Three keys vs. Arkansas State

2012-09-12T20:37:00Z 2012-09-12T21:14:28Z Three keys vs. Arkansas StateBy STEVEN M. SIPPLE
September 12, 2012 8:37 pm  • 

These obviously aren't the only keys for Nebraska against Arkansas State.

But three areas to watch closely Saturday:

1. Will Nebraska slow down talented quarterback Ryan Aplin, a third-year starter? Arkansas State's offense is in some ways similar to UCLA's, but the Red Wolves use more designed quarterback runs. In two games, Aplin has rushed 18 times for 110 yards (6.1 per carry).

Limiting Aplin's yards on scrambles is foremost on Kaczenski's mind.

"You can't let the quarterback out, the way we play coverage," the coach said. "It's a big responsibility for our guys to contain that quarterback. When everybody has their backs turned, and that quarterback leaks out, it's not good. It happened to us too many times last Saturday."

2. We'd be incredibly remiss not to mention the importance of Nebraska improving its tackling. It was woeful against UCLA. You can count at least 15 misses.

"We just have to play more physical overall," Kaczenksi said. "And when we have opportunities to make plays, make them."

If only life were that easy.

3. If a football team expects to achieve significant success, it had better be proficient in at least two of the three key areas of the sport -- offense, defense and special teams.

Second-half struggles last week aside, Nebraska looks to be very good on offense. The defense needs work, obviously. So, the Huskers better clean up their special-teams issues. One example of good news for NU from last week: The kickoff-coverage unit held UCLA to 57 yards on three returns (19.0).

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