With this weekend comes the game that will define this OSU team. Are they a good team or are they a great team? Nebraska comes to town and if you can't get pumped for this then you....well, you suck. This game will pretty much have it all. A top rated defense squaring off with a top rated offense. Two conference opponents trying to prove to the nation that they are contenders. Nebraska has had the hype from the beginning. Some believed in it, some didn't. OSU, on the other hand, has had to fight each week to convince the doubters that this team is better than most gave them credit for. Nebraska, no doubt, is a great team despite their loss last week to Texas. They have a very talented QB and RB to go along with their stout defense. But every team has weaknesses and it is my pleasure to point them out and how OSU can take advantage. So fill that glass a little higher with Orange Kool-Aid and click the jump.
Nebraska's Run Defense: 74th in the nation
On average, they give up over 150 yards per game. Kendall Hunter, Joseph Randle, Jeremy Smith: it is your time to shine. Get out there and show them why you may be the best three-headed monster in the nation. This is the perfect opportunity for Hunter to remind the nation why he was an All-American in 2008.
Nebraska's Pass Offense: 111th in the nation
In six games, Taylor Martinez has thrown for 3 touchdowns. That is all. He's thrown as many interceptions. Keep in mind, Brandon Weeden threw for three touchdowns in his first game. Don't get me wrong, Martinez is definitely a force on the ground. But to say Nebraska isn't exactly two dimensional is an understatement. I wouldn't be surprised to see Bill Young load the box and put two spies on Martinez. Make Nebraska try to beat you through the air.
Nebraska's Red Zone Conversions: 96th in the nation
In six games, they've gotten inside the 20 yard line five times and came away with ZERO points. That tells me that ball security is an issue when it matters most. OSU's defense is already opportunisitc. When their backs are against the wall, we've all seen them turn it up a notch. Nebraska has fumbled the ball 23 times this season. They've lost 8 of those (only seven teams have coughed up more) and you better believe that the OSU coaching staff is spending a lot of time this week practicing loose ball drills with the team.
Nebraska's Penalties: 111th in the nation
They average over 70 yards a game in penalties. What does this mean? Momentum killers. Whether on offense, defense or special teams, penalties will kill a potentially big play or situation. Nebraska's offense is a bit limited as it is. Turning a 3rd and 3 into a 3rd and 8 will not only hinder their options, but also give OSU and its fans more motivation and energy.
Nebraska's Tackles For Losses: 118th in the nation
Wait, what? Is that right? Afraid so. As great as Nebraska's secondary is, their D-Line has been extremely average thus far into the season. In fact, OSU has four more sacks than Nebraska does on the year. Does anybody remember the Nebraska fans saying that the D-line would be just as strong without Suh? Yeah, so they were wrong. Give it up to the Nebraska secondary for still being able to dominate the way they have without much help from the line. But also remember that they have not yet faced a QB like Brandon Weeden. If he has all day to throw, he will find open receivers. And let's not leave out the running backs. I'm no genius but if they aren't losing yards, they're gaining them, correct? And if an average rusher is gaining two yards, count on Hunter to gain at least four.