Nebraska will be without a key defender in the Music City Bowl. Cornhushkers starting strong safety Nate Gerry will be ineligible against Tennessee on Dec. 30.

Nebraska coach Mike Riley confirmed Gerry and CB Boaz Joseph’s status when speaking to reporters Thursday.

“Their eligibility has nothing to do with a violation of team rules,” Riley said, per KETV’s Josh Planos. “I can’t say anything more than that.

“They didn’t do anything behavior-wise, or something that would be a violation of a rule that I have. So it wasn’t a coach’s decision, it wasn’t a team rule.”

Gerry later posted to Twitter that he will miss the Music City Bowl due to grades.

Gerry, an Associated Press third-team All-American, was second on the team in interceptions (4) and tackles (74) for the Cornhuskers this season.

Tennessee is currently a 4.5-point favorite in the game per Vegas Insider. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.