This matchup presents a multitude of themes for a fan of either team to focus on. Certainly this is a matchup that is deserving of national attention and national attention it shall receive as the 12:00 pm kickoff will be broadcast on ABC. The Nebraska Cornhuskers and UCLA Bruins are nationally recognized teams each with an intense coach who receives a great deal of media attention. Bo Pelini and his Huskers vs. Jim Mora and the Bruins is well deserving of the hype.
In Saturday’s matchup both the visiting Bruins and the home team Huskers will don a No. 36 patch and a No. 36 sticker on each players helmet to honor the devastating loss of Bruins wide receiver Nick Pasquale. Pasquale was tragically hit by a car early in the morning on Sunday ending the life of a promising 20 year-old football player and young man.
What can UCLA fans expect to see in Lincoln after the tragedy they have endured this week? The answer to that question is simple: Nothing but class. College football fans and analysts would be hard pressed to think of a more respectful place to visit after their loss than Lincoln Nebraska. The fans making the journey to Nebraska from California can expect compassion and empathy along with something special from the university to honor Nick Pasquale.
Those who choose to tune into this game can expect to see emotions throughout the game. There will be a moment of silence as well as prayers and sympathy, but after the ball is kicked off fans should expect two teams that are ready to play high level football. The levels of intensity will be a true reflection of the passion and desire to win that both coaches compete with.
Offensively fans should be eager to witness the talent displayed by two premier quarterbacks in college football. Last year Bruin quarterback Brett Hundley torched the black shirt defense and earned the victory for his team. This year senior quarterback Taylor Martinez will be looking to avenge last season’s loss. Martinez is also in search of his break out game of the 2013 campaign. Look for Martinez to attempt to make his presence felt on the field on Saturday. While Husker fans are itching to see Martinez take over a game, it would be to the quarterback’s benefit if he keeps in his mind some of the mistakes he has made in his career when he tried to make too much happen. The offenses will both put up a good amount of points and yards, but the Husker backfield is three running backs deep which may give them a slight edge.
On the defensive side of the ball both squads are coming into their own this season. The Huskers have improved through two games together, but they are still a young squad. The Bruins have a defensive line that is superior to the defensive line of the Huskers, but they will have to prove themselves against an improved Husker offensive line. The Huskers also showed glimmers of what Coach Pelini so desperately wants one week ago, takeaways. The Huskers have a slight edge in this game, but it is not much. The home crowd should put the Huskers over the edge and redeem their loss from a year ago.
Can Nebraska return the favor and beat the Bruins at home this season? You can see for yourself by buying Huskers tickets for this Saturday’s game.