Archive for the ‘Game Summaries’ Category

The Alex Henery Variety Hour

November 29, 2008

For all of the Nebraska/Colorado game statistics that you can print off and carry around in your wallet, click here.

It’s 24-17, Bo Pelni, and your kicker is about to attempt a 51 yard field goal to possibly put your team up 10 at a half and grab what little momentum there was. Sure you want to fake it with kicker Alex Henery throwing to TE Mike McNeill? “I felt like we were in control and then I made the boneheaded call. I would have been kicking myself for a long time,” Pelini said. “I felt like the game changed when I made that call. I’m a grown man. I made a mistake. I made a bad call. I got greedy at that point.” Yep.

It’s 4th and 25, Shawn Watson, and your team is down 31-30 with under two minutes to go. What play ya got? “I had none,” Watson said. “I said, ‘Bring on Alex.'” Said Pelini, “I wanted him (Alex Henery) to look me in the face and tell me he had it in him.” Said Henery, “I have to admit I was a little iffy. I knew it was a long ways, and there wasn’t much wind. I knew I’d have to hit it real well.”

Kick it 57 yards with one yard to spare and we’ll all go home happy. It’s good to be Alex Henery.

For Pelini’s press conference, click here.
For Henery’s press conference, click here.

Ndamukong Suh had 3 tackles before his game clinching interception for a touchdown yesterday in what could have been an extraordinary grand finale at Memorial Stadium.

Suh’s 2008 Statistics

  • 68 Tackles (leads team)
  • 15 Tackles For Loss (leads team)
  • 5.5 Sacks (tied for team lead)
  • 2 INT (tied for team lead)
  • 2 Defensive TDs (leads team)
  • 6 QB Hurries (tied for team lead)
  • 1 Forced Fumble (tied for 2nd)
  • 1 Blocked Kick (tied for 2nd on team)
  • 3 Pass Break-Ups (tied for 8th on team)

If Suh decides to return for his senior season at Nebraska, I, for one, will be shocked. Before the season, had Suh projected as a 3rd round pick for the 2009 draft. His downside according to the site is, “coming off of knee surgery.” I don’t think the knee is much of an issue anymore. Suh should be a lock for 1st Team All-Big XII and should receive numerous nominations for post-season honors, all of which will enhance his name recognition amongst draft scouts.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Suh lately. Is he the best true DT Nebraska has ever had? Steve Warren? Christian Peter? John Parrella? Danny Noonan? Rich Glover? Larry Jacobson? The answer is not quite yet. However, if he so decides to return for his senior season, he will be a front runner for the Outland Trophy – which would be Nebraska’s NCAA leading 8th if he could win. I guess a better question is will Suh be the best DT Nebraska has ever had to play in the NFL? I think there is a good chance.

For Suh’s press conference, click here.

I’m ready for a new era at QB to begin in Lincoln as my honeymoon with Joe Ganz at QB has officially ended. Ganz has done great things in his short tenure as the starting QB and the statistics can surely back that up (product of system???). However, I really think Watson’s play-calling is severely hindered by the fact that he has a QB that can’t throw the ball 20 yards down field. When it was 4th and 25 late in the game, you knew, I knew, and Watson knew Ganz couldn’t throw ball 25 yards for a first down. Furthermore, that situation never should have presented itself if Ganz doesn’t take a sack on 2nd and short with your team in field goal range to win the game. Moreover, that situation doesn’t present itself if Ganz doesn’t fumble the ball on 3rd and Goal the previous possession. Senior leaders on good teams should not be making mistakes like this.

Next year, Patrick Witt will be a sophomore, Zac Lee will be a junior, and Cody Green will be a freshman. It’s going to be an interesting debate as to who will be and who should be the starter come September 2009. It’ll be even more interesting seeing who the starter is come November 2009. If Witt or Lee isn’t heads and tails above the others, then good luck in dealing with this soap opera next year, Coach Watson. It’s good to know, however, that the scouting reports say that all three of these guys can throw the ball down the field 10 yards with both feet planted, which should open up your playbook.

