A January Must Win?

It's only January, but the Huskers appear to be looking at a must win contest Wednesday night against Penn State.

vs. Penn State, Jan. 11

KEY MATCHUPS: Look up the term "must win" in the dictionary, and there's probably mention of this game for Nebraska. The Huskers will be looking for their first Big Ten victory, and can't afford to slip at home against a team picked to finish last in the league. It's a matchup of the league's two least-productive offensive teams.

Wisconsin, Jan. 15

KEY MATCHUPS: Less than three weeks into its inaugural Big Ten season, and Nebraska is already facing a rematch. The Huskers expect to have center Jorge Brian Diaz for this one, and his inside presence might help them top 40 points this time against Wisconsin's stingy defense. Maybe.


Mike Fox is a junior walk-on from Beatrice, Neb., who seldom saw the court before this season. But because the Huskers have been without Jorge Brian Diaz, Andre Almeida, Ray Gallegos and Dylan Talley, the 6-foot-4 Fox has found himself playing valuable minutes. His career-best of 12 minutes came when he had to guard Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger, a candidate for national player of the year.

"I was talking to some other people, actually, talking about guarding Jared Sullinger," Fox said. "That doesn't happen to a Nebraska kid that often. That's the fun thing about it, just being from where I am, and to where I am now. It's kind of surreal sometimes."

And depending on the health of Diaz, Fox may face Sullinger again when Ohio State makes a return trip to Lincoln.

"I'm happy for Mike, and I'm happy he's getting to play some because he's a great kid and he works hard. He's everything that this program wants guys to be about," Sadler said.

"But let's be real. It's not my ideal situation that he's getting to play. But he is, and he's taking advantage of it."


--Senior G Brandon Richardson went back-to-back games against Ohio State and Illinois scoring in double figures, the first time that's happened since the first two games of the season. That's a good sign for Nebraska, which needs the gun-shy Richardson to produce more, and more consistently.

--Senior F/G Toney McCray continues to produce in his starting role. His longest career streak of double-figure scoring game stretched to six when he scored 12 points in a Jan. 7 loss at Illinois.

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