Monday, September 19, 2005

Odds and ends

In this bye week for Nebraska, a lot of stuff can happen. Mostly, we media-sorts will disect the unbelievable Husker offense (106th in the nation, 12th in the Big 12) and try to figure out why Oklahoma is 1-2. At the very least, NU can hang there hat on still being undefeated.

Post your thoughts in the space and I'll respond the best I can. What do the Huskers need to get figured out (besides where the TE should line up) by October 1st. We'll have some fun the rest of the month.

And how is this for a note of the week:

Texas Tech plays Indiana State on Saturday. The Sycamores are 0-3 this year with a 42-10 loss to St. Francis (IN) who ended the season for Hastings College last year in the NAIA Division II Quarterfinals last year. Is that the best Mike Leach can do? Three 1-AA teams on the non-conference makes me wonder if I should put in a call to the NCAA and see if the Red Raiders need to go 6-2 in the Big 12 to make a bowl. They can only count one of these wins can't they?

Posted by Tony Chapman @ Monday, September 19, 2005 || 1 comments

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Prediction

Ok, here we go. Getting a vibe from the boss man, Terry here is the prediction for today's contest.

This will be an interesting contest. Two teams that are, truly, desparate. 0-fer Pittsburgh needs better play from the quarterback position and Nebraska would just be happy with a touchdown drive for Pete's sake.

Let's go against conventional wisdom and assume everyone will see some points on the scoreboard today. Nebraska 31-21.

Posted by Tony Chapman @ Saturday, September 17, 2005 || 2 comments

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

CNN SI Mailbag

College football writer Stewart Mandel hits Husker coach Bill Callahan and AD Steve Pedersen in his college football mailbag today.

Among other things, Mandel writes, "It's only been two games, and, even though they both ended in Nebraska victories, it's clear Huskers fans are becoming increasingly agitated with second-year coach Bill Callahan. A year after watching his offense bumble its way through the school's first losing season in 43 years, the Huskers' loyal legions -- and lord knows there's a bunch of them -- were hoping for something more encouraging than an average of 273.5 offensive yards -- ranked 99th nationally -- against Maine and Wake Forest."

He's probably got a point. I'd be interested to hear other's takes on this issue.

Posted by Tony Chapman @ Wednesday, September 14, 2005 || 2 comments

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Something funny happened on the way to the Pitt game

Boy, the whole state was looking forward to the Dave Wannstedt, Bill Callahan game and now the Panthers will come to town fresh off a loss to Frank Solich's rag-tag Ohio bunch. Have mercy if the Huskers lose this one on Saturday.

Thoughts from the Stadium: The Nebraska defense is very, very good. It will keep the Big Red in games, as will the much improved special teams units. This defense, through two games, has been nearly perfect. Maine had one play on them and the field goal by Wake Forest was more a product of the Husker offense not being able to run out the clock inside of two minutes in the first half.

Husker fans can hope that Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko isn't saving up his best performance for Memorial Stadium. He has been, quite frankly, awful in his first two starts for the Panthers and had two interceptions returned for touchdowns against Ohio -- including the game winner in overtime.

The Nebraska offense is suspect at best through two contests. They had two drives against Wake in a third quarter that seemed very productive. The hope in Husker camp is that they can build off a decent second half against the Deacons. It will be interesting to see if this happens.

Posted by Tony Chapman @ Saturday, September 10, 2005 || 0 comments

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Thoughts from my couch

If you read my previous post about the five important things we need to know about the team, we may need to re-visit them a bit earlier than I suggested (after the Wake Forest game). That said, the Huskers win last night was no better or worse than any other team in the North. Quite frankly, Colorado may have had the best win of any Big 12 team and OSU only beat Montana St. at home 15-10.

Defense - Let's face it. This crew had it's way with the Bears all night. They scored as much as our offense did and were able to control the game in it's entirety, save for Bryan Wilson's little mistake that momentarily got the Black Bears back in the game. I was certainly excited by the play of Steve Octavien and that will be a tough loss. The play up front of freshman Barry Cryer was a great highlight. He should get more time as the season progresses.

Offense - This was an interesting study in average line play and mishandling the football. To be honest the output from the Nebraska offense was good enough to put up at least three more touchdowns (Ross fumble at the one, Taylor interception, and Hardy drop). The thing we learned though is that Taylor will make much better decisions that will keep us in games -- we may, however, not blow people out all the time. His 15-for-35 night was quite decieving, considering I can count at least seven balls off the top of my head that should have been caught. Marlon Lucky will continue to see more playing time and if Ross can't hang on to the ball, he will be watching. Frantz Hardy was a pleasant surprise and I expect Taylor to lean on him for a bit here in the earlier part of the season.

Special Teams - A much improved unit that will help tremendously with field position this year. Congdon was solid in his first performance, save the missed extra point. Nunn (who I thought was horrible on offense) needs to learn how to carry the ball in the open field or his big returns will mean nothing.

Overall, I expect this team will be able to get buy scoring in the low 20's for a few games before the offense really begins the gelling process. I would think the coaching staff would like to see some improved line play and to mix up the run calls a bit more (how many times can we run draw and toss in the same game??).

On a Saturday that saw Tennessee beat UAB 17-10, Oklahoma lose as home to TCU and Texas A&M lose on the road we can be happy we are 1-0.

Posted by Tony Chapman @ Sunday, September 04, 2005 || 3 comments

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