I don’t write or talk much about the Nebraska basketball team as you have probably figured out. Well we have a must read article that Greg Doyel from CBS put out this morning.

Greg talks about what athletic director Tom Tom Osborne needs to do for the basketball team. That is throw a lot of money and a big time coach that players will want to play for. Don’t go for the cheapest mid-major successful coach like Nebraska has done the past two hires. It’s time to make a splash and with the new practice arena and new arena that will be finished soon.

Check out the full article here and follow @GregDoyelCBS on Twitter


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So the NCAA has announced some rule changes that will go into affect for the 2012 college football season. Mostly rules on kickoffs and helmets coming off of players.

Teams will kick off at the 35-yard line instead of the 30. Also, players on the kicking team can’t line up for the play behind the 30-yard line, which is intended to limit the running start kicking teams used to have during the play.

Also, touchbacks on free kicks will be moved to the 25-yard line instead of the 20 to encourage more touchbacks. Touchbacks on other plays (for example, punts that go into the end zone, or fumbles that go out of the end zone) will remain at the 20-yard line.

If a player loses his helmet (other than as the result of a foul by the opponent, such as a facemask), it will be treated like an injury. The player must leave the game and is not allowed to participate for the next play.

Offensive players in the tackle box at the snap who are not in motion are allowed to block below the waist legally without restriction. All other players are restricted from blocking below the waist with a few exceptions (for example, straight-ahead blocks).

A rule prohibiting players from leaping over blockers in an attempt to block a punt.

Hmm so let me get this straight. A perfectly fine non-injured player gets his helmet knocked off during a tackle and has to come out for a play. What about a linemen that gets hands to the face and his helmet knocked off backwards? You are out a play kid! Stupid rule if you ask me. Yay for more touchbacks… Or not, let’s take out of the more exciting plays and limit those speedy play makers that return the ball. This will soon be like the NFL where guys get anxious and try running the ball out 7 yards deep in the end zone.

What’s everyone’s thoughts on the rule changes for the upcoming season?

@NebSports -Twitter


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Nebraska announced that the football team will be playing Idaho State on September 22nd as they finished up the schedule for the 2012 season. Yep, Idaho State who won only two games last season. Idaho State who is also a FCS/Division 1-AA team. Would have been nice to at least play a legit FCS team but the school has to guarantee another home game and one that is as close to a win as possible.

Other games were also announced today. In 2014, Nebraska will face off against Florida Atlantic. In 2015 BYU will come to Lincoln. South Alabama will also make the trip to Lincoln in 2015 as well as 2019.

@NebSports


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National letter of intent day has come and gone. Nebraska received commitments from 15 players who will receive scholarships and then 19 others who chose to walk on to the university.

The staff really stressed importance at the linebacker position where they three guys including Michael Rose, Thomas Brown and Jared Afalava. Rose will probably be the highlight of that group and one of the overall highlights of this recruiting class on the defensive side of the ball. I would have liked to see them signed more secondary players but they just didn’t get the guys to sign that they were after and that is how it goes in the recruiting game sometimes.

On offense, the group is led by wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp who turned down a late offer by Notre Dame and stuck with the Huskers. Westerkamp is a guy that Bo Pelini compares to Red Burkhead when he was coming out of high school. A big time player who could get playing time as a true freshman. Their was only one quarterback in this class and that is Tommy Armstrong from Arlington, Texas. Armstrong is another dual threat qb that can hurt you by passing or running the ball.

The one offensive linemen that impresses me is Paul Thurston from Colorado. This is a guy that I could see growing into an all conference linemen after a good year or two in the weight room and learning the speed of the college game.

It sucks to lose out on Andrus Peat. Many thought that he was Lincoln bound as his older brother Todd Peat is currently on the team and his cousin Avery Moss will be coming to Lincoln next year. Andrus chose Stanford however as they signed a exceptional offensive line class that includes three 5* players.

Overall the coaches missed out on some big time players that they weren’t able to lock up but they did do a good job keeping Westerkamp from Notre Dame and doing the best that they could with limited scholarships this year.

