After an optimistic loss one might say to Colorado 33-28, the huskers will look to bounce back this week against Troy. Troy is coming into Lincoln with a 1-1 record and a loss to #17 Boise State 56-20 in week one, then a win last week beating Florida A&M 59-7. This team isn’t a stranger to success as they went 11-2 last year.
For Troy, Kaleb Barker will run the offense. The junior has 351 yards, five touchdowns, and one interception on the season. He will look to manage the game, and rely on his recievers helping him out against the Husker defense.
Senior wide receiver Deondre Douglas will be the primary target for Barker. Douglas so far this season has 10 catches, 128 yards, and two touchdowns. Douglas has the ability to streatch the field boasting a 12.8 yards per reception average.
At running back, Troy has Jabir Daughtry-Frye. Daughtry-Frye has 112 yards on 14 carries and a couple of scores as well. Backup B.J. Smith will receive carries as well. He has 97 yards on two scores.
On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Marcus Jones will be the Trojans x-factor. Jones plays defensive back and has seven tackles. He does a lot of good things for that defense.
For the Big Red, there’s a lot of questions heading into this weeks match up. The number one question, who will be taking the snaps in this game at quarterback. With the knee injury to true freshman Adrian Martinez, sophomore Andrew Bunch may be the starter. Bunch showed in his limited time he can play the position, but he was thrown into the fire. Frost has said that the decision on who to start may come minutes before the game. Martinez was electrifying in his first start recording 187 yards passing, 117 yards rushing, and three total touchdowns. Martinez did have three turnovers in the game as well. Regardless of who is starting at quarterback, expect Troy to run a lot of different schemes at Nebraska.
A question that was answered last week is that the offensive line is much improved and that the running back situation is ideal for this offense. JUCO transfer Greg Bell led the running backs with 104 yards on 13 carries. Many wondered where senior Devine Ozigbo would fit in, well 14 carries, 60 yards, and touchdown should answer that. He was used in short yardage situations and will be utilized a lot of different ways. True freshman Maurice Washington showed flashes and will continue to be used in the offense.
At the wide receiver spot, we saw familiar plays from senior Stanley Morgan Jr., and JD Spielman. We also saw those two drop a few important passes which cannot happen this week espcially if Bunch gets the nod at quarterback.
On the defensive side of the ball, we saw a whole new team as well. The defense allowed 33 points, but off of four turnovers from the offense, that isn’t too bad of a number. Linebacker Mohammed Barry fits in the defense like a glove. The junior had 12 tackles and made a number of plays in the backfield. Senior linebacker Luke Gifford had 11 tackles including 1.5 sacks. The defense combined for seven sacks, which is half of last year’s total.
The defensive line looked good as well and they will need that same kind of pressure against Troy. Sophomore Ben Stille perfromed well and junior Khalil Davis caused a lot of problems for Colorado and will need to do the same this week.
The main improvement needed from the defense is the secondary. It is much improved from a season ago, but it still has some kinks to workout. Expect Troy to try and exploit that facet of the defense.
Nebraska will kickoff at 11:00 A.M. You can listen to the game on Nebraska’s longest running affiliate 880 KRVN and 106.9 FM with coverage beginning at 8:00 A.M.