This list doesn't end here, but it drives home my point. What is the largest margin of victory you have there, 24 points? he Texas Tech margin of defeat was double that and then some. A behind the woodshed beating that isn't easily forgotten by this fan.
So how could it be forgotten by this team? Well, despite what the coaches will say in the press conferences, after practice or in the media in general they haven't forgotten. They can't forget. The were the ones on that field last year, how could they forget?
I was only in the stands that night and I can't forget.
70-10 on the scoreboard in Lincoln will remind the players, if they had forgotten, the score of the contest last year in Lubbock. They don't need that for a reminder though it's there although no one wants to call this game payback or even last week.
Many aren't giving Nebraska much of a chance here this weekend. It is either vogue to doubt, criticize, or just flat out not like Nebraska to some. That's fine.
However, this year is not last year and despite what odds-makers or nay sayers say, this is my reasoning why Nebraska will beat Texas Tech this year in Lincoln:
1. 6.5 - This is how many sacks per game the Blackshirts are averaging per game this year. Last year there was a bad defensive game plan, in my opinion, to drop too many and bring too few. This year I expect to still see a nickel front, but I would look for a couple of changes to take place. Expect a lot more active front 6 or front 7 this weekend.
2. Zac Taylor - People had been waiting to see him get some steam and build some momentum that could carry him through this season, he just might have got that last weekend. His record-breaking weekend tells me two things; one - the coaches are playing to some strengths and two - he is gaining confidence.
3. 10 - This is how many Nebraska receivers caught a pass this weekend for Nebraska. The ball was spread around well telling me that there was some careful game planning about who would be open in what situations and the need to get other people involved in the short and intermediate parts of the field evident by the screen passes.
4. Line play - Nebraska only allowed two sacks last week to one of the better defensive lines that we have seen so far this year. Things are coming together as a unit. There is some depth developing at the tackle position that is encouraging players to stay sharp and play well to stay on the field. The DLine is a lot more dominant this year than what it ever was last year with having already surpassed last year's total in sacks through four games.
5. Just play - It was pretty obvious to me that the biggest thing from last weekend was less movement before the snap. Get the players out on the play without losing five yards before the snap. Less mental mistakes and less penalties equals sustained drives, yardage, third down conversions and time of possession.
These are some things that Nebraska didn't have last year that they bring into the game this weekend as a unit, as a team. But there is one thing that didn't crack my top five that is the biggest advantage of all.
Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska will be the biggest factor for this game this weekend. 78,000+ that will turn out to see the #2 rated defense in the nation take the field and an offense that might be finding it's identity.
Above all this team has heart, they have character. This defense could have easily folded like a cheap suit against Pitt or even Iowa State. It has been a rally cry all year for this team this year to have the defense come in and save or win the ball game. That is exactly what they do this week.
I for one don't believe that Cody Hodges is healthy, or to be more accurate, I do believe that Hodges is hurting more than what anyone from Texas Tech would like anyone to believe. The pressure and the injury leads to costly mistakes.
The key here though is that Nebraska's offense must not hurt them. They can not turn the ball over. They must sustain drives and make the conversions when they need it. Most of all when points are there to get they are gotten.
This game may come down to inches and who has the ball last, but I expect to see a low scoring, but very loud, difficult away game experience for Hodges and Texas Tech. If it were me, I would be blaring Motley Crue, "Wild Side" so he could appreciate some Tommy Lee music.
I am going with a Nebraska win in a similar, cardiac arrest style to Iowa State. Nebraska wins 24-17. The defense has too much heart, they have a memory and it's the first road game for Hodges this year.
But beyond that I think that this game has been planned for. It has been re-thought about over the last year multiple times. Revenge is there. Think that these guys have forgotten about last year? I just hope that 78,000+ that have not forgotten 70-10 and show up in full-force Saturday afternoon.