Complete 2012 Scholarship Class:
Jared Afalava LB 6-3 215
LeRoy Alexander ATH 6-2 190
Zaire Anderson LB 6-1 220 *junior college*
Tommy Armstrong QB 6-2 210
Thomas Brown LB 6-2 210
Sam Cotton TE 6-4 240
Imani Cross RB 6-1 220
Aaron Curry DT 6-3 275
Greg McMullen DE 6-5 255
Alonzo Moore ATH 6-2 170
Avery Moss DE 6-4 245
Michael Rose LB 6-0 230
Mohammed Seisay DB 6-2 200 *junior college*
Paul Thurston OL 6-5 275
Vincent Valentine DT 6-3 300
Jordan Westerkamp WR 6-2 195
Corey Whitaker OL 6-5 270

Complete 2012 Walk On Class:
Jared Blum DE/TE 6-4 230
Cole Chvatal WR 5-11 175
Carson Collins FB 5-10 220
Ross Dzuris DE/TE 6-3 225
Sam Foltz ATH 6-2 190
Trey Foster TE 6-2 230
Ryker Fyfe QB 6-3 195
Taylor Hoffman LB 6-0 200
Andy Janovich FB 6-1 215
Garret Johns OL 6-1 275
Spencer Lindsay PK 5-10 195
Mitch McCann LB 6-1 225
Graham Nabity RB 6-1 205
Jordan Nelson RB 5-8 175
Robby Painter OL 6-6 270
Brandon Reilly WR 6-2 180
Brad Simpson LB 6-0 195

 

@NebSports


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Ouch, that wasn’t the way Nebraska wanted to end the 2011-2012 football season. South Carolina pulled away in the second half to defeat the Cornhuskers 30-13 down in Orlando at the Capital One Bowl. It was a crazy game that saw a blocked PAT that was returned for a two points, two future first round draft picks ejected and many missed opportunities for the Huskers.

The game turned on Nebraska when Gamecocks receiver Alshon Jeffery leaped over the Nebraska defenders and then launched himself into the end zone on a hail mary pass to put South Carolina up 16-13. That play gave all the momentum to South Carolina and they came out in the second half and punished Nebraska up and down the field.

After the game, there was talk about communication problems in the second half as the team went to a silent count. Nebraska had nine penalties, including four false starts and one delay of game while only picking up five first downs in the second half. Martinez said he was unable to get the cadence calls to the line in time due the crowd noise. Hmm maybe that should have been practiced a little bit more between Martinez and the line? Or have the coaching staff possibly signal it in with the play?

Not a whole lot to talk about on the positive side of things unfortunately. It was down right en embarrassing game for coaches, the team and also the fans. It’s going to be another long break that will have many Husker fans wondering which direction this team is headed. I’m hoping for a good ending to the recruiting class and then some good spring practices. There is plenty of people coming back on offense that there should be no reason the offense won’t put up better numbers. I think the question will be how will the defense play after losing Alfonzo Dennard, LaVonte David and Jared Crick…

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It will be Nebraska vs South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl January 2nd in Orlando. The Cornhuskers learned of their opponent Sunday evening even though there was wide speculation for the last week that it would be the Huskers vs GameCocks down in Orlando.

The Capital One bowl is one of the highest paying non-bcs bowls out there so they did very well with their draw. Based off payouts and bowl selection this is probably the Huskers best bowl game since 2001 when they played in the Rose Bowl vs Miami.

South Carolina comes into the Capital One Bowl with a 10-2 record, including a 6-2 mark in the SEC, and is ranked 10th in the AP Poll and No. 9 by the coaches. The Gamecocks’ only losses this season were by three points to defending national champion Auburn and on the road at Arkansas.

The game appears to be a great match up for both teams. Tickets are currently on sale at Huskers.Com as well as the official Capital One Bowl website. Nebraska will be the away team and will be on the west sidelines.


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Saturdays game @ Michigan was a big let down for the fans, players and coaching staff. It seemed like from the opening kick off things weren’t going to be good and that was the case with turnovers, ticky tack penalties called and missed opportunities. The 45-17 loss knocked the Huskers out of contention for the Big10 Championship as well as a possible berth in a BCS bowl.

