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Five Reasons Nebraska Will Win: Troy

If you wanted four or six reasons, I’m sorry to disappoint you

NCAA Football: Boise State at Troy Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

FIRST: Andrew Bunch Will Be Better Than We Expect...If He Does Start

I have sources within the program that said he actually was in the running for the starting quarterback job at the beginning of fall camp. However, once Bunch realized it would be a three horse race he respectfully bowed out. He was cautious about dividing the team into three camps and realized that dividing the team into two camps would be better for the program.

This is not true.

However, I do want to remind people that way-back-in-time-when-dinosaurs-roamed-the-earth, that Andrew Bunch was, in fact, taking the same number of snaps as both Adrian Martinez and Tristan Gebbia at the beginning of fall camp.

That has to mean something. In fact Scott Frost said the following this week regarding Andrew Bunch:

Andrew Bunch also has an attitude I’d want for my quarterback. After Gebbia transferred, Frost told Bunch that Bunch had his best practice, and Bunch replied “well I’m actually getting some reps.” Boom.

Also Bunch had mentioned several times in the spring and fall camps that he considers himself to be a starting quarterback. I hope that is not fake-confidence but just something he feels for himself.

I’m looking forward to seeing him against Troy.

SECOND: Troy’s Third-Down Defense

After two games (yes I know, but it’s all I got), Troy is 101st in all of college football in Defensive Third-Down Conversion Percentage. When Troy’s opponents are in third down situations they convert it 43% of the time.

In the game against Colorado, Nebraska only converted five of thirteen 3rd downs. There are many reasons you think that will improve over the next couple of games (they looked rusty to say the least).

But Troy has gone up against a good Boise State team and a not-so-good Florida A&M. So their number is likely more of an indication of their third down defense since Nebraska probably lies somewhere in the middle of Boise State and Florida A&M.

If Nebraska is successful on third downs (which I think they will be) then they might blow this game wide open. The strain (in the words of Diaco) that the Nebraska offense will put on the Troy defense is hopefully readily apparent very early in the game.

THIRD: If you can’t run the ball, then I hope you can pass it.

After two games, Troy is ranked 76th in passing in the entire country. If the Nebraska defense has any liabilities at this point in the season it might be the secondary. However, they played at such a higher level against Colorado compared to the prior year that I cannot be too upset by the play of the secondary at this point.

I don’t think Troy is going to be able to run the ball against Nebraska. Against Colorado State, Colorado racked up 258 rushing yards on 6.4 yards per carry. The following week they only managed 44 rushing yards against Nebraska. Which places Nebraska as 4th in the country in rushing defense. Yes, it is one game but it is all I have to work with you sarcastic troll.

Until I see otherwise, I think the play of the defensive line could take Nebraska further than we expected. So unless Troy is able to put up some passing yards I think they could be in for a long day.

The secondary of Nebraska might decide the game this week.

FOURTH: The Troy Offensive Line vs. the Nebraska Defensive Line

Kaleb Barker, the quarterback for Troy, has been sacked nine times in two games. That is not good for Troy. As stated above, I think Troy is going to need to be able to pass the ball in order to win, but if the quarterback doesn’t have time then that will prove to be difficult. Giving up that many sacks in two games does take a toll on a quarterback’s psyche.

On the other hand, Nebraska had seven sacks in one game last week. The very pleasant surprise has been the front seven for this Nebraska defense. They look physical. They look like they want to be dominant.

It has been a while since we have seen that in Lincoln.

FIFTH: Knocking Off the Rust

One of the common themes from the game against Colorado was how it wasn’t a question of scheme, athletic ability or effort that doomed Nebraska. It was mental mistakes. There were multiple players that played tight and they looked like they hadn’t played a true football game this season.

Which they hadn’t. They were mistakes that were are correctable. But unfortunately they were big mistakes.

Until we see otherwise, I think this coaching staff gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to development and fixing mistakes. So now the team has a game under it’s belt and we should see a team that plays better and shouldn’t play as tight tomorrow against Troy.


So how will Nebraska fare against Troy? (NEB 11.5 favorites)

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Nebraska wins and covers (-11.5)
    (429 votes)
  • 12%
    Nebraska wins but doesn’t cover
    (68 votes)
  • 2%
    Nebraska wins but pushes
    (14 votes)
  • 9%
    Nebraska loses
    (54 votes)
565 votes total Vote Now