So after beating Southern Miss in the season opener 49-20 the team had a big let down on the road when they faced off against UCLA. The 36-30 loss to the Bruins has Husker fans once again thinking about the coaching staff as well as what players should be out there on the field. As a Nebraska fan, you know this happens after a loss, and it’s not really the loss that is making fans mad, but the way the loss are happened.

So where do I stand after two games?

The offense is clicking pretty good once they get a good rhythm and that means in a fast pace tempo. Taylor is making some nice plays and throws if he is given time by the offensive line. The line was a low point in the UCLA game which was surprising because against Southern Miss they played great. Were the guys not prepared for the outside blitzes that the Bruins were bringing? The say they knew  they blitzing would happen but were still unable to stop it. Hmm sounds like the coaches should have made some adjustments or changes to get the line playing better but it never happened.

Even without Rex at RB, the backs are running the ball pretty good. I’m impressed with Ameer Abdullah has he has started the season off strong. Then you have Heard and Cross behind him who can help carry the load. It will be fun to watch how the coaching staff uses all four of the backs. I think Ameer and the two other young players get the ball quite a bit in the next few weeks as Rex continues to rest his knee.

The receiving core is strong even though they have lost a couple to injuries. The guys are catching most of the balls that Taylor gets to them and are making defenders miss. For once, I can say Nebraska has a strong and quick receiving group that are also great blockers down field. Great job by every one of them.

So now to the bad. The defense can’t stop opposing teams from moving the ball and getting into the end zone. I thought that the d-line would be able to get some pressure and the secondary would be able to make some plays in the open field but so far neither of those is really happening. If a team spreads their offense out, and Nebraska is forced to spread their linebackers out or move a safety up closer, it doesn’t bode well for the Blackshirts. Lack of speed, poor angles and terrible tackling accounted for many big plays against UCLA. The speed issue can’t be fixed unless other players see the field but the poor tackling and angles can definitely be fixed.

The defense needs to improve there isn’t much more to say about that…

So where does this team go? Do they respond well as they face Arkansas State and Idaho State in Lincoln the next two weeks? They better get some things figured out because Wisconsin will be visiting town on Sep 29th to kick off B1G play and that’s when the real season starts for this team and for us fans. It’s time to get behind these guys and show them support because the main goal of winning the B1G Championship is still out there and winnable.

@NebSports is where you can follow me on Twitter for Husker talk and sports gambling information.


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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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Well Husker fans, the team is sitting at 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in Big10 play but there are still plenty of questions to be answered with the team and coaching staff but lets be happy for the victory and the way things played out on Saturday night.

Things didn’t start off good in the first half as the Huskers almost looked lost once again on both sides of the ball. Ohio State used up half the clock on their opening drive in the first quarter as the defensive line could not make the initial tackle.

Austin Cassidy almost stopped the bleeding towards the end of the first quarter but was unable to haul in what looked to be like an easy interception had he not jumped for the ball. Instead the Buckeyes scored would later score a td on the drive and go up 10-3.

As for the the offense in the first half, they pretty much sucked it up. Especially the offensive line. The line just couldn’t get any holes opened up for Taylor Martinez or Rex Burkhead.

I also have to mention the stupid play calling on the last drive of the first half for the Huskers. There was 40 seconds left in the half and 2nd down. Coach Beck calls for Taylor to throw over the middle of the field which I thought was stupid. Sure Kyler Reed was open but Taylor over threw him and the Buckeyes picked off the ball and then went down and kicked a field goal right before half time. Basically gave OSU three points when Beck could have easily called a run play and went into half time.

The second half of the game is where things started clicking for Nebraska. LaVonte David stripped Miller of the ball with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Miller had picked up the first down to extend the drive before David stripped the ball away. Martinez would then score two plays later out of the diamond formation and you could see the momentum starting to pick up for the Big Red.

On Ohio State’s next drive, Miller would roll his ankle and be done for the game. The Buckeyes could not move the ball with the backup quarterback and it seemed that the offensive line, Martinez and Burkhead could do nothing wrong after that.