It is hard to argue that you will win a game when you have two special teams turnovers and also get called for a roughing the punter. Those three plays were crucial in the game and ones that we have not seen the special teams make this season. When things go bad, they really go bad.

What was up with the offense not getting in any sort of rhythm? The defense was gassed and yet play calling made it hard for the offense to stay out on the field in the first half. When you are stuck in 2nd and long situations and you attempt passes which are not the the strength of the offense, bad things are going to happen. I feel that Taylor has improved as a passer, but as a group the offense just isn’t clicking on those long downs. Rex is simply banged up and a step slower and the coaches don’t seem to want Aaron Green out on the field to take a few of those snaps. Ameer Abdullah got a couple of carries but what I want to see more of is the diamond formation. What did they run it on Saturday a total of two times? That should be one of the main formations for this offense. We have speed and healthy guys that can run it, give them the chance!

Defense was once again led by Lavonte David who running all over the field. David chased down Denard Robinson multiple times or the game would have been even more ugly. It’s really too bad we don’t have more guys like David on defense. Playmakers, not guys out there just filling positions. But the young speedy guys in and see what they can do in the secondary. It can’t get much worse can it?

Iowa is up next on Friday. Short week but something that might help the team. Hell it will help out the fans who are already calling for changes on the coaching staff. Time to move on and forget about it. I’ll be headed down Wednesday morning for the game. You gotta love those 7 hour drives from Western Nebraska..

@NebSports on Twitter.


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Wow, that wasn’t the way I thought last Saturday’s game against Northwestern was going to go. The Huskers struggled from the very beginning and was never able to overcome bad defense as they lost 28-25 on their home field to Northwestern. The loss once again has the Huskers needing help from other teams if they want to play in the first Big10 championship game.

First off, I have to wonder why we did not see more of a rotation at running back. Rex Burkhead carried the ball 35 times the previous week and then rolled his ankle on the third play of the game Saturday yet the coaches kept running him out there and rarely did he take a play off. Sure Rex said he was ok, but you could see that he was clearly a step slower than his usual self and at some point the coaches have to see what the trio of freshman can do. It sure can’t hurt to try especially with Burkhead on a bum ankle.

The defense played like crap partly due to being so thin on the line. Two defensive tackles aren’t going to cut it and they admitted that there was no way they can play a full game with out getting gassed. Injuries happen and that is why you did not see Chase Rome out there as well as Thad Randall who will be out for at least a couple more weeks. Without Rome and Randall you seen Justin Jackson get some playing time.

As bad as the d-line played (minus Baker), the defensive backs played like crap. Pick plays / brushes killed the secondary as they were confused out there it seemed like. Could that have been because Will Compton was not in that often to get the play calls in to the other guys quickly? Just a thought as I observed the game. Too many times the defense wasn’t even ready when Northwestern snapped the ball.

I do have to say that Taylor Martinez played a very good game. He threw the ball very well and minus a few misses on the zone reads I thought led the team like a quarterback should.

In the end it was a loss that left the fans wondering “wtf just happened?” and the message boards to run wild. Now Michigan State once again has control of the division and if the Huskers want any shot at the Big10 championship they are going to need the Spartans to lose to Iowa and for the big red to win out. Will it happen? Your guess is as good as mine.

@Nebsports on Twitter


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Wow, what a defensive performance on Saturday against Michigan State! The blackshirts held Sparty to just three points and left their fans calling for their offensive coordinator to come up with a better game plan after the 24-3 Nebraska win on Saturday.

The defense spent extra time in film during the week and you can see that it really paid off as they knew the routes and exactly where Spartan quarterback Kirk Cousins wanted to go with the ball. Cousins was throwing the ball up just hoping for some pass intereference calls he said after the game and that gives major props to the entire defense. The line got some pressure in the second half and the db’s especially Alfonzo Dennard played lights out. Having Dennard back at full strength is a big boost for the defense.

One thing I really didn’t care to much for on defense was the standing up on third down. It seemed that they either got no push, or when the Spartan line got knocked back, the guys would push so far past Cousins they would have to come back around to make a tackle on him. I see the point why Carl decided to go with it and that would be to confuse the MSU line and have stunts work with guys coming around the blocks. I’m not sure it would have worked so good had the db’s not locked down on the wide outs all day long though.

