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The straight scoop from
Colonel Mustard

Sept. 4, 2001

Let's hope that the team knew who they were playing. It was not a sharp performance. But they aren't machines and this game was hard to get up for. I thought Troy St. was fun to watch and well coached. I was impressed with Bland. He was all over the field including on kickoff coverage. He blitzes and tackles very well. Ruud is the real deal and will be hard to keep off the field. Watch Richenberger and Ruud on kickoff coverage; they belt somebody on every play. Ricketts had another good game and gives us three solid corners. We got a lot of pressure up front and it bodes well for the season that we rotate so many people up front. Troy's spread offense is good practice for what we will face later. The young talent on defense is very encouraging. Hollowell, Richenberger and Brown (one tackle for loss in three plays) are too athletic to leave on the bench. Over time they need to replace the more experienced, less talented players ahead of them.

Diedrick ran tough and is clearly our best I-back . I was wrong about Collins; he is a change-of-pace guy. But he will break some long runs and we need the threat his speed gives us. Look for the double wing with Collins and Davis on the wings. I thought that the O-line looked real iffy. I cut them some slack last week, but they weren't very good this week either. This is the most worrisome part of the team to me. No. 7 was again either great or terrible with his throws. We had two drops, and we don't have enough margin for error for that. The offense needs to establish a personality and consistency . I know Frank was trying out a lot of things the first two weeks. But this week we should see a pattern emerge. With Diedrick it appears that we can take some pressure off 7. This game will tell us if we have a money back. We can play the power game because of our depth at TE and FB.

Davis is the lone back on kickoffs, and I don't remember when we didn't have dual returners. They really want Davis to have the ball. We need a punt returner; neither Groce nor Craver seems to have a feel for it. If Brown isn't going to kick, and it doesn't appear that he will, we could use him at wingback. And after all he has been though, that might be the best thing.

The Irish come to Lincoln for the first time in a half century. They say to them it is just another game. We would win this game even if they had the better team because we are at home and it is our third game. They are better than last year, but we have more talent. They have three fine tailbacks and will try to run right at our smaller tackles. They don't look to their QB to win the game as we do. So if we can stop the run, we should be in great shape. I would like to see us establish a power running game because that will work better against the fast defenses we will see down the road. This should be our game and give us a good indication of what kind of team we have.
-- The Colonel



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