Today's Nebraska's Keys To Victory Post Is Sponsored by the Number Eight, mostly because I'm still haunted by last year's Iowa State game. Eight is a great number, though, especially when you consider that it could have be nine.
I don't expect Nebraska to struggle with Iowa State, but no one expected that last season either. You know Paul Rhoads is still darned happy and proud to be their coach and you know they'll be fighting and scratching for a full four quarters in their last game against Nebraska. I just hope they're fighting and scratching while they're laying on the ground, being run over by the Husker offense.
Gimmes: After last season, there are no gimmes.DON'T GO NEAR THE RED ZONE!
Yeah, you heard me right. Don't go near the red zone. Last season Nebraska had three fumbles inside the five yard line against Iowa State, and just in case you hadn't noticed (or you've already started Happy Hour), the five yard line is inside the red zone. If you fed the words "Paul Rhoads", "red zone", and "Nebraska" into Deep Thought as a subroutine of the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything, you would find the result generates an electroplasmic field around both ends of a football field - an electroplasmic field that just so happens to disrupt the brain's synapses that involve gripping. (Really, there is a reason for EVERYTHING, you just have to find it).
It's okay, though. Not going near the red zone doesn't mean Nebraska can't score. Last week against Missouri, Nebraska didn't execute a single play inside the red zone, yet scored 31 points. It can't be that hard to do it again, can it?
Score Points At Any Opportunity!!!
The beauty of game threads is that you can go back in time to relive the majesty of any game as it unfolds. You can't do that with any other medium that I'm aware of, and if you do it for this particular game from last season, you'll find that someone had the right idea how to win all along:
someone on twitter suggested that next time we get in range we just kick a field goal and avoid the turnover all together.
That's kind of the point I'm trying to make - just make sure you're always ahead of Iowa State and you won't have to worry about how many turnovers or stupid mistakes you make.
Don't call them turnovers, dammit, turnovers are those little pie things you get at McDonald's that look great but are filled with molten lava.
Do takeways count Saturday? You're damned straight they do, because they're the only way that Iowa State has a chance in hell of winning this game. Nebraska's secondary should be looking to pick off any ball that Austen Arnaud puts in the air. Two interceptions this weekend, count 'em, two.
I expect this game to resemble the Kansas State game, with one exception. Remember that Taylor Martinez was injured last week against Missouri, so he might be slowed a bit. The bad news is that leaves us with Roy Helu, Niles Paul (yes, I said his name!), Kyler Reed, Mike McNeill, and Brandon Kinnie as potential big-play scoring threats.
Iowa State will try to grit this game out the same way the Wildcats did - by pounding the ball straight at the Blackshirt defense. Unfortunately, while they're gritting and grinding for a minutes at a time, the Huskers will be scoring in seconds.
A Second Chance To Beat Texas!
If we beat Iowa State and they beat Texas, then that's kind of like beating Texas, isn't it?
YOU'RE DAMNED RIGHT IT IS!
Even doubly so because Texas lost to them at home, and we'll have beaten Iowa State on the road, in front of a hostile (read: horribly inebriated by mid-afternoon) crowd!!!
Break the Victory Chain!!!! WhooooOO!