Start time for Northwestern game has been announced and will kickoff at noon on either ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2. Glad because the Nebraska/Penn State game will kick at 3:30 and I'll be rooting hard for Penn State!
I just had a question from Saturday that puzzled me. I'm not questioning Denard's toughness or the seriousness of the injury just don't really understand the ramifications of a nerve problem. Maybe someone has some experience with the unjury or was there and knows better, but this is what I saw and then heard from Hoke.
1. Denard gets hurt.... some sort of nerve thing where he has trouble gripping the ball.
2. Denard stands on the sideline with a big coat on.
3. Hoke says he kept checking with trainer and Denard said he can't grip the ball well enough to play.
If the trainers didn't see the injury as serious enough to rule him out shouldn't he have been in the training room getting some treatment? Not sure what they could do to help a nerve situation but standing in the freezing cold couldn't have been helping it.
Is the injury something that can be numbed? Denard didn't look in too much pain on the sidelines. Would playing Denard at qb and having him not pass been a better solution? Obviously, in hindsight it could not have been worse. Just saying at the time I wonder if it was something they discussed.
Maryland loses their fourth quarterback of the year. The options - converted linebacker or converted tight end.
I might never complain about injury to Michigan players again. What are the chances this could happen?
Brian's alter-ego/literary device paid me a visit prior to the game. Here's a transcript of our discussion.
Who do we play this week?
The corn guys, from out west.
You mean Iowa?
No, the other corn team, the one that wears red and white and is famous for their huge offensive lines.
Oh, Wisconsin. Gotcha.
No, no, NU.
The team that recently joined the conference.
Oh yeah, we are Penn Shhhtate.
No, think of the other one, that has a less than stellar academic reputation.
Of course, Michigan State!
No, the guys with the black shirt defense.
I give up.
So the point of all that is it's my way of saying that we are still learning about Nebraska. Obviously, there is the corn. The telecast showed us one of their mascot things making corn angels (like snow angels, but with corn) and wandering through a corn maze.* It's quite obvious why Nebraskans are so taken with Nebraska football, it's because that is their only respite from all that corn.
Growing up, I learned about all the great football rivalries, with Michigan-Ohio State topping them all. Nebraska-Oklahoma was next, right up there with USC-UCLA and Auburn-Alabama. Then, the Big 8 became the Big 12 and they tried to start a new rivalry with Colorado. That didn't work out because Colorado is a tire fire. Nebraska then joined the Big 10 and were rivalried up with Iowa (corn vs. corn! It's cornageddon!)
But you can't force a rivalry. Our biggest rival is Ohio State because of Bo and Woody, and all the history of The Game. However, after two seasons of Nebraska being in the B1G, it's becoming apparent to me at least, that you can add Nebraska to a list that includes Ohio State, MSU, ND, and, in their own minds at least, Illinois. Our division is going to come down to us vs. Nebraska more times than not, if past is prelude. And that means, prepare yourself for another rivalry game.
* Sparties have a bumper sticker that reads, "You call it maize, we call it corn." With Nebraska, it reads, "You call it maize, we call it our entire life." If you will,
Nebraskans: corn :: Native Americans: buffalo.
It's that time of year when people watch horror flicks, like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Children of the Corn. In that spirit, I present to you another horror flick.
Burst of Impetus
* So we've got this quarterback who is pretty good, maybe you've heard of him, Denard Robinson. Well, he got hurt. Game over.
* Except it wasn't game over if someone could have stepped up and made a play. Returned a kick, made a pick-six, caused a FF on a sack, or just caught a pass from Bellomy, anything. It seems like when Denard went out, the air went out of the bubble.
* 21 players registered in the defensive stats, lead by Kenny Demens with 10 tackles.
* After taking the last two weeks off, Gordon and Kovacs were back in the top 5 for tackles.
* We had 6 TFLs after not getting any against STAEE. Roh definitively proved that he cannot be blocked by a RB, as he picked up the running back, carried him to the QB and sacked both players.
* We had zero QHs. Note to self: Must get MOAR PASS RUSH.
* Dare I say it, Jake Ryan appeared human, with almost as many missed tackles as tackles.
* Denard was on pace for a nice day, 10 carries for 46 yards and 6 of 11 passing for 55.
* In times of trouble, I try to find the silver lining. Bellomy did hit some receivers in their hands, but no one stepped up to help him out. And then he panicked and all heck broke loose. The less said the better.
Bunches of Funchess
* If Gardner is going to continue running backwards and not jumping for jump balls, and Denard is battling some on-going arm issue, it's about time to move Devin back to QB.
* Funchess nor Dileo caught a pass.
