Bill Callahan Keys to Victory Over Mizzou As promised, here are Bill Callahan's Keys to Victory.
It's not just about getting pressure on the quarterback when he's going back to pass. It's about hitting the quarterback any time you get a shot, wearing him down and tiring him out when then leads to mistakes. Chase Daniel ran the ball 20 times against Oklahoma. He won't run the ball as many times against Nebraska, but for Mizzou's offense to be affective, he's going to have some keepers.
Get the hits on him then, and add them up. This will be a four quarter game. Make each hit count, Blackshirts!
Our offense is going to have to win this game. Going into this season, I suppose a lot of people (as did I) thought that the strength of this Husker team would be the defense. It isn't. Ironically, our strength has been running the football. It will be that strength that wins this game, but it must come with a consistency of habit and will. Nebraska must consistently gain yardage when rushing which means offensive lineman must do their job with vigor on every play.
That same consistency must exist on defense. The defensive calls need to get to the field in time for Blackshirts to be in position. This will be especially important if/when Missouri moves to their 'speed' offense which won't allow us to substitute or make late changes on defense.
Consistency sounds easy, right? People sitting at home on their coach screaming at the TV think so. It's not. It's damned hard work to keep blocking your guts out for four quarters. The Huskers offensive and defensive lines have to gut out every play tomorrow if they expect to win this game.
Make A Play
Nebraska gives up a bunch of yards on defense. Given that we have a very weak secondary, we've been forced to guard against the big play in long field situations, which gives the opposing offense a greater ability to run the ball. As they move down the field and approach our end zone, space becomes more compressed, allowing us to take more chances with the secondary. As such, we have done a fair job of keeping opponents out of the end zone.
Tomorrow will be no different. Missouri has big-play capable receivers. Chase Daniel may not have Brad Smith's speed, but don't think that he isn't mobile and cannot burn you with his feet. When the field becomes compressed, it's time for the defense to make a play - a big hit to jar the ball loss whether it be pass or run, a tipped ball, a shoestring tackle.
Same on offense - receivers need to make that crucial third down catch, even if it's over the middle and a linebacker is coming. It'll be the little things on offense that make the game.
Missouri came into this season not expected to do that much. They've already overachieved. We're at home, with our crowd. Football is a game of emotion as much as anything. Nebraska is playing with their backs against the wall. This game means their season - their goals. I'm betting Nebraska has more guts and will than Missouri, especially on our home turf.
Make the Choice