Another year, same story. A year after coming out strong against UCLA and then getting dominated, the exact same thing happened Saturday in Lincoln as the Bruins rolled through Lincoln and beat Nebraska 41-21. It’s another game where the fans are asking what in the hell is going on in the second half of games?

I’ll tell you what isn’t happening and that is making adjustments. After the missed sack right before half, the Bruins scored a touchdown to take the momentum heading into the locker room. They came back out from halftime and stopped TIm Beck’s offense and quickly scored another touchdown on their way to scoring 38 unanswered points.

The play calling in the second half was terrible on the offensive side of the ball. Three and out, three and out over and over. An offensive coordinator that was pressing trying to get it all back in one play (going deep) twice was not the answer at that time in the game. I feel that Beck needed to get the run game established like they did in the first half but instead he had Martinez out there trying to sling it side line to side line and picking up 3 yards at a time. Hmm, you don’t think one of the three running backs couldn’t do that the way they ran the ball earlier in the game?

Also, can we please stop calling for the option play to be ran? It is not working…

The only good and postive from the offense was in the first half when they ran the ball which setup the touchdown passes from Taylor Martinez to Enunwa and Bell. Once again, RUN THE BALL, to set up the pass.

Defensively, missed open field tackles once again led to big gains for the Bruins. Just like last year, nothing changed. Man to man on the outside, and a d-line that did not get pressure in the second half. Why wasn’t an adjustment made to bring more pressure or play some zone? ADJUSTMENTS is something this team and coaches have been unable to do.

Nebraska wasn’t the only B1G team to look like crap yesterday. Michigan also did not play good. But it was the Huskers who actually got embarrassed and it was the same exact things that have killed them the past two years. It’s time to make adjustments, or it’s time for this staff to move along…


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It was an up and down night in Lincoln for the Cornhuskers as they kicked off the 2013 season against Wyoming on Saturday night. There were times I thought that the guys would go up by 17 or 24 and never look back but a few questionable play calls and a momentum stealing penalty took that thought away. Instead it was Wyoming putting pressure on Nebraska late in the 4th qtr before Nebraska was able to hold on for a 37-34 victory.

Offense:
Bad play call on the 4th and 1 with Martinez who does not run the sneak affectively. Prior to the stoppage it was three runs by Imani Cross for 6, 2 and 1 yards. Why not again or at least a different running back?

If that first down is picked up, this game does not end up as close as it did. Nebraska either score or runs the clock down in my opinion. One bad play call turned this game around.

Out of 85 plays, offensive coordinator Tim Beck called 63 runs. Why not take some shots down the field to Quincy and Kenny? You have a senior quarterback and two senior wideouts that can make big plays. Take a shot once in a while Beck!

It was nice to see true freshman Terrell Newby be affective in the second half. He ran for 76 yards on 15 carries and was explosive. There were a couple of plays that he almost broke for very long runs. He is a nice change of pace back to go along with Ameer and Imani who should only get better.

Speaking of Imani, what a beast running the ball! But please do not run a short pass to him on a 3rd down play Coach Beck!

I sure hope that Taylor Martinez’s shoulder / collar bone is ok. He was never the same after the hit in the third quarter.

Defense:

Oh boy where do we start? I suppose I can start off with a couple of positives before we get into the negatives. Randy Gregory at DE played pretty good for his first d1 game. I still don’t quite understand the “roughing the passer” penalty even though he sacked the Wyoming QB when he still had the ball. Just another “rule” trying to soften up football by the NCAA.

Other positives were Ciante Evans and Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the secondary. Both guys stepped up and had some key plays on defense.

Onto the bad, the d-line and linebackers played like CRAP. Wyoming put up over 600 yards of offense on the “blackshirts” and it all started up front with terrible angles and missed tackles. The front four got pressure against Brett Smith at times but rarely were able to finish the play.

Once again, the line and linebackers look they are rushed and not getting the play call from the sideline fast enough. It looked like they would barely get set and Wyoming was snapping the ball. Things are going to have to fixed in that aspect before UCLA makes their way to Lincoln or it is going to be another long game for Nebraska.

