I’ve seen a few people comment that the Nevada game isn’t a pushover, but I don’t believe it. If we’re going to be Big 12 North winners, win the Big 12, and do anything this season, we should beat the 21 point spread in the Nevada game. Leave the coach-speak at home.
Nevada is missing too many components to be that good a team and they’re coming to Lincoln for a home opener. Their third string center will be snapping to a new quarterback who’s four yards behind him and Ndamukong Suh right in front of him. What does that sound like to you? A Wolf Pack disaster? We’ll find out right away just how good Suh is at handling double-teams - watch for it at the beginning of this game.
We should crush the Wolf Pack regardless of whether they were a bowl team last year. If we don’t, be prepared to lower your expectations about what you expect out of this team this season.
On to Bill Callahan’s Keys To Victory!
Just execute the offense. Shift all you want but don't pick up any delay penalties. Run multiple sets, run trick plays, I don’t care, but let's execute the offense.
For Husker fans, don’t be disappointed if Sam Keller doesn’t put up huge numbers, and don’t get upset if this isn’t one of those huge scoring affairs like we used to have. Expect the run pass ratio to be around 50/50 and the offense to be balanced.
Run the base defense. Let’s see if we can generate some pass rush with the base 4-3. This is a game that should be a tune up for the next two that will not be easy games. The coaches need to see that everyone is doing their jobs, getting graded out and work out problems that people like you and me aren’t going to notice.
- Get the Special Teams Going
Ask yourself how many games the special teams cost us last season. How many times did we go for it on fourth down, or punt the ball away because we couldn't kick a field goal over 40 yards?
We were 69th in punt returns and 112th in kick returns. Special teams tend to be overlooked because they aren't sexy, but if you want to win a Big 12 Championship, those numbers have to come way up. Might as well get them going early, say, against Nevada!
- Don’t get hurt
I thought of this before Barking Carnival did, I really did, I just sat on it for a bit. It probably needs washed now.
No injuries to the Huskers, even at positions where we have plenty of depth because we're going to need everyone. I suppose this is kind of a cop-out as a "Key to Victory" isn't it? I agree, so I'll do a fourth.
- Start Fast
Remember last season when the Huskers started nearly every game as an explosion? Let's do it again this season, starting with Nevada. There's nothing wrong with getting a 14-point lead on your oppoent. There is something wrong with blowing it in the second half, but this is a different team this season - different offense and especially different on defense.
Start fast. This game, every game. Then hold that lead and win them all.