I would normally write a "keys to the game" type article, but I don't think that's appropriate for this game. There's too much to make up, too much speculation about what we're going to look like, about what we need to do in order to win the game.
Alas, the pressures of blogging are great. I feel the need to post something, perhaps something significant (but why start now, right?). I was also going to steal from Peter Bean at BON (again), and do something about "Numbers" for the season opener. Again, not appropriate. There are no meaningful numbers from a lost season, at least any I feel like repeating because I've been over them a thousand times and so have you.
You want five keys to the Western Michigan game? Here they are:
5. After mastering #3, tackle in space (in the open field for you old school guys). Some might have put "kick" here, but, well, I'm going with a different sublevel of tackling not because it's more important but because it's what I want to see, squared.
There you go. Those are the things we need to do better than the other team tomorrow. Too easy? We didn't do them last year, did we?
We don't need to worry about Watson being on the field or up in the press box or in a Huey 250 ft above the 50 yard line. We don't need to worry about whether freshman get into the game to get valuable experience before next season. The keys to this game are not about blitzing on third and long, or a run/pass ratio and play-actions passes that keep the opposing team's defense off-balance.
Those are the things you worry about when you're an ass-kicking championship-level team. We're not that team. You might consider tomorrow as the first game we've ever played in Memorial Stadium, kind of like newborns in college football. Don't know about you, but I'm guessing I'll be have the same reaction to a good open field Nebraska tackle as I did when my oldest son walked for the first time.
"Holy Shit, Look AT THAT!"
I hope I get to do that a lot tomorrow, so much I have to vary it to keep it fresh.
Next week, after we see what happens against a decent opponent, we can start getting all fancy again. Look at data or something, and perform analysis because we have to. It's kind of our job, second-guessing. It's fun.
So you have five keys, real fancy ones too. Thought them up all by myself, took hours of painstaking analysis. Here's another trip out on the limb to sum it all up:
We really need to win.