5 keys to victory for the Nebraska football team against Illinois

The Huskers need a win on Saturday. Check out how they can get it done against the Illinois Fighting Illini.

The Nebraska football team has a bigger test than some people probably think against the Fighting Illini this weekend. Lovie Smith seems to have his team playing better football as we head towards the finish line. Illinois has three games to get two wins and the Huskers (record-wise) is likely their best bet at win number five. Check out what the Huskers need to do in order to log their third win of the season.

1

Adrian Martinez needs to keep doing what he does

The true freshman quarterback keeps putting up eye popping numbers. There were even times last week where he looked a little off. He still had an insane game. Now he's back home in front of what is likely going to be an energized crowd. Cut him loose and watch him go.

2

Pass defense needs to keep improving

The Huskers' defense has been much maligned for basically the entire season. They had some problems on Saturday as well. Despite those problems, they held Ohio State's Haskins to his lowest QBR of the season. The Huskers did what they wanted to do as far as forcing the Buckeyes to try and run the ball, it just ended up working out. AJ Bush posted one of his best QBRs of the season last weekend.

3

Run defense has to find a way to get some stops

Illinois' running game is their big weapon. Against Minnesota, Reggie Corbin ran for 213 yards on just 13 carries while AJ Bush had 127 yards. On the season, Corbin has 952 yards and is averaging 9.1 YPC. The Nebraska football team has had some real probems stopping the running game lately. Eight in the box, at least to start out, wouldn't be out of the question at this point.

4

Get someone else involved besides Spielman and Morgan

While it's clear that JD Spielman and Stanley Morgan Jr are the bread and butter for this passing game, the Huskers have to get more receivers involved. They've been better at it as the season has gone on, but every once in a while they go back to the "Spielman, Morgan and who?" approach. At least making sure the tight ends get involved will open the field up for Nebraska's top targets against Illinois.

5

Illinois' defense is the worst FBS defense Nebraska will face this year and it's not close

For all the talk of the Blackshirts' struggles this season, Illinois' defense is worse. Like a lot worse. Nebraska is 102nd in the nation in total defense. Illinois is 125th. Nebraska is 110th against the pass, Illinois is 119th. Nebraska is 81st against the run, Illinois is 122nd. The Illini are giving up yards like you gave out candy on Halloween. If the Huskers can't take advantage of that, then we should all be concerned.

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