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Keys to the Game: Baylor

A second Big XII win in two games sounds really good to any team in the conference right now, but for a Nebraska team looking to build off of a dominating road win against Iowa State, it’s huge. It’s cliché to say that every game counts, but for Nebraska’s season each one most certainly does especially when gauging just how successful Year One of the Bo Pelini Era went. Of course that’ll depend who you talk to. That said, I give you the keys to beating the Bears:

1. Keep Ganz in a rhythm – It’s easy to say that I or anyone else liked what we saw last week against Iowa State, but it wasn’t so much the performance as how it was created. The system is built around its quarterback and right now Joe Ganz is the man. As long as he is humming smoothly, Nebraska has a chance to dismantle the remainder of its Big XII foes with the possible exception of the Boomer Sooners.

Joe’s been able to have the heat kept off of him which is great because if you can force him to make a decision, about four come into his mind and he’s not the best at choosing the correct one. I feel, however, that Nebraska’s offensive line can take care of Baylor to the point where Nebraska will have the freedom of being as two-dimensional as they like.

2. Lock ‘er Down – With most folks you’ll hear “Stop the run, win the game” or some variation thereof. Nebraska’s defensive line has been slowly showing improvement especially from the likes of Zach Potter who is really doing himself a service this year. I’m not so concerned with Baylor RB Jay Finley as I am with QB Robert Griffin and the WR duo of Thomas White and Kendall Wright.

If first year coach Art Briles learned anything from ISU, it’s that you need to go deep early and often on Nebraska. The only problem is that you’re going up against a coach in Bo Pelini that likes to blitz and isn’t afraid to say it to your face.

3. Go for Two! – No, not a conversion, but how about a second game where
penalties are a thing of the past? Given it’s not exactly an “Oklahoma”-type game, but sooner or later (ugh), Nebraska will have to face the Crimson and Cream. If they want a SHOT at taking down OU in Norman, mistakes are going to have to be kept to a minimum. Penalties and lest I mention fumbles will kill you. Two areas to be improved on, two areas I expect to be better vs. Baylor.

In Summary: Baylor can very easily be Iowa State II in both dominance and score in front of a friendly crowd. I feel that this team knows that and if they can execute the way that they’ve proved that they obviously can, a large margin of victory is not out of the realm of possibility. If they pull out the ol’ six-shooter and aim it at their foot, things might get a little scarier.