Expect Texas To Claim Big 12 Title

  • Saturday, December 5, 2009 8:47 AM
  • Written By: Jonathan Crowl

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The Big 12 Championship Game is the capstone to a great day of BCS-busting games. But those expecting a blowout should think twice: Texas is the favorite, but Nebraska's defense is unlikely to let the Longhorns run up the score. Given that Texas should win this game nine times out of 10, here's a quick look at what the Huskers need to do to win:

Run the ball. Stay away from the conservative passing game that's plagued them offensively. They've won two games with time-consuming running drives that moved the ball and led to a touchdown. If they can run the ball well when teams know it's coming, they should be able to get some sort of production while controlling the game clock and limiting quarterback Zac Lee's opportunities for error.

Test the ball deep. They've got to stretch the field, something they've struggled to do in several games. I see Nebraska's offense being successful if it puts together three scoring drives, so most of its offensive work is going to be testing the Longhorns' defense and building toward future drives. It's going to be a frustrating and slow day for Nebraska. But what they're really needing to do is slowly chip away at the Longhorns' defense so that they can unravel it and find the end zone. With their defense, the Huskers don't need to get 30 to win. They could probably do it with less than 20.

Drop seven. Colt McCoy is UT's biggest running threat, but using some heavy zones could isolate him even if he gets outside the pocket and force him to throw into a thick secondary. If he's working too well with just four coming at him, you can always blitz the long side of the field. The idea is that Nebraska's excellent defensive line will be able to win a matchup with Texas' offensive line, letting them get more bodies into the secondary.

And just to play it different this week, here's a score prediction:

17-10, Texas wins.





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