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Nebraska's Keys To Victory Over Kansas

Other than the return of Turner Gill, it's hard to get that excited about this game. Kansas was lost at the end of last season, and they continue to struggle under a first-year coach. 

And that's a problem. You have to hope that the Huskers don't play down to the level of their competition, but go out and take care of business early. 

If they don't, perhaps a repeat of the Iowa State game from last season? 

Straight out the media notes for this week's game: 

A KU loss would...

  • Be KU's 14th loss in its last 17 games after winning five straight to open 2009.
  • Be less good than a win.

That ought to good you some idea of where Kansas is coming into this game.

Look Out! 

There you are, trucking down the road and the next thing you know, pow, Kansas has scored because you were looking at a cheerleader. 

The point spread is 34.5 points. That's nearly a five touchdown spread. The last time Nebraska came into a game this heavily favored was earlier this season when the Huskers squared off against the mighty Jackrabbits of South Dakota State, a game that turned out a lot closer than it should have been. 

If the Huskers didn't learn their lesson from that game, woe be the team. Bo Pelini will have their hides. Best way to avoid it? Like voting in Chicago, scoring early and often (what a horrific cliché). Kill them early and then remember what the Gillhawks did to Colorado in the fourth quarter. 

Employ the Linebackers

Kansas is going to line up and run the ball right at Nebraska, hoping to gain positive yardage using James Sims on first downs and set up some play-action passes to Johnathan Wilson. 

So stop the run, Blackshirts, and employ some extra linebackers in the process. Pelini has a ton of them, stacked like firewood, playing on special teams. Get them into the game and get more experience for the young guys. 

Maybe the Huskers could have one of those games where the opponent gains less than 100 yards total. That'd be nice, eh? 

Play For Perfection - Turnovers & Penalties 

Am I going with a gimme? Yeah, because it's the only way Nebraska lets Kansas into this game. Nebraska is dead last in fumbles with 31, even behind Vanderbilt who has only 28. The good news it that the Huskers have only lost 11, which ties them for 100th. 

That's still pretty bad. You can explain away Taylor Martinez' fumbles due to freshman mistakes, but Niles Paul - that's another story. I know there's Husker fans who'd prefer that Paul never take the field again, but his playmaking ability can't be beat. 

It's the little things (Ha!) like that that win championships, and if Nebraska is going to win the Big 12 in its final season, try playing a game without a single turnover. Hell, try playing a game without a penalty. 

Let's see the execution add up to perfection for once, eh?