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 a loss.
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 trouble.
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.