Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nebraska Q&A Part One

What are the major strengths of the team?

-Defense. By far. The Pelini Brothers came into Lincoln with the goal to get the defense back to where it was during the glory years of Nebraska Football. It has paid off in spades as it has become the forefront of recruiting and attempting to win games. If not for the defense most of these games the past two years would have been complete disasters (Not saying that the Iowa State game last year wasn’t…) and their system is starting to really show that it works. Defensive back Prince Amukamara is the top player on the defense and is forecasted to be a Top 10 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and I see no reason for him not to be, the only downfall of him is that if they stop throwing to his side it will be hard to show the outside world what he means to the defense. Also look out for Mr. Suh’s replacement Jared Crick to come up huge, a lot of people claim that he got most of his opportunities because of Suh but he is good enough on his own that I feel he can step out from his shadow and adequately fill the giant shoes left behind.

What are the major weaknesses of the team?

-Quarterback Play. (Also the fact that Niles Paul can’t catch a football…) Ignoring what Zac Lee did during the Holiday Bowl, the Quarterbacking last year was atrocious. I know people will argue that the entire offense wasn’t that great, and it wasn’t, but more often than not Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead were getting solid amounts of yardage through the ground and Zac Lee couldn’t answer when he needed to, to the extent of being benched for True Freshman Cody Green at one point in the season. This has to step up, and while the newly instituted “WILD CORN~!” offense with Rex Burkhead lining up behind center will help things, there is no way this team will be as good as it can be without at least marginal quarterbacking from game to game.

Looking at the schedule who will be the first major test?

-At Washington. The third game of the season will be a major test for the highly ranked Cornhuskers as they have to go against Heisman Trophy hopeful Jake Locker. While I do think that Jake Locker is a bit overrated, I can easily see Washington making a game out of this as they did be a solid (albeit depleted) USC team last year at home, and can spring the upset again if in it late. The Pelini’s made Colt McCoy’s life a living hell during last year’s Big XII title game, and this will be their first test without Ndamukong Suh to fall back on.

What team on the schedule do you fear the most?

-Texas. As close as the last three meetings between these two teams have been, and as heartbreaking the losses have all been. (Terrence Nunn’s fumble in 2006, Jamaal Charles’ 216 Yard 4th Quarter in 2007, and the Big XII Championship game last year.) The fact remains that Nebraska is 2-8 against Texas since 1974, and has only beat them once since the Big XII expanded in 1996, (That one time being a neutral site game in the 1999 Big XII Championship.) and winning only one time in Austin in their history. With as much as Bo Pelini wants to claim that “Nebraska is back and we’re here to stay” he needs to beat Texas to have any validity to these statements.

Who is the best player on your team that nobody outside of the state talks about?

-Running Back Rex Burkhead. Once he got injured last year this team’s offense, which was already abysmal, went even further south. While I don’t think he can be an every down running back, the boost he gives this team when he is out there is amazing. He is extremely versatile with what he can do, and makes the offense go in a way that no other player out their can, even starting running back Roy Helu.

More to come…possibly after my next post which will have nothing to do with this one~!


Kevin said...

So is Zac Lee still the QB or did he graduate?

Brandon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brandon said...

Well, technically, he has already graduated but he is still the Quarterback he just didn't play in the Spring Game.

QB Depth Chart looks like this...

Zac Lee

Cody Green

Taylor Martinez (Redshirt Freshman who was hurt last year, but you would think is the second coming of Eric Crouch or Tommie Frazier based on the reaction his Spring Game performance is getting.)

LaTravis Washington (QB turned Linebacker turned QB again...)

Brion Carnes (Tommie Frazier's second cousin, who originally committed to South Florida and then Western Kentucky before coming to Nebraska. I put him fifth since he is likely to Redshirt this season.)

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