RED, WHITE, GREEN AND VANILLA HUSKER SPRING GAME
The coaches got what they wanted (got to play a lot of kids and thanks in part to green jerseys-no one was seriously injured), the players (for the most part) got what they wanted (experience) and the fans (all 77,000 of them), got what they wanted-a rain free afternoon and a Husker victory. So everybody should be happy with the '09 version of the Husker Spring Football Game.
In fact, most everything in this year's Spring Game was positive despite the vanilla offenses and defenses. The Huskers are blessed with very good athletes (not great) at most every position. Even Alex Henery showed he can punt a football as well as he can place kick. Hopefully by this fall, he'll find a reliable deep snapper and holder. And think of what Henery's NFL stock will be if he can punt and kick field goals with equal success.
Quentin Castille is a mensch. He's faster, quicker than last year and he can run over and around defenders. Wait until Roy Helu, Jr., Lester Ward and Collins Okafur are added to the mix in the fall. The O-line and D-lines will need to develop some depth, but have some very good talent. The linebackers have the potential to be very good. Safeties and corners may be the best the Huskers have had in years. Look out for P.J. Smith at DB. The dude is a stud.
THE EX FACTOR
Although Niles Paul was suspended for the Spring Game (get your head out of your butt, Niles), the receiving corps has the athletes and the potential to be very good. Marcus Mendoza, Ben Cotton, Mike McNeill, Chris Brooks and Antonio Bell looked really good. But how will this bunch stack up against live ammo? The Ex-factor (Experience) may be the only thing lacking in this group.
At the quarterback position Joe Ganz, er, Zac Lee proved he can play big time football. He looks very comfortable in the pocket, waits for his receivers to get open and throws beautiful tight spirals. Latravis Washington showed great potential and Cody Green shows that, well, he has a lot to learn before being counted on to play any significant role this fall. With Kody Spano hopefully coming back in the fall and Taylor Martinez being looked on to play QB this fall, the QB position seems good-if you go by numbers only.
The truth is, every Husker fan should pray each day that nothing happens to Zac Lee between now and the end of the '09 season. He needs to wear his green practice jersey even when he sleeps at night (can't be too cautious). In fact, if you see Zac walking down the sidewalk, offer to help him cross the street. And if he needs a TV set moved, for gawd's sake, DON'T LET HIM DO IT! If he even goes near one of the dens of iniquity that is off limits to Husker players, please escort him to a Starbucks or Dairy Queen, or a church or synagogue of his choice. If he's in the sun, offer him sunscreen lotion. And if his girlfriend leaves him, offer him yours.
WON'T CUT IT
Because if Husker fans want Nebraska to do well this fall, the chances of a successful season diminish considerable if Zac isn't in the line-up. That's not to take anything away from potentially good players like Latravis, Kody, Cody and Taylor, but potential ain't gonna cut it if you need a guy to come off the bench at Blacksburg, Boulder, Waco, Lawrence or Lincoln for that matter.
Last year, the Husker quarterback position was even less experienced, but Joe "Second Chance" Ganz nutted it up several times, missing only one play in the Gator Bowl (and we all know how that one play almost cost Nebraska the game).
THE BRUNCH BUNCH
Seventeen hundred ninety-nine of my closest friends and I attended a Husker Football Brunch at the Coliseum prior to Saturday's scrimmage-er, Spring Game. The speakers included Tom Osborne, Bo Pelini, Joe Ganz, Doc Sadler and Assistant A.D. Paul Meyers. The Husker pep band played (what happened to the snare drummers?) while the Husker cheerleaders (what else?) cheered.
AS A MATTER OF FACT
Tom Osborne pointed out that of the 28 Division 1A football coaches and staffs that debuted in 2008, Bo Pelini and his staff had the best record at 9-4.
There have been some rumblings from some Husker fans (and you know who you are) about the timing (bad economy, job losses etc.) concerning the raises Bo Pelini ($700,000) and his assistants recently received. For the record, the Husker athletic department is self-supporting with Husker football carrying the weight of the rest of the athletic programs at UNL. Football is the goose that has been laying golden eggs for nearly 50 years. Enough, already.
MARVE-A-LOUS MIAMI QUARTERBACK
Don't look for former Miami QB Robert Marve to be coming to Nebraska. End of story.
BO BAMA'S DOGGIE
Are you kidding me? President Barack Obama bought some little fluffy Portuguese Water Dog and named the dippy little thing, Bo? The Prez shouldn't have wasted a name like that on such a little weenie dog like that. A pit bull, I could understand, but a wimpy little fluffy sissy dog like this? Give me a break.
Is there any truth to the rumor that members of the recently suspended Sigma Chi fraternity at UNL are going to be in charge of enforcing the Skybox no-alcohol policy at Memorial Stadium? Sigh...
RED, WHITE, GREEN AND VANILLA HUSKER SPRING GAME