Nebraska vs. Michigan State, 10.29.2011 31

Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell (24) is stopped by Nebraska cornerback Andrew Green (11) in fourth-quarter action at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. (JACOB HANNAH/Lincoln Journal Star)

Granted, Nebraska may have to perform well in several areas to win Saturday.

Here are three, in my opinion.

1. Special-teams blockers, beware. Southern Miss last season blocked three punts and one field goal -- and returned each block for a touchdown.

2. Husker offensive line coach Barney Cotton said Southern Miss has "a true, southern, swarming, fast defense."

So, how does an offense minimize the impact of that speed?

"You try to be fundamentally and technically sound when you block movement or maybe blitzes you haven't worked on before," Cotton said. "And probably the most important thing is to play fast yourself. Play with some tempo. Get up to the line, get set, let's go. But within the parameters of that, play assignment football and execute -- no false starts and take care of the ball."

3. Terry Joseph's primary concern takes us back to the Big 12 days, with all the wide-open offenses.

Southern Miss has at least one excellent receiver in 5-foot-9, 168-pound senior Tracy Lampley. The Golden Eagles will try to get the ball in his hands in the open field, the Husker secondary coach said.

"They make you have to make tough tackles in space," Joseph said. "Hopefully we can play Blackshirt defense and get a lot of guys around him and get him on the ground."


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