Virginia Tech at Nebraska
Time: 8 p.m.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008
Place: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
Last Meeting: Nebraska beat Virginia Tech, 41-21, in the second of two Orange Bowls played in 1996. Ken Oxendine ran for 150 yards in a losing effort for the Hokies, who watched the Huskers score the last 17 points of the game.
Trends: The Hokies have won three consecutive games...the Huskers are 3-0 for the first time since 2005.
What to Expect: It's hard to know what Nebraska's going to do on Saturday because they haven't played anyone. The Huskers beat Western Michigan, San Jose State and New Mexico State by a combined score of 120-43.
Nebraska does have good skill position players in running back Marlon Lucky, quarterback Joe Ganz and wide receiver Nate Swift. Swift and fellow wideout Todd Peterson are primarily possession receivers. Both teams' strengths are in their running backs.
I was surprised to see the Huskers have had more first downs through the air than on the ground. This tells me they may not be that great at third-and-short situations. However, I am still more fearful of Lucky's ability to break big plays than the two receivers. If the Hokies can stop the run, I think they'll be fine.
The Huskers are solid on the defensive line, but I'm not sure about their secondary. It will be weakness vs. weakness when the Hokies are forced to pass.
Hokies win if: They're able to run the ball and control the tempo of the game. They can't afford to get down early in Memorial Stadium. Coming back from 14 down isn't going to happen this week. Nebraska's defense is fairly aggressive and the Hokies need to use that aggressiveness against them with counter plays and creativity on offense.
Huskers win if: Lucky dominates on the ground, the Huskers make plays when they need to through the air and are able to put pressure on the quarterback.
Dot-dot-dots: Since joining the ACC in 2004, the Hokies have played two true road games against non-conference opponents...they lost to LSU last year in Baton Rouge and beat WVU in 2005 in Morgantown...the Huskers face three teams who played in BCS bowls last year: VT, OU and KU.