So as it turns out, I am not the lucky charm that I thought I was last week. But wow, do I feel extreme positivity about where this team is headed.
Don’t get me wrong, the game was far from perfect, but the energy and the heart that I saw are what I’ve been waiting for all season.
Nebraska is going to pick up win number 5 on Saturday and these are the reasons why.
#1 THE OFFENSIVE LINE
The improvement that this group has shown is awesome. Last week against the number two rushing defense in the Big Ten, they opened up big holes for Dedrick Mills and Adrian Martinez. The Huskers were able to rush for 273 yards against a defense that only allows 84 rushing yards per game.
There is still some work to be done on this line, but they are growing into their roles on this team.
On Saturday the Huskers will face the 11th ranked rushing defense in the Big Ten. This line will be even better than they were last week and Nebraska will win this game.
#2 THE RECEIVERS
Against Wisconsin, Nebraska had 220 yards passing. JD Spielman and Kanawai Noa had 71 and 72 yards receiving.
Both Spielman and Noa had some great catches, like this one from Noa:
So many big plays in this game. Adrian is just such a valuable playmaker for the #Huskers. Kanawai Noa has really emerged as the season has gone on. Knows how to get open.— Chaz in SoCal ❄️ (@Chaz_in_Socal) November 21, 2019
Next year, let’s finish these babies! pic.twitter.com/fjzHTTJqwr
While it was reported that Noa was not in pads on Wednesday, I hope he is good to go for Saturday.
Wan’Dale Robinson is another receiver who can make big things happen. We still don’t know if he is will play on Saturday, but if he does he will have his way with Maryland defense.
This may be a game in which we see more reps for Kade Warner, Jaevon McQuitty, and Chris Hickman.
The Huskers will take advantage of Maryland’s passing defense being ranked last in the Big Ten and the receivers will be a big part of this win.
#3 ADRIAN MARTINEZ IS GAINING HIS CONFIDENCE BACK
Adrian Martinez has seemed “off” all year. He hasn’t had the same confidence that we saw from him last year as a freshman.
Saturday we saw more of the confident quarterback that we became accustom to last season. He wasn’t perfect, but he was oh so much better.
Martinez reminded us that he can run.
The Adrian of old! #Huskers first offensive possession of 4Q after defense makes big stop, then THIS! Look how close WIS comes to getting him in the end zone or inside the 5. Keep in mind this drive followed that 4-play, 75 yd TD drive.— Chaz in SoCal ❄️ (@Chaz_in_Socal) November 21, 2019
This is what this offense can do! pic.twitter.com/LdgI7R2JuU
Martinez and his swagger are back and he’s sure to lead the Huskers to victory on Saturday.
#4 DEDRICK MILLS
Dedrick Mills seems to keep getting better each week.
Last week he had 17 rushes for 188 yards. Did I mention that Nebraska played a Wisconsin team that only gives up on average 84 rushing yards a game? Oh yeah, I think I did. Well anyway, Mills played all out. He is only the second rusher to rush for more than 100 yards on Wisconsin this season. The other? Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins.
Mills will be a big factor in the Husker offense on Saturday.
#5 MARYLAND SEEMS TO HAVE GIVEN UP
Maryland started the year with two big blowout wins versus Howard and Syracuse. At the time they played Syracuse, Syracuse was a ranked team. This win put them in the rankings at #21.
Other than a big win against Rutgers on October 5th, (ironically the last time Nebraska won a game as well) Maryland has had little success.
They are coming off of a bye week after a 14-73 loss to Ohio State and they may be refreshed and recharged. It won’t be enough though, this Nebraska team will pick up where they left off against Wisconsin.
Nebraska will win.