Last night I spent hours (!) doing the online radio show with the guys from Crimson and Cream Machine. We covered every aspect of the upcoming game, and one of the areas in which all felt Nebraska has the advantage is Nebraska's offensive line against Oklahoma's defensive line.
The Huskers should be able to run straight at Oklahoma and pick up good yardage on the ground. Obviously we're going to have to throw the ball enough to keep the Sooner defense honest, and that's where we might see some trouble.
Some information on Beal:
- has 18.0 tackles for loss (No. 13 nationally) and 8.5 sacks.
- leads the Big 12 in tackles for loss and is No. 2 in sacks.
- is second at OU with 29 career sacks and is second in OU history with 56.5 TFLs. Cedric Jones has the record at 31.5. Beal is also No. 2 in tackles for loss with 57.5. Rocky Calmus had 59.
- leads the team in fumbles forced with three.
- nearly one-third of his career tackles have taken place behind the line of scrimmage. Beal has at least one tackle for loss in 10 of 12 games this season.
- first player in school history to log 7.5 or more sacks in three different seasons.
- first Sooner in OU history to accumulate over 200 yards lost on sacks
Beal will move around a lot, but his most explosive plays will come in passing situations. While he's capable of playing both defensive end and outside linebacker, it's his quickness that will cause the Huskers problems. The Jones duo has played better this season, but they'll have their hands full with Beal as I don't believe either D.J or Marcel has the quickness to block Beal one-on-one. They'll require assistance from Ben Cotton, who's developed into a decent blocker. Unfortunately that will give Nebraska one less receiver in the passing game, and the Sooners a numberical advantage if the Huskers run those zone read plays to the outside.
Handling Beal well will go a long ways towards winning a championship.
What match ups or potential problems do you see when looking at the line ups in this game?