You knew this was coming, didn't you? Especially after my neurotic explosion about the ways we've died playing Texas. Maybe I should just call these - "Why I Freak Out Before Every Game Despite How Good Things Look".
Things look better for Nebraska than they have in many years. It's like the one that got away came back, and your relationship it starting over and could be everything you thought it could be. Only one problem - she keeps talking about the guy she just left for you and you're not really sure if she's just using you to make him jealous.
Fate, destiny, women, they're like that. Fickle.
Time for an ultimatum.
1. They're Texas.
Remember the Kansas State article where I said to forget all the stuff about ESPN Thursday night streaks, and things like that because they don't matter on the field? Well, that doesn't apply here.
1-8 against them, so many close games, and so many different ways of losing. Blame it on a contract with Satan, fate, destiny, or just plain bad luck, this is one series in which one team truly has had another's number.
I don't blame Husker fans for feeling confident, but going up against Texas AND some mystical force in the universe? Man, that's asking a lot, ain't it?
2. Kheeston Randall Blows Up the Middle.
Peter Bean mentioned it in that neurotic piece I did last night, but it bears repeating - Longhorn defensive tackle is the best in his position in the Big 12. He's not the mutant freak that Ndamukong Suh was, but he's a beast and the key to the Texas defensive line.
If Husker fans learned something from having Suh around, it was that one explosive guy in the middle of the line could wreak utter havoc on an offense, particularly on the blocking schemes. If Randall can take on two guys and regularly beat them, it'll mean a lot less yardage on the ground because those same blockers will never get to the second level. Plays where we're trying to pull linemen will cease to work because he'll have disrupted the blocking lanes.
3. Taylor Turnover
You know that Will Muschamp's focus will be on stopping Taylor Martinez and forcing him to throw. That means he'll be keying on Martinez and hitting him a lot, whether he keeps the ball or not. Texas' defense is fast, and their defensive secondary is lethal.
Martinez will have to take better care of the ball, or it could spell trouble for the Huskers. That means eating the ball if he's getting sacked instead of throwing an interception.
That beautiful ball fake and run for touchdown Martinez had against Kansas State? I don't think that'll work against a much faster and more athletic Texas defense, so he'll have to make quicker decisions, executing the plays a step faster than he has so far this season.
4. Greg Davis Stops Sucking and the Texas game plan works
Even Texas fans will tell you this one is a little far-fetched, mostly because its all about Greg Davis not sucking.
Change is in the cards, apparently. Texas stops trying to be a run-first team and stops playing to not lose. Instead, they turn Garrett Gilbert loose, and he runs the offense, making the best of the excellent athletic talen that's remained hidden so far this season. Things gel, as they always do against Nebraska, and the ‘Horns win the game on big plays from Marquise Goodwin and D.J. Monroe.
5. Did I mention they're Texas?
It's going to be a really long 24 hours until this game tomorrow.