Tomorrow is the day. Canes. Huskers. Memorial Stadium. 8pm kickoff.
In preparation and anticipation of this day, and to get a glimpse behind enemy lines, we reached out to Corn Nation, our sister SBNation site covering Nebraska.
Who did we get to join us this week? Brian Towle, one of the contributing writers at Corn nation, took the call and is giving us his insight into Nebraska.And, since turnabout is fair play, Brian asked me some questions too. You can read what I had to say right here.
Thanks to Brian for joining us this week. You can follow him on Twitter @BTBowling, and the Corn Nation blog at @CornNation for updates and thoughts from the other sideline during the game.
And, away we go.....
State Of The U (SOTU): Your offense is built around star RB Ameer Abdullah, the latest in a long line of top tier I-Backs in Nebraska history. That game winning TD against McNeese State was amazing! What makes him so dynamic?
Brian Towle (BT): Ameer is one of the few backs who can get yards both inside and outside the tackles. He arrived from Alabama after the SEC thought he would be too small to play RB, and has really stepped up each year he’s been in Lincoln. When Rex Burkhead went down after the first quarter of the first game in 2012, Ameer stepped in out of a pretty good stable of Running Backs and asserted himself. He established himself so much, it made 2 other pretty good backs transfer to other programs (Aaron Green to TCU, Braylon Heard to Kentucky). He’s a guy who (in my eyes) is underrated in both the National and the Big Ten picture, seeing that Melvin Gordon seems to get a lot more love than Ameer. But, if he performs like he did last year and takes over the Nebraska all time Rushing record (over a guy who wasn’t shabby himself in Mike Rozier), he should at the very least get to New York for the Heisman competition.
SOTU: QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. is a very good player, but not an especially accurate passer, having completed only 53% of his passes through 3 games this season. What positive attributes does he bring to the field, and which things could potentially lead to his, and the Huskers', downfall?
SOTU: Nebraska has a long history of big, physical, talented offensive lines. Who are the key guys up front for the Huskers this year?
SOTU: Outside of Armstrong and Abdullah, which skill players on offense should the Miami defense be concerned about?
SOTU: On defense, the conversation has to start with 6'6" 240lb DE Randy Gregory. He's just working his way back into shape after an injury. Talk a little about him, his game, and what he means to the defense.
SOTU: In his post-practice interview on Tuesday, Gregory said that he, and the blackshirt Defense, want to "Rattle (Kaaya) a bit early. Hit him and make him uncomfortable." Which players will be the main ones aiding Gregory in trying to make the Freshman QB's life uncomfortable?
SOTU: Nebraska struggled vs McNeese State in game 2 of the season, winning 31-24 on the strength of the aforementioned amazing Abdullah Touchdown catch and run with under a minute left. The team rebounded nicely in defeating Fresno State convincingly 55-19 last week. Which performance is more representative of this team as a whole?
SOTU: Team speed is not something that Nebraska usually has a ton of. Miami, on the other hand, has speed for days on both sides of the ball. Will this difference in athleticism be a factor in the game, or do you have faith the coaches will scheme to minimize it's impact?
SOTU: In the not too distant past, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Head Coach Bo Pelini would be fired. From average performance on the field, to open contention for the alumni and fan base, it was just not a good situation. What has changed in the past year and a half to bring us to the point where we currently stand?
SOTU: Lastly, and, for our purposes, most importantly: what's your prediction for Saturday's game?