For Ganz’ press conference, click here.

There’s Always Next Year…

November 2, 2008

I have no idea why I decided to come back after that disaster, but what the hell. Here are some thoughts and impressions following another laugher on national television.

• Bo is the mouthpiece for the program this week, barring players and assistants from speaking to the media. I’m fine with this. The players should be focusing on improvement, rather than manufacturing worthless quotes that will get bantered around message boards for the next few weeks. In addition, I’ve already heard enough talking, and a real lack of intensity to back things up.

• Sticking with Bo failing to give access to the media following the game: Isn’t it time the media actually did their job? Instead of asking questions, like “what happened in the first quarter?” Why don’t they get on the phone to the Big 12 office and figure out why we can’t get a break from the refs. Most importantly find out why the fumble on the punt return in the Baylor game was so eff’d up by both the on-field officials and the replay booth! The Big 10 has actually started implementing some accountability for their officials. Guess what? That was the result of media pressure the past few seasons.

• Shawn Watson is taking a lot of heat today. I didn’t like the first play of the game and it was eerily reminiscent of the first offensive snap in the 2006 Big 12 Championship Game that resulted in a Mo Purify fumble and easy score for OU. But I didn’t see much else that I disagreed with in terms of playcalling. No offensive coordinator has an answer when you’re down 21-0 before your 3 offensive snap and down 28-0 before your 6th offensive snap.

• Roy Helu looked like one of only two players on our roster that had the talent to stay on the field with OU. I would say Suh was the other one that belonged out there last night.

• The continued mental errors are absolutely infuriating. These should have been ironed out weeks ago. This reflects poorly on our coaching staff. I love Bo, but I’ve been worried since day one about the inexperience on his staff (especially defensively). I mean is there a more inexperienced staff in the country? And do Ekeler and Papuchis really belong on a Big 12 staff at this point in their careers?

• How do I know our staff is inexperienced? 10 guys on the field, 12 guys on the field. 3 time outs used in the first quarter, etc.

• I thought Joe Ganz played really poorly Saturday. He looked scared even before kickoff. He’s like the prototypical “streak shooter” in basketball. He’s really only as good as his last pass.

• It was nice to see us rotate in some young guys in the fourth quarter. I’d like to see more of them from here on out. I want us to become bowl eligible, but I also want us to be better next season. Some of these guys have been making the same mistakes for far too long. *cough* Asante *cough*

• People have continually tried to argue with me that there is talent on this team. Stop letting Rivals tell you who is talented and watch the game on the field. Other than Kansas State and Iowa State every Big 12 team has more true playmakers than we do. Yes, even Baylor.

• Which team shows up against KU? The one that had Texas Tech on the ropes, or the one we’ve seen against Missouri and Oklahoma. If it’s the latter, I seriously worry about the future of our program. At the very least we have to start winning every game we are supposed to and start stealing a game or two per year that we’re not supposed to. Otherwise, we’ll be looking up at teams like Ole Miss in the very near future.