* Bellomy threw a pass a little behind Funchess. Another foot to the right and the Belches era* would have started with a TD pass. Instead, all we got was this:
And Justice for Rawls
* For the 2nd week in a row, no Rawls or Hayes. Perhaps I broke this out a season too early.
* Fitz had what is now, unfortunately, his routine day, 15 carries for 38 yards and a long of 9.
* Gallon had a few end arounds for 17 yards.
Norf and Souf
* Gallon doinked a punt return off his helmet, which caused us to start a drive at our own 1. It was a line drive punt, so if he just lets it go, it likely is a touchback.
* Wile missed a 53 yarder, so Gibbons got the next shot at 52 yards. I thought we learned that his range was only 44 yards. Gibbons is the man.
* NU was penalized 8 times for 104 yards. We were hit with only 3 for 44, and yet, I think that was a horribly officiated and replay officiated game.
* Roy Roundtree caught a 55 yard pass that was overruled. I did not see a conclusive replay showing the ball wobbling when it hit the ground.
* But even if Roy's catch was not a catch, by that standard how in hell was Bellomy's first INT not overruled? If the refs are correct, I'm supposed to believe that the ball hit Vincent Smith's hands which are apparently made of stone, causing the ball to deflect six feet in the air? I mean, there's no chance that ball hit the turf? None?
* Last week I complained about the refs not calling pass interference. Forget I said anything. In this game, if you looked cross-eyed at a WR it cost you 15 yards.
* I will credit the refs with nailing Neb twice for helmet shots. One was so egregious that it ripped the N off the NU player's helmet (but according to him, he hit the WR with his shoulder pad.)
I’ll Take Bullets for a Thousand, Alex
* As bad as we played, the first downs were close, 20-18 in favor of Nebraska. Of course, 6 of our first downs came from Nebraska penalties.
* Nebraska's 20 1st downs translated to 326 total yards, we managed 188 total yards. At least we were efficient with our first downs. Why get 20 or 30 yards when you only need 10?
* We won the TOP, 31:36 to 28:24. Yippee. We did control the clock early, and I was expecting that to pay off in the fourth quarter when we should have been able to grind down their defense, but then, you know, Denard got hurt.
* H/T my brother, who really should be writing this instead of me.
Hoke is not the one to take anything public regarding his concerns, and I thought Rich Rod's willingness to throw specific help at least near the bus if not completely under it was his worst quality and not the way to go about business. That being said, Borges has to be a concern at this point. His seat may not be hot yet, but it needs to be warm at a minimum. Regardless of who you have running your offense, and regardless of if he isn't your dream come true, your schemes at least need to make sense, to somebody, anybody. I have taken Brian's concerns with Borges a little sarcasticly to date, but I have to say I am concerned that portions of what I am seeing border on incompetence, and they are being accepted as the status quo.
I am not going to debate that Borges has impressed me from time to time with specific calls, but the number of times that his offensive philosophy against specific defenses has been outright baffling is too many to count on one hand now, and I think it is more than just a side note at this point. I understand that Denard going down was a blow, but backup quarterbacks can be remotely effective, and at least not outright humiliating as was the case last night. Bellomy was never rumored to be John Elway, but at the same time I don't think anybody took him for a fish out of water when he came in. True, our offensive line is not record breaking, but we are not converting defensive lineman for god's sake, this line is nobody's leftovers, they are a pretty solid group.
Hoke hired Borges in 08, and Borges' offenses at SDSU were solid enough, but I don't know if Hoke is married enough to Borges that he is in untouchable territory. Shane, along with the best offensive lineman class in the history of the world are certainly reason for optimism, but I have to say that Borges should be answering for something right now. I am not expecting the best show on turf here, I am just asking for a little rhyme and reason, and perhaps that there is a Plan B available in the case Denard cannot go. An injury to your starting quarterback is tough, but not tough enough to look like a fairly competitive high school team in the aftermath. I have been a Borges supporter, but last night was alarming even before Denard's injury.
Here's to hoping that this offense can get right before it ventures to Horseshoe, because the cat is out of the bag, this offense in ineffective right now, and I think it is acheiving beneath its personnel. Am I seeing this clearly, or is this misplaced? I would love to know.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said running back Marcus Lattimore had his right knee dislocated against Tennessee, and the injury is something he can come back from to play football again.
Spurrier said the injury was significant, but discounted speculation Lattimore never would play football again. Lattimore has not used a redshirt season so he could take as long as necessary to recover and still return to the Gamecocks for the 2014 season.
It's too bad for this guy and hopefully he can bounce back from it. It's pretty crazy they are already ruling out a return for the 2013 season and talking about redshirting. I'm obviously not a doctor, but there's still 10 months to go until that season starts.