So we have seen what Nebraska looks
like when we play an entire game without the defense scoring. It’s
not very reassuring. In fact, it is the stuff of ulcers.
I may be reading through the lines a bit here, but
when Callahan says “We know we’re not where we need to
be” on offense…repeatedly…it sounds like he’s
mentally playing for next year (or maybe two years from now). That
concerns me. To which he’d probably say, “I understand
the fans are concerned,” and then not much else.
Now I realize I’m just one fan who happens to
write commentary, but I wish the coaches would set aside the Taylor
experiment for now and just go with Beck (or Ganz) at QB--at least
for awhile. Taylor may be better than the others at the moment, but
so what? Our offense can’t get much worse. And, at the very
least, it might light a fire under him. I think he had the fire at
one time, but it hasn’t seemed to be there since he won the
job and Dailey transferred. The problem isn’t just Taylor, but
the offense needs a spark. (Tommie Frazier even said as much recently.)
If Callahan is indeed looking at his offense as a long-term, work-in-progress,
why not roll the dice with a younger QB? We aren’t exactly playing
like championship material this year.
And enough already with the tight ends shifting all
over the place before the snap. Who is this fooling? We either get
a penalty, or a six-yard completion on third and 13. Woohoo. Until
we get Herian back, why bother? Do defenses really care that much
where our tight ends are lined up? It is somewhat amusing to see Norvell
quit sugar-coating things and finally admitting how bad our offense
looks. Corey Ross says that the offense is “close.” I
like and respect Ross, but what the offense actually seems close to
is costing us some games.
Our one glaring defensive weakness, the inexperience
at cornerback, was exposed somewhat by Pitt. We’re lucky Pitt
wideout Greg Lee didn’t see our safety on the one play where
he beat Grixby deep, otherwise I’d probably be writing about
We’re about as unimpressive a 3-0 Nebraska team
as any I’ve seen. Somehow I get the sense we aren’t going
to make it through the next two home games undefeated. Unless something
changes. Teams that have an okay passing game like Pitt (or a better
one), combined with a fast running back (i.e., Texas Tech’s
Taurean Henderson), are going to have success against us. All they
have to do is figure out a way to not take as many sacks. We got a
glimpse of the Cosgrove of 2004 near the end of the Pitt game. His
going to the “prevent D” almost cost us. (Actually, it
did cost us, but special teams saved the day.)
A high-five for Adam Ickes. The solid play of Muhammad,
Carriker, and Ross made it possible for Ickes to play the hero. Nunn
continues to be great in the punt return game.
All told, it was a whopping one point better than
a winless team playing on the road, coached by a man who was run out
of one more NFL team than our coach. What more can you say? NU is
undefeated after nonconference play but still can’t get a single
vote in either poll. Regrettably, it’s hard to disagree with
the pollsters right now.
I hope we come out with a sense of urgency against
Iowa St. If we don’t, we’re toast. The Clones have a mobile
QB (who torched us last year), a good RB, and solid receivers. Their
defense has eleven players, so they’ll probably give us some
Here’s hoping two weeks preparation time gives
our offense some semblance of a lift, before it’s too late.
The voice of Scarlet Commentary is Jeffrey A. Leever, a Nebraska native also stuck behind enemy lines in Jefferson County, Colo. He is a 1994 graduate of the University of Nebraska (Kearney) and a freelance writer and author. Some of Jeff’s writings of the nonfootball kind can be found online at Barnes & Noble (1, 2), Amazon.com (1, 2), and MenofIntegrity.net (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.