Long bowl wait is over. Gator Bowl is finally here

First off, Happy New Year, best to you and your family in 2009.  Well, it’s finally here.  A long two year wait, but the Huskers back in a bowl. 
Yesterday before their teams did their final walk through at the stadium, both coaches met with the media one more time.  Head coach Bo Pelini talked about the turning point in this season after the Texas Tech loss. 
The Huskers were at 3-3, really the crossroads of their season.  From that point on, they went 5-1, the only loss at that point coming to Oklahoma and we know where they ended up.  Along the way, they beat an improved Baylor team, KU, and Colorado at home.
That led to the invitation to the Gator Bowl and Pelini ranks this up there with the best of them.
Alright, my keys to the game.  Clemson’s running game against our defensive line.  Our front four has been strong the whole year and their backs James Davis and CJ Spiller have big play potential.  We need to slow down that tandem.  Offensively the key for us will be if Joe Ganz can read what the Clemson defense is throwing our way.  They throw a lot of multiple looks, but Pelini said it’s something they are used to seeing.  I think that’s Ganz’ strength, take away the pass, he’ll run, stuff the line, he’ll pass.  I’m sure they’ll be focused on TE Mike McNeil, but it will be important to get him involved early.  I’ll be watching to see how much Marlon Lucky gets used with his turf toe.  Expect to see a lot of Roy Helu if it’s a close game.
Log on after each quarter and at the half, for my analysis of the game and keys to watch for as the game progresses and check back for the complete game wrapup on one of my final Big Red Reports of the year.
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