College Football

Path to Victory: Nebraska at Indiana

In football, and any sport, a bye week comes with adjustments.  You look at what’s working and what’s not and make the little tweaks necessary to become a champion.  We are no different at the PtV and I’ve got a little bit of tweaking to lay out for the rest of the season.  Let’s not waste time together, friends, let’s jump right into the breakdown!

The last time Nebraska played the Indiana Hoosiers was back in 1978 and Lee Corso was the head man in Bloomington.  Which means the Huskers have gone almost six seasons in the Big Ten Conference without playing another conference team.  A little ridiculous but here we are.  How can the Huskers best the Hoosiers?  It’s impossible if you ask the national media but the PtV doesn’t believe in impossibility.  There’s always a path to victory; you just have to follow it.

Start Fast

Nebraska was able to score on their first drive against Illinois but wouldn’t reach the end zone again until the 4th quarter.  Although that game ended up with a comfortable victory margin, Illinois was able to use Nebraska’s lackluster 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarter performances to keep the lead for most of the game.  Indiana is not the offensive juggernaut of old but they can still score better than most teams Nebraska has played so far.  NU needs to come out fast on defense and well-executed on offense to put this game away early.

Don’t Sweat the Hurry-Up

Nebraska’s defense has a tendency to give up yards, sure, but they’re not yielding very many points.  The Huskers are giving up 346.8 yards per game but only 17.6 points per game.  It’s no secret that Indiana likes to hurry to the line of scrimmage and that Nebraska likes to substitute to match personnel but this happens less toward the goal line.  Let Nebraska’s defensive players get into a rhythm and don’t fret over quick yards especially if Indiana isn’t finding the end zone.

Turnover Battle Royale

Win the turnover margin, win the game.  Indiana QB Christian Lagow has thrown 7 interceptions through 5 games and the Husker defense has taken away 9 passes this year.  On the flip side, an injured Tommy Armstrong is a turnover-prone Tommy Armstrong.  Hopefully Armstrong is healthy and/or able to continue to make good decisions with the football.  Husker running backs will need to cut down on the fumbles that have plagued them recently, as well.  If the Huskers can hold on to the ball on offense AND defense it’ll make things very tough for the Hoosiers.

Three Guarantees

  • Nebraska picked as everyone’s “upset special” this weekend.
  • 270-pound IU running back Tyler Natee’s nickname “Big Bacon” (a personal favorite) mentioned several times.
  • Husker fans screaming at Ed Cunningham’s constant breakdown of the targeting penalty.

Three Big Stats

  • 2 – the number of Indiana rushing touchdowns this season.
  • 2 – the number of interceptions thrown by Tommy Armstrong through 5 games.
  • 3 – the number of passing touchdowns Nebraska has given up this season.

Prediction

Indiana 24 – Nebraska 33

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