Well, we have discovered an undisclosed
perk to Callahan’s 2005 version of the West Coast offense: Getting
off the field quickly so the defense can come out and score.
The Wake game has motivated me to do something I rarely
do, which is write a short column. Honestly, there weren’t that
many differences between what happened here and what happened in game
The punt returns
were worse, which isn’t good. (Why do the coaches send Grixby
out there to fumble again when Nunn was much better against Maine?)
On the good side, Ross didn’t fumble, which is what you expect
out of your senior RB and team captain. It was good to see him get
the one long run, because other than that, the running game is underwhelming.
In the passing game, the offense could use some better protection
and fewer dropped passes. Although he did have the one TD pass to
Hardy, Taylor seems to get worse the closer he gets to the goal line.
He continues to play at times like a player “surprised”
by the speed of opposing defenses. One might harbor a disturbing suspicion
that that could prove to be a problem once he faces a good
I heard from a fan last week who enlightened me that
the reason our offense looked so…uh, “conservative”
against Maine was because we were saving our good stuff for later.
We must still be saving it. I eagerly await this promised development.
On defense, our linebackers still rock, and the line
wreaks major havoc. We’re going to continue to need this kind
of play, because--barring improvement from the offense--right now
it’s the only legitimate hope the team has for a good season
this year. The run support from Bullocks against Wake was about as
good as I’ve ever seen out of a Husker safety--and that’s
saying a lot. The coverage ability of the rest of the secondary continues
to look like our one defensive weakness.
Who’d have thought Pitt would be winless coming
in? Not the folks at ABC, that’s for sure. Pitt was actually
ranked at the beginning of the year, and now they look…worse
than us. Imagine that. Solich took Ohio-level talent and beat them.
You’d think Callahan could take Nebraska-level talent and win,
too. You’d think…
The outcome of this game depends on if we get an angry,
determined version of 0-2 Pitt, or a downtrodden version. Their QB
had a nightmare game against us last year, but then went on to have
a very good season against nearly everyone else. Can our D pressure
him silly again? This is what needs to happen, if we are to come out
on top again. The game against Pitt was uncomfortably close last year,
with a gift pass interference call kinda bailing us out at the end.
This weekend is the first in a three-game stretch
of our schedule that gets progressively harder (with Iowa St., and
then Texas Tech). Taylor better get the offense moving more smoothly
or Ganz won’t just be warming up on the sideline because of
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.