Nebraska vs. Iowa State Recap

October 18, 2008

  • Iowa State is bad. After starting the season 2-0, it is quite likely they will lose 10 consecutive games. In fact, the Cyclones have allowed Joe Ganz and Baylor QB Robert Griffin (who we will see next week) to complete 48 of 61 passes the past two weeks.
  • The last two games have converted me from a Shawn Watson hater to a Shawn Watson fan. Once again, the Husker offense looked great. 220 yards rushing and 328 yards passing is more than ideal – it’s perfect. I’m ecstatic that he doesn’t run the ball on every 1st down anymore – down to about 95% of the time now. How about 37:11 for time of possession?
  • I still want to see Patrick Witt or Zac Lee get some playing time. Remember when Osborne used to always play the second string QB for at least one series in the second quarter? At least a series here or there or at least even in mop up duty is all I’m asking. Don’t ignore next year.
  • Why it took Marlon Lucky three years and 5 games to finally break out is baffling. Once again, he looked great. I still want to see Quentin Castille regain that weight he lost and I still want to see more of Marcus Mendoza. I loved it when Lucky lined up at QB before his second touchdown run. With his ability to throw, I wouldn’t mind seeing Lucky play some more at QB ala Darrenn McFadden. The ‘Wild Hog’ could be interesting to see as the season goes on. Could this new offensive scheme make its coming out party in Norman?
  • Most likely, the only remaining game this year Nebraska will be an underdog in will be at Oklahoma. (It’s hard for me to imagine in 3 weeks Kansas being favored in Lincoln.) Every other game besides the Oklahoma game on the schedule is a game I think we should win. If we do win all but the Oklahoma game, that would put us at 8-4 on the year. If you told me 8-4 in August I would have been on the ground.
  • Besides the debacle that was the Missouri game, every week the Huskers have shown signs of improvement on both sides of the ball. Offense is balanced, the defense has stopped spitting on people, and our team as a whole has stopped throwing footballs at the other team during warm-ups. The only thing I am still hung up on is penalties. I’m not willing to call 4 penalties for 45 yards a victory in that department quite yet.

Virginia Tech Post-Game Thoughts

September 28, 2008

· Frustration, frustration, frustration.

· Is there anything more cliché than having a punt blocked by Virginia Tech?

· One major positive was the crowd, which appeared to be at a “big game” level. Unfortunately the team didn’t match their standards.

· Running game – broken record. The play action passes to McNeill were there until Nebraska proved it wasn’t a consistent threat to run the ball.

· The past four years have been full of frustration. But the most enduring image has been watching Marlon Lucky spend his career running up the backs of his offensive linemen. Does anyone really still believe he should be much more than a situational back?

· Ganz didn’t play well. Tyrod Taylor did. That was the major difference in the game.

· Speaking of Ganz, I’m a little concerned about a new habit he is developing. The drop back and run toward the LOS like he’s tossing a javelin isn’t going to be successful. The ball will have a tendency to float and we’ll see more and more balls glance off our receivers and into the hands of defenders. That’s if he doesn’t continue to get penalized for crossing the LOS before throwing.

· I told my dad during the bye week that Missouri would beat us worse than a year ago. That was based more on what I had seen from their offense than on our own performances. I stand by that statement and now imagine more of you are hitching yourself to that wagon this morning.

· Where are our athletes? Outside of Nate Swift and Roy Helu I have trouble identifying any truly Big 12 caliber performances.

· Ndamukong Suh meet LeKevin Smith.

· Nebraska’s defense put on a clinic last night. Unfortunately the clinic topic was “how to lose outside containment”.

· Worse stream of obscenities from me last night came when Larry Asante failed to get himself to the area vacated by a blitzing Armando Murillo resulting in a big gain. Where did he think Taylor was going to go with that ball? Anticipation, please.

· But I also wonder if Asante has some sort of peripheral vision issue after watching him let the VT player run right by him on the punt block. Beau Davis could have done that much.

· Under Callahan we seemed to have receivers running open all day long. We just lacked a QB to get the right guy the ball consistently. Last night I didn’t see a lot of open receivers. Is VT’s secondary that talented? We better hope so, or we are in deep trouble.

· Most common words I uttered while watching, “This is the gameplan we got on both sides of the ball with two weeks of preparation?”

· I’d love us to have a running game, but I’m apparently more easily frustrated than Watson. If we can’t move the ball on the ground consistently let’s try the short passing game. It’s not really playing to Ganz’s strengths, but I’m a realist when it comes to our offensive line.

· You don’t develop depth on the defensive line by having the backups sit on the bench. As it stands, teams are going to continue to wear us down late in games. Besides it’s not like the starters are lighting teams up.

· Ok, that’s enough for now. I need to call in my prescription for Prozac.