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Saturday, November 13, 2010

KU vs. NU: Head to head

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When kansas has the ball

Kansas rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Despite NU’s stellar defensive line, the Huskers have been victimized for an average of 162 yards per game on the ground this year. That number includes 10 touchdowns and a yards-per-carry average of 4. KU is coming off two of its best rushing performances of the year, as the Jayhawks ran for 119 yards against Iowa State and 201 yards against Colorado. Although the Jayhawks have looked good running the ball lately, two things about this week’s matchup don’t tilt in their favor. 1. The Huskers are big, strong and fast at all 11 positions on defense. 2. Nebraska is likely to build a big lead, which could force KU to abandon the running game altogether.

Edge: Nebraska

Kansas pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

The KU offense has received a lift from junior quarterback Quinn Mecham, who has started the last two games in place of the injured Jordan Webb. In those games, Mecham has completed 45 of 61 passes for 401 yards to go along with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Wideouts Daymond Patterson and Johnathan Wilson have stepped up their game to match Mecham’s, and the KU offensive line has given him time to throw. That was against Iowa State and Colorado, though. Mecham and the Jayhawks haven’t seen anything like the speed Nebraska has in its secondary and the size and strength it has up front.

Edge: Nebraska

When Nebraska has the ball

Nebraska rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense

It would be bad enough if the only player the Cornhuskers had was senior tailback Roy Helu Jr. On the season, Helu has rushed for 906 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 7.6 yards per carry. The crazy thing is, those numbers make Helu the second-most-dangerous runner on his own team, behind red-shirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has totaled 886 yards, 12 TDs and a 7.9 yards-per-carry. As a team, the Huskers average 288 yards per game and have run for 27 touchdowns. This one has the makings of a long day for Kansas.

Edge: Nebraska

Nebraska pass offense vs. Kansas pass defense

Starting quarterback Taylor Martinez missed last week’s game because of an injury but is expected to be back for today’s matchup with Kansas. Martinez has made headlines with his legs and not necessarily his arm, but he has proven to be a capable passer. Through nine games he has thrown for 1,161 yards and nine TDs while completing 60 percent of his passes and tossing just three interceptions. A big reason for his effectiveness is the number of weapons he has at the receiver position.

Edge: Nebraska

Special teams

KU has been steady in its kicking game the last couple of weeks. Place kicker Jacob Branstetter has hit four of five field-goal attempts in his past two games and also has looked good in handling KU’s kickoff duties. The KU punting game has remained up and down, but has experienced mostly good moments of late. The biggest issues for the Jayhawks on special teams right now are in mental mistakes, such as being flagged for false starts in punting situations and continued struggles in the return game. Nebraska, however, has been sensational on special teams.

Edge: Nebraska

Comments

waywardJay 3 years, 5 months ago

Alot of factors in this beyond the paper match up between them..... when all 5 factors point to one team, that's either a blowout, or blind reporting. I'm hoping for blind reporting.

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phoggyjay 3 years, 5 months ago

KU wins against Nebraska this evening!

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Dirk Medema 3 years, 5 months ago

Too bad the injury report at QB doesn't factor into this review more completely. NU is 1 ankle twist away from Rex Burkhead being the QB in a perpetual wildcat formation. That could really make things interesting.

Also, no mention of balls on the turf. NU is one of the best at that, so it will be interesting to see if KU can come up with a few more turnovers.

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100 3 years, 5 months ago

"KU football players: Please thank your mommas for the ride to the stadium this afternoon."

--- The Nebraska football team

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