Big Red Report's Nebraska at Michigan State PreviewPresented by: www.RedZoneTickets.com
By: Josh Harvey
* Nebraska looks to stay atop of the Legends Division.
* The Huskers look to make it three straight after losing to Ohio State on the road.
* Nebraska beat Michigan State 24-3 last year in Lincoln.
* Husker running back Rex Burkhead is likely out for Saturday's contest with a MCL sprain.
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Head Coach: Mark Dantonio (6th season)
But Nebraska's defense isn't shabby either and seems to be peaking at the right time. The Huskers have recorded 16 three-outs in the last two contests, making many believe this will be a low scoring affair on Saturday afternoon.
"Michigan State has a really well-coached defense and very talented defense. They are going play hard, so early success on early downs will be key," said Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. "Early downs are key. We always want to have success on early downs. We don't want any negative plays."
On offense, Michigan State features powerful running back Le'Veon Bell, who will likely become the Huskers main focus on Saturday.
"He is a beast. He runs the ball hard. So we've got to get gang tackles on him. You just can't go out there and have arm tackles on him," said Nebraska safety P.J. Smith. "We've got to put our shoulder into him and wrap up. It's going to be a challenge for us."
After gearing up for mobile quarterback Braxton Miller (OSU), Kain Colter (NW), and Denard Robinson (MI) the past three weeks, the Huskers will see a true starting pro-style quarterback for the first time in over a month.
"They are going try to run and pass the ball off of play-action," said Smith. "Sitting back there in the pocket helps the defensive line because they can rush a lot more and not be so conservative on the rush lanes, and they can put pressure on him a lot easier because he can't scramble as much as he wants to."
Big Red Report Prediction:
*** I expect a heavyweight fight the entire game, but in the end, the Nebraska offense is just too much to stop. The Huskers pace on offense throughout the game will slow down a Michigan State defense that will likely be on the field a lot because of offensive struggles. This is the type of offense Pelini's defense shut down. Nebraska escapes on the road with a victory and is one step closer to getting to a Big Ten title game.
Burning questions for SpartanDigest Managing Editor: