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Texas Returns To Austin To Host Nebraska

Nebraska Cornhuskers (17-10, 6-8) at Texas Longhorns (24-5, 11-3)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 · 6:30 p.m. CT

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

There's no cookin' like home cookin', and a return to Austin is just what Texas needs to bury and forget about Saturday's disappointing loss in Lubbock. If you had to boil down Texas' problems in that game to its essence, you'd wind up with:

  1. Cold shooting
  1. Abandonment of the inside game
  1. Foul trouble and porous defense

There's little question, then, what Texas needs to do this afternoon when it hosts Nebraska at the Drum.

1. Run the eight-game winning streak offense.  When we peaked, we were beating defenses by running the offense through our post players. After Texas jacked 28 three point attempts in Lubbock, you can be sure Texas will be pounding the ball inside right from the get-go. Even if it's just to keep Nebraska honest, the effort to work inside-out will be there from the opening tip.

2. Shut down the paint on defense.  The 'Huskers shoot a miserable 33.8% from beyond the three point line and a healthy 51.4% on their two-point looks. The game plan here is simple: identify and smother 6-4 sophomore Ryan Anderson, their best perimeter player, and spend the rest of the defensive effort controlling Aleks Maric, a 6-11 senior averaging 16 points and 10 boards per game. The Australian center is a terrific offensive rebounder, which means Connor, WingMan, and Gary will need to do a great job keeping a body on him, allowing Damion James to suck up all the defensive boards.

3. Keep the key players on the floor. Ranking the Longhorns who we can least afford to sit with foul trouble today, I'd go with (1) DJ Augustin, (2) Damion James, (3) Connor Atchley, (4) Gary Johnson. Having our top three bigs available to do what they do best should make this a comfortable home win for Texas. Losing one or more of them to foul trouble would help Nebraska keep things close for an upset bid.

L  51-55 at Colorado
L  49-84 at Kansas
W 66-62 at Missouri
L 59-74 at Kansas State
L 52-60 at Iowa State
W 65-59 at Texas A&M
L 63-77 at Oklahoma State

W 69-67 vs Colorado
W 73-47 vs Texas Tech
W 80-72 vs Baylor
W 72-69 vs Kansas
W 77-50 vs Texas A&M
W 62-45 vs Oklahoma State