Three keys to USM vs. Nebraska
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 21:08
Kyle Smith writes:
1. Sea of red - The Nebraska faithful are notorious for being loud, and Southern Miss will be breaking in a new quarterback. If Southern Miss lets the crowd affect them, it could be a long game for the Golden Eagles.
2. Quarterback situation - After four-year starter Austin Davis finished his eligibility last season, the Golden Eagles began the search for his replacement as quarterback. With three players in the mix - and no clear leader thus far - one will need to step up and prove that he can lead the offense. Look for Chris Campbell, Ricky Lloyd and true freshman standout Anthony Alford to possibly all take snaps.
3. Containing Burkhead - Senior running back Rex Burkhead is in the preseason discussion for the Heisman, and for good reason. After last season’s 1,357 yard, 15 touchdown campaign, Burkhead is a headache for opponents. Southern Miss is also replacing three defensive linemen and two starting linebackers. The match up between the experienced running back versus the inexperienced defensive front could prove to be the difference.
Robby Korth writes:
1. Can’t fall asleep
Southern Miss might be a Conference USA opponent, but that’s no reason to overlook the Golden Eagles. Last season, Southern Miss went undefeated against non-conference opponents, including road wins over Virginia and Navy, and played spoiler to Houston’s perfect
season. The Cornhuskers have to be ready for a fight; this might be a bigger test than many Nebraska fans think.
2. Win in the trenches
Left tackle Tyler Moore’s absence could hurt the Cornhuskers, but the sophomore could quickly be forgotten with a solid performance from Brent Qvale in the opener. Protecting Martinez’s blind-side will be crucial if he is going to complete 70 percent of his passes, something he promised to do several weeks ago.
3. Dominate the turnover battle
Last season, the Cornhuskers almost doubled their opponents fumble totals. Nebraska put the ball on the turf 32 times while Nebraska opponents fumbled on only 16 occasions. Nebraska also picked the ball off 10 times while quarterback Taylor Martinez threw eight interceptions. If Nebraska is going to win they will need to fumble less and keep picking off more passes than Martinez can throw.