When the Huskers run

Edge >> Even

The Huskers rushing numbers may be a bit skewed by the competition they have played. The Huskers are eighth in the nation in rushing. On the other hand, Miami is 15th in the nation in rushing defense. But the Hurricanes’ opposition hasn’t been the best either.

 324.3: Huskers’ running yards per game

82.7: Hurricanes’ running yards allowed per game

 Huskers’ top rushers No. Yds. Avg. TD

Ameer Abdullah 57 396 6.9 3

Tommy Armstrong 27 258 9.6 2

 When the Huskers pass

Edge >> Huskers

The Huskers have been affective passing the ball, but their efficiency could use some improvement. Kenny Bell and Jordan Westerkamp have shown an ability to get open deep and Tommy Armstrong throws a nice deep ball. A couple of long completions could loosen up the Miami defense.

 270: Huskers’ passing yards per game

177: Hurricanes’ passing yards allowed per game

 

Huskers’ top passer Cmp Att. Yds TD/I

Tommy Armstrong 43 81 773 7/1

 

Huskers’ top receiver No. Yds. Avg. TD

Jordan Westerkamp 13 271 20.8 3

 When the Hurricanes run

Edge >> Huskers

Duke Johnson looks like a good back, but the ‘Canes haven’t had great success running the ball this season (138 yards per game). Miami coach Al Golden is concerned about the Husker front seven and says it will be the most physical defense they play against this season.

 138: Hurricanes’ running yards per game

129.3: Huskers’ running yards allowed per game

Hurricanes’ top rusher No. Yds. Avg. TD

Duke Johnson 43 277 6.4 2

 

When the Hurricanes pass

Edge >> Huskers

A freshman quarterback playing in Lincoln. Randy Gregory apparently back at 100 percent. A mostly young Husker secondary that has performed better than most have expected. Bo Pelini’s defense over the years has fared quite well against the spread offense.

 

244.7: Hurricanes’ passing yards per game

165.3: Huskers’ passing yards allowed per game

 

Hurricanes’ top passer Cmp Att. Yds TD/I

Brad Kaaya 45 75 693 7/5

Hurricanes’ top receiver No. Yds. Avg. TD

Herb Waters 10 112 11.2 0

 

Coaching

Edge >> Even

Bo Pelini and Al Golden are similar in experience, Pelini in his seventh year (61-24 overall) and Golden in his ninth as a head coach is 24-16 in his fourth year at Miami.

 

Special teams

Edge >> Huskers

This will be a battle of two of the top punters in the nation with Nebraska’s Sam Foltz (47.3 yards per punt) and Miami’s Justin Vogel (45.8 yards per punt). Husker freshman De’Mornay Pierson-El just might make a game-changing play sometime soon.

 

X-factor/intangibles

Edge >> Huskers

Husker fans are excited about playing Miami in Lincoln. The players, none of whom remember all those loses to the Hurricanes in the Orange Bowl, may not have quite the same outlook, but it is a night game and it is the biggest home game of the season.

 

Bottom line:

Huskers 31, Hurricanes 20

Which Husker team will it be? The one that was nearly perfect against an out-manned Florida Atlantic in the opener, or the one that just nipped FCS team McNeese State? The guess here is the Huskers will be able to run the ball against a Miami defense that will play things pretty much straight up, while Randy Gregory and company are causing the Hurricane offense all kinds of trouble.

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