Reason #1: Pelini Knows How
This is not Bo Pelini's first rodeo. Although this is Pelini's first head coaching stop, Pelini is more than capable of implementing a defense that can stop the spread. Pelini is also very familiar with Captain Leach and the Air Raid offense as he spent 2004 in Oklahoma as the defensive coordinator and led the Sooners to the top defense in the league, giving up only 299.0 yards per game. Although the SEC is not known for the spread, in fact the SEC hates the spread, that doesn't diminish the fact that I think that Pelini is capable of scheming a way to stop this team.
Reason #2: Nebraska's Defensive Front
Do not underestimate the strength of the Nebraska defense is the defensive front four. Ndamnukong Suh is 6'4" and 300 pounds of football player. Suh has only 2 sacks, but he already has 26 tackles, as a nose tackle, and 4.5 tackles for a loss. Defensive end Zach Potter (6'7"/280) is also having an outstanding year, has 5 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks. Nebraska is actually 36th in the nation in sacks and 40th in the nation in tackles for a loss, and although the Cornhuskers are only 50th in rushing defense, I think this group is still capable of making plays, which can easily turn a game.
Reason #3: It's Open Over The Middle
It really bothered me last week when K-State was able to find success over the middle of the field . . . in big chunks. The problem with K-State was that Freeman had trouble finding his targets and the Wildcats receivers are diminutive, to say the least. Nebraska is not small. Nate Swift (6'2"/200) is at one receiver spot while Todd Peterson (6'4"/215) is at the other. I won't be at all surprised to see Nebraska utilize their tight end, Mike McNeil who is averaging over 20 yards a catch this year. Again, Nebraska presents the exact opposite problem of K-State, bigger receivers and Ganz is much better on the run and in pressure than Freeman was. It will be interesting to see how Ruffin McNeill adjusts.
Reason #4: Ganz Is More Than Capable
As mentioned above, Joe Ganz is good moving around in the pocket and he's more than capable to leading Nebraska to a win. We all know that Texas Tech has problems with the running quarterback, and although Ganz had been very inconsistent this year (rushing for 38, -2, 69, 18, and -7 yards) he can be a threat running the ball. Not to mention, his ability to create outside of the pocket. Texas Tech may have to implement a similar gameplan to the Nevada game, where the Red Raiders decided to give up the short passes and not allow the quarterback to beat Texas Tech deep. Ganz is capable of a big day passing the ball as well, but just like running the ball, he's been inconsistent.
Reason #5: Captain Leach Not Trusting His Punter
I think the collective Red Raider nation rolled their eyes, well, everyone but Skin Patrol, at Captain Leach's decision to go for it on 4th down from Texas Tech's 29. I'm okay with being unconventional, but that's got to stop. Actually, I'm okay with going for it on 4th down once Texas Tech is inside the opponent 50 yard line, but by giving the opponent the ball on Texas Tech's own 30 is almost a guaranteed 3 points as long as they move the ball 10 yards or so. Hell, even if no progress is made, that's still a kick that most some college kickers can make. Long story short, just punt the ball and give your improving defense a chance.
Also make sure and check out 5 Reasons Texas Tech Will Win: Nebraska Edition.
Hat-Tip to the South Carolina blog, Garnet and Black Attack for the idea.