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January 1, 2013

3 Questions: Nebraska

Well, I (sadly) find myself one game from being without emotional skin in a football game, unless the Falcons make the Super Bowl. While we've had a good year, a convincing win over the team that was set up well to go to the Rose Bowl, Nebraska no less, and we'll have a very good year. 12 wins. Premier bowl game victory. Winning streak against Florida. Not having a loss to a B1.5G team on New Year's Day.

Yes, the CapitalOne Bowl does mean something beyond a nice little exhibition. We got another month of practice in and got some of the new class in the fold. We also have an opportunity to shape the narrative of 2013 in a positive way.
  1. Can we stop their running game? Blah, SEC Championship Game, blah, blah, blah. Nebraska's rushing offense is blahdy blah blahblah. Honestly, we need to bring pressure on Martinez and make him become more of a pocket passer. About half of his rushing yards are on obvious passing downs, which means he is very good at improvising. If we can put them in those situations, then make him afraid work hard to run, we'll do ok. In this case, I like Jarvis Jones and Company to do just that.
  2. Will our offense be our best defense? You know who can't run the ball if we have it? Their rushing defense has been awful. Their passing defense has been stout, but it is also a product of their schedule. If we can establish the run, which I believe we can, we can control the game tempo, which is what I expect us to do. Once we do that, the FB/TE/mid-seam route passes off play action become much more open. We don't want to get into a shootout with them, which could happen. Our defensive line will need the rest, especially late in the game. Hopefully, the Marshall plan will work.
  3. What effect does Nebraska's loss in the B1.5G championship game have on the Huskers? To put it a different way, what effect does Georgia's loss in the SEC Championship game have on the Dawgs? Both have reason to take motivation away from the games. Both have reasons to fold up shop and mail it in. However, one team played very good football to end the season and one didn't. Beyond the Wisconsin game, Nebraska needed Iowa to do Iowa stuff for the Huskers to win and that was with a spot in the B1.5G title game on the line. 
I think Georgia wins this game. If we do what I think we will, it'll be a very quiet 10 point thrashing. Think the Ole Miss game in 2011. It has the opportunity to be a shootout, but I just don't see it happening, which means it probably will be like a Thursday night MACtion game.



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