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October 31, 2009

Callahan's take: NU needs to find a spark

WACO, Texas - After getting off to a 4-1 start things have taken an unseen turn for the Nebraska football team this season.

People knew this season could have its struggles, but I don't think anybody could've predicted what we saw last week against Iowa State. Eight turnovers is unheard of and unthinkable when you talk about Nebraska football.

Now the question is can head coach Bo Pelini get this ship turned around today at Baylor. The Huskers enter today's game in Waco as 12 point favorite over the Bears. Here are my five keys to victory for the Huskers.

Forget about last week

As hard as it may be, the Huskers need to forget about last week's loss to Iowa State. In fact, I hope Pelini threw the tape out the window of the Huskers team plane.

This is a new season for Nebraska today. With both Missouri 0-3 and Kansas 1-2 in the Big 12, the Huskers have not lost any ground in the Big 12 North, especially if Kansas loses to Texas Tech this weekend in Lubbock.

Can NU find an offensive spark?

All week Pelini has talked about finding a spark on offense. What that spark will be, your guess is as good as mine.

The most likely scenario though is Nebraska will go with true freshman Cody Green at quarterback. I thought Zac Lee played alright against Iowa State, but let's be honest, his performance wasn't near as good as what we saw from him earlier this season.

Will Green better? Its hard saying, but anything is better than what we saw from NU's offense last week against Iowa State.

Creating defensive opportunities

Nebraska's defense has played at a championship level the last two weeks, but the one thing that's been missing from them is they've failed to produce any turnovers.

If the Blackshirts can force at least a couple of turnovers on Saturday to help NU's offense, I don't see how they lose this game. I know it's been something Carl Pelini has been emphasizing. Hopefully we'll see a few today.

Limit secondary breakdowns

The only way I see Baylor scoring a lot of points on Nebraska's defense is through secondary breakdowns. The Bears will take at least five or six big shots down the field hoping to create big plays.

It will be important for the Husker secondary to stay at home and not have any breakdowns that result in these types of plays. Last week Iowa State was able to connect on one deep ball and ultimately that's all they needed to win the game.

Limit offensive mistakes

I joked with somebody this week that if Nebraska turned it over seven times they win that game last week. If they turn it over just five or six they probably blow out Iowa State.

The Huskers were their own worst enemy last week. If NU can hold onto the ball and just take advantage of their opportunities inside the 30 yard line there's no way I see them losing this game.

If the Huskers turn it over and give Baylor some free points this game could be a different story. Right now though I like the Huskers to win, but I'll take Baylor in the points.

Callahan's Prediction:Nebraska 19 Baylor 7
Season Record: 5-2 overall; 4-3 vs. points

Mississippi State NEWS


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