Judging from class standings, we could expect (way way way way in the future *Chris Berman voice*) a rebuilding offense and a veteran defense when we play them in 2011.
Unofficial Husker Team Preview
In case anyone is wondering what we’re going to get from Nebraska, here’s a quick breakdown of their projected starters, and the outlook for the season.
Nebraska had trouble putting points up against decent opposition. After the Missouri game, they only managed to score more than three TDs in a track meet against Kansas, Colorado and the blowout of Arizona. They do return 10 of 11 starters, so they may be more experienced. How well that will translate to offensive production remains to be seen. They should be able to improve on their 99th ranked offense numbers.
Zac Lee returns for his senior year, giving “senior leadership” and all that’s worth. Cody Green saw some play time last season as a sophomore, and seemed a little more comfortable running something spread-like. IIRC, Lee got benched against Baylor, and Green played well to win 20-10. The fans may be rumbling for Green to see more playing time and if Lee struggles, frequent changes may be possible.
Roy Helu returns, giving a solid rushing attack. He was the 51st ranked back in the nation last year. With one more year of experience, he should have another good year. Rex Burkhead was the #2 rusher. Burkhead was a true freshman, and had 81 carries and 360 yards for the season.
Go-to receiver Niles Paul returns for his senior year. He only caught 4 TDs last year, but the team only threw 16 (which is one more than Michigan). The rest of the receivers are juniors or sophomores, so lots of returning talent.
Except for one red-shirt freshman in the 2-deep, the offensive line is all juniors or seniors. The offensive line averages just under 300 lbs (297.5 going by listed weight), so there’s a lot of mass to go with the experience.
General Defense Right, that guy. The Blackshirts were back, with the #1 scoring defense in D-1. A lot of that is probably due to Suh making opposing offenses into “Ready-Snap-AAAAAHHH!-Throw It Away!” Highly unlikely to have that level of play, given some losses. But, still, a very good, top-twenty level defense?
Jared Crick and Pierre Allen return, but that’s it. The defensive line may be questionable, given the number of underclassmen in the 2-deep. The sophomore replacing Suh has some big shoes (and pants, and shirts) to fill. Allen’s presence at the other end should alleviate some of the load.
DB has the same issues as the DL: lots of underclassmen. Most of them played as freshmen, so they should have some experience, but still a question mark.
Prince Anukamara returns, to the dismay of broadcasters everywhere. Similar to the rest of the defense, they are young, but have played before.
Alex Henery, Nebraska’s Space Emperor is back for his senior year. #47 in punting, #35 in FG. Keep in mind this is on a team that scored 40 TDs, and only gave up 16! For comparison, Michigan scored 46 TDs last season. Niles Paul usually handles return duties. He returned a punt and kick for a TD last season.
Pellini is in his third year, so he should be getting his legs under him and his players on the field. Sound familiar?. The fans like him (anyone is still better than Callahan), but it would be great if they could, you know, score. They’ve won the Big 12 North two years in a row, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason that they won’t win a third, with possibly a Big 12 championship as well.
After kicking the crap out of Arizona in their bowl game last year, Nebraska starts off with Western Kentucky, Idaho and Washington. Not the hardest schedule, but not South Dakota State, either. Oh right, then they play South Dakota State and then have a bye-week. They get Texas, Missouri, and Colorado at home, but have to play Texas A&M and Oklahoma State on the road. No Texas Tech or Oklahoma this year, so the path to a Big 12 championship game is definitely there.
(thanks to http://cfn.scout.com/2/976525.html and http://web1.ncaa.org/football/exec/rankingSummary?year=2009&org=463 for the rosters and stats)
I think this year could be the transitional / rebuilding year for the offense. If Lee and some of the younger backs get on the field, there shouldn't be much of a step down for next year.
should be very interesting to watch. Thanks.
After reading the word "Hello" I became extremely excited.
I then proceeded to the word "Nebraska". Utter disappointment.
edit: Looks like the title was changed. Disregard...
but it's not that funny, so I changed it.
I think their Bo is the best defensive mind in football right now.
I once listened to a 2-hour recording of a coaching clinic speech he gave, while watching accompanying clips of his LSU and Nebraska defenses. I gotta tell ya: I'm not an X's and O's guy, but at the end of his speech, he could have put me at linebacker and I would have been able to do my job. His system is that simple. And it's that good -- there's really no answer to it if run properly except to beat his defensive backs or give your quarterback way more than average time.
Conceptually, it uses Spread philosophy: put guys all over the field, call the play based on the offensive alignment, then dictate where the play will go and end up with more guys there than the offense.
Because of its simplicity, it's impossible to fool them. Watch his LSU teams take on Arkansas when Houston Nutt was running his hurry-up (they would come to the line in formation and snap right away). LSU's defenders were never caught off guard even by that: they simply saw the alignment and everyone knew where to go. No need to even call out: every player just immediately gets to his spot.
Having Suh helps. But I have a ton of respect for Pelini's philosphy. When someone finds a weakness in it, let me know.
I love this phrasing. Make T-shirts that say "Our Bo could beat your Bo", sell them in maize and blue over here and in scarlet and cream over at Corn Nation. It works both ways!
is one hell of a coach. I'd put him right up there with Bud Foster and Will Muschamp for best D coordinators in NCAA.
Darren McFadden and Felix Jones would like a few words with you.
I said the defenders were never caught off guard.
What we had here was a group of very prepared defenders, all properly positioned and on the same page, given the impossible task of actually stopping McFadden.
Okay, still, touché. Really.
But you gotta admit, watching that highlight reel, that McFadden himself created a lot of that offense, splitting defenders, using his speed to simply beat defenders before they could get their "wedge" in place.
As both the Lloyd (arm strength, blocker size, receiver leaping and catching) and Rich Rod (speed, jukes) offensive philosophies both taught us, the defense has never been invented that can make up for clear talent differentials. In other words, having three defenders against two offensive players at the point of attack is preferable, but if the ball carrier is capable of consistently beating two defenders per play, you're still outnumbered.
NU means Northwestern to me...I guess I'll have to adjust.
Jared Crick won't make people forget about Suh, but he's pretty darn good hisself. Just sayin'.