If you’re thinking of classic––maybe stereotypical––Big Ten football, you’re thinking Iowa and Wisconsin, certainly, Michigan and Northwestern, maybe, of late. Run the ball, play annoyingly sound defense and know that, if you make an offering to the field-position gods, grass and how much of it you have to defend (or how little of it you have to cover) can be your friend.
But you’re also thinking of Buffalo under Lance Leipold. He’s gone now, off to try to turn Kansas football into something respectable, but it’s unlikely new head coach Maurice Linguist will deviate much from that script. At least not in Year 1, and almost certainly not in Saturday.
Scott Frost said, in 2017, that he hoped the Big Ten would have to adjust to what Nebraska wanted to do on offense. Buffalo of the past two seasons, on the other hand, would’ve fit right in. The Bulls ran the ball nearly 66% of the time in 2020 yet still averaged 43 points per game.
Such is the challenge facing the Huskers on Saturday. Is Nebraska’s run defense going to get stops? Will Adrian Martinez have time to exploit a potential weakness in the Bulls’ pass defense?
We talk through all of that and more on this week’s I-80 Preview, Corned Beef edition.
The I-80 Preview will have new episodes each week during football season. You can listen to the new episode below or, better yet, subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your preferred pod purveyor.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.