Earlier today, we talked about the five reasons that Nebraska should be able to win the game versus Indiana Saturday afternoon.
Of course, we’d be remiss to not tell you the five reasons that the Huskers could lose the game as well. This is what we have for you all.
Indiana’s Offense Must Win First & Second Down
Indiana is flat out not great on 3rd down on offense, as they are ranked 85th in FBS in that they only make 37% of their attempts. However, the Indiana O is one of the best teams staying on schedule in the drive, ranking in the top 10 in FBS on both 1st and 2nd downs.
If the Huskers, who are a top 20 team themselves in 3rd down efficiency on defense (30%), have a bad day keeping the Hoosier O off schedule? It’s going to be bad overall.
The Nebraska Defensive Line Has A Bad Day
It’s no secret that Nebraska has had a rough time this year getting extra pressure on the opposing quarterback. Richard Lagow has hit for 60% for over 1400 yards (both sets of numbers better than Tommy Armstrong, fyi). Since the Hoosiers are throwing it better than most people think, it’s imperative that the Nebraska DL find ways to get through a OL that may be out its best player in probable high NFL draft pick in guard Dan Feeney.
Devine Redding vs. The Nebraska Linebackers
The Indiana rushing attack is average at best, averaging just over 160 yards a game, good for 80th in FBS. That being said, Devine Redding has been fairly good at almost 500 yards for the season on just under 5 yards a carry.
Against Illinois, the Nebraska linebacking crew flat-out had their worst game since Trent Bray arrived in Lincoln. Considering that Nebraska will probably be back in the nickel look with Aaron and Kieron Williams atsSafety with Nate Gerry, it’s going to fall on both Michael Rose-Ivey and Josh Banderas to step up and help out the DL. Stopping Nick Westbrook and Ricky Jones will be the back 5 of the secondary. If the LB’s have the day they had vs. the Illini, it could be a fretful afternoon.
The Health Of Tommy Armstrong
It’s a fair question to ask how injured QB1 is, considering that if the Huskers had to play last week, HC Mike Riley stated that Armstrong may not have been able to go as he was in a boot. I would think that there’s a point of gamesmanship in that statement. However, if the guy - who has done his fair share of running, along with already iffy footwork as he throws - has a bum leg, it would really hamper Nebraska’s offensive production. We all know what Ryker Fyfe brings, so the longer that TA can stay upright, Nebraska is fine. If the opposite happens though...
Can There Be A Trap Game After A Bye Week?
There’s been a lot of fretting and hand wringing this week in Lincoln, thinking that Indiana is some juggernaut that the Huskers should be scared of. After a bye week, can you really buy that the Huskers are scared of the Hoosiers? Worried is one thing, but if the team thinks that they are the dogs here, how will that play out? Indiana is a scrappy team that can put the fear of you know what in a team, but if Nebraska plays like we all think they can, can the Hoosiers beat that?