The 2013 season is still young and there are a lot of unknowns. Today the Nebraska Cornhuskers host the UCLA Bruins at Memorial Stadium. Let’s take a look at the matchups and what we should expect.
Nebraska Offense vs. UCLA Defense
This matchup is going to be crucial for both teams’ chances of victory. For the Huskers offense to be successful against an aggressive Bruins defense they will need to find balance. The best way may be throwing against a Bruins secondary filled with inexperience. The Bruins have a strong pass rush so the Huskers will need an “A” game effort from their offensive line. This matchup is even but the edge will only go to the Huskers if they can establish the power running game. UCLA wins this matchup if they get pressure throughout the game on Taylor Martinez.
Look for this to be a chess match throughout the game. If Taylor Martinez has passing success then this could be an explosive day for Big Red. If Taylor turns it over look for UCLA to have their way.
UCLA Offense vs. Nebraska Defense
This matchup is even more important though for Nebraska. The Huskers struggled mightily in last season’s game by missing tackles and blown assignments. If the Huskers can get some stops this young defense will gain confidence. The key will be to clean up the mishaps from last season. UCLA on offense is led by Brett Hundley, a dual threat quarterback who hurt the Huskers badly last season with both his arm and his feet. The Bruins run fast paced spread attack which spells trouble for the Huskers if they can’t slow them.
Look for this game to be a heavyweight fight. UCLA will score but the question is the Huskers defense. Can they get UCLA off the field or perhaps cause a couple of turnovers? If the Huskers can accomplish those two things they should walk away with the victory.
Special Teams Preview
Both teams have been sound in the kicking game. Both punters have the power to change field position. Neither team has seen much from their return games. If either team can get a big play it could be a game changer.
Overall Game Outlook
Look for a very competitive, tight game from two teams that look even on paper. This game could be an absolute shootout. The team that takes good care of the ball will walk out victorious.
Huskers 41 Bruins 31