Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nebraska's ground game

To cast stones at our star linebacker is one thing.

But we need to look at how well Nebraska might be able to neutralize Georgia's pass rush. Alabama certainly did just that with the help of a record setting rushing performance. And a large part of the Crimson Tide's second half adjustments centered on the idea of running right at Jarvis Jones. 

And the fact is that it paid off handsomely. Jones is not known as a definitive run stopper and Bama was able to gain plenty of yards around his end and towards his number, sometimes with just a tight end designed to block him.

To make matters more unsettling, Nebraska will bring the nation's 8th best rushing offense to Orlando, boasting 254 yards per game. It's one thing to humanize All-American Jarvis Jones in a press conference and call him ordinary, will the Huskers be able to do it in the game as well? Sophomore running back Ameer Abdullah (jersey #8) leads the team with over 1,000 yards and quarterback Martinez added 973 on the season. That's more than enough to cause the Bulldogs problems considering our difficulty containing multiple threats in the same backfield.

However, despite what happened in the Georgia Dome a couple weeks ago, matching their season averages against Georgia will be a tall task for Nebraska. For one, Georgia could be deeper along the defensive line in this game than they were for the SECCG, possibly getting Abry Jones back to at least spell Garrison Smith and Ray Drew (along with Big John when we move him out to DE). By the 4th quarter in the last game the defensive front was gassed and gashed at will. And second, Nebraska's offensive line isn't as impressive as the last one we faced. However, they are full of juniors and seniors that average 16 starts between them.

I think Georgia's offense will put up some points on January 1st. A large part of whether or not Nebraska can do the same depends on how well we can control the line of scrimmage when they have the ball so we can contain the Husker ground attack.