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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

2006 Game Analysis - Louisiana Tech


Date – September 2, 2006
Location – Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Final Score – Nebraska 49 – Louisiana Tech 10

Key Stats Check

































































CategoryNebraskaLouisiana Tech
First Down (+4) Efficiency26/42 (62%)12/23 (52%)
Red Zone Efficiency5/7 (71%)1/1 (100%)
Rushing Explosive Plays (+12)52
Passing Explosive Plays (+16)84
Turnover Margin+1-1
Passing Efficiency175.24105.33
3rd Down Efficiency11/16 (69%)5/14 (36%)
4th Down Efficiency1/2 (50%)0/0
Total Offense584305


Nebraska did an excellent job of moving the ball on first down against Louisiana Tech. They gained 4+ yards on 62% on their first down plays. This goes a long ways toward keeping the team on schedule with regards to down and distance. The better success you have on first down the fewer 3rd and long situations you will face.

Speaking of 3rd down, Nebraska converted 11/16 third down opportunities against the Bulldogs. This was a vast improvement over 2005 when the Huskers converted just 33% of the their 3rd down chances. The Husker defense shut down La Tech on 3rd down holding them to a conversion rate under 40%.

The Huskers also did a great job in the red zone converting 5/7 opportunities. However, turnovers in the red zone prevented two more scoring opportunities. Louisiana Tech converted a field goal in its only visit to the red zone.

The Nebraska offense produced 13 explosive plays. In the passing game, the tight ends had a breakout performance and Mo Purify grabbed his first career pass gaining 28 yards on a first quarter completion. On the ground, Brandon Jackson showed a glimpse of what would become a great 2006 season with a 25 yard TD run. Overall, the Huskers outgained the Bulldogs 584 to 305 and quarterbacks Taylor and Ganz combined for an impressive passing efficiency mark of 175.24. The Huskers also won the turnover battle in the 2006 home opener, despite several fumbles and a Zac Taylor interception in the 1st quarter.

How Nebraska Scored



















































Drive Starting PointDrivesPointsComments
-1 to -1000
-11 to -34728
  • 13 Plays - Lucky, Marlon 13 yd run
  • 14 Plays - Glenn, Cody 1 yd run
  • 6 Plays - Phillips, J.B. 6 yd pass from Taylor, Zac
  • 7 Plays - Mueller, Josh 6 yd pass from Taylor, Zac

  • -35 to +35521
  • 8 Plays - Herian, Matt 13 yd pass from Taylor, Zac
  • 5 Plays - Jackson, Brandon 25 yd run
  • 6 Plays - Teafatiller, Hunter 29 yd pass from Ganz, Joe

  • +34 to +1110Drive started on 15 yard line ended with INT on tipped pass
    +10 to +100
    Totals134913 Drives, 7 TDs, Avg. Scoring Drve = 8.43 Plays

    Nebraska got off to a slow start punting on their first two drives. The Huskers started their third drive at the Louisiana Tech 15-yard line following a muffed punt. Nebraska failed to capitalize, however, when Zac Taylor’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted.

    The Nebraska offense then got rolling and scored on its next four possessions. First, Matt Herian caught a TD pass late in the first quarter to get the Huskers on the board. The second quarter then saw TD runs from Marlon Lucky and Cody Glenn. Tight ends J.B. Phillips and Josh Mueller then caught a pair of 6-yard tosses from Zac Taylor in the second half. Nebraska closed out its scoring with a tough 25-yard run by Brandon Jackson and a TD pass from Joe Ganz to Hunter Teafatiller. Teafatiller became the fourth Husker TE to catch a TD pass in the game.

    Overall Nebraska scored TDs on 7/13 drives in the game. The average starting position for Nebraska drives was their own 38-yard line. Louisiana Tech’s average starting position was their own 24.


    Run/Pass Split
































    PlaysNumberYardsAvg.
    Run Plays482525.2
    Pass Plays363329.2
    Total Plays845846.95


    Nebraska entered the 2006 season hoping to “pound the rock” and re-energize a running attack that had floundered in 2005. To that tune Nebraska ran the ball 48 times against Louisiana Tech. That would be more carries than Nebraska would have in all but one game during 2006.

    Because Nebraska ran an astounding 84 plays in the game, it also balanced its attack with 36 passes. The Huskers completed 24 of those passes and also threw 4 TDs in the game. The Louisiana Tech game would mark the first of five games in 2006 that the Huskers would average more than 5 yards per rushing attempt. The 9.22 yards per passing attempt was the sixth highest total for the Huskers in 2006.

    Play Selection By Down and Distance


























































































































    DownDistanceRunsPct. Yds. Passes Pct. Yds.
    1st& 10 2160%1511440%61
    & 150001100%18
    & Other250%0250%30
    2nd& 1-3467%122 33% 19
    & 4-6667% 30 3 33% 3
    & 7+867% 26433% 57
    3rd& 1-2450%15 4 50%39
    & 3-6350%-2 3 50%34
    & 7+0 003 100% 41
    4th& 100 0 0 00
    & 2-31 50% 7 1 50% 0

    One of the reasons for Nebraska’s success on 1st down in the game was its ability to keep the defense guessing. Many coaches believe first down is the best down to keep an opponent off-balance, because the defense really has a difficult time knowing what is coming. By utilizing a 60/40 run/pass split on first down, Callahan and the Nebraska offense kept the Bulldogs guessing and set up several 2nd and 3rd and short situations.

    On second down the Huskers ran 67% of the time. This is a number that would stay about that high throughout the season. When faced with a 2nd and short-to-medium, chances are Nebraska is going to run.

    The most interesting item to note on third down is that the Huskers faced just three 3rd