The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Sept. 30, 2002
Let's start with the bare facts. This is the worst Nebraska team
in 40 years. We are getting blown out by mid-level teams. Many of you feel that our demise is a lack of talent. That may be true, but I don't how you would know because of all the mistakes we make. A real talented team would a hard time overcoming the mistakes that we make. We are at a place that honestly I never thought would happen in my lifetime. But clearly this team is worse than any of Tom's or the Bobfather's. This may the poorest-coached team in the country.
In Ames we saw a total breakdown in all phases of the game. And unlike the Penn State game, we were really never in it because we couldn't sustain anything on offense. We ran right into stacked fronts and seemed to have no plan except for screen passes. We opened in the Maryland-I and never ran it again. Audibles were bumbled and covered receivers were thrown to. This offense has looked terrible since the spring and for the second straight game failed to move the ball on a defense that every other team is lighting up. A freshman middle guard is making plays against us. We used to eat those guys up. The defense can't be expected to hold up when they are on the field the whole time. The special teams got a punt block, and Davis broke a couple of long returns. Of course the returns were called back because of another mistake.
On defense they failed to heed my advice and put Groce on Danielsen. So
our second- or third-best corner Ricketts was beaten all day, including on the goal line where Ricketts gives up inside position so Danielsen could score easily on a slant. Who do you think did the best coaching of matching receivers and DB's. We were offside twice on blitzes and Adams gets a bonehead penalty to keep a drive alive. Again we had a very hard time getting aligned. These guys are confused. But to be fair they were on the field the whole game. They get the ball back in the third quarter and right away Lord throws the pick for the game-clinching TD. That is starting to become an every-week event. This defense needs to sit the seniors other than Groce and start to build for next year. Washington played a great game and I believe that Sievers needs to be on the field. He plays smart and with intensity that we need. If Ruud is OK, I would replace Shanle with Sievers on the strong side. I would have liked to see what would have happened had Groce taken away Danielsen. But we arrogantly played our system and ignored the obvious matchups.
I don't know if anything can be done to save this season. But Frank has got to make changes. What can it hurt? We should play the young guys. Wherever it is close, play the young guy. We need fire, and the younger guys might provide it. The thing I would do for sure is a QB change. If nothing else it might spark the team. Lord just doesn't have it. Maybe we should move him to receiver like Notre Dame did with Battle. I would pull Dukes out of redshirt and play him if he is healthy. He is the best QB on the team and is our future. If he is hurt, give Stuntz a try. Lord's problems are not all his fault and he hasn't had much help. But the team isn't responding and we have to try something else. I don't know if this will work to turn this season around, but I fear not, because we are so poorly coached and I think Frank has lost this team.