Stryker Pregame Perspective: Rush defense most consistent aspect
Coach Scott Frost urged his team to take the Ohio State game and flush it as quickly as possible. Since the Huskers were 3-1 before that game, and the Buckeyes had superior talent at every position, it’s a legitimate course of action. So that’s what I did with this week’s Pregame Perspective.
On a sunny, breezy day before Nebraska and Northwestern kicked off at Memorial Stadium, I asked 100 Husker fans this question:
“Throwing out the results of the Ohio State game, where have the Huskers been strongest so far this year? Rushing offense, rushing defense, passing offense or passing defense?
Sometimes people are hesitant to answer my survey, and this week, that reluctance was more evident than usual. In fact, more than one-tenth of the respondents said they couldn’t give me an answer.
“What’s the identity of this team? asked one of them. “We really don’t have one.”
In this survey, I always screen out people who say they are not Husker fans or have not watched the team enough to give me an answer. But this segment was composed of Husker fans who have watched the team most of the season, and they were unsure.
Still, a clear majority (61 percent) identified rushing defense as the Huskers’ main strength as the regular season hits the halfway mark. Passing defense was next at 11 percent.
Husker fans crave consistency from their football team, and a majority said the defensive line has shown the most consistency thus far.
• Rushing defense, 61 percent.
• Passing defense, 11 percent.
• Rushing offense, 10 percent.
• Passing offense, 6 percent.
• “I couldn’t give you an answer,” 12 percent.
But most seem to be eagerly watching for a sense of overall consistency or direction in the program.
“I don’t think we’re strong at anything,” said a man who preferred to remain anonymous. “It’ll take another one or two years, and then we’ll be all right.”
A longtime Husker fan, sportswriter and history buff, Tad Stryker started writing for this website in 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.