Sorry I couldn't get a post out yesterday...crazy busy day being a big Graduate student....we'll get on in today and a special post-gameday blog on Saturday.
THE HOT LIST:
1. Kansas/Nebraska Key Matchups
2. Husker Basketball Preview
3. Around the Big 12
1. Its a big big week for Nebraska. The Huskers must respond with another win this weekend to show that they are ready to make a strong run at the Big 12 Championship game. To the Key Matchups:
1. Kansas' Offensive Line vs. Nebraska's Defensive Line:
This is probably the second biggest matchup this weekend. Nebraska's front four has given pretty much every team nightmares when they want to drop back and throw the ball. Todd Reesing is a season veteran and has the skill sets to make teams pay if you give him an opportunity. Last season, Reesing was able to make plays with his feet to buy time for his WR's to get open. Nebraska's front four must contain Reesing and make key sacks when they get pressure to him. Remember what happened against Texas Tech when we got pressure but were unable to finish the play....on Saturday Nebraska must make Todd feel like it'll be long long day for him to sit in the pocket.
2. Kansas' Wide Receivers vs. Nebraska's Secondary
Even though the Jayhawks are on a bad four game losing streak, KU arguably brings a group of very talented and experienced WR core that have shown the ability in the past few seasons that they can make plays. Desmond Briscoe and Kerry Meier are one of the best tandem WR's in the Big 12. Briscoe came into this season as one of the premier WR's in the Big 12, but lately he has been struggling with catching the ball. Nebraska will likely play a lot of man coverage with two safeties over the top to take away the deep ball. These guys must make plays like they did last week against the speedy WR's of OU and take KU's two big playmakers out of the game.
3. Nebraska's Offense vs. Kansas' Defense
This is the biggest matchup of the weekend. Nebraska didn't have to get flashy last weekend to move the ball and score points against OU. This weekend they'll face a lesser defense that at times has struggled mightily to stop opponents from scoring. The Jayhawk D has played better in the past few weeks but haven't made enough plays to get Kansas a W. It's very simple this weekend, if you want to win on the road....you must run the ball effectively. Roy Helu showed flashes last weekend that his shoulder injuries might be healed up and are behind him. If he can come out this weekend and run the ball with power and effectiveness, it could spell a long long day for Kansas. I don't think it really matters who Nebraska's starts at QB on Saturday, this team must run the ball...very well....when you can do that you set yourself up for the play action passing game that is set up from the running game. If Nebraska can rush the ball with power like they did at times against OU, points could come in bunches against Kansas.
Nebraska took monumental steps in showing that it has a championship caliber defense that can stop nearly everyone that if faces. Nebraska allowed OU to tack only 3 points last weekend on the scoreboard. Nebraska's defense has risen to a new level each week they have played...and that doesn't spell success for a struggling Kansas team to get a win on Senior night and become bowl eligible. Roy Helu comes out running on a new cylinder showing that he is healthy and one of the top running backs in this league. Nebraska controls the clock and makes timely scores to fend off any hope of a Kansas upset. Nebraska wins 28-3 and moves closer to the Big 12 title game.
2. Nebraska Basketball begins its 2009-2010 campaign this Saturday. Nebraska wrapped up its exhibition season against Hastings College this week. The best player in 2 games this season has to be Christian Standhardinger who now must sit for the entire nonconference season. Standhardinger fired in 18 points against Hastings College and showed his versatility of getting up and down the floor. Nebraska will no doubt be hurting in some of its nonconference games without him. Nebraska must learn to develop Brian Diaz and Brandon Ubel as premier big guys in the paint.
Nebraska"s other troubling stat in two games were their turnovers. It clearly is showing that this team doesn't have a stable point guard who can handle the ball and prevent turnovers. Nebraska must shore up this issue and develop into an overall solid defensive team like they have been in years past. In a year where the Big 12 could send 8 teams to the NCAA tournament, Nebraska can ill afford to have a period where it's trying to grow and find itself while playing against the premier caliber teams in the Big 12...We'll see how they start out.
3. As usual we go around the Big 12
Here's this week's schedule:
Nebraska @ Kansas
Texas @ Baylor
Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State
Texas A&M @ Oklahoma
Missouri @ Kansas State
Colorado @ Iowa State
Some big games on the slate this weekend, Texas is trying to remain perfect and in the National Championship chase, OU is trying to rebound, OSU is looking for revenge against Texas Tech, and Kansas State looks to continue it's amazing run towards the Big 12 title game, and Nebraska looks to dominate another opponent this weekend.
Predicted Winners: Nebraska, Texas, OSU, OU, Missouri, Colorado
Last weeks record: 3-3 (50%)
Season Big 12 Record: 21-9 (70%)
To those going to KU with me...it'll be a royally good time...I'm looking forward to spoiling KU's Senior Day....GO BIG RED...and I'll be back on Saturday.