“We had a lot of yards,” Husker head coach Bo Pelini said, “I thought there was a lot of things we needed to get cleaned up. I would give us probably somewhere around a ‘B’ in how we played in the run game.”
Despite ranking near the top of the NCAA in rushing, the Huskers are obviously not satisfied with where they are at in terms of their run game. They have five different players with rushing touchdowns, including 19 combine from both Rex Burkhead and Taylor Martinez.
But for a team as dominant as Nebraska can be on the ground, they feel like they left a lot of big plays on the field when they hammered Minnesota this past weekend, and they get to face the 10th ranked Michigan State Spartans this week.
Against a stingy Spartan defense, it will not be acceptable to leave big plays on the field, especially with the type of momentum that MSU has right now after a hail Mary victory against Wisconsin this past weekend.
If Nebraska is going to have a chance in that game–which I believe they do–they are going to need the dominate the clock and execute in the red zone on a consistent, early basis.
I think Nebraska has more than just a shot to beat Michigan State on Saturday. This is going to be a statement game for the Huskers, who are 13th in the country right now and have a legitimate shot at a BCS appearance if they can win out. The Big Ten is about as wide open as I think it has been in a while, and we obviously saw over the weekend that the mighty Wisconsin Badgers are human.
This weekend’s game is a must-win for Nebraska. They have a really tough three game stretch to end the season, with road games against Penn State and Michigan as well as a home game against Iowa who has been a dominant second half team in recent years.
It all starts on Saturday with Michigan State. If Nebraska can pull off an “upset” victory, I think they will gain some steam in the BCS race and possibly find themselves in the top 8-10 range.