Five Questions: Nebraska

Minnesota is looking to bounce back this week and face off against the No. 23 Nebraska Cornhuskers. What should Gopher fans look for from the Cornhuskers? We visited with Big Red Report Publisher Josh Harvey to get the latest.

What is the vibe with this team after their loss to Wisconsin?
“I think the team is trying to move on, but it’s loud in Lincoln among fans. The team is searching for answers and feel they can still have a solid season if they win out. 10-2 is nothing to sneeze at. Fans could have handled a loss in Madison, but another blowout on national television has many angry. It was the seventh time since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011 that Nebraska was beat by 20+ points.”

How does Nebraska to look to try and stop another quality B1G back in David Cobb this week after giving up 408 yards to Melvin Gordon?
“I think first they have to swarm to the football. There were times Gordon had a wide-open lane and wasn’t even touched. Second, they have to tackle better. When Gordon was touched, he wasn’t always brought down. Third, they need the defensive line to play better. Too many times Wisconsin offensive linemen were in the second level mauling linebackers. That falls on the defensive line. Guys like Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins have to be hole pluggers if the defense is able to force Cobb inside.”

What player will be the X-factor in this game for either team?
“I think you have to look at Minnesota tight end Maxx Williams. The Gopher tight ends last year ran free on Nebraska and were the biggest x-factor for Minnesota last year. If the Huskers can slow him down, it will go a long way to a victory. The Nebraska linebacker corps has to be good in his area. Last year, Gopher tight ends combined for 88 total yards against the Huskers.”

Give us a player on both sides of the ball Minnesota needs to know about…
“Well it’s too easy to say running back Ameer Abdullah and defensive end Randy Gregory, so I will go another route. On offense, senior wide receiver Kenny Bell is playing his last home game for Nebraska. His senior year hasn’t gone exactly like he would have liked, but he’s climbed high enough on the charts to be called one of the greatest statistical receivers at Nebraska, maybe the greatest. He’s been limited to just three catches for 19 yards in the last two games. I know he wants a big game. On defense, I point to linebacker Zaire Anderson. He’s the Huskers leading tackler with 69 on the year and will be crucial in slowing down Cobb and Williams.

What are the keys to the game and your prediction?
“Nebraska has to swarm to Cobb and make him earn every yard. If they do that, I don’t know if quarterback Mitch Leidner is good enough to beat the Huskers’ secondary. On offense, they have to find away to get Tommy Armstrong intro rhythm. I thik the biggest thing lately is he’s been lacking confidence. Ultimately I think Nebraska rebounds at home on senior day and wins a close one, but doesn’t cover: Nebraska: 35, Minnesota: 27.”

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