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Nebraska Football: Five Reasons the Huskers Will Beat Illinois

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The Offense Needs to Stop Giving the Other Team Points!

Illinois v South Florida Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images

I have officially handed of the reigns of the “Team Tanner Lee” membership drive to Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf because they obviously have a different perspective on what Tanner Lee brings to the offense that I do.

Tanner Lee is completing 52.1% of this throws, with 7 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. And three of those interceptions have been returned for touchdowns. So from my perspective: Nebraska’s current starting quarterback completes a low percentage of his throws and turns the ball over on a consistent basis.

Those are both really bad qualities of quarterback play. My contention, and I tweeted as such during the game, was:

So why was the Nebraska coaching staff not willing to at least give Patrick O’Brien a look last Saturday in the second half? There are a couple of theories which have been making the rounds.

First, Tanner Lee’s poor quarterback play has more to do with the poor play from the offensive line and the receivers.

Second, putting Patrick O’Brien, who has not played a single meaningful snap since high school, behind this offensive line would destroy his confidence for the future.

Third, you can bench any position in football except for the quarterback. It would be really difficult to give POB a couple series before going back to Tanner Lee. You might lose Tanner Lee mentally if he is benched, even if it is just for a couple of series.

Finally, the gap between Tanner Lee and Patrick O’Brien is so wide that Tanner Lee, even throwing 2.25 interceptions (1.333 pick-sixes) per game, still gives Nebraska the best opportunity to win.

I have a feeling it could be a combination of all four theories.

It has been three games where Tanner Lee continues to say that he just made some bad decisions. Maybe the coaches should start to create some artificial pressure behind Lee in the form of giving POB some snaps at practice at. Something to help Lee understand, in the heat of battle, that he cannot continue to turn the ball over at this rate.

If the talent behind Lee is so bad that they can’t replace a quarterback with this current type of production then this is on Danny Langsdorf.


Anyways, onto the five reasons the Huskers will beat Illinois.

THE ILLINOIS OFFENSE IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL

119th in Total Offense

106th in Scoring Offense

110th in Rushing Offense

102nd in Passing Offense

Those are the current national offensive rankings for the Fighting Illini of Illinois. I think this is an opportunity for our defense to pitch a shutout.

Now only if our offense doesn’t hand Illinois some points.

THE RADD (The Robert Albert Diaco Defense) KEEPS ON HUMMING

The RADD need to start getting some of the appreciation it has been earning over the past ten quarters of football. It really has turned into a reason for hope for the rest of this season.

Over the past 10 quarters the RADD has given up two touchdowns.

Two.

Add that with an Illinois offense which ranks so low in so many offensive categories and it really should set us up for a comfortable win tonight.

Now only if our offense doesn’t hand Illinois some points.

YOUTH THROUGHOUT THE DEFENSIVE LINE OF ILLINOIS

Against South Florida Illinois started 10 true freshmen which is a school record. Two of those true freshmen are starting at the defensive end spots of their defense. The two starting defensive tackles aren’t gristled veterans either. They are sophomores.

Our offensive line isn’t made up of a bunch of gristled veterans either, but after last game the Nebraska offensive line played well enough at stretches that it should be able to be productive against an extremely young defensive line for Illinois.

Now only if our offense doesn’t hand Illinois some points.

NEBRASKA HAD A SHORT WEEK, WHILE ILLINOIS HAD A BYE WEEK

I know it is counter-intuitive, but for a Nebraska team which has started off struggling to begin the season maybe it is a good opportunity for the Nebraska coaches to not inundate their players with a complex game plan. It is an opportunity for the players to stop thinking and just go make plays.

Nebraska had five days to create a game plan for Illinois.

Illinois had 13 days to prepare for Nebraska.

Unless you are nursing some injuries, a bye week usually doesn’t always work out for the following game.

TANGENT: Who in their right minds would allow a Friday night game where one of the two teams playing had a BYE the week before? That doesn’t make sense.

Now only if our offense doesn’t hand Illinois some points.

THE NEBRASKA OFFENSE HAS FIGURED OUT WHAT IT’S IDENTITY MUST BE....HOPEFULLY

I try not to be “run the ball” guy. Instead I try to be “run the ball when you should” guy. Is there a difference? I think so. I hope so.

The fourth quarter of the Rutgers game is what Nebraska’s offense needs to work towards. That is a ball control offense. Right now Nebraska is 4th in the country of time of possession. We need to continue to possess the ball for long periods of time.

Give out defense rest so they can play fast and yard every snap. Give our offensive linemen the opportunity to continue to pound it at these young defensive linemen. As all Nebraska fans know, if you continue to run the ball those 2-3 yard runs turn into 5-7 yard runs at some point.

Someday I’d love to watch a Nebraska offense with a capable quarterback who will protect the ball. Someday.

Now only if our offense doesn’t hand Illinois some points.

Let me know what you think on twitter or in the comments section.

Poll

Will Nebraska beat Illinois this week? (-5.5)

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Yes, and they will cover.
    (268 votes)
  • 12%
    Yes, but they will not cover.
    (45 votes)
  • 9%
    No, they will lose.
    (34 votes)
347 votes total Vote Now