For the first time at Nebraska, Mike Riley has a winning record. The Huskers pounded Fresno State into the ground to the tune of a 43-10 victory. Wyoming should be a little tougher of an opponent, but I expect the Huskers to take care of business this Saturday. Here is why Nebraska takes down the cowboys.
The Coaching Staff Showed the Ability to Stick to a Gameplan:
Nebraska went three and out on their opening drive, they were up 14-10 at half, and they stuck to their gameplan. Some fans around me at the game were even saying that they should start to throw the ball more. You know Riley and co. wanted to come out and throw the ball all over the yard, because of the lack of tangible success. What I mean by that is that Nebraska looked like they were in a battle with Fresno State, but if you look at the tape, you can see that Nebraska was dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Nebraska wore Fresno State down and dominated them in the second half. Run the ball guy was finally happy. I would look for much of the same this week, and it could be a close game at halftime, but Nebraska should pull away late in the second half and have the game well in hand.
The Defensive Line Looked Solid:
Freedom Akinmoladun did not register a sack, and many people are worried about his size increasing and speed decreasing. I wouldn’t be too worried about him. He is going to be keyed on every game as the main guy, and a lot of what he does won’t show up in the boxscore. He is going to be a guy that frees other people up, and it looks like he did that on Saturday for Ross Dzuris. Dzuris tallied three tackles for loss and two sacks on the day. On top of that, the Blackshirts looked great stopping the run game. If this defensive line can continue to improve and Dzuris continues to show improvements, Nebraska has a great shot at taking care of business on Saturday.
Nebraska’s Secondary is Improved:
The secondary looked pretty good against Fresno State and forced a couple of turnovers. We saw a lot more zone coverage out of the Huskers on Saturday, and it paid off. Not only does the scheme fit this group, but Nate Gerry returns this weekend. Add in the continued growth of young guys (Lamar Jackson) and this secondary looks to be a solid bunch. The secondary is going to gel the more they play together the better they will look. If this secondary can force a couple of turnovers again, look for Nebraska to run away with this game.
A New Running Back?
Nebraska came out with Terrell Newby as their number one back, but Devine Ozigbo took the bulk of the carries. Ozigbo had 17 carries to Newby’s 11. If you had to ask me what my depth chart looks like for Nebraska, I would say, Ozigbo, Newby, Tre Bryant, Mikale Wilbon. And there is not much separation between Bryant and Newby. Newby is still number one on the depth chart if you ask the coaches, but I expect to see Ozigbo get the bulk of the carries. Look for Devine to wear this defensive front down and for Nebraska to establish the running game early, on their way to a comfortable victory.
Nebraska is Better…Everywhere:
Just like last week, Nebraska is the more talented team. They have better players at every spot, and overall outmatch the Cowboys on both sides of the ball. Last year we saw Nebraska play down to their opponents, but if week one is any indication, the Huskers aren’t overlooking anyone this year. If Nebraska comes out and plays to their ability they should have no problem taking care of business.