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Keys to Victory: New Mexico State

New Mexico State and Nebraska have played twice. The Cornhuskers have scored 125 points, the Aggies have scored none. Nebraska piled up 1452 total yards in two games. What does this tell us? First off, I highly doubt that shutout streak stays intact, secondly The Triplets were amazing and finally when will athletic directors learn to schedule decent non-conference teams?

Looking at New Mexico State is much how I would imagine The Incredible Hulk looks at a puppy. Given, Hal Mumme’s offensive Frankenstein has sat in Las Cruces for a while now, however I don’t think that they pose as much of a threat as San Jose State. Kyle Reed and his boys were players, SJSU did the smart thing by daring Nebraska to pass and looked mighty close to doing something to shock the Husker Nation in game two. With that behind us, let’s talk game three:

- This is it. If Nebraska cannot establish a running game with Lydon Murtha back at the wheel then things are going to go poorly. If Marlon Lucky cannot find holes between the tackles and be rewarded for his patience, bad things will happen. If Roy Helu has to rely on his God-given talents only, it ain’t pretty and if Cody Glenn could duct tape the football to his hand, that’d be just great.

Point is that there needs to be organization amongst the offensive line and I certainly hope that cohesion was found within the past seven days because it only gets tougher from here on out. New Mexico State offers up the ability to slice and dice for the running backs, but it’s the last sure one we’ll see. Without a decent line in front of them, “Eight in the Box” is the code to cracking Shawn Watson’s offensive safe.

- Ganz, you’re a good kid. We like you already. Stop trying to be a damn hero every time you touch the football. As much as we all love a 25 yard pick up on the ground or a 60-yard catch, it doesn’t need to happen all the time plus turnovers and injuries do and will occur as a result. Joe Ganz should be able to be part of the atmosphere not the life of the party.  

He went up against quality corners last week admittedly, but when you throw one right into the breadbasket, “forcing it” just doesn’t really do the action justice. Makes it worse when you do it and it goes right to a defensive lineman (ha ha). Again, we go back to the offensive line. If they do their job, the backs get theirs, Joe get his and oh, believe me, Husker fans, we get ours.

- With Barry Turner more than likely gone, we’ve seen Pierre Allen do some great things. Ndamukong Suh had a monster game against the Spartans, Zach and Ty have been serviceable. That said, the line needs to assert themselves more. I’m not suggesting they haven’t been trying to go smashmouth, but they need to play smart, keep their heads on a swivel and all four need to make plays when necessary. Most importantly, Allen needs to plant himself where Turner was. He could quite possibly show Barry up and that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

- Cody Glenn needs to revert back to Western Michigan and bring the linebackers with him. I expect to see Sean Fisher this week in a non-special teams roll as well. I noticed that we don’t hear much about Phil Dillard. I believe that to be a good thing at least in pass coverage terms.

- Pass coverage you say? It’s time to find a combination that works. There are quality, talented individuals in the backfield and if the fire has to be stoked for a little baptism, it’s about that time. Chase Daniel and the Big XII slate will eat the Cornhusker secondary for breakfast and finish the front seven off for dinner if safety play cannot be shorn up and assignments locked in most of the time.

In summary, folks, it’s time for NU to nut up or shut up. This should for all intents and purposes be the scrimmage that many felt San Jose State should’ve been. It’s game three, it’s time for some of this stuff to sink in and plug holes in the dyke. I look for a sizable Nebraska win and while the Cornhuskers may not keep NMSU off the board, I expect them to keep the Aggies far away from confidence.