First: Penalties are Overblown
That guy who wrote the Five to Lose this week for Northwestern was totally out of line. He is an idiot. Send him the angry emails, don’t send them to me.
While the penalties have been an issue, the concern that Nebraska is last in the country in penalties per game is a LITTLE overblown.
Just a little.
When you run 30 more plays than other teams you are probably going to have more penalties. But the type of penalties and the timing of the penalties are what are killers. So the number of penalties isn’t as telling as quality or timing of the penalties which makes you want to tear the hair out of your head.
Oh wait, this is the Five to Win isn’t it?
Well, at some point Nebraska is going to improve in this area this season right?
No time like the present.
Second: Northwestern Is Becoming One-Dimensional
Eight rushing yards total against Michigan State last week.
Over the past two games Northwestern has 36 rushing yards on 54 attempts. Good enough for 0.67 yards per carry.
I’m hanging my hat on this fact. We could not stop Wisconsin from running the ball right at us. However, we should be able to make Northwestern somewhat one-dimensional. Have them throw the ball a bunch and maybe Dicaprio Bottle gets his first interception.
Now we better hope we are able to defend the pass as Clayton Thorson is an able quarterback who can sling it from time to time.
If Northwestern end up successfully running the ball against us then....woof.
Third: The Offense
According to Paul Dalen, a statistician here at Corn Nation, if you limited our penalties by 91 yards per game (which would still put us at middle of the road I believe in penalties) then we would have a top 5 offense.
Wowzers. (Wowzers is a technical term by the way).
Watching what Nebraska can do on offense gives me hope in every game going forward with the exception of Ohio State.
No matter how you split it, over 500 yards of total offense against a Wisconsin team is an accomplishment. Now once we start translating those yards into points then watch out.
And then just think if we have a competent defense at some point.
Fourth: Game is at Northwestern
Since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011 the Huskers have never lost a game at Northwestern. On the other side of the coin, Northwestern has been pretty successful in Lincoln as they have won every game except for one.
So why change a good thing? The problem with Northwestern is that Nebraskans don’t need an excuse to go to Chicago and spend a weekend. Heck I wish I could go to Chicago multiple times a year but the wife thinks that spending time with our children is more important.
Anyways, Nebraska fans have always been known to travel well, and then when you add a great city like Chicago into the mix then they are going to come in waves which I hope fills up Ryan Field
In fact, Scott Frost isn’t planning on using a silent count this week because he thinks Nebraska fans are going to show up.
Fifth: Nebraska Now Has a Left-Footed Punter
Who likes to party? I think everybody understands that if you ever have a left-footed punter at a party then things are going to get weird. Because everything they kick spins the wrong way. Or the opposite way. Or however you want to think about it.
Anyways, when you are trying to find five reasons why an 0-5 team can win a game then you go looking for outliers.
Well the outlier this week is Isaac Armstrong, a walk-on punter from Lincoln Southwest, will start at punter for Nebraska this week against Northwestern. It is possible that because the ball spins the opposite (or wrong) direction that Northwestern might have an issue catching the ball.
Here’s to hope.
How will Nebraska do against Northwestern? (+3.5)
This poll is closed
They get their first win
They lose but cover
They lose and don’t cover