This is the last hot blog of the week...so I'll make it count.
THE HOT LIST:
1. Nebraska/Baylor Key Matchups
2. Phillip Dillard...how much he has changed
3. Around the Big 12
1. We start by talking about the key matchups this weekend.
First, Nebraska's offensive line vs. Baylor's Linebackers. This is the heart and sole of the Baylor defense. This unit leads the Big 12 in combined tackles. They are fast, smart, and make sure tackles that prevent offenses from making big plays against them. The question comes whether this group, which has been susceptible to giving up huge chunks of yards on the ground, can stop Nebraska's dormant running game. It's a simple rule in the Big 12, if you wanna win on the road you have to run the ball effectively. So much of Nebraska's offense is predicated off the ability to run the ball effectively. If Nebraska can come out and block the talented LB of Baylor is would spell a very long day for the Bears.
Second, Nebraska's defensive line vs. Baylor's Offensive Line. Tempo can be dictated right off the bat by how effectively Nebraska can get pressure with it's front four. There's no question that the overall team success of the defense has been boosted by the awesome play of Nebraska's front four. It's hard to get the ball out when your running for your life in the backfield.
Third, Nebraska's WR's vs. Baylor's Secondary. Nebraska must get of its offensive snide and that can start in the passing game with Nebraska's WR's. Whoever gets the start this weekend must come out and catch the ball, play hard every down, and block better downfield for the running backs. If they can get back on track and elevate their game....Baylor could find itself in a whole heap of problems trying to stop this offense...as weird as that sounds after the past 2 weeks.
Prediction: It's been an ugly one for the Nebraska Cornhuskers the past 2 weeks. Nebraska goes into Waco with a simple mission...improve as a team and send a statement that Nebraska is turning the corner with four huge games left on its schedule. You want to come out and play well against Baylor to build confidence heading into the biggest home game of the year next weekend. Nebraska gets back to its running ways and pounds the ball with authority at Baylor. Suh and his bandits of crazies make it miserable day for Nick Florence and Nebraska cruises to a nice win on TV.
Nebraska wins: 35-7
2. Great article came out today about how much the play of Phillip Dillard has improved over the last few weeks. Here was a guy that had probably the worst spring practice last season and quickly found himself fourth on the depth chart at Mike LB. Phil went to work on the offseason and wasn't awarded a starting mike job, but got the eye of the coaches that this kid needed to get out on the field and play. After not playing in the first 2 games of the year, Phil bursted onto the playing field against VT playing the weakside linebacker position. He had a quite day recording 5 tackles. His play has steadily increased notching 3, 3, 12, and 12 tackles in the last four games. He is quickly becoming a leader and mentor to the two young freshman that play next to him. Its a great story to see a high that was highly recruited out of Oklahoma finally get a shot to get some considerable playing time. He's a story for many that patience and hard work never go un-noticed by anyone you work or play hard for. Congrats on your success Phil...big games are still in your future.
3. We go around the Big 12 and preview this week's slate of games.
Heres the schedule:
Nebraska @ Baylor
Texas @ Oklahoma State
Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Missouri @ Colorado
Kansas @ Texas Tech
Iowa State @ Texas A&M
This weekend marks a couple of big games on Halloween. Texas travels to OSU in what looks like the last hurdle for the Longhorns to jump to remain unbeaten. Kansas has a huge game on the road this weekend trying to get back on track at Texas Tech and Iowa State and K-State have big games this weekend as they are looking to keep their leads in the Big 12 North race.
Predicted Winners: Nebraska, OSU, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas Tech, Texas A&M
Last weeks record: 4-2 (.67)
Season Big 12 Record: 13-5 (.72)
Enjoy your weekend and have a safe and fun Halloween....I'll return again next Tuesday as I always do hopefully spreading good news from a win. Till Then...Skocz Out!!!