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Nebraska Dominates Second Half, Takes Roar Out of Tigers

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Nebraska Dominates Second Half, Takes Roar Out of Tigers

After Nebraska's 26-21 win over Clemson, let's take a look at how my pregame predictions played out.

Nebraska

Strengths

Passing game is 14th-best in the nation

236 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air, along with an interception

Second-best pass defense in the pass-heavy Big 12

Clemson had 206 yards and 2 TD through the air, but threw 2 interceptions

Hold opponents to 35.3 percent on third-downs

Clemson was 3-for-16 (19 percent)

Best time of possession average in Big 12—34 minutes per game

Held the ball for 34:11

 

Weaknesses

Big 12-worst -10 turnover margin

Lost the turnover battle 2-3

59.92 penalty yards per game

81 penalty yards

28 fumbles on the year, 15 of which were lost

3 fumbles, two of which were lost

 

Keys

Use the great WR corps they have to keep Clemson's pass defense off-balance

6 receivers had at least 2 catches

Secure the football

Eh, three turnovers.

Limit defensive penalties to put Clemson in third-down situations

Gave Clemson 2 free first-downs on third-down penalties

 

Clemson

Strengths

Passing defense ranked 10th in the country

Held Nebraska 50 yards below season passing average

Allowed only 16.6 points per game this season

Allowed 26 points

Most passing yards of any ACC team

Threw for 206 yards

Exceptional kick-off coverage—net of 45.1 yards

Net of 46.3 yards against the Huskers

 

Weaknesses

13 fumbles lost and 14 interceptions thrown

Lost no fumbles but threw two interceptions

Worst third-down conversion percentage in the ACC with only 31.1 percent

3-for-16 (19 percent)

No pressure on the QB—ACC-worst 14 sacks

Zero sacks

 

Keys

Look for WR Aaron Kelly as a deep threat

Kelly caught 6 balls for 74 yards and a TD

Take care of the football

Turned it over twice

Get pressure on Joe Ganz so he can't pick apart the secondary

Actually got some good shots at Ganz but no sacks

 

Matchup to Watch

Nebraska wide receivers vs. Clemson's secondary

Nebraska's passing game looked pretty good against a great secondary

 

X-Factor

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.

McNeill caught three balls for 27 yards, but was targeted and missed on a third-down in the redzone.

 

Prediction

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.

This was a great game, with Nebraska pulling it out behind 4 FG, 26-21.

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