Tech O-Line Gears Up For Nebraska

Do my eyes deceive me? Could our beloved Red Raiders actually be favored against Nebraska's "Big Red Machine" this weekend? And not just by 2 or 3 points, but a whole touchdown?

History has a way of favoring the Cornhuskers, and in a big way. Tech has never been victorious against Nebraska.

Never.

Seven straight losses have a way of leaving a sour taste in your mouth. Just ask Mack Brown. He can tell you all about consecutive losses to one team.

The Texas Tech offensive line is gearing up for an all out war against Nebraska's "Blackshirts" Saturday evening at Jones SBC Stadium in Lubbock. Nebraska's D ranks fifth nationally in total defense (No. 2 against the run and No. 6 in passing efficiency), but as any true Tech fan knows, the "Air Raid" offense has repeatedly destroyed nationally ranked defenses, especially at Jones.

Once again, just ask the University of Texas. Two years ago UT waltzed into Lubbock with a nearly unblemished record (their only loss was of course to OU) and ranked in the top 5 in the country. The Longhorn defense boasted a stifling secondary with All- American players like Quinton Jammer and Derrick Johnson and was ranked number two nationally in defense. 473 yards and 6 touchdowns later, Bevo tucked his tail between his legs and trotted back to Austin after a 42-38 loss.

This weekend the Tech offense will again be looking to put up big numbers against a capable Nebraska squad.

"They are a very aggressive defense. They are well coached and they play their technique very well," said senior quarterback Sonny Cumbie of the Husker D. "They are a talented, typical Nebraska defense. We will have our hands full and we will really have to play well this weekend."

Since the beginning of the Mike Leach era at Texas Tech, the offensive line has always been the most consistent portion of the team. Offensive line coach Robert Anae prefers to have a rotation of seven or eight guys in case someone is having a bad day or gets hurt. This rotation has proven to be very successful in protecting Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons, and this year, Sonny Cumbie.

For senior guard Cody Campbell, this week's homecoming game has more than one meaning. Tech has been on the road four out of the first five and a few game at home will be a welcomed change.

"It's nice to be home just because it's a lot easier. You know, you don't have to deal with all the traveling," said Campbell. "We just try to go out there and play the same game every week and that's how you get the best results."

Last time out against the mighty No. 3 Huskers in 2001, Tech did more than just hold its own in Lincoln; they put quite a scare into the highly touted Nebraska team. The first half was a track meet of amazing proportions with a total of 56 points scored in the first 30 minutes of play. This, of course included an amazing punt return by former Texas Tech poster boy, Wes Welker.

In the second half Tech continued to play tough, but a poor call on a punt return and the depth of Nebraska just plain wore out the boys from Lubbock. The final score was 41-31 Nebraska.

The "Blackshirts" of Nebraska will be the best statistical defense that Tech has faced all year. They run a number of different defenses and are certainly not afraid to get a little blitz happy.

So what will Tech's game plan be against the Nebraska D?

"We just play our game," said Campbell.

"We match their scheme, but as far as personnel goes it doesn't make any difference. We know everyone in our conference is going to be good every week so we just go out and play our game and hopefully come out on top."

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