On offense, what more can you say about Rex Burkhead? The Junior running back had a career high 35 carries while racking up 130 rushing yards, 157 all-purpose yard and three touchdowns. Rex continues to be the workhouse of the running backs as offensive coordinator Tim Beck has figured out that is how the Huskers are going to win games this season. Burkhead always seems to get the big first downs by getting those extra yards and rarely does he fumble. Rex is showing why he could be one of the all time greats at Nebraska.

The offense wasn’t pretty as the Huskers led just 10-3 at half time but two long drives in the third quarter separated the two teams. Nebraska’s two third-quarter possessions covered 169 yards on 26 plays and 11:06 of the clock with both resulting in touchdowns. The offensive line asked to just run the ball when the team came in at half time and they got the job done as they wore out the Spartan defensive line. Four yards a carry is always good when the chains keep moving down the field.

So now the Huskers find themselves controlling their own destiny in the Big 10. Win out and you are in the Big 10 championship game. It won’t come easy as they still have to face Michigan and Penn State but with the defense coming along and the offense doing enough to win I like their chances.

@NebSports


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I won’t talk much about the Minnesota game on Saturday as it was basically one half of play and then a glorified scrimmage in the second half. It was kind of hard to see how the team improved as the Gophers are one of the worse D1 teams right now. Things that I did like was getting Rex going early on in the game. Pound the rock to Burkhead and good things are going to happen. The quick bubble / jail break screens on offense were nice to see as well. Hopefully we see a couple of those attempts to Jamal Turner against Michigan State. The one play that stood out for most was the double reverse to Kenny Bell however. Bell took the ball and raced 80+ yards down the sidelines making the last two defenders miss and he scored the longest touchdown run my a Freshman in school history.

The defense played well all the way around I thought. A few missed tackles but that will happen in game. Again it was the same case of the Minnesota offense just not being very good so it was hard to see how well the guys improved on the defensive side of the ball.

The 41-14 win was nice to see and it could have easily been 60 something to 14 but you could tell things slowed way down in the 4th quarter. Good win coming off a bye week and kept the momentum going into the Michigan State game.

Now it’s time we look ahead towards Michigan State. The team leading the division and fresh off a upset of Wisconsin. The Spartans have been playing good ball this season and with a seasoned quarterback like Kirk Cousins, they are expecting a trip the Rose Bowl. Nebraska is about the only team standing in their way of that Rose Bowl trip. Nebraska is still in the hunt for a Rose Bowl birth but it all comes down to Saturday. Gotta beat Sparty and then probably win out the rest of the way in my opinion.

So what are the keys to beating Mich St? I think it will the offensive line and running backs picking up the multiple blitzes that Michigan State will be using. Sparty blitzes something like 60% of the downs so the guys on offense are going to have to be quick and Taylor is going to have to get rid of the ball quickly to avoid the sacks. Hopefully we see a lot of Rex getting the ball early on and some more of the diamond formation which puts a lot of speed for the defense to worry about. Guys are simply going to have to make plays on offense whether it is catching a wide open pass or keeping a simple block going without getting called for holding.

On defense, it is all about stopping the rushing attack which I think Nebraska will have good success doing. Coach Pelini usually does not have a problem coming up with a game plan to stop a pro style attack like the Spartans run. Cousins is not as mobile as other quarterbacks the defense has played so don’t expect much scrambling out of him. I think the defensive ends will be pretty active as Carl and Bo should not have to worry about the rushing quarterback and they should be allowed to push straight through the line rather than have to contain the edge on every play.

I expect Mich St to really try and run the ball. Look for LaVonte David to have a big game at linebacker as he racks up the tackles on the running backs. When Cousins does attempt to go deep, the db’s are going to have to be in position and not be getting caught looking in at the running backs.

Nebraska is currently a four point favorite in the game. I’m going to predict a 35-30 game with Nebraska coming out on top and keeping their Big 10 championship hopes alive.

@NebSports

 


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