Overall, fans aren’t happy with the performance. Not just by the players but also the coaching staff. They have Southern MIss coming into Lincoln for another night game on Saturday and I sure hope we some improvement from both sides of the ball as well as special teams. (Can’t be missing XP’s) It’s time for the guys to step up and that includes the coaching staff. Man up and dominate the fucking line of scrimmage and control the game for once.


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So things sure didn’t turn out how Coach Pelini, the players or the fans wanted at the end of the season. An embarrassing loss to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship and then a tough battle against Georgia in the Capital One bowl left the Huskers with a 10-4 overall record for the 2012 season. Definitely not where the program needs to be.

It will be interesting to see where the sports betting sites list the Huskers as far as odds go. Are they still a top 3-4 team in the B1G 10? Will the odds be in their favor with the schedule pointing to good opportunities? It will be fun to see where they come out but I would think towards the top but behind Ohio State.

I do like where the offense should be. Plenty of starters are are returning and it will be another year for Tim Beck to grow as an offensive coordinator. Taylor Martinez will be back for his Senior year but will be without Rex Burckhead and the two tight ends Ben Cotton and Tyler Reed.

I am not worried at the running back position. Tight end, it would be nice to see a younger guy show up and take over the spot. The job will be open and a couple of those young guys are going to have to step up. It’s really too bad the coaching staff wasn’t able to reel in a juco tight end commitment.

Where things do get scary is when you look on the defensive side of the ball. I see open competitions at almost every position. Once again, it will be young guys that will have to be plugged in and thrown into the battle early. It’s time to get speed on the field and play the guys that can take good angles and make an open field tackle.

Can the defensive line establish some depth? I sure hope the few juco d-line guys come in in good shape and ready from the get go. We need to see a much improved d-line play and have depth behind them to really control teams in the second half.

So looking back at the 2012 season, there were definitely up and downs. The loss at UCLA hurt, come back wins were nice, but it just wasn’t that dominating season that us Husker fans wanted to see. The 14 points loss to Georgia in the bowl game wasn’t as bad as the score shows so I really hope the guys come into 2013 thinking they can play with anyone. It’s the attitude that they need to win a B1G Championship and win a BCS bowl game.

Let’s hope this is a good offseason with good conditioning and the coaching staff remain in recruiting mode. I can’t wait until Spring ball and then the start of the 2013 season. GO BIG RED!

 


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Head coach Bo Pelini told reporters and his players that they would need to win out to make the Big 10 Championship after they suffered a disappointing loss to Ohio State back on October 6th. That is exactly what the Cornhuskers did as they are headed to the Big 10 Championship to face off against Wisconsin with a berth to the Rose Bowl on the line.

The six game win streak sure didn’t come easy as the guys had to come from behind in the 2nd half and barely escape with wins over Michigan State, Penn State and also Northwestern. This team goes into half time behind on the scoreboard but has had the confidence that things will play out for them in the second half and you have to look at the coaching staff for giving the players that confidence. Bo has so much trust in Taylor Martinez at quarterback and that it trickles down through the rest of the team. The offense knows that that the defense is going to get a stop just like the defense knows that the offense is going to score to win the game. It’s a team working together from the coaching staff down through the players.

So how do I see things playing out Saturday night in Indianapolis? With a healthy Rex Burkhead back I see the running game going for around 150 total yards and Taylor Martinez throwing for over 200 yards on the Badger defense. The one concern I have on offense is the starting center position where Justin Jackson will be out.

On defense I’m hoping that Chase Rome can fill in for Baker Steinkuler who will also be out due to injury. Everyone expects to see Monte Ball carry the ball over thirty times so it’s time to load up that box and stop ball from making big plays. I trust the corners to play one-on-one coverage on the outside and win that battle against the Wisconsin quarterback/receivers.

At the end of the game I see Nebraska winning their first Big 10 Championship by the score of 35-21 and Husker fans booking their second trip of the season to Pasadena.


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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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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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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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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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