How can Matt Rhule’s Huskers come out with a victory against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in Memorial Stadium? Let’s break down what the team has to do in order to go 2-2 on the season.
Lean On Tony White’s Defense
In his sixth season with Louisiana Tech, veteran wideout Smoke Harris proved himself as a constant playmaker for the Bulldogs. This season is no different, as he already has 24 catches for 288 yards as well as three touchdowns. But defensive coordinator Tony White should be well-equipped to contain the playmaker’s ability. Just look no further than the last two games. Nebraska has constantly performed well under pressure from Colorado’s Travis Hunter and Xavier Weaver. And against Northern Illinois, Nebraska’s defense doubled down again, when they were effective in disrupting Rocky Lombardi’s rapport with his wide receivers on the field. Because of these two efforts, the Cornhuskers should be primed to defend Harris, while also keeping a tight lid on what LA Tech signal caller Hank Bachmeier plans to do during the game.
Can Anthony Grant Finally Lead As The Starter?
Now that Gabe Ervin is out for the season with a shoulder injury, senior Anthony Grant is set to become Nebraska’s starting running back. For Husker fans, this should raise some alarm bells. In the off-season, he fumbled constantly in the offseason. Even worse is that these problems didn’t end. Instead, they carried over when he fumbled in the third quarter against Minnesota. But, it’s not all bad. In fact, the coaching staff should have optimism going forward. This is primarily because he had a good performance against the Huskies. Out of his seven carries in the matchup, he was able to rush for several first downs. This would pay off in the fourth quarter when he would find the endzone on an 11-yard touchdown run. Now, it’s up to Grant to replicate that same production against the Bulldogs.
The Tale Of Two Quarterbacks
For two weeks, there have been constant questions about NU’s signal caller. And there is no doubt that they favor Henrich Haarberg right now. In his first start against NIU, he seemed to move the ball at will down the field. This led him to connect with tight end Thomas Fidone and Billy Kemp on two scores in the first half. But he wasn’t done yet. On the ground, his 98 yards were key to setting the tone throughout the game, as they were often capped off when he would lower his helmet. This formula showed itself in the fourth quarter when he ran for a 20-yard touchdown. But on the other side of the controversy is Jeff Sims. Through two games as the Husker’s starter, he has struggled mostly when he tries to pass the ball down the field. His stats reflect this, as he has only one touchdown on the ground and four interceptions through the air. Because of this, will offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield design formations based on what he can do with his feet, or will the coaching staff continue to let him struggle every time he drops back for the Big Red?
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