Key’s to Success (Nebraska vs. Northwestern)

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Will Nebraska pile the load on Rex Burkhead for two weeks in a row? Will he even need to play the 2nd half? Find out in Jimmie Allen’s Keys To Success this week.

Get the Whole Backfield Involved In the Game

In last weeks game, Nebraska gave the ball to junior I-back Rex Burkhead 30 times,and he carried for 135 yards. Against Northwestern, Nebraska should not need to rely on their version of Clark Kent nearly as much. Sophomore quarterback,  Taylor Martinez should look to take some of the load off Burkhead this week. Nebraska will need Burkhead in weeks to come against Penn State and Michigan. The coaching staff has failed to consistently get the three talented freshman, Aaron Green, Ameer Abdulah, and Braylon Heard involved in the running game this year. After Burkhead suffered a minor leg injury that only sidelined him for three plays last week, the coaching staff should have received a wake up call. They need to find out what else they have in these 3 young guys. Hopefully they, and Martinez take a couple more carries away from Burkhead today.

Build Martinez’s Confidence

In the next two weeks the Cornhuskers travel to Happy Valley, to play Penn State. Then they go to the “Big House” to take on Michigan. Today is the day to get sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez’s confidence up, and take advantage of a 95th ranked pass defense in the Northwestern Wildcats. Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck needs to set up short intermediate throws for Martinez. Possibly get him to go 11-19 and a couple touchdown throws, and hopefully limit the interceptions. This will give Martinez some confidence, and a game to hang his hat on before these two very important road trips.

Stay Hungry 

Last week against Michigan State, Nebraska’s defense played as a complete unit for the first time this season. I don’t know if anyone saw but 15 in scarlet and cream was ball hawking all game against the Spartans. If you haven’t heard of him, his name is Alfonzo Dennard, and you will learn his name quickly. The senior from Rochelle, Georgia was a preseason All-American, and played the part last Saturday. He may be the second corner taken in the first round in back to back years out of Nebraska.

But, that was last week. This is here and now. Northwestern’s offense has struggled at times this year, and Nebraska needs to help them continue that trend. If the Blackshirts get after senior quarterback Dan Persa like they did Kirk Cousin’s a week ago, it could be a long day for the fellas in purple.

SCORE PREDICTION

Northwestern 17

Nebraska 38

Image provided by Huskerextra.com