Every game becomes a must win for the 3-2 Huskers who trail K-State by half a game in the Big 12 North. It’s not a coincidence, the Huskers two game winning streak falls in line with a much healthier Roy Helu in the backfield.
When you look at his stats, 96 yards rushing against Missouri in a win. 5.4 yards per carry against Baylor in a win and last week 141 yards, his best Big 12 game in the OU win. Against Tech and Iowa State, Helu had a combined 91 yards rushing in the two losses when he was banged up. There is no doubt, Helu is a game changer when he’s healthy and it looks like the Huskers will have him in good shape the rest of the season. Now, can the guys in front of Helu stay healthy? Pelini says the offensive line is getting better and is probably as good as they can be for this time of the year, heading down the stretch in November.
As far as this Blackshirt defense. They’ve held their last three opponents to under 10 points, and Missouri to just 12 and two of those came on a safety when Alex Henery threw the ball out of the end zone. Defense will win you ball games and in a season when Big 12 offense is down, Pelini may have the right formula proving that a strong run game and defense will win out more often than not.
The anchor of that defense, Ndamukong Suh is one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top college football lineman. Other finalists announced Tuesday by the Houston Rotary Club are Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody, TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. The winner will be announced Dec. 9.