Depending where you look, Nebraska is anywhere from a 16 point favorite to a 20 point favorite in the match up against the Red Wolves of Arkansas State. I hope Husker fans do not expect Arkansas State to just roll over and die the moment they walk into Memorial Stadium. Last year the Red Wolves finished the season winning seven of their last eight games. There is a lot of pride on that football team. Arkansas State’s head coach, Blake Anderson, is building a successful program.
Important Note: Blake Anderson’s wife, Wendy Anderson, had surgery for breast cancer earlier this week.
Thx so much for all the prayers & love today for Mama Wendy... out of surgery & resting well. Doc was pleased w everything. #TrustingGod— Blake Anderson (@CHbanderson) August 28, 2017
So I hope Nebraska fans do what we are known to do in situations like this. Give him and his wife our support.
But when the game starts, it is time to put real life aside for a couple of hours and cheer for a convincing win by Nebraska.
I think we all know the five actual reasons Nebraska will beat Arkansas State.
1: Tanner Lee
2: Tanner Lee
3: Tanner Lee
4: Tanner Farmer
5: Tanner Lee
Tanner Lee will put up enough points that Nebraska will beat both Arkansas State and Oregon at the same time in Week 1. I know that sounds impossible, but he is just that good.
It is my hope that if we continue to pump up the Tanner Lee hype bubble, that it may burst so we can just enjoy watching him play without all of these crazy expectations.
So with all that said....the Five Reasons the Huskers Will Beat Arkansas State.
FIRST: IT IS A NIGHT GAME AND WE KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.
There will be a ton of empty “shooters” throughout the bathrooms.
In other words, Nebraska Fans are going to be jacked up.
Games against non-power five schools always make me nervous when they start at 11:00 a.m. It might just be me, but the players seem slower and don’t seem as into the game as we would hope. It also doesn’t help that Nebraska fans are still drinking coffee on the way to the stadium. It is a better opportunity for an upset-minded team to come in and steal one at 11 a.m. instead of 7 p.m.
McNeese State was an 11 a.m. game. If it wasn’t for Ameer Abdullah, then we quite possibly could have lost that game.
Players not only feed off of energy from their coaches and each other, but also from the fan base.
SECOND: ONE OF THE BEST DEFENSIVE LINEMAN FOR ARKANSAS STATE IS INJURED (update: still may play). HIS NAME ALONE INDICATES HE WOULD HAVE BEEN UNBLOCKABLE ON SATURDAY.
Yep, that’s his name. Dee Liner.
Coach Cavanaugh likely is sleeping better at night knowing that the greatest name ever for a defensive lineman may not be suiting up against Nebraska. Last report I heard was that Dee Liner will be making the flight to Lincoln, but it might be a game-time decision.
In all seriousness, Dee Liner is a redshirt senior defensive tackle who transferred from Alabama to play at Arkansas State. He was a member of a defense that led the NCAA in tackles for loss (125) last season. So he is not a scrub.
Teams from conferences like the Sun Belt are not lacking in talent and high quality football players. What they usually lack however, is depth. An injury like this will really test the depth of Arkansas State, and it might hit them earlier than the third or fourth quarters.
It is true that Coach Cav is probably more worried about Ja’Von Rolland-Jones who had 13.5 sacks last year for the Red Wolves. He is considered to be the best NFL prospect in the Sun Belt Conference this season.
Rolland-Jones is going to be active around the pocket, but it will be easier to block him if the defensive line is missing possibly their most important player...
THIRD: THEY AREN’T GOING TO KNOW WHAT’S COMING FROM THE DIACO 3-4 DEFENSE
And neither do we.
Diaco is so much smarter than everybody else that he didn't even run his 3-4 during the spring game. In fact, I think I know what he is going to do. He knows that Arkansas State will be studying game film from Diaco’s time as defensive coordinator at Notre Dame as well as film from his time as head coach of Connecticut.
Since Diaco knows he wants to continue to be the smartest guy in the room he’s going to throw Arkansas State a curve ball. He’s going to run the same defense he ran in the spring game. That way Oregon won’t have any game tape of the Diaco Nebraska 3-4 defense. He is just so smart.
Historically, Diaco’s defenses improve as the season goes along so what we see against Arkansas State probably will be the worst version of his defense we see all season. Not only because the players will be “learning on the fly” but Diaco is not going to show all his cards with Oregon lurking next week.
Diaco is just super smart. Arkansas State won’t know what’s coming.
Most importantly, Arkansas State is replacing all five starting offensive linemen from last year’s team.
FOURTH: THEY AREN’T GOING TO KNOW WHAT’S COMING FROM RILEY’S PRO STYLE OFFENSE
And neither do we.
You know who else is super smart? Danny Langsdorf.
2nd and 1. Play-action bomb.
3rd and 1. Bubble-screen.
4th and 3. Punt.
Unlike Diaco, Langsdorf at least attempted to run the actual offense during the spring game. Doesn’t Langsdorf know Arkansas State now has all the game tape it needs from the spring game?
Langsdorf is obviously is not as smart as Diaco.
With that said, for the first time since he was hired, we will get to see Mike Riley’s offensive vision for his football team. He now has three quarterbacks on the roster who can run his offense.
I expect the offense to carry this team through the first half of the season. The Arkansas State defense is the strength of the team, but the expected consistent play of Tanner Lee should be enough to score points against Arkansas State.
FIFTH: NEBRASKA WILL SEE THE FAINTING GOAT TRICK PLAY COMING FROM A MILE AWAY
Unfortunately through the invention of the internet the Nebraska coaching staff will be able to prepare their defense and special teams in case Arkansas State runs the fainting goat at any point during the game.
It was the Red Wolves’ special weapon. Special weapon no more.
It is really tough to project reasons Nebraska (besides just talent, size and speed) will beat Arkansas State when Nebraska is going through a “re-boot.” “Re-boot” is the word used by BTN’s Gerry Dinardo.
BTN Bus Tour #Huskers To say it looks like a reboot would be an understatement.The new off/def scheme will move program forward in a big way— Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo) August 15, 2017
Like many Nebraska fans, I can see Nebraska going 5-7 this season. Also like many Nebraska fans, I can see the Huskers going 10-2 with an upset over Ohio State. We truly do not know how well the offense and defense will look until they play Arkansas State.
And even then, are going to show much with Oregon lurking the following week?
Will Nebraska cover the spread? (-16.5)
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