TECHS STICKS CLICKS; RAIDERS FIX HUSKERS, 31-10
A CASE FOR GOING GREEN
The jury is no longer out. Anyone who saw the Huskers play this weekend knows it. Shawn Watson needs to start Cody Green this Saturday against Iowa State. And assuming he plays well, stays healthy and the Huskers beat the 'Clones, Green should continue to start the following week at Baylor.
NO RAIN, NO GAIN
Watson has stuck with Zac Lee through six games, which is the half way point in the regular season. Zac has had almost 11 quarters facing BCS opponents and his record is 1-2, the lone win coming against Missouri at Columbia. The Huskers struggled offensively for the first three quarters of that game, but were playing in conditions that were miserable. But the playing field Saturday afternoon in Lincoln was perfect. No rain. No excuses.
Right now against good BCS defenses, the game seems to be much too fast for Zac. Against lesser opponents this season, Zac's numbers have been impressive. But Tommie Frazier, Eric Crouch, Scott Frost and Jerry Tagge aren't remembered for their play against The Sisters of the Poor. They are revered for how they performed in big games against great opponents.
And Saturday's loss to Texas Tech was not all Zac's fault. There were dropped passes, stupid drive-killing penalties and, in my view, some very questionable play calling. Having said that, a change in the starting quarterback still needs to be made.
Zac is a good kid, but as Michael Corleone said, "It's nothing personal. It's strictly business."
Because Zac offers little threat to run, defenses are forcing him to beat them with his arm. All they have to do is put eight, nine or ten guys around the line of scrimmage and force Lee to throw. I don't know if it's by design, but Zac almost refuses to run. He waits way too long for his receivers to get open and unexplainably, often fails to see those who are open. It's very frustrating.
A SPARK OF GREEN
Yes, Cody Green might be the spark the Huskers need to salvage the rest of the season. It worked in '92 when Tommie Frazier replaced Mike Grant after a home loss to Washington. In '81, it was Turner Gill who replaced Nate Mason and Mark Mauer after a loss to Penn State. And in '99, it was eventual Heisman winner, Eric Crouch who took over for Bobby Newcombe at quarterback.
Is Cody Green on the same level as Frazier and Crouch? No. Not yet. But he could be. We won't know unless he is given a chance.
Cody Green needs to start a couple of games to get him some much needed experience and confidence. His ability to run will give opposing defenses something else to prepare for when they face the Huskers.
To be sure, Green's numbers Saturday weren't all that outstanding, but he came into the game under very tough situations that required a lot of passing.
The dilemma, as I see it, is that if Zac Lee starts Saturday against Iowa State and at Baylor the following week, the Huskers will likely win both games. But if Zac continues to start the rest of the season, the Huskers' chances of beating even a three-loss Oklahoma team seem very unlikely. And that goes for games at Kansas and Colorado and maybe even Kansas State at home. For now, we won't even mention the Big 12 Championship game.
Would Cody Green be able to help Nebraska win those tough games? No one knows. But know this, if the Huskers continue to do the same thing and expect a different result, that's the definition of insanity. A change must be made.
Remember, it's nothing personal.