January 1, 2009
Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
University of Nebraska vs. Clemson University
The second bowl game I will attend this season is the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 in Jacksonville.
This game should be a great one because of the matchups on both sides of the ball.
Let's take a quick look at each team's strengths, weaknesses, and keys to success.
Passing game is 14th-best in the nation
Second-best pass defense in the pass-heavy Big 12
Hold opponents to 35.3 percent on third-downs
Best time of possession average in Big 12—34 minutes per game
Big 12-worst -10 turnover margin
59.92 penalty yards per game
28 fumbles on the year, 15 of which were lost
Use the great WR corps they have to keep Clemson's pass defense off-balance
Secure the football
Limit defensive penalties to put Clemson in third-down situations
Passing defense ranked tenth in the country
Allowed only 16.6 points per game this season
Most passing yards of any ACC team
Exceptional kick-off coverage—net of 45.1 yards
13 fumbles lost and 14 interceptions thrown
Worst third-down conversion percentage in the ACC with only 31.1 percent
No pressure on the QB—ACC-worst 14 sacks
Look for WR Aaron Kelly as a deep threat
Take care of the football
Get pressure on Joe Ganz so he can't pick apart the secondary
Matchup to Watch
Nebraska wide receivers vs. Clemson's secondary
Nebraska TE, Mike McNeill
With Clemson's secondary preoccupied by the Cornhusker's wideouts, look for McNeill to take advantage and have a great day against the Tiger linebacker—especially in the red zone.
Nebraska 28, Clemson 27
I expect this to be a close game, with Nebraska's strength through the air on both sides of the ball helping them squeak it out.