The Colorado Buffaloes are now the darlings of college football. Does Nebraska football stand a chance against them in this weekend’s contest?
It’s nearly unbelievable how the college football world has fallen in love with the Buffs after just one game.
Don’t get me wrong. What they did was impressive. Over 500 yards passing and 45 points against a TCU team that played in the national championship game last year.
But last year, TCU finished 91st in total defense. They are 3-3 in their last 6 games dating back to last year and have given up an average of 38 points in those 6 games.
In other words, TCU is not exactly the ’85 Bears.
Colorado also gave up over 500 yards and 42 points. TCU rushed the ball for 7–SEVEN–yards per carry.
I’m not sharing these statistics to give Nebraska football fans hope. (Okay, maybe a little.) I’m sharing them because statistics tell a story. The Buffaloes had a tremendous start to their season. But they were far, far from perfect.
Colorado, like every other team, has work to do.
They won a classic Big 12 shootout in which defense was optional. (I know Colorado is in the Pac-12, but they are going back to the Big 12, and, in my mind, they really never left.)
Yet much of the media talks as if they won the national championship.
This clip of Samuel Acho on ESPN represents how the media–and probably most of the country–feels about the Buffs and this weekend’s game against Nebraska.
“What’s Nebraska supposed to do?”
Oh, I don’t know. Play football, maybe?
This is what ESPN has become–clickbait hyperbole. Everything now is the greatest there has ever been. But that’s another article.
Does Nebraska football’s defense have a hope against the Buffaloes’ offense?
It’s not just the media that’s drooling over the Buffs. Fans–even Nebraska football fans–wonder how in the world the Huskers can stand a chance this Saturday.
This shouldn’t surprise you. What Nebraska football does well on defense matches up well with what Colorado does well on offense.
For some reason, that’s not being talked about at all. Colorado will get their yards, have no doubt. Shedeur Sanders threw the ball 47 times last week. When you throw that much, you’re going to pick up yards.
But Nebraska’s defense–at least for one game–showed they swarm to the ball and tackle better than TCU. Call it a hunch, but I think Nebraska DC Tony White will also dial up some looks and coverages Colorado hasn’t seen on film.
So does Nebraska have a hope against Colorado’s offense? 100%.
It’s also a great chance to show the country whether or not they’re legit.
What is Nebraska football’s offense supposed to do against Colorado?
Run the ball. That’s what.
It really is that simple.
That’s what this game will come down to.
Ten months ago I wrote that Nebraska football needed to embrace this identity.
Nebraska must slow this game down, hand the ball off to Gabe Ervin (25? 30 times?), convert third downs, and get points when they get into the red zone.
I also don’t mind if Jeff Sims carries the ball 20 times. In fact, I expect him to.
In other words, they must Big Ten West the heck out of Colorado. Nebraska needs to make this a slobbernocker for the ages that would make the “Matt Turman” game at K-State in 1994 jealous.
I think Rhule and his staff will adjust and figure out a way to attack Colorado’s fast but severely undersized defense. In fact, I’m willing to bet we’ll see some things from the offense on Saturday that we did not against Minnesota.
It’s too big of a game not to.
Run the ball. Over and over and over again. Don’t panic. Don’t get cute. Just run.
Will Nebraska football beat the Colorado Buffaloes?
It seems like everyone thinks this will be a woodshed beating, even though Colorado is just a 2.5-3-point favorite in Vegas at this point.
Will making the game slow and ugly be enough to beat Colorado? I’m not sure yet.
What I know is Nebraska needs this game badly. In the worst way. Much, much worse than Colorado.
The Colorado Buffaloes have momentum on their side.
But the entire football universe has been tilted against Nebraska for far too long. It’s bound to tip, right?
I’ll have my Nebraska football prediction on Friday.