Articles by Tad Stryker

Stryker: Frost embraces risk by ramping up full-speed contact in practices

6/3/18 | Tad Stryker
Some would say Scott Frost took a risk leaving Orlando for Lincoln. After all, he walked away from a place where he enjoyed quick and profound success to pursue deeper challenges doing battle in the Big Ten for his alma mater, where expectations will always be higher than at UCF. So it’s no surprise seeing Frost embrace risk in another…

Stryker: Dixon represents movement toward speed on defense

5/17/18 | Tad Stryker
On Sept. 22, when Shea Patterson starts at quarterback for Michigan, he’ll see a former Ole Miss teammate on the other side of the ball. Breon Dixon will line up at outside linebacker for Nebraska in front of a full house in the Big House, likely as a starter. Patterson and Dixon are the most recent Southern players to head…

Stryker: Four quarterbacks show promise as sun rises on Frost era

4/21/18 | Tad Stryker
Scott Frost’s homecoming checked most, if not all, the boxes that Nebraska fans hoped it would. New offense on display. Energy and enthusiasm galore. No serious injuries. A bunch of 2019 recruits in the house. And Frost, the man himself, on the sidelines. Well, not exactly on the sidelines. Frost spent most of his day in the middle of the…

Stryker Pregame Perspective: Signs of Spring

4/21/18 | Tad Stryker
A four-game losing streak to finish a dismal 4-8 season predicted  a long, cold winter for Nebraska football fans, and that’s exactly what we got, although the hiring of Scott Frost infused enough energy into Husker Nation to prompt the first-ever sellout for the spring game. So to get a jump on what Cornhusker fans are thinking these days, I…

Stryker: Rumors of Frost power infusion have nation talking Huskers

4/19/18 | Tad Stryker
It’s still too early to say Nebraska football is nationally relevant again. That has to be earned on the football field, something that cannot possibly happen for at least five months. And it’s premature to say the Cornhuskers are ready to contend for the Big Ten West title this fall. But it’s time to say that Nebraska will be taken…

Stryker: Unity, toughness, NFL-style versatility will transform Nebraska under Frost

3/27/18 | Tad Stryker
Nebraska football fans look back with fondness at the careers of Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah, as well they should. Burkhead’s combination of toughness and versatility have been hard to recapture since he left at the end of the 2012 season. Abdullah’s ability to compensate for a subpar offensive line and make defenders dizzy with devastating jump cuts have been…

Stryker: Will Frost’s NU offense follow his ‘no-superstar’ UCF script?

1/21/18 | Tad Stryker
There’s an old saying in sports that goes something like this: “It’s players, not plays, who win championships.” Scott Frost’s success at UCF — at least on the offensive side of the ball — challenges that wisdom. It’s certainly not the way it played out in Orlando last fall. UCF put together a 13-0 season while leading the nation in…

Stryker: Frost era sweeps in with promise of unity, toughness, focus

12/3/17 | Tad Stryker
One dark December day, 60-year-old Tom Osborne called a press conference that nobody saw coming. It set into motion a chain of events that reduced Nebraska football to mediocrity.    Almost 20 years later, another press conference that almost the entire state of Nebraska eagerly anticipated sent chills up the spines of most who attended, and signaled a reversal of…

Stryker: With Riley out, Bill Moos Party seeks unifying candidate

11/26/17 | Tad Stryker
There’s too much political discord in the nation. I’m speaking of Husker Nation, of course, where pro- and anti-Pelini and pro- and anti-Riley factions have been at each other’s throats for a decade. The discord is largely the result of poor decisions made at a high level, resulting in a proud football program underperforming since 2001. This binary, two-party bickering…

Stryker: Husker commentator can’t recognize once-proud football program

11/11/17 | Tad Stryker
On the whole, Matt Davison would have rather been sitting courtside with Kent Pavelka at Pinnacle Bank Arena to watch the Husker basketball team open its season. Instead, the Husker Sports Network’s color commentator, who knows what a cohesive, well-led team looks and feels like, had to witness a Nebraska football team which has become convinced it belongs in the…

Stryker: Questionable competence predicts weak finish for Riley

11/4/17 | Tad Stryker
Mike Riley’s last stand in Lincoln ended just the way you might have predicted it would. When one last push would have clinched a victory, when the Cornhuskers could have given themselves and their embattled head coach some late-season momentum, they could not deliver the blow. At crunch time, with shadows lengthening and the game — and Riley’s last realistic…

Pregame Perspective: Current of dissatisfaction runs deep

11/4/17 | Tad Stryker
This week’s Pregame Perspective reveals a Nebraska fan base that clearly was looking for something better than a .500 football season. Three-quarters of those surveyed said they are not satisfied with NU’s 4-4 start. Late Saturday morning, before the Cornhuskers played Northwestern, I talked to Husker fans along 12th Street, near the Nebraska Union on campus and around Memorial Stadium,…

Stryker: Early Husker retreat fails to ward off home-field massacre

10/15/17 | Tad Stryker
Going into Saturday night, Ohio State had never won a game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, but it really didn’t take long to change that once the game kicked off. Within the first ten minutes of playing time, it was clear to anyone watching the game that Nebraska was a thoroughly beaten team, simply waiting for the inevitable outcome. It…

Stryker Pregame Perspective: Ozigbo, Morgan cited as most valuable Huskers for first half

10/14/17 | Tad Stryker
With half the college football regular season behind us, this week’s Pregame Perspective focuses on which Cornhuskers have performed best thus far. On a cool, drizzly afternoon before the Nebraska-Ohio State game, I asked 100 people this question: “Who ws Nebraska’s most valuable player during the first half of the season?” Two clear leaders emerged, both on offense. In a…

Stryker: Soft September in Lincoln

9/16/17 | Tad Stryker
Endless Summer. That sounds like carefree days indeed. Were the Beach Boys thinking of Mike Riley’s Nebraska football program when they recorded that album? Unfortunately for Riley and his coaching staff, it’s September now and they have to play real football games. After a brutally disappointing 21-17 loss to Northern Illinois, the Huskers are 1-2 and reeling. A coach who…

Stryker: Scary B-movie finish ends well for Big Red

9/3/17 | Tad Stryker
Did you ever have one of those dreams where you’re almost safely home, but out of nowhere, a pursuing monster comes closer and closer, and the harder you run, the slower you move? Yeah, a real B-film climax. That’s what Nebraska-Arkansas State degenerated into. Luckily for Nebraska fans – at least the ones who stayed to the final play –…