Nebraska offense vs. Idaho State defense

Nebraska stuck with the run last week to keep a very up-tempo,  spread offense on the sideline, and NU's defense there, too. Idaho State has averaged 90 plays through two games, so might the Huskers keep the ball on the ground again? Or is that overthinking things against an FCS team? Regardless of the means, Nebraska shouldn’t have any problem moving the ball against a defense that’s allowed an average of 52 points in its last eight games against FBS teams.

Edge: Nebraska


Nebraska defense vs. Idaho State offense

It’ll be a day for a lot of nickel and dime packages, meaning a lot of Ciante Evans and Corey Cooper (and their backups) against an Idaho State team that loves to fling the ball around. “We want to throw the ball as much as we can,” said Idaho State coach Mike Kramer, who compared his team’s offensive numbers to something you’d see in a video game. The key is rhythm and timing, and whether a smallish offensive line that includes two freshmen and two sophomores can keep quarterback Kevin Yost upright.

Edge: Nebraska


Special teams

Let’s go ahead and declare Brett Maher back after his two booming punts last Saturday. But how often will Nebraska need him against Idaho State? Kickoff coverage has improved since the opener, and there figures to be many kickoffs to cover Saturday. Of note: Idaho State’s punter is also the backup quarterback. Hey, you never know.

Edge: Nebraska


Overall

Let’s be honest here. Idaho State, on paper, is the biggest mismatch Nebraska has seen in years. The Bengals were 5-40 over the past four seasons, have lost 33 straight road games and have been outscored by an average of 52-10 in their last eight games against FBS teams. This is a hastily arranged paycheck game, and Nebraska’s biggest goal should be to emerge from this glorified scrimmage without a major injury.

Edge: Nebraska

Reach Brian Rosenthal at 402-473-7436 or brosenthal@journalstar.com. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBR.