Nebraska can be Beaten: Keys for Missouri

Much of what makes Nebraska, NEBRASKA, comes from their mystique. Let's face it, the Huskers have had a storied past sprinkled with all-americans, conference titles and national championships. However, this version of the Big Red doesn't rate with the better Nebraska teams of the past. They can be had...and here's how:

Here is the official Supermizzou gameplan for beating Nebraska on Saturday. It won't be easy, but it can be done:

1. Focus the defense on Eric Crouch. To say that this offense runs almost completely through Mr. Crouch wouldn't be an exageration. Quick, name any other player on the Nebraska offense? Yeah, we can't name many others either, especially in the skill positions. Nebraska runs the option, but let's not kid ourselves...Crouch is their first and second option on almost any down. What Dan Davis and Antwain Bynum must do is treat every down like Crouch is going to run the ball, because that's what he likes to do. The faster you can get to Crouch in the Husker backfield, the better off you are. If Missouri plays a passive option defense on Saturday, it will get ugly. If Missouri concentrates too much on the pitch man on the option or allows themselves to be blocked by the Nebraska wide receivers downfield, it will be a long day. Missouri must crack Mr. Crouch early and often on Saturday...we want somebody else on the Husker offense to have to be the focal point.

2. Aggression from MU Offense. Missouri cannot beat Nebraska if they come out playing scared on offense. The Tigers need to be aggressive in gameplan and their play. Yes, it's a given that Darius Outlaw has to take care of the ball and not commit turnovers, but for Outlaw to be effective, he has to be able to breakdown a defense with his legs. For that to happen, Missouri has to establish that they are a credible threat to throw the ball to Omboga, Gage and Blakely. They also must establish some semblance of a running game, and that means running quick-hitting dives and pitches.

3. Sustained Effort. The Tigers have played Nebraska straight up for 2-3 quarters over the past few years. While that's encouraging, to beat a team like Nebraska, you need four sustained quarters of effort and execution. Missouri needs to be fired up emotionally, but you can't sustain emotion for three hours of hard play. These Tigers have to find the ability to fight hard on every play and execute their assignments when the emotions wane.

4. Create More Turnovers Than We Commit. Turnovers allow teams to operate on short fields, and that works to Missouri's advantage in every sense. Even when the offense sputters, Brad Hammerich becomes a factor from the forty yard line on in. The special teams and the defense must play beyond aggressively and create turnovers for Missouri to be successful.

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