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April 14, 2017

Spring game preview

Welcome to another Fast Friday edition of the Carriker Chronicles, where each and every Friday I keep it quick and easy. I'm going to give you my major things to watch in the Husker Spring Game on Saturday. I'm going to start right off the top, I'm going to shock you with...the quarterback battle. I'm going to go a little bit more in-depth and just say quarterback because I could say, “watch the 3-4 defense!,” but you know everyone's watching that. For Tanner Lee, he's got a great arm. I want to watch his accuracy. We need someone who can move the chains consistently. For Patrick O'Brien, this is a neck-and-neck race with Tanner Lee currently having a slight edge. How does POB, Patrick O'Brien, perform when the bullets are kind of real? He's still a freshman.

Also, it would have been nice in that Iowa game last year if we had a third-string quarterback who could have played instead of having to play a quarterback with a torn hamstring in Tommy Armstrong, Fyfe's thumb was busted. It would have been nice to have that third-string quarterback; I'm keeping my eye on Tristan Gebbia. Would it be worth it to burn his redshirt if we had to play our third-string quarterback this year? How does he perform in the spring game?

Running Backs: I'm not just going to watch Tre Bryant and Mikale Wilbon to see who gets that starting job, but I want to see a Devine Ozigbo sighting, this guy is big! Short yardage, goal line, red zone, we need that big back so whether he starts or not, I want to see a Devine Ozigbo sighting on Saturday.

Wide Receivers: Stanley Morgan is our best receiver, De'Mornay Pierson-El has that big play potential, but we need some depth, we need some slot receivers. What if we want to go four wide? What if a couple guys get banged up? We need guys like Keyan Williams, Bryan Reimers, JD Spielman, some of these wide receivers to step up and give us some depth.

Tight End: Who's going to step up and take that number one tight end spot? We also need some depth there because what if you want to go in those short yardage, goal line situations? You have to go two to three tight ends, you need two to three tight ends you can trust in those situations.

In the trenches, the offensive and defensive line: Watch this, the defensive line will be a yard off the ball in this 3-4 defense. So not trying to penetrate up the field, so they're a yard off the ball so they can react laterally. It gives you an advantage when you're trying to react versus trying to penetrate. The O-line, they've been kind of getting their rear ends handed to them a little bit by the defensive line so far this spring. Mike Riley even had some, I don't want to say harsh comments, but he called them out a little bit, he said we need some better play. As a defensive guy, I love seeing the offensive line getting their rear ends whipped! But as a Husker fan, I'm a little bit concerned. I still think the O-line will be better this year but it has to start in the spring game going forward.

Linebackers: Keep an eye on true freshman Avery Roberts, early enrollee, in the middle. On the outside edges, we still need a couple of pass rushers to start to emerge in our one and two-deep depth chart because that's very important in this defense.

Secondary: Josh Kalu moved from corner to safety. This gets our best athletes on the field, makes us a little bit quicker. I want to see how Kalu does having to tackle a little bit more frequently at the safety position now that he's not at the cornerback position. Lamar Jackson, arguably the best athlete on the team, I want to see how he does now that he's getting more playing time with the ones at the cornerback position.

Special Teams: Caleb Lightbourn, talked about him before, big leg. Still struggling a little bit with his accuracy, pinning guys deep, I want to see how he does. Wyatt Mazour, I keep hearing these comparisons to Danny Woodhead, I want to see how he does in the return game, excited to watch that guy. Bob Diaco, this one's for free, ladies and gentlemen. What will his gameday attire be like? This guy takes a lot of pride in his appearance and I want to see what his gameday attire will be like. That one was free, no charge for that one.

My prediction for the spring game, what is it? Nebraska victory! I feel pretty good about that one!

I forgot about this, shotgun snaps have been a little bit erratic and so I want to see how these shotgun snaps are because I hope that doesn't develop into a problem going forward, but if it does, that could be an issue. We also need to develop a right tackle. I feel like we have four decent starters on the O-line, as they start to progress, but we need to develop that right tackle.

The spring games aren't always as entertaining once the second half hits, everyone is always jazzed up for the first half. I've given you plenty to watch, this should not be boring throughout the entire game for you fine folks at home. I've hit something at just about every position on the team.

Be sure to tune in to my gut reaction about thirty minutes after the end of the game. A two or three minute video giving my gut reaction on the spring game. Comment below, I want to hear what you fine folks at home have to say. What are you looking forward to seeing the most at the spring game yourself? Especially on Facebook and Twitter, I'm very interactive there.

Until Saturday and my gut reaction video, Go Big Red and always remember to THROW THE BONES!