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Keys to the Game: Kansas State

Ron Prince is on everybody’s mind, the last road game of the season is upon us and people are talking about Josh Freeman. Yup, it’s K-State week. I felt that Nebraska would go 3-0 and so far so good. The Wildcats don’t put the fear of God into me nor should they. Given, Cody Glenn is suspended, but the front four have been playing like their hair is on fire what with intercepting passes and catching touchdowns. If Josh Freeman stays in the pocket, he’ll get eaten for lunch which when playing against Ndamukong Suh or Mark Mangino isn’t exactly outside the realm of possibility. Enough with the schoolyard taunts.

1.) Stop Josh Freeman – I could stop here but that wouldn’t make for much of an article, would it? Freeman is the heart and soul of this team (what’s left of it anyway) and if he’s stopped dead in his tracks, Nebraska will cruise. Right now Ron Prince is comfortably nestled between a rock and a hard place. He has no way to escape dismissal. He knows it, the players know it and when a downtrodden coach starts to rub off onto his players when hosting a coach with a mad as hell defense that just got awarded Blackshirts for the first time in his tenure come to visit, bad things are bound to happen.

Freeman’s always been a talent but he still has not been brought along properly. He’s got natural ability, but I still don’t see refined mechanics just instinct and a good call every now and again. I’m sure he’ll burn the safeties deep and get the short routes between a linebacker or two, but if he starts running for his life, KSU will be done from that point on.

2.) Infuriate Ron Prince – Last year’s mud-stomping of Kansas State in Lincoln is going to be used as fodder for Kansas State’s pre-game psych up. The problem is if Nebraska can continue that sort of rout one year later or at least appear to start revving that engine, Prince is going to get livid in a hurry and make stupid calls. You know, what am I talking about? It’s Ron Prince. The guy’s made of stupid calls. He makes Frank Solich look like Knute Rockne.

3.) Blitz – I don’t have a lot of faith in Freeman’s line and he shouldn’t either. This is a game in which I would blitz the ever loving hell out of Larry Asante because we all know he wants to put a hurting on someone and I can’t think of anyone better than Text Boy. Suh, Potter, Allen and the big dogs up from should be able to part the KSU O-line like the Red…er…Purple Sea and even Tyler Wortman and Blake Lawrence could look All-Big XII if the defense plays like they did against Kansas.

In Summary: Nebraska has the potential to make these next two games look similar to 2007. A year ago Kansas State was shell-shocked. It wasn’t Nebraska vs. Kansas State, it was Nebraska vs. Jordy Nelson. Jordy is gone and soon Ron Prince will be, too. The Cornhuskers want style points going into the bowl and the second chapter of 3-0 involves turning Manhattan, Kansas into ground zero of a megaton blast.