November 23, 2013

Penn State keys to victory and HOL staff predictions


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Nebraska will try to get back on track today in State College when they travel to Penn State.

After a disappointing loss to Michigan State, the Huskers enter today's game as a 2 point underdog to the Nittany Lions. Here are the keys to victory for Nebraska over Penn State.

Mental errors

Last week against Michigan State four of Nebraska's five turnovers were unforced. In most cases they were just pure mental lapses.

As the Huskers get ready for today's game at Penn State, they cannot afford any mental lapses like they had a week ago.

Limiting Penn State's ground game

PSU is going to try to pound the ball at Nebraska with their two running backs to take the pressure off of quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

It will be important for the Huskers to not let the Penn State running backs get good yardage on early downs. If NU can do that, it will put much more pressure on Hackenberg to make tough throws down field.

Keep riding Abdullah

Nebraska's game plan should be pretty simple today - give the ball to Ameer Abdullah. There should be no dancing around this. Abdullah needs to get at least 20 to 25 carries if the Huskers want to walk out of Happy Valley with a win.

You could argue Abdullah is the Big Ten offensive player of the year and if he can get going on the ground it will take the pressure off of Tommy Armstrong.

Limit Allen Robinson's big plays

When Penn State is forced to throw the football there's a good chance it's going to wide receiver Allen Robinson, who is the Big Ten's leading receiver with 1,204 yards on 81 catches.

Nebraska needs to keep a corner and safety on Robinson at all times, because if there's anybody on PSU's offense that can beat NU today, it's Robinson.

Find emotion

For the first time in quite a while Nebraska will play late November football that won't have much meaning.

When the Huskers take the field today in Happy Valley there won't be a conference championship or BCS bowl game berth on the line. NU is playing for pride and most importantly they are playing for head coach Bo Pelini, who's job has become in question over the last few weeks.

How will the players respond to that today? Will they rise up and play with emotion, or will they fall flat?


Callahan's weekly predictions

Can Nebraska's banged up offensive line survive another week? That will be the biggest question for the offense today. However, with Ameer Abdullah it won't matter. He'll get his 100 yards and Nebraska's defense will find enough stops down the stretch to leave Happy Valley with a win.

Nebraska 31 Penn State 27
Michigan State 23 Northwestern 17
Wisconsin 38 Minnesota 27
Iowa 17 Michigan 13
Oklahoma State 41 Baylor 38
Texas A&M 37 LSU 31

Season Record: 40-20 overall; 32-28 vs. points




 

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