The Huskies play the Nebraska Cornhuskers in about 4 hours. Quickly, here are 5 keys I have to the game.
- Stopping the run. The Huskies are playing with a depleted defensive line, missing 3 guys who played a significant amount of time this year. They’re going up against a gigantic offensive line that Nebraska has. We saw one result earlier in the year in which the Huskers ran away from the Dawgs. If the Huskies want to have a chance tonight they can’t get ran over by Nebraska. Expect the Huskies to load the box and force Taylor Martinez to pass. Cort Dennison will get to play in this rematch, which has to help a little bit. Nebraska will get their rushing yards, but we can’t let them go crazy like they did in September.
- Limit the big plays. This killed the Huskies in the first meeting. There were too many missed tackles, and Nebraska took advantage. There were too many turnovers, and Nebraska took advantage. Yes, Nebraska had a few sustained drives, but most of their scores came on quick strikes. We have to limit those this time around.
- Start Fast. The Dawgs fell into a 14-0 hole last time against Nebraska and never could climb back into it. They need to at least keep pace with the Huskers this time, and getting some early momentum would be huge. We have most of the intangibles on our side, if we get some momentum this would be huge for our team.
- Establish the run. The Huskies only success in the last game against Nebraska came by running the football. The running game has been the bread and butter for the Huskies 3 game winning streak and it needs to be again tonight. We all remember how good the Husker secondary is so the running game needs to be established to loosen them up. Look for Locker to run more than he has all season. Which leads me to….
- Jake Locker. Much has been made of Locker having a second chance against Nebraska. In a way, it’s fitting. Locker came to UW when it was at its lowest point and now they’re playing in a bowl game; Locker’s lowest point came against Nebraska and now he gets a chance for redemption in his final game. I don’t see him laying an egg like he did the first time. I don’t see him having an amazing game either. It will be another, gritty Locker performance that we’ve all taken for granted. His legacy is already completed, but if UW wants a chance in this game they need one more chapter written by this Husky legend.
In all honesty, I don’t see the Huskies winning. I think they lose by 10 or 14, call it Nebraska – 37 Huskies – 27. With that being said, don’t forget how great it is to be here. Put on your purple, and be proud to be a Husky fan today. Go Dawgs!