The Nebraska Cornhuskers battle The Southern Miss Golden Eagles tomorrow at Memorial Stadium. I caught up with Husker Corner staff writers Josh Shaw and Leland Johnson to get their thoughts and game predictions for tomorrows match up.
Southern Miss didn’t run the ball much in their loss to Texas State. Will the Blackshirts have an easier time defending a one dimensional offense?
Josh Shaw: Southern Miss has a pass happy Air Raid type of offense. There is a great possibility of the Blackshirts having an easier time in this contest, but it depends on the entire equation.Will the linebackers be able drop into coverage and will the defensive line generate enough pressure? The secondary cannot afford to jump the routes. That was a problem last week. If the secondary is truly the strength of the defense then we will turn it around this week.
Leland Johnson: At this point Nebraska’s defense deserves little credit or trust in any sense. I think things should get better with a clearly over-matched Southern Miss team. The Blackshirts must prove they’re worthy of the name, and that last week’s 602 yard debacle was a one time thing.
Tim Beck went conservative with his play calling last weekend, will he open up the playbook against The Golden Eagles?
Josh Shaw: Balance is the key to our offense. We need to be as multiple as possible, not just your average conventional run the ball offense. Expect Coach Beck and the offensive staff to implement more passing this week to counter the strong rushing attack we already have.
Leland Johnson: I like Tim Beck’s approach to offensive play calling. I think he does a good job of getting Taylor into plays the team can execute. The only thing is they don’t always execute. I don’t think Beck will have to dig real deep against Southern Miss, but I do expect to see some new things as the Huskers prepare for the Bruins.
Will Stanley Jean Baptiste have another big game this weekend?
Josh Shaw: Stanley looks like a different player out there and has transformed nicely into a corner teams won’t want to pick on. He reminds me of Prince Amukumara who also moved from offense to corner in his career at Nebraska. Stanley will continue to impress he has the physicality to give teams troubles throughout the year.
Leland Johnson: It’s been fun watching Stanley Jean Baptiste grow into the cornerback position over the last two years. The kid has knack for getting himself into position for an interception and the size to box out wide receivers to do it. I’d expect him to make another solid contribution on Saturday, maybe even another pick.
What is your score prediction and who will be the game’s MVP?
Josh Shaw: I believe the score will be a total different one from one week ago. The team will come out very steamed about their poor performance in the opener. I wouldn’t want to be Southern Miss right now. I believe the Huskers win big 63-17. This week’s MVP will be Taylor Martinez. Our senior quarterback will redeem what I would call a par performance in week one. He will have a few touchdowns through the air and one rushing touchdown.
Leland Johnson: Nebraska rolls early in this one, and the young inexperienced defense continues to leak yardage. The Husker offense will once again have a field day running the ball, expect Taylor to have a huge day on the ground and in the air. Nebraska 44 Southern Miss 24. QB Taylor Martinez MVP