Expect More Sam Keller Versus Wake
During Nebraska's decisive win over Nevada, NU quarterback Sam Keller appeared about as necessary as Matt Turman did running the show in 1994. That is, other than needing a guy to take a snap and hand the ball off, the Huskers didn't need much from Keller. But that would have been very different if the Huskers hadn't rushed for a nation-leading 413 yards against Nevada.
In all likelihood, things won't be quite so easy in Winston-Salem. Even in defeat, the Demon Deacons held Boston College to fifty-four yards rushing. That statistic is probably no aberration as Wake Forest was twenty-first nationally in rushing defense a year ago. On the flip side, the Demon Deacons allowed over four hundred passing yards to Boston College on Saturday and were eighty-second in passing yards allowed in 2006.
It's easy to believe that Nebraska will out-rush Boston College since they did it last year finishing twenty-third nationally (versus ninety-second for BC). But matching 413 yards rushing seems pretty far-fetched. A better estimate is probably somewhere between 150 and 250 yards.
If Nebraska's total yards are in that range against Wake Forest, the Huskers will be in big trouble. So it will be imperative that Keller be productive. Sure 193 passing yards (like he had against Nevada) may be plenty. But 250 or more could be needed. You'd think that's a piece of cake for a player who averaged more than 300 passing yards per game in 2005. He similarly had a mild start against Temple that year as ASU won big before exploding the following week against LSU.
But for those who didn't think we got to really see Keller in action Saturday, just wait. We're sure to see more from him this week. Not only will the Huskers need it, but they'll also have a pair of weapons back in Maurice Purify and Hunter Teafatiller to make it more appealing.
With most of the Big Red Network staff headed to Winston-Salem, we can't wait to see it for ourselves.