Thanks to Blankman and Husker Mike of Corn Nation for answering a few questions for DTN.
DTN: What's the Corn Nation fear factor for Texas Tech (1 being not afraid at all and 10 being all-get-out afraid)?
Blankman: I wouldn’t say that I "fear" Texas Tech more than I "realize it may be 2004 all over again". I’ll put it to you this way: The points are what? 21? I’d take the over on Tech and Tech as a straight up winner although the fine people here at Corn Nation and myself do not condone gambling (I think?). The thing is I realize that Mike Leach knows his offense and it can absolutely abuse and destroy the scheme we saw last week which by the way looked awfully Cosgrovian not just in yardage but in what we tried to do in a few games last season.
Husker Mike: 42. After watching the Huskers lay an egg against Missouri at home, we remember all too well the last time Nebraska played in Lubbock.
DTN: What in the hell happened last week against Missouri?
Blankman: Superior Missouri talent coupled with a lack of overall talent on the field, general confusion and lack of discipline by Nebraska. Gary Pinkel didn’t have to get creative to get a lot of points on the board. He just had to run his offense.
Husker Mike: Couldn't run, couldn't pressure Chase Daniel, couldn't tackle Jeremy Maclin, couldn't hold onto the ball, couldn't keep yellow hankies off the field.
DTN: I haven't watched a lick of Nebraska football thus far (I know, I'm a bad Big 12 fan), tell me what to expect scheme wise from the Cornhusker offense and defense and a couple of players to watch out for on each side of the ball?
Blankman: On offense you’re going to see some poorly blocked zone running, playaction passes for Joe Ganz who, if flustered, can and will make mistakes. If he starts hitting Swift and Peterson on 10 yard pickups, we could see something sparked. Marlon Lucky and Roy Helu will dominate the running game for the most part with Cody Glenn fumbling at some point. On defense, this week’s scheme may be similar to last week’s, but I doubt it.
Husker Mike: That's ok. I've only caught a few minutes of Tech last Saturday before I had to get ready to leave for Lincoln. From the defense, expect a lot of nickel and dime. Nebraska will hope that Ty Steinkuhler, Ndamakong Suh, and Zach Potter can get some penetration and force Graham Harrell to alter his plans. From the Husker offense, expect Joe Ganz to throw a lot of short to medium range passes to Nate Swift. The Huskers will hope to get the running game untracked with Marlon Lucky, but we've been hoping for that most of the season.
DTN: Last week CN and IAT12M took a look at Texas Tech's and Missouri's spread offenses and how to stop them. How much does Pelini utilize these concepts in stopping the spread and can we expect a different approach this week?
Blankman: I think Pelini’s biggest problem is the same that Callahan had: complexity. I feel that he doesn’t allow his players to just…well play. The other problem is that the people on the field do not have the athletic ability to hang with the upper echelon of the Big XII.
Husker Mike: Nebraska started off in a hybrid 3-3-5, with a defensive end playing almost as a middle linebacker. But after Cody Glenn went down to injury, it went to more of a 3-2-6. Nebraska was unable to get much pressure on Daniel, and he pretty much had his way with the NU secondary. Will you see a different scheme against Tech? Definitely, as Pelini took the blame for the Missouri game immediately after the game. What that will be remains to be seen.
DTN: Nebraska beats Texas Tech on Saturday because . . .
Blankman: Either I bet on Texas Tech straight up or we’re in Bizzaro World.
Husker Mike: Norovirus runs rampant through the Red Raider locker room? Seriously, if Nebraska's front lines start dominating the other side of the line. Offensively, the running game takes command and the Huskers control the clock and keep Harrell and Crabtree on the sidelines. Defensively, the line gets penetration, clogs the passing lanes, and forcing Harrell out of his comfort zone. Big ifs...but that's why we play the games.