Projected Lineup vs. USC (click here for full depth chart)
Players in Bold, ALL CAPS are returning starters
WR(X): #87 NATE SWIFT, Jr. - and - #16 Maurice Purify, Sr.
LT: #77 Carl Nicks, Sr.
LG: #62 Andy Christensen, Jr.
C: #59 BRETT BYFORD, Sr.
RG: #70 MATT SLAUSON, Jr. - and - #61 MIKE HUFF, Jr.
RT: #76 Lydon Murtha, Jr.
H-Back: #85 J.B. PHILLIPS, Sr.
WR(Z): #83 TERRENCE NUNN, Sr.
FB: #48 Andy Sand, Sr.
IB: #5 MARLON LUCKY, Jr.
QB: #9 Sam Keller, Sr.
The first thing that jumps out at me when analyzing Nebraska's depth chart is the experience returning across the board offensively, but especially at the skill positions. QB Sam Keller and FB Andy Sand, although new to the starting lineup, are seniors and should be very capable starters. Keller, who transfered from Arizona State last year, does have big-time game experience against the Trojans under his belt, so you can count him as a returning starter too. Keller engineered a near upset of #1 USC in 2005, as he threw for 347 yards and 2 TD's in the desert that day, but he also threw 5 INT's and helped the Sun Devils squander an 18 point halftime lead and eventually lose 38-28. Keller will be looking for redemption though, and he'll once again have some very talented playmakers to get the ball to on Saturday, led by tailback Marlon Lucky (54 carries, 323 yards, 4 TDs) who has shown some explosiveness in the first two games. The key for the Trojans will definitely be to stop #5 and minimize Nebraska's play action passing game. The WR's are big (Purify 6'4", Swift 6'2", Nunn 6'0") and can make some plays if the defense starts to creep up against the run. Expect the Trojans to try and rattle the mistake prone Keller with multiple looks and different coverages. Keller has completed only 57.6 % of his passes and has thrown 3 INT's compared to just 2 TD's. The key for Nebraska will be to get out to early lead, and not put pressure on Keller to win the game from behind. They want to keep the game in the hands of their gamebreaking RB Marlon Lucky...
Look for the Huskers' Defense preview Thursday evening.