As the old saying goes, it's always darkest before the dawn. In the story of the transition from the Devaney-Osborne-Solich era to the Callahan era, last year's Kansas game appears to be the darkest hour. The game wasn't televised, so only the fans who attended the game got to see the debacle. The Blackshirts played pretty well for the first 40 minutes of the game, but on offense, the Huskers were seriously outplayed and outcoached that day. And in the fourth quarter, they threw in the towel and the Jayhawks rolled to a 40-15 victory.
So what to expect this weekend? First of all, the game is in Lincoln. Home field is usually worth about a touchdown to most teams, but for the Huskers, it seems like it should be 2 touchdowns. Second of all, the Husker offense is playing head and shoulders above where they were last season.
On offense, the Huskers will likely need to air it out more than they needed to last week, when they really didn't need to at all. The strength of Kansas is their rushing defense, and unlike last week, their big linebackers match up well against the Big Red. If Marlon Lucky is to break any long runs this Saturday, he is likely going to have to break some tackles before he can utilize his speed. Defensively, the name of the game is to stop KU's Jon Cornish, their leading rusher. The Jayhawks have QB questions, with freshman Kerry Meier nursing a sore arm which led to their loss at Toledo 2 weeks ago. Will KU turn once again to senior Adam Barman like last week in their uninspiring win over South Florida?
Word out of Lincoln is that while the players now are denying the revenge factor, deep down they know that they laid an egg in Lawrence last fall and lost a game they should not have. Add in Nebraska's mostly solid play as of late and Kansas' struggles, and you could get the sneaking suspicion that this is a woodshed game in the making. However, I don't think Kansas' defense will allow it to get to that point. I'm thinking 31-10 Nebraska, though if the Blackshirts get some turnovers, this could get out of hand.