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Week 8 Preview: Nebraska

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The Basics:

  • Records: ISU (4-3, 1-2), Nebraska (4-2, 1-1)
  • Date: Saturday, October 24th, 2009
  • Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
  • Time: 11:30am CDT
  • TV: Fox Sports
  • Line: ISU +18.5, O/U 52

At A Glance:

ISU has been a confident, spirited team, hoping to transfer some of the momentum from the past couple of weeks over to Lincoln. Nebraska is a team coming off a big loss against Texas Tech, that is dealing with QB controversies, black shirt controversies and all other things Husker. Nebraska is the more talented team, but the question is how prepared will Nebraska deal with coming off a big loss, and how ISU will play in a venue that has not been friendly to the Cyclones over the years. The story is just to see what happens. I don't think either fanbase knows what exactly to expect.

Things You Should Know, Keys to the Game, and My Prediction After The Jump!

Things You Should Know:

  • The Lincoln Curse may be broken.  The Volleyball team picked up a huge win in Lincoln, the first in 33 years. The football team has not won in Lincoln since 1975. 
  • Arnaud and A-Rob are expected to play. We will have to see how it goes, but hopefully they can contribute for at least most of the game.
  • Nebraska is not settled at QB. No one is sure who will start. I have heard that they may split series between the two QBs, or they may start Lee but have him on a short leash. It has to be difficult trying to prepare for an offense in which you don't know who will be sitting there, and I think this plays to Nebraska's advantage... At least this week
  • ISU's Offensive Line is in for another challenge. Nebraska's D averages nearly 3 sacks per game, and has the 12th best run defense, allowing only 96 yards rushing/game. Ndamukong Suh is a beast, and special attention will need to be paid to him.
  • In general, the offense will be challenged. While Texas Tech did score 31 on Nebraska, the 2nd best passing offense in the Nation (averaging over 400 yards/game) was held to 234 yards through the air. They only rushed for 25, so it wasn't like they had the ground game going.
  • Roy Helu is expected to play. He's a gamechanger to say the least. He is averaging 5.8 yards/carry and ISU's front seven needs to wrap him up. With Nebraska's offense struggling, look for them to go to Helu, especially because Iowa State only has the 47th best rushing defense, allowing nearly 130 yards/game.

Keys To The Game:

  • Get the passing game going.Sounds simple, but will be hard. ISU will need to mix up pass and run, but they are going to need to complete passes to keep drives alive if they want to have a shot at the game. If they pass too much, they could be forced into a lot of three and outs.
  • Take care of the football. Only 1 turnover the last two weeks, which is good. They need to keep it up if they want to win on the road.
  • Force turnovers. ISU's defense is going to need to force some turnovers. The ISU offense will need as many possessions as possible. If they can win the turnover margin, perhaps they can wear out Nebraska's defense.
  • Stay loose. The players need to treat this like another game. All of the pressure is on Nebraska to not only win, but to perform well. Go out there, play your game, and see what happens.

Not really a lot to add. When you go to a tough environment against a more talented opponent. If you can take care of the basics, and outplay your competition for the game, anything is possible.


ISU 13, Nebraska 30. I think it's a close game for most of the time, but maybe in the 4th quarter Nebraska forces a turnover and takes it to the house, or just puts up a late TD to make the margin wider. 

How do you see this one playing out?