It was first down after first down for Martinez and Burkhead. Martinez would also hit his open receivers including Burkhead on checkdown plays. Burkhead made one defender look silly as he took a swing pass to the end zone that tied up the game in the fourth quarter.

It was awesome to see Stanley Jean-Baptiste’s interception. He actually turned around and looked for the ball and had perfect position to pick it off. Great play for a guy that had only been playing corner back for three weeks.

It was a win, and a nice bounce back win for the guys as they head into the bye week. Time to get a little bit of rest and heal up some of those little injuries. Up next will be a road game at Minnesota on Oct 22nd. Gotta win those road games and pick up another conference win!

@Nebsports


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I’m finally back from Las Vegas after attending a conference and staying over the weekend. Had some fun at the Bellagio Sportsbook on Saturday as I watched football all day long and wagered on games. Came out far ahead on wagers and yes, that included the Wisconsin vs Nebraska game. I didn’t have good thoughts heading into the game for Nebraska but also didn’t think they would look as bad as they did.

I thought the game turned in the second quarter when Ciante Evans barely missed an interception and Wisconsin completed the a long pass play. Had Evans been able to pick it off, Nebraska would have got the ball back with a little bit of momentum and it would have kept the Badgers from putting another touchdown on the board. Instead, the Badgers score, and offensive coordinator Tim Beck decides hey, lets start throwing the ball 15 out of 21 plays even though we have a stud running back that can move the chains. Yep, you all know how the passes went with with a total of three interceptions. Including one on the first play of the second half that was a stupid play call in my opinion. No reason to come out from halftime and throw the ball.

Beck and company need to slow down up on the press box and think things over a little bit. Stop trying to score 21 quick points with the way the offense is currently going. Slow things down and let the guys actually think the plays through.

The defense played as I expected them too. Russell Wilson and company did anything they wanted to. Wilson knew exactly where to throw the ball and his receivers did a great job of out running the coverage or sitting down and making a nice grab in front of the Nebraska defenders. It seemed like the Huskers tried to get pressure with some blitzes but besides the first drive of the game, they were not working and it left linebackers and safeties trying to run all over the play defending.

I hope things get simplified a little bit for both the offense and defense and they come out and have a better performance on Saturday against Ohio State. There is no reason that the Huskers cannot win the game by 10 points which is the current point spread. Move the ball by handing it off to Rex and throwing some quick screens to Jamal Turner. Screw this chucking the ball 40 yards down the field in to double coverage crap. Four yards at a time with Rex and 8-10 yards a time with Tuner until the Buckeyes can actually stop it.

Prediction, Nebraska 21 Ohio State 14


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Good morning everyone, sorry for the lack of game recaps the past couple of games but I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like to.  It sure is nice to head into Big10 play with 4-0 record even though the wins haven’t been pretty and a lot of fans are wondering what is going on.

We will know a lot more about this team after Saturday’s game against Wisconsin. The Badgers come into the game undefeated as well but the difference in their wins is that they are blowing out their opponents compared to Nebraska who has had to pull away late in the games to secure their wins. ESPN Gameday will be live in Madison and you can expect their fans to be plenty loud when kickoff happens.

So what does Nebraska have to do to pull out a victory in Madison? First and foremost is fix things on defense. The d-line has got to get pressure on Russell Wilson and also make a tackle when they hit the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage. The linebackers need to keep an eye on Wilson as well because he will take off and run the ball when needed. The secondary will have to play their best game of the season. No more blown coverages or being slow and getting beat right at the line of scrimmage. Get physical and play your man while securing the tackle.

Of offense it’s HOLD ONTO THE BALL! The Huskers are fumbling so much that one of these times they will lose four of them and it’s going to result in a loss. Taylor will need to hit his receivers in stride against the Badger zone that everyone expects them to play. Receivers need to catch the ball and then turn to get up field.

Rex Burkhead needs to be the main guy on Saturday night for the offense in my opinion. Rex can keep the ball in the Huskers hands and keep Wilson and the Badger offense on the sideline. Hoepfully the O-line can block well and Rex can put up some good numbers while taking a lot of time off of the clock.

