For the Huskers to beat the Missouri Tigers they must do one thing....slow down Blaine Gabbert. The talented Jr. QB is the key to Mizzou's offense as they have struggled to establish the run game so far this season. For the Husker defense to be successful against him they need to do 3 things.
1. Get Pressure On Him Early and Often
The Huskers were all over Gabbert in last years matchup but most of that pressure was created by Suh. With Suh gone this season the Huskers have struggled to generate a consistent pass rush. If they can't do it Saturday it could be a recipe for disaster. Husker fans are still waiting for Jared Crick to follow up his 6 sack performance against Baylor and this would be a great time to do it. Gabbert is
one of the best quarterbacks in the nation throwing for over 3,500 yards last season and if he gets time to go through his progressions he is deadly. He is very quick delivering the ball and throws off a lot of quick drop backs. If he is hurried and knocked around he can become somewhat turnover prone(Just ask Suh) .
2. Jam The Tiger Receivers
Jerrell Jackson is the biggest name returning to the Tiger receiving core this season. Jackson is very effective in the underneath and screen type routs. Missouri's offense run's a lot of these underneath routes. Nebraska's talented defensive backs need to jam the receivers early and disrupt the timing of these quick routes. This will make Gilbert hold on to the ball longer and allow the defensive line to get to Gabbert a little more often. If Nebraska is able to shut down the underneath routes it will force the Tigers to look deep in the passing game. This is what the Huskers want. Blaine Gabbert's main criticism is that he chucks the ball of for grabs in the deep game and with the talent of the Nebraska secondary this could create turnovers.
3. Keep Gabbert from pulling a Garret Gilbert
Garret Gilbert ran all over the Huskers in the Texas game and it killed the Husker defense. Blaine Gabbert doesn't get enough credit for his ability to run. Nebraska has struggled defending bootlegs so far this season. If Gabbert is allowed to get loose on the ground it could spell trouble for the Huskers. After the Tigers saw how effective Gabbert was in the bootleg and on the ground they are bound to try to exploit it. If the Huksers can stop Gabbert on the ground and keep him in the pocket it will make their day much easier.