November 8, 2007

The Game Up Close: K-State at Nebraska

Despite a lackluster performance last weekend against Iowa State, Coach Ron Prince leads Kansas State into Saturday's game with Nebraska as the favorite. The Huskers surrendered a school high 76 points to Kansas in a loss to Kansas last weekend, and it seemed as though Bill Callahan's team has, in fact, called it quits. With both team's coming off of crushing losses, however, Saturday's game may just be decided by which squad is able to put last week in the past, and focus on the task at hand.


The Game Up Close: Kansas State (5-4, 3-3) vs. Nebraska (4-6, 1-5)

Saturday, Nov. 10, 11:30 a.m. kickoff
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb..
Versus Network


Nebraska rush offense vs. Kansas State rush defense
The numbers:
KSU rush defense: Allowing 126.3 yards per game, No. 6 in the Big 12, No. 36 overall
Nebraska rush offense: Averaging 142.4 yards per game, No.7 in the Big 12, No. 72 overall

The breakdown: Kansas State's performance against the run has varied from week to week. So, trying to predict which unit will show up in Lincoln is a crapshoot at best. K-State has been successful against the rush lately, holding its last two opponents to a combined 133 rushing yards, but Wildcat fans shouldn't get too caught up recent statistics, as the team's last two opponents posses rushing totals that are among the nation's worst. Meanwhile, Nebraska's running game seems to improve with every week. Cornhusker tailback Marlon Lucky has gained 847 yards on the ground this season, the third highest total in the Big 12. Making things worse is the fact that Kansas State comes into this weekend's contest without senior nose tackle Steven Cline, the team's most experienced defensive lineman. Cline saw his season cut short when he tore his ACL against Iowa State last weekend, and K-State is without a true replacement. Junior Brandon Balkcom will get his first career start in Cline's place, and his ability to adjust to a starting role should factor heavily in the success of K-State's rush defense on Saturday.
ADVANTAGE: PUSH

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