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Keys to the Game: Kansas

After a merciless pounding in Norman, Nebraska returns home to what sounds like the welcoming but chilly confines of Memorial Stadium. Their next foe: The Fightin’ Manginos! The Jayhawks offer up an honest challenge for the Huskers and many feel there’s next to no shot for the Cornhuskers to pick up a “W”. PHOOEY to that, I say! I think Nebraska has an honest chance to go 3-0 in the final stretch here. Of course it’s one game at a time so let’s talk about what needs to be done to clip the Jayhawk’s wings.

1.) Bring the “Hyde” out of Reesing – Todd Reesing is a great quarterback, but in the Big XII that seems to come standard like a CD player in a car these days. Still, he can do damage and that’s the last thing that Nebraska’s back seven wants to hear. Zach Potter, Ty Steinkuhler and Ndamukong Suh need to break through and do damage. The latter needs to have himself some monster games if he wants to succeed and find fame and fortune in the NFL. There’d be no better day to come out and slam Reesing to the turf. It’s no secret that there is a “Hyde” to his “Jekyll” and if Nebraska pulls it out of him, we could see one of the finest defensive displays of the season.

2.) It’s Lucky or Helu – Unfortunately for Quentin Castille he puts more balls on the carpet than a CEO with a cocktail glass and a putter. Right now Lucky doesn’t seem to be in the best of shape, either. I admire the guy for all he’s done, but he can only do so much. Helu is a young, raw talent who I can’t wait to see grow within the program along with many others, but regardless of how injured Lucky is, both he and Roy need to carry the rock not Castille. At this point, I’d say it’s linebacker or bust for Quentin. If Nebraska wants to win out, it can’t be with #19 carrying the rock with any less than half of a yard line to go and even that’s iffy.

3.) Keep Bo Happy – Well…Bo being “happy” is a relative term. I suppose “Keep Bo less red in the face” would be a more appropriate request. There are some aspects of Bo’s gameday attitude I really like. He’s attentive, he knows what’s going on from all angles, but he’s letting things get to him far too easily. I’d like to think he will look back on what’s happened so far and end 2008 out with a nice, solid demeanor for the most part. Hey, we can’t expect the guy to stop hollering at the refs overnight. Still, he has to reign in his temper at some point. If he doesn’t, we’re not going to get calls going our way and that can, and I can almost guarantee you will, play as a big negative recruiting point.

In Summary: Nebraska has to play focused much like they did versus Texas Tech. They’re at home and they want to put on a show for the crowd. I say let ‘em. Last week’s first play shows that obviously it’s time to go to page 26 of the playbook blind and see what your finger lands on. Start out slow, make a bit of progress then begin with the screwing of the minds. Mangino is a crafty coach and a good fella, but he can be beaten and that is one thing that Bo knows.