Currently Wisconsin is favored by -9.5 points. The spread opened up at -7 in Las Vegas at the Wynn and after 30 minutes it hit -8. I’ll be in Las Vegas for the game this weekend, so hopefully I’ll see the Huskers pull off the upset and improve to 5-0 on the season.


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I didn’t get to pay attention to the game as close as I would like and haven’t had time to watch the full game replay yet so don’t have a detailed game recap but Nebraska improved to 2-0 on the season with a 42-29 win over Fresno State. It was a very slow / sloppy first half but then the offense turned things up in the second half and Ameer Abdullah ran back a kickoff for a 100 yard touchdown to put the game out of reach for good.

Some things that were disappointing:
The lack of a defensive rush / pressure from the front four
Defense overall playing slow and not getting after the Fresno guys
Defense being on the field so much (Due to quick scores and 3 and outs)
First half for the offense
Interceptions

Some things that looked good:
Ammer Abdullah and Jamal Turner with the ball
Offense coming together in the second half
Taylor Martinez breaking some long runs
Rex Burkhead when he was given the ball to keep the clock ticking late

It doesn’t sound promising that Alfonzo Dennard will be back for the Washington game. once Dennard is back expect the defense to pick things up as a few players will move around and be able to be in better position to make a play. I hope to see more improvement and a complete game from the offense against Washington. If not, things are going to get ugly as BIG 10 plays isn’t too far off.

 


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Nebraska is headed back to the Big 12 Championship in Dallas this next weekend after they locked up the North Division title on Friday with a 45-17 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes. The rivals were playing for the last time as the Huskers are heading to the Big 10 and the Buffaloes are heading off to the Pac 10 – Pac 12.

Rex Burkhead was the man for the Huskers as he led the offense with 19 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Rex also threw for two touchdowns as finally Shawn Watson dialed up a couple of passes out of the wildcat formartion. It was about time Mr. Watson!

Going into the game a lot of Husker fans were wondering how Cody Green would play once he was named starter earlier in the week. It was a good thing that Coach Pelini announced the decision early in the week because I think it allowed Cody to settle down and know what was ahead of him. Cody passed just 13 times but completed 10 of them and threw for one touchdown. The big thing was he did not have a turnover and led the offense down the field to put points on the board.

The defense once again played a nice game. The Buffaloes tried to throw deep a couple of times and despite a couple of holding and a pass interference call the Blackshirts did a good job. The Huskers scored 21 points off Buffaloes turnovers. Great job by the Blackshirts once again as they live up to the hype of shutting down opposing teams.

I wish I was heading down to Dallas for the championship game but I can’t make it work. I hope that everyone travels safe and has a great time down in Jerry’s world. As every Husker fans wants to see, let’s hope Dan Beebe is forced to hand Bo Pelini and Tom Osborne the Big 12 Championship as they kiss the conference goodbye.


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Dropped passes, terrible line play, bad decisions in the zone read and some questionable injuries. That is what every Nebraska fan was left to talk about Saturday evening and Sunday after watching Texas come into Lincoln and give the Huskers their first loss of the season. The 20-13 defeat to the Longhorns was not what everyone was expecting before the game but coming off a bye week, Texas knew what they wanted to do and that was take Taylor Martinez out of the game and that is exactly what they did.

Martinez could never get on track in the running game as Will Muschamp had the best scheme setup to slow Martinez down. Sitting in row 18 in the North end zone I was able to see the game up close. I don’t fault Taylor for not being able to execute the zone read plays because it made no difference if he would have handed the ball off or ran it. A longhorn defender was there waiting. So how do you beat that defense?

You put the ball in the air and trust that your receivers and running backs can catch it. Rex Burkhead, Niles Paul and Brandon Kinnie all dropped balls that should have been caught for touchdowns. Had Rex come up with the touchdown early in the game, I don’t think we would be talking about a loss right now. Niles, the guy just needs to strap it up and go out there and make plays like he is capable of doing. You want the ball, CATCH IT!

Sure it sucks losing to Texas. It was the game every fan was looking forward to. However, it is not the end of the season and the team is still looking good to make it to the Big 12 Championship. The guys must rebound in a hostile environment down in Stillwater this coming Saturday but I have faith that they will bounce back and pick up a big conference victory.


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