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Fiesta Bowl - January 2, 2000
#3 Nebraska Cornhuskers (11-1) vs. #5 Tennessee Volunteers (9-2)
"Oh, Henry"

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This could easily be the National Championship game. Nebraska bounced back from a disappointing season in 1998, and Tennessee has gotten everyone's best trying to defend last year's National Title. But both teams have had their share of miscues, and that's why they're playing on the second, rather than the fourth. Nebraska's black shirt defense might be the best in the country, and will test Vol quarterback Tee Martin's poise in the pocket. Tennessee is the best offensive team Nebraska will face all season, and the Vols might want revenge for the 42-17 loss to the 'Huskers in the 1998 Orange Bowl.

Coach's Edge Key to the Game: "Attack the Heart of the Black Shirts"
The Huskers are a no-nonsense defense, using vanilla blitzes and coverages to dominate opposing offenses. But if they have one weakness, it's their ability to stop a consistent ground game up the middle.

  • The Huskers are built for speed and power. The front four is the best in the nation at stuffing the run and penetrating on the pass rush. The linebackers are a bit undersized - just how Nebraska likes 'em - but are heavy-hitting playmakers.
  • The Vols play in the best football conference in the nation and won't be intimidated by the mystique of the Huskers. Running back Travis Henry (20) has emerged as the go-to guy on the ground and should get plenty of cracks at the middle of the Husker defense.
  • Nebraska's quick upfield surge opens up running lanes in the middle of the defensive line early. Tennessee needs to exploit Nebraska's quickness with direct runs up the middle. This should take the pressure off of Martin and the passing game.

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