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2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby knapplc » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:07 pm

You guys might not have heard, but the Big 10 expanded and next year Nebraska will join. Just thought I'd toss that out there first in case you didn't know. O:-) :-b

That's the backdrop for Nebraska's 2010 season, and (to me) explains the Huskers' biggest offseason decision: Giving the starting QB job to Redshirt Freshman Taylor Martinez. In 2009 Zac Lee was Nebraska's QB, and although he was injured (elbow ligament) and our O Line was a disaster of injuries and inconsistency, the decision was made to put the ball in the hands of Martinez, a bona fide playmaker.

TMart's got the ability to make magic happen when the play breaks down. He's billed as a dual-threat QB but he's mostly a running QB with the ability to pass. He's not a true passer. Comparisons are tough at this point, but he's similar to Pat White from W Virginia a couple of years ago. We'll see if he lives up to those descriptions, but he's looked good in our Spring Game and in Game 1 against the worst team in Div 1A football this year.

The Huskers have a rebuilt O Line this year with plenty of depth, if not experience. We are pretty legitimate two-deep right now, but our second unit features all Freshmen and Redshirt Freshmen, so they're inexperienced. We have a couple of decent WRs in Niles Paul and Brandon Kinnie, and we converted our best TE, Mike McNeill, to WR this summer, but with a QB that's run-first it's hard to say how much they’ll be involved. Paul has true talent, but he's a bonehead and he tends to fumble. A lot. In crucial situations.

On Defense the Huskers lost our strength right up the middle of the field: Ndamukong Suh, LB Philip Dillard, and both starting Safeties, Larry Asante and Matt O'Hanlon. All four were solid players and will be missed. Suh will be missed on the line, but we've got talent coming into the gap. Baker Steinkuhler will take over for Suh alongside Jared Crick, Suh's DT partner from last season. Pierre Allen anchors one DE spot while Cameron "The Stache" Meredith holds down the other. However, when these boys get tired we bring in the next line, featuring DTs Terrance Moore and Thad Randle and DEs Josh Williams and Jason Ankrah, all four of whom could start on about 90% of the teams in Div1A. We may have lost Suh, but overall we're in good shape on the line.

LB is where we're hurting right now. We lost our two starting LBs in fall camp, Sean Fisher (out for the season) and Will Compton (out 4-6 games). In their place we're starting Alonzo Whaley, a demon of a LB who just needs to get comfortable making alignment calls, and LaVonte David, a JUCO transfer who was lighting everyone up in Fall Camp. Game One showed that David is a baller, and could be a difference-maker along the lines of Demorrio Williams. We'll see.

Nebraska will run a new defense this year, the "Peso," which we're able to do thanks to the hybrid nature of Eric Hagg, a SR who's able to play up front against the run and switch to a DB role on the fly. We're pretty much set at CB with Prince Amukamara (who has NFL scouts drooling) and Alonzo Dennard, a shutdown corner about as good as Amukamara. At Safety we start PJ Smith, a Sophomore with game-breaking skills, and DeJon Gomes, who can take over a game in the blink of an eye.

With Bo Pelini guiding the defense, it should come as no surprise that I'm unconcerned about the defense.

Nebraska's schedule sets up nicely to get Martinez' feet wet easily. We already beat up on W. Kentucky, and we follow that up with Idaho, @Washington, then back home again for S. Dakota State. The gloves come off when the Big 12 season starts, but by then Martinez will have become acclimated to the game and should be OK. Freshman mistakes will happen, sure, but I think his game-changing ability will balance that out.

Let me know if you have any questions. :-]
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby knapplc » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:00 am

Three cupcakes into the season, and we know one thing - Nebraska's offense can run the ball. We have a lot better O Line this year, and we have a QB who can run like the wind. When you key on him he hands it off on the Zone Read to Roy Helu or Rex Burkhead, either of whom can rip up a defense. Niles Paul is a known talent at WR, as is Mike McNeill, but now we have Brandon Kinnie who lit up Washington for 100 yards receiving joining the show.

On defense we're doing about as expected. Had a couple of mental lapses that led to a couple of TDs by Washington (a blown coverage being the most glaring), but otherwise the Blackshirts are doing what they normally do - wrecking seasons for opposing QBs. First it was Nate Enderle for Idaho, most recently it was the end of Jake Locker's Heisman run.

The worst part about Nebraska so far is this horrifically weak OOC schedule. It was set up several years ago by former (fired) AD Steve Pederson to get some cheap wins for former (fired) HC Bill Callahan. It's an embarrassment. Sagarin has our SOS at 111th, and it's going to drop this week when we play Div II creampuff South Dakota State. Ugh.
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby AquaMan2342 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:12 am

I've seen a lot of bad Washington teams beat a lot of good teams up in Seattle though. Rarely do they get destroyed at home like they did Saturday. I think Nebraska is at least partially for real and by that I mean a NC contender.
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:40 pm

Everything was clicking Saturday and the team as a whole continues to improve. Very impressed by this offense. A multi-talented QB who might be the best RB on the field, a big play receiver (Paul), a big target at WR (Kinnie), a (finally) reliable TE (McNeill), and that 1-2 punch of Helu and Burkhead (those YPC are insane!), two different running styles from the RB position, all equates to a pretty intimidating offense. That's not to mention everything thing that makes it happen. A much improved O-Line. Special teams and defense continue to be strengths as well. With Texas and Oklahoma looking very vulnerable after 3 games, there is a very real possibility that the Skers can make a big splash in national contention.
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby knapplc » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:06 pm

I can't take credit for these stats. I pulled them from another board, but they were so fun that I thought I'd share:

The last six future NFL or NFL "prospect" QBs to face the Blackshirts:

Blaine Gabbert. 17-43 134 yds. 0td 2int.
Landry Jones. 26-58 248 yds. 0td 5int.
Colt McCoy 20-36 181 yds. 0td's 3int.
Nick Foles. 6-20 28 yds. 0td 1 int.
Enderle 16-31 141 yds. 1td 5int
Jake Lockear 4-20 71 yds. 1 td 2int.

In those six games, these QBs have thrown two (2) total TD passes. They've also thrown three (3) pick-sixes to our defense.


Throw at your own risk vs. the Blackshirts. :-]


EDIT - this is what I get for copying someone else's work. Amongst those games he listed, he conveniently forgot about Texas Tech's Sheffield, who shredded us for 23/32 234 yds, 1TD, 0int. That was a crap game. At home, too.

So six out of the last seven we faced looked like crap. That Steven Sheffield is GOLD, though. :-S
Last edited by knapplc on Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:11 pm

Awesome.
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby knapplc » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:16 pm

I hope everyone takes some time out Thursday night to watch Nebraska take on Kansas State in Manhattan on ESPN. Nebraska is 5-0 all time on Thursday night games.

:-]
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby Omaha Red Sox » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:55 pm

The Big Red in the Little Apple once again.
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby Metroid » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:55 pm

Oh I'll be watching, I don't miss much college football. B-)

Hell I just watched Troy vs. Mid Tennessee tonight. :-B
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Re: 2010 Nebraska Thread

Postby knapplc » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:24 am

I love Tuesday Night Football! Those Sun Belt games are better than watching anything on network TV, that's for sure.
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