By now, you’ve read many reasons that the Nebraska Cornhuskers won’t be able to win the Music City Bowl vs. Tennessee tomorrow afternoon. While they are legit, I’m here to sell the sunshine and tell you why the Huskers can win this game.
It’s up to you to buy or sell the reasons here, I’m just listing them.
Tennessee’s Motivation Is Less Than Ideal
Tennessee has been a team all season that feels like they should be better than they are. Yes, they started 5-0 on the season, but going to overtime with Appalachian State to kick off the season, a Hail Mary save vs. Georgia & a complete meltdown by Florida were part of those wins.
The bigger kicker is the last game of the regular season in Nashville vs. Vanderbilt. The Vols had the Sugar Bowl in their sights with a victory, and were outscored 21-3 in the second half, losing the game to the Commodores 45-34.
You can play the meaningless bowl angle up for any team, but there’s a want to get rid of the stank of a season and start over in ‘17. You can say that about Nebraska after the Iowa game (& I know some of you will!), but Tennessee is one of the few teams that have a bigger case in that aspect.
Run The Damn Ball At The Vols
Tennessee’s clear weakness is rushing defense, where they are a crisp and clean 110th in FBS at giving up 231 yards a game. You can hem and haw at Nebraska’s 60th ranked rushing attack at 178 yards a game, but with a mostly healthy OL, Nebraska should be able to win this battle as the game goes on.
Ryker Fyfe, With Time To Prepare, Is Fine
The Grand Island Senior, starting the game in place of Tommy Armstrong, has shown with proper prep that he can lead the offense in a decent manner. With almost 2 full week’s of snaps with the other 1’s on offense, he looked very serviceable in the Maryland victory for the better part of the game.
Fyfe does throw the screen game and the RPO plays out to wideouts fairly well. Plus, Lord willin’, he can run the ball and keep himself protected enough. Granted, we have no idea just how bad that broken left hand will be, and snaps may be an issue. But running a Langsdorf offense isn’t out of Fyfe’s hold here.
If There’s One Fanbase That Can Defer The Tennessee Home Crowd, It’s Nebraska
The game is close to being a sellout if isn’t one already, and Nebraska fans have been pouring into Nashville for the game. Granted, they probably won’t match the number of Tennessee fans taking in a long weekend & heading from Knoxville to Nashville today & tomorrow. However, if there’s a fanbase that was looking to get out of Lincoln and hit up the South for a game, you can always count on the fanbase in Lincoln to get it done.
It’s The Final Chapter For A Lot Of Players Nebraska Has Depended On
So, so many changes happen after this game & the team returns to Lincoln. Gone are Armstrong, Fyfe, Westerkamp, Utter, Terrell Newby, Nate Gerry, Josh Banderas and a litany of other players.
Incoming is a youth movement with the likes of Tanner Lee, Patrick O’Brien, Tre Bryant, numerous newcomers at Linebacker, Wideout, and Offensive Line. There is always a want for a refreshment of talent and players, but it’s not as much evident as it will be this coming signing class and Spring.
Some folks will love it, some will loathe it, and there will be struggles at times. But, even though some of the players named above won’t be on the field, it’s the final ride for some players who want to finish what they started in Lincoln with 10 wins and a bowl victory for the program for which they came to be known as integral parts.