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Five Reasons Nebraska Will Win: Illinois

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Ok, maybe there’s six.

Northern Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

I told you. Stick with me folks. We are going places over here.

That win last week was just what we needed.

Don’t get me wrong, the Huskers have room to grow. But they put together a full game and they finished it.

And it felt good.

Now it’s time to turn our eyes to the Illinois Fighting Illini. The Huskers hit the road to take on Lovie Smith and crew.

They’re going to open up Big Ten Play with a win and here’s why.

#1 THE HUSKERS ARE FINDING SOME RUNNING ROOM

Last week the Nebraska offense showed that they can rush the ball. Dedrick Mills rushed for 116 yards on 11 carries. The coaching staff talked a lot about Mills in fall camp, but fans had yet to see him breakout. Not only was he getting the big runs, but he said he had practiced being more patient and waiting for the holes. It paid off.

And we can’t forget Maurice Washington. He has made it clear that he’s got the speed and the moves to make big plays when the offense needs it.

Illinois is going to be a tough defense to run on, but Nebraska’s offense is just getting started. They are going to keep the ball moving and pick up the win.

#2 A WIN ON SATURDAY WILL BE NUMBER 900

When Nebraka got it’s 800th win in 2006 versus Kansas State, no one would’ve guessed that it would take another thirteen years to reach number 900. It took only ten years for them to go from 700 to 800. Oddly enough the 700th win was also versus Kansas State.

The Huskers are not going to need more than one shot to reach win number 900.

While it would be really cool if we played Kansas State again. We can’t wait around for that.

Saturday night is the night.

#3 THE DEFENSE KEEPS ADDING MORE TO WATCH

Each week the Nebraska defense continues to show up and add play makers. It seems like a new defensive player is stepping up in every game.

Last year we all knew about JoJo Domann, Will Honas, Mohammed Barry, Lamar Jackson, Cam Taylor-Britt, Dicaprio Bootle, and Carlos and Kahlil Davis. This year we’ve also seen great things from Eric Lee Jr., Darrion Daniels, Braxton Clark, and Eli Sullivan.

I can’t stop watching this:

DId I mention that Nebraska is ranked 5th in the nation for takeaways?

This defense is going to show up big on Saturday and I can’t wait to see who we learn more about this week.

#4 NEBRASKA IS A DOUBLE DIGIT ROAD FAVORITE

You have to look back five years to find the last time this happened. You have to look back another year to find when this was the case vs a Power Five opponent.

Nebraska showed up strong for both of those games and won them easily. They beat Fresno 55-19 and Purdue 44-7.

This will be the case on Saturday as well. Nebraska is going to go to Champaign and handle business.

#5 THE HUSKERS ARE CLEANING UP THEIR ACT

For quite some time Nebraska has been known to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties. I know this goes at least as far back as the Pelini era. Although, in that time many of those penalties were on the coach.

Nebraska fans have far too often been excited about big plays only to find out that they have been called back.

Last week the Huskers only had one penalty for the entire game. One PENALTY. That’s unheard of as a Husker fan. And the player who committed that penalty was seen lifting after the game.

The Huskers are cleaning up their act and that’s going to help them win this game on Saturday.

#6 I CAN’T LOSE A BET TO MY HUSBAND

I know that this is called “FIVE to win,” but this is important. My husband is a native of Illinois and to be honest not really a football fan (I know, I know! He’s got lots of other great qualities I swear), but he bets me on the Nebraska vs. Illinois game every year. I’ve only had to lose once.

I can’t do it again. I think my heart broke into a million pieces that fateful day in 2015 when I had to admit that he had won.

So the Huskers must win so that Logan does not. It’s as simple as that. I need my team to help me out.

I know they won’t let me down.