Western Illinois is now in the rear view mirror. No more celebrating such a momentous beginning to a new era. Now, it starts to get dirty.
Southern Miss. a team noted for playing anyone and everyone comes calling this up-coming weekend.
As the offense will no doubt try to repeat it's first-half success in last game, head coach, Bill Callahan preferred to concentrate on smaller things initially. "The big thing is that you protect first." Callahan said of his primary concern on offense. "You try to attack the secondary, but the key thing for us is that you have to protect from all those multiple fronts and blitzes they have."
"Anytime you play a team that is as multiple as they are, you have to start with protection."
According to Callahan, that protection will be tested almost repeatedly all game not only by the base front of the Golden Eagles, but the strategy he said they use almost pervasively. "They blitz coming off the bus." Callahan said of the Eagles' defense. "That's what they love to do. So, we are getting ready for everything."
Another interesting if not ironic twist will be that this staff will have to prepare for an offense it just replaced. The Eagles do utilize the option game from time to time and Callahan stated that it's uniqueness makes preparations even more key. "It makes you take time out of your defensive preparation to acknowledge a team that has an option-type attack." he said. "It makes you check your assignments and makes you force yourself to have sound structure against the potential of the option in different downs and distances."
The offense that Nebraska will be facing won't be just different in terms of the style, but in potential as well. Returning 9 starters on offense, Southern Miss. rebounded well from the 38-14 defeat at home at the hands of the Huskers, to finish 9-4, winning their last 6 regular season games and securing their 4th Conference USA title in 8 years.
Nebraska is currently favored to beat USM by 14 according to Vegas Odds-makers.
- After 1 game, Nebraska currently ranks in the top ten in the country in
the following categories: Scoring offense (5th
w/56 points per game), Total Offense (6th with 581
yards per game), Rushing Offense (5th with 363
yards per game), Rushing Defense (2nd allowing -3
yards per game), Net Punting (4th averaging 48
yards per punt), Passes Intercepted (2nd with 4)
and Turnovers gained (2nd with 5)
- Linebacker Chad Sievers was "backed down" again today and remains day-to-day as far as his status for this up-coming game.