Man up: OSU's Justin Blackmon, Nebraska's Prince Amukamara set to battle

In what could be the matchup that decides the game, Oklahoma State standout Justin Blackmon will line up head-to-head with Nebraska star corner back Prince Amukamara today.
BY BRANDON CHATMON, Staff Writer, bchatmon@opubco.com Modified: October 23, 2010 at 8:52 am •  Published: October 22, 2010

It is the matchup everyone has been talking about.

At some point this afternoon, Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon will gaze across the line of scrimmage and see Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, lined up in man-to-man coverage.

If Blackmon or Amukamara can consistently win the one-on-one battle — a matchup so big ESPN's Todd McShay singled it out as the top one-on-one matchup of the week — it could decide the outcome of the final Big 12 conference meeting between the Cowboys and the Huskers. Nebraska plays OSU at 2:30 p.m. today at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Nebraska features arguably the best secondary in the nation and Amukamara leads the way. The Cornhusker's pass defense, ranked No. 1 nationally, is built on man-to-man coverage.

"They have good corners and they feel good about them," offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen said. "They're going to play man coverage. That's just what they do. They're going to rely on their athleticism and the coverage ability of the corners."

At 6-foot-1, 202 pounds with exceptional closing speed and athleticism, Amukamara is everything NFL teams look for in a cornerback. He ranks No. 3 overall on the "Big Board" of ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper.

Blackmon, meanwhile, has proven to be unstoppable this season with 57 receptions for 955 yards and 12 touchdown catches. At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Blackmon is a big target with a unique combination of great body control, hands and athleticism.

Both players will be the biggest test of the season for their counterpart.

"It's going to be fun to watch," quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "(Blackmon) has a tough test ahead of him but he'll be ready."

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