Is It Too Quiet Heading Into Minnesota Game?
You can go at least as far back to the 1934 film the Lucky Texan (a title that should give any Husker fan chills) and you'll find the oft-repeated line "it's quiet, too quiet". Is that the feeling we should have heading into the game with Minnesota? Everyone's predicting an NU victory, and most think it will be a fairly easy one. Is there a danger this team might be looking past the Golden Gophers?
You'd hope that Minnesota's victory over Northwestern grabbed the attention of the Huskers players and staff. You'd also hope that a bye week has got everyone in the program eager to be playing another game. Is that enough?
It's not hard to find seemingly inexplicable upsets in the Bo Pelini era. No one saw the home loss to Iowa State coming in 2009. The same might be said about the Holiday Bowl rematch with Washington in 2010 after a dominant outing in Seattle earlier that year. The home loss to Northwestern caught just about everyone by surprise in 2011. The rematch with Wisconsin in 2012 was an upset (despite the final score) as well.
Past upsets for Nebraska have occurred when the opponent had some outstanding defensive linemen. Minnesota has a nice pair in defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman and defensive end Theiren Cockran. If Hageman gets a good push up the middle in the absence of Spencer Long, that could blow up a lot of plays even if the rest of the offense is winning their one on one battles.
We also don't know what to expect from NU quarterbacks Tommy Armstrong and Taylor Martinez. Will Armstrong continue to miss receivers and throw interceptions like he did in his last outing? Will Martinez be unable to run effectively and step into his throws?
We've also been hearing a lot about the next six games rather than just the next one. You don't want players looking past this week's opponent to seemingly tougher ones in the weeks to come.
If you look at the rosters as a whole, there's a reason that Nebraska's a fairly big favorite in this one. Maybe it's just Halloween approaching, but the silence about Minnesota's chances is almost eerie. Almost.