from Colonel Mustard
Bill won the game that he had to win. Going to a bowl game is a big deal for this team and the program in general. I believe that if we had missed a bowl for the 2nd year recruiting would have been damaged. The game featured two teams that aren’t very good playing a game that won’t be considered an artistic success. But we found a way to pull it out with heroics from our young players. We had to win this week because the Vermin are going to be extremely tough to beat. They are the best team that we have played this year and now this is a must win for them.
On offense I thought that the line did a great job protecting Zac. For a line with freshman tackles that was quite an accomplishment. The run blocking was poor but I see other factors contributing to our running game woes. First is that are running game schemes are not creative and I believe that Ross is hurt. He isn’t running with the same authority he did earlier in the season. Swift is just amazing he has become the go-to receiver that we needed. I just hope Zac doesn’t get him killed running him into DBs.The first half against K-State and first half against Pitt in 04 is the best the offense has looked under Bill.
Our defense did a great job in pass coverage. I was impressed that K-State really lacked their usual talent at WR. We failed to generate a consistent pass rush which was surprising against an inexperienced line. We proved that we can’t stop the shotgun option game. We struggled even more when they ran conventional option plays.
McKeon makes the big plays and his interception was timely and great play. The challenge for the defense is to find a way to stop the running game. We have to stop the 200 yard rushing days.
The special teams proved to the difference in the game. Not red-shirting Potter to block kicks has turned out to be a good idea. Koch provides a consistent field position to a team really needs it. Congdon made a very difficult kick with the wind swirling and the game on the line. That was a very impressive effort.
I want to address pulling Beck out of his red shirt in the 10th game. I agree if we were going to use him he should have played some all year. In this situation I agree with Bill. In a game he very much needed to win he did whatever it took to win. I think that shows a sense of urgency that has been lacking earlier. You can argue all day if he needed Beck to win but he played and won. Think about what people would have said if Beck didn’t play and we lose the game. Bill is a pro coach and in the pros your starter plays every play unless he gets injured and that is what he has done at Nebraska. However it would be unfortunate to burn the red shirt and not let Beck play the rest of the year. For all kinds of reasons Bill needed to win this game. If he felt he needed Beck to win I understand his thinking.
Now we are headed for a bowl and that is very important the way this season has unfolded. Bill got the win he needed and it would be fun to knock the Vermin out of the Big 12 championship game. It is too bad that is what we have become - a spoiler.
Keep the Faith