Gameday – You’re On Notice v2.0

Once again here are the players or issues that I’m putting on notice for this week’s game. The on notice theme will continue until I get sick of this graphic or style of analysis.

Brett Byford: Zac Taylor’s hands will encroach upon an unfamiliar crotch on Saturday. With Kurt Mann unavailable Byford a junior will make his first career start at center. Byford was a highly regarded recruit who has languished on the sidelines for three years before getting the call. He saw a number of snaps last week and should be a capable fill-in. On another note was anyone else a little creeped out when they kept mentioning that Mann was going to be out due to a “virus”. Why not just say he was ill or under the weather? They made it sound as though he had picked up Ebola or something and that Lincoln was now a “hot zone”.

The Option: In case you haven’t heard Nicholls State runs the option. It will be nice to see the option run again on Tom Osborne field. I doubt, however, that anyone will mistake the Colonels for the TO version Huskers or even a current service academy. I wonder what impact the smaller crown on the field will have.

Cortney Grixby: Last week I highlighted the wrong cornerback. Grixby was expected to be the leader in the secondary this season. Instead his play was reminiscent of his freshman season as he found himself picked on and out of position. This week he will be playing in a more flexible cast so we’ll see if that helps. He will also see less action as Nicholls State is unlikely to throw more than a handful of times.

The Safeties: Like Grixby, the safety position will also not be tested through the air. However, this week provides a perfect opportunity for the safeties to step up in run support. They seemed invisible in both run and pass coverage a week ago. As speedy as Green and Shanle are their performance should be more evident.

Quadzilla?: This was apparently the winning name in a contest to label our talented running backs with an unnecessary moniker. I’m praying to God that this doesn’t stick. I’m afraid, however, that it is lame enough to do just that. Look out L.A., Quadzilla is coming to town! No wonder other teams hate us.

Lydon Murtha: Murtha was supposed to join the likes of Steinkuhler, Rimington, and Shields in carrying on our tradition of outstanding offensive linemen. Instead he seems to be more comfortable in the company of Ben Gessford and Dan Vili Waldrop. He obviously has oodles of potential; unfortunately his greatest display of talent thus far has been his spot-on impersonation of Bill Callahan.

Greatest Fans: With a better than 50% chance of rain and a Division IAA opponent, Husker fans have a chance to demonstrate that they are truly deserving of this title. The lack of TV coverage should help put butts in the seats, but this is certainly a notch or two below UT-OSU. If you don’t have tickets they will be probably be giving them away right before kickoff so take advantage of this rare opportunity.

Comp Exams: If you felt this week represented less than my best efforts on the site, this is my excuse. I took six hours of doctoral qualifying exams yesterday and three more this morning. I am ready to get sloppy drunk, so next week’s excuse will be my roaring hangover.

Random Stuff

•The first Carnival of College Football is out for 2006 and is being hosted by Badger Sports Fan. If you look in the deep thoughts section you will see a previously unreleased post by yours truly (unless of course you’ve been following me for a while and saw it in a previous incarnation). Anyway check it out as there is a lot of good stuff in it.

•Here is the most comprehensive Ohio State – Texas preview you are going to find. It has screenshots of formations and just about anything else you can think of. It was actually a bit too much for me. It was kind of like seeing the man behind the curtain and I like a few surprises.

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