Nebraska Cornhuskers versus Kansas State Wildcats
Where: Manhattan, Kansas
When: 6:30 PM, ESPN
Vegas Line: Nebraska -12
Fun Stat: Nebraska is 5-0 in Thursday night games on ESPN (all 5 on the road)
Keys to victory
- Stop Daniel Thomas- The biggest aspect of the game. If Thomas can find running room then the Wildcats will be able to stick around in the game. If not, goodnight sweetheart. The Blackshirts have been so-so at stopping the run this year and Thomas ranks 4th in the nation at 157 ypg. He needs to gain at least 120 yards for the Wildcats to have a chance.
- Take the game out of T-Mart’s hands- The Wildcats’ best chance for a victory is if they can rattle freshman QB Taylor Martinez. The best way to counter that? Run the football. It’s best not to rely on a freshman QB on the road. Get Roy Helu Jr. and Sexy Rex Burkhead the ball early and often, and let them do their thing.
- Get T-Mobile in his comfort zone- This may sound similar to the last key, but it is indeed very differently intended. Let him run the ball early in the game. Take a few hits. The Wildcats really struggled with stopping the QB Read Option against Central Florida. After that, get him a few easy completions. Ease his way into the game while easing the crowd out of the game.
- Control the clock- This game is going to be won one way and one way only by the Wildcats. Keep Nebraska’s explosive offense off the field. Shorten the game. Run the ball and hope to convert short-distanced third downs. Keep matriculating the ball down the field, boys.
- Start fast- Don’t let the Huskers get up early. We saw what happened in Washington when that was the case. An underdog typically has to keep the game close into the second half and then make more plays down the stretch. Behind two scores? Game over.
- Score on Defense/Special Teams/Trick Play- Nothing evens out two teams like a fluke of a touchdown. I expect a few tries at trick plays in tonight’s game. Bill Snyder knows he will have to pull out all the stops. The Wildcats’ chances go way up if they can get extra points on the board out of their team.
Prediction: I expect Daniel Thomas to find some running room and will top 100 yards. But, the Huskers will be able to march up and down the field on the legs of Taylor Martinez against a not-so-stout defense of the Wildcats. The game will be close for three quarters with the Huskers pulling away in the fourth.
Nebraska 27, Kansas State 12
Tags: Big 12 Conference Bill Snyder Blackshirts Bo Pelini College Football Daniel Thomas Espn Kansas St Kansas State Prediction Preview Rex Burkhead Roy Helu Taylor Martinez Thursday Night Football Vs Wildcats