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September 6, 2008The Nebraska football team (1-0) will take the field for today's 11:40 a.m. kickoff against San Jose State (1-0) with the hopes to take another step after last Saturday's 47-24 victory over Western Michigan.
The Huskers hope to get their ground game going today and also fix some of their communication errors on defense. Here's today's keys to victory as Nebraska looks to improve to a 2-0 start under first-year head coach Bo Pelini.
Just being around the team all week in Lincoln, you get the idea that Nebraska is much more loose going into today's game compared to last week.
Everybody from the players to the coaches to the fans have a better idea of what to expect from this football team. Head coach Bo Pelini said NU had great practices all week and you could just feel the confidence in them each day.
Attack San Jose State's safeties
The one area on San Jose State's defense that Nebraska should really be able to attack is their safeties. The Spartans have new starters at safety and they were very vulnerable last week against Division I-AA UC Davis.
Look for offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to test SJSU's safeties early and often in today's game, especially if head coach Dick Tomey elects to load the box like Western Michigan did last week.
Make the Spartans one-dimensional
San Jose State will attack NU with potentially the worst offensive line the Huskers may see all season. The Spartans have three brand new starters on the line, along with a converted tight end who's now a starting lineman.
Last week this line was manhandled by UC Davis, so if the Huskers can make the Spartans one-dimensional, it may be a very long day for quarterback Kyle Reed.
Eliminate communication errors
All week secondary coach Marvin Sanders and Pelini worked with the secondary to eliminate the communication errors the Huskers had last week.
The odds are Reed won't be experienced enough to really test the Huskers secondary like Tim Hiller did last week, but it will still be important for NU to get this phase of the game ironed out as the head into the New Mexico State and Virginia Tech games.
Hit them in the mouth early
Lastly, Nebraska needs to make an early statement and hit the Spartans in the mouth early. Don't let this team get an early confidence.
If NU can force Reed into some early three and outs and build up a quick lead, it may be a very long day for Tomey and his young Spartan ball club.
PREDICTION: Nebraska 45 San Jose State 10