Nebraska receiver Trey Palmer is averaging 111.6 receiving yards per game. He is currently 22.0 yards per game better than the Nebraska record for single-season receiving yards per game average (89.6 ypg, Stanley Morgan Jr., 2017).

Photo:  Assistant Coach Barrett Ruud (30) Randolph Kpai, a redshirt freshman from Sioux Falls, S.D., (22) Eteva Mauga-Clements of Pleasant Hill, Calif.  Seated is Chris Kolarevic from Traverse City, Mich.,