Missouri-Nebraska: Will Tigers Hand Cornhuskers Big 12 Walking Whooping?

Lake CruiseAnalyst IOctober 25, 2010

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18: Head coach Bo Pelini of the Nebraska Cornhuskers looks on against the Washington Huskies on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

An era will turn over Saturday in Lincoln, Nebraska.

After the afternoon game goes into evening, the field is torn and plastic cracked.

University of Nebraska corn on the cob heads will say Big 12 goodbyes to the University of Missouri Antlers.

This has to be like the Hatfields saying bon voyage to the McCoys right?

The two schools never the twain shall meet in conference play again barring unseen circumstances.

The Cornhuskers (6-1, 2-1) roll out the Big Red welcome mat for the Tigers (7-0, 3-0).

Rebounding from the embarrassing loss in Lincoln to the Longhorns, head coach Bo Pelini wants to matte Mizzou.

Will they pull the mat out from under their opponent’s paws?

They walloped OSU 51-41 last week.  Fake punts, returned kicks and long passes did the Cowboys in.

Will the Huskers be able to do it to the glorified Mizzou defense? Is Missouri’s defense overrated?

I guarantee you that some Nebraskans will tell you they are.  Their team will have the chance to prove it on the field.

In 120 years since 1892 the teams have met about 105 times. 

Declared to be the second oldest rivalry in college football, it is a big one this year. 

The series was very competitive before 1979.  The schools were within five games with Missouri doing well in the 1940s and 1960s.

Starting in 1979 Nebraska won 24 straight games against Missouri, but Missouri has won four of the last seven.

Again this week Mizzou faces a highly ranked opponent from the old Big 8 Conference. 

This game carries similar national BCS implications to Mizzou-Oklahoma.

Four Big 12 teams remain in the Bowl Championship Standings Top 25. 

With an average of .8006—whatever that means—the Tigers moved up to sixth place.

They shot past former No. 1 Oklahoma, now at eight.

Nebraska is 14 and the Cowboys are 17.

Only Auburn, Oregon, Boise State, TCU, and Michigan State are ahead of Mizzou.

The boys from Lincoln are ranked 18 in total defense in the nation.  The cats from Columbia are 30.

Nebraska is 17 in total offense, while Mizzou is 32.  Seems like a big advantage for the Cornhuskers on both sides of the ball.

Big Red black shirts had trouble containing the Cowboys rushing offense.

And the Tigers ran all over Oklahoma who was ranked higher than OSU in total NCAA defense last week.

The starting quarterback matchup is fifty-fifty on paper.  In James Franklin, Mizzou has an ace-in-the-hole backup.

Nebraska not so much.

The Tigers receiving corps is retooled this year after losing Jeremy Maclin two years ago.

Nebraska’s Blackshirt defense rarely allows big passing plays. 

The squad had their traditional practice black jerseys taken away earlier this season according to John Saunders.

He surmised that they may be taken again after their performance against OSU.

Dating back to 1964 under head coach Bob Devaney, the Blackshirt story is that they were given to first-team defenders as a means of depth chart motivation.

An NCAA rule after the 1963 season allowed teams to split their units up into offensive and defensive groups.

Devaney had one of his handlers buy cheap black jerseys and give them to the defense.  The rest is history.

Ndamukong Suh, Barrett Ruud, Fabian Washington, Le Kevin Smith, Josh Bullocks, and Daniel Bullocks are currently in the NFL.

Oklahoma State roped Nebraska with 27 points in the first half last week.

This week the Tigers come into town ready to go 8-0 for the first time under head coach Gary Pinkel; for the first time record books can recall in Mizzou history perhaps.

Can the Huskers stop the Tigers from appearing in the BCS national championship picture?

If they can beat Missouri, then Nebraska is right back in the BCS mix as the Big 12 goes.

The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat of the North division. 

Nebraska does not have Oklahoma on the schedule this year.  Iowa State, Kansas, Texas A&M, and Colorado remain.

Combined they have a Big 12 record of 3-10 going into this week. 

Iowa State owns two of those wins including a trouncing of Nebraska nemesis Texas.

The game within the game will be the much hyped Mizzou defensive backfield where Kevin Rutland anchors a young talented group.

The Cornhuskers have an unappreciated group of receivers.  They had a breakout game last week.

Sophomore Kip Edwards, a 6’1", 200 pound corner, must have a solid performance for the Tigers.

Niles Paul, Brandon Kinnie and the rest of the Huskers receivers come in hot.

They will need to stay hot this week, but can they do it?

Much pressure rests on the limbs of Taylor Martinez.  The freshman will be asked to do it all.

Blaine Gabbert comes in with the poise of a junior who learned from Chase Daniels, but he has less riding on his arm.

The Tigers boast four tailbacks who see game action consistently.  Freshman Henry Josey stood out against OU.

Standing out in the crowd will be the rowdy but generally well-behaved fans sporting cobs and deer bones on their heads.

Mamas and papas don’t let your babies grow up to wear corn on their heads, or antlers for that matter.

What really matters is my forecast for this game.

Prediction: Tigers 37-24


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