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Path to Victory: Nebraska vs Maryland

A first time meeting!!!  Let’s get excited.  The Nebraska Cornhuskers will host the Maryland Terps for the first time as Big Ten foes.  First, let’s rewind…

Nebraska turned out one of their best performances last week against a tough Minnesota team.  Tommy Armstrong, after being held out of practice all week through concussion protocol, came out firing on all cylinders.  Armstrong finished with 217 yards through the air accounted for all three of Nebraska’s touchdowns.  The Husker defense turned in a similar performance, holding a strong Minnesota rushing attack to 85 yards rushing and picking off QB Mitch Leidner in the red zone to end the game.  It was, in a word, fantastic.

But, it was not all sunshine and rainbows, as Armstrong came up limping after his game-winning touchdown run.  It was later diagnosed as a hamstring injury and back-up QB Ryker Fyfe came in to finish the game.  Nebraska still won the game but lost their most important player.  As of this writing, Armstrong has yet to practice but he is hopeful to play in his final home  game as a Husker.  For this week’s PtV, I’m going to assume Armstrong either doesn’t play or only gets in for a couple of series.  Because, frankly, if he’s full-go, I don’t give this week’s opponent, Maryland, much of a chance to win.  On with the breakdown!

Newby Followed by Wilbon Followed by Bryant Followed by Ozigbo

Use the running backs as much as you can.  Maryland’s defense is giving up 4.2 yards per carry on the ground and that should give Nebraska a good chance to keep the ball.

Limit the Mistakes at QB

Ryker Fyfe has been in the program for five years but has only played sparingly in his career.  His only start, in 2015 against Purdue, was memorable for all the wrong reasons.  Fyfe has another year in the system and the benefit of being at home.  Still, he’ll need to play nearly mistake-free football to help Nebraska win.

Take That Ball Away

The defense could take a lot of pressure of off a back-up QB by continuing their trend of takeaways.  The Blackshirts have ten interceptions in as many games and, with Maryland playing three injured QBs on Saturday, they’ll have a chance to add to that total.

Three Stats

  • 10 – Picks by Nebraska’s defense. 5 come from safety Keiron Williams.
  • 26 – Points per game given up by Maryland’s defense.
  • 2 – Points per game for the Husker offense.

Three Guarantees

  • Let’s call it “spotty” quarterback play.
  • Several different formations from Maryland’s offense.
  • A stadium full of tears for the senior day tribute to late Husker punter, Sam Foltz.

Prediction

Maryland 17 – Nebraska 20

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