The only good thing about total debacles is that…well, usually there’s nowhere else to go but up.
70-10. Does anyone really believe that Texas Tech is 60 points better than Nebraska? I doubt they truly are. Tech played what will probably be their best game of the season. Still…
About the only good thing you can say is that LeFlore had a nice game. And it was good to see Dyches finally get the call for a FG and come through from long range.
The defense was dreadful. Off-the-charts dreadful. The scheme of rushing three guys (read: not enough QB pressure) and having everyone else drop back was effective seemingly none of the time. Yet it was utilized more frequently than one would assume would be wise when your team is getting shredded. (Have crossing routes gotten that much more complicated since last year?) Tech’s quarterback is decent, but he had almost 300 yards passing by halftime.
The TD that Washington gave up right before the break was a killer. I think our defense only really played one good series after that point (the first one of the third quarter). Even our best DBs couldn’t seem to stay with Tech’s receivers. This year’s team appears to have forgotten how to play pass coverage. Our linebackers, especially on the outside, were slow all night. There was poor tackling. Most of the time when a pass was completed there was no defender within three yards of the Tech receiver. It was depressing. I mean, which of the ten touchdowns does one bother discussing in further detail?
I believe when our AD burned his bridges with Pelini, the chain of events that led (in part) to the debacle in Lubbock was set in motion (although it’s debatable whether Pelini would’ve stuck around, regardless of the Solich situation). This year’s defensive coaches seem overall to be a notch lower than last year’s. The players aren’t giving the same kind of effort. At the same time, the D really misses a true athletic, disruptive force like Demorrio Williams—a guy who could alter the tide of a game. Even when we blitzed against Texas Tech, most of our guys coming off the corners looked slow.
On offense, it was good to see Callahan give another QB a shot, but I think we were already down 35-10 at the time. The fact that Davis came in and turned the ball over almost every time shows he wasn’t ready and likely hadn’t been getting enough rep’s in practice. Based on his game performance, it’s hard to see what Davis could’ve possibly shown in practice to warrant moving ahead of Goodman.
The AP story that ran which summarized the game quoted Callahan as saying the team just had too many turnovers. Yet we were already behind heavily, and Dailey only had the one pick, before the true turnover-fest began. Our normal first-team unit is good enough to move the ball on just about anyone down to the 30 yard line. That’s where Dailey, if he doesn’t turn the ball over, routinely starts missing passes badly and we stall. Then DeAngelis comes in and usually misses a field goal.
I don’t know what team has ever come back from a 70-10 loss to have a good season. The Big 12 North isn’t that strong, but it’s certainly soul-searching time for Nebraska’s coaches and players. The honeymoon is officially, resoundingly over for Callahan. He left the media scratching their collective heads last week after KU, gushing so much about the defense as if he couldn’t see anything else. And when you come across as insulting the media’s intelligence, it’s generally open season—for better or for worse.
So this is how being on the other end of 70-10 feels? Ick. We’re going to need several years of solid recruiting to straighten out this mess. (Good thing we play Baylor this week, a game we obviously should, and need to, win.)
The Dallas Cowboys were 1-15 the first year Jimmy Johnson was coach. Things like that, plus the e-mails I’ve been getting from people in Florida raving about Harrison Beck, give me some hope. But man is it ever hard to focus on the long-term while the immediate is before your eyes. I look forward to the day it is our receivers running around everywhere making the other team’s defense look overmatched.
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 at MenofIntegrity.net 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.