2010 Oct 20
Husker D may be the key
The game shapes up to be an interesting contrast of styles. Oklahoma State wings the ball all over the place, they're 3rd in the nation in passing. Nebraska on the other hand likes to bludgeon people into submission with their 4th ranked rushing attack.
That's not to say that Nebraska will be the only team that can run the ball though. The Cowpoke's Kendall Hunter has tallied 838 rushing yards on the year thus far, good for sixth nationally in rushing yards. That's six spots higher than Taylor Martinez just in case you were wondering.
But even with Kendall's impressive early season effort, the pokes are still only averaging a middling 174.3 rushing yards per game which puts them 41st over all. Which means if the Huskers can shut Kendall down than the pokes having nothing else to throw at them on the ground.
That's good news for Nebraska, because the Huskers have the stingiest pass defense in the country. The cowboys need will need to figure out some way to beat it though, because if they don't this game could get ugly in a hurry. Their defense has looked downright bad at times this season and if Taylor Martinez can hold on to the ball he should be able to run by them as if they were standing still.
In the final analysis this will be a showcase game for the Big 12, with two of the nations premier offenses squaring off against each other. But while this could be a classic, I don't think it will be. That Oklahoma State defense is suspect, and their offenses' strength is the pass, which also happens to be the strength of Nebraska's defense. The current Vegas point spread ranges from 5 1/2 to 6 in favor of Nebraska depending on which casino you ask. It could certainly get uglier than that if an angry Nebraska team comes out and plays up to its potential.
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Tags: nebraska, oklahoma state, football, point spread, matchup preview, offensive and defensive rankings, strengths and weaknesses of both teams, prediction, contrast of playing styles, current ap poll rankings, kendall hunter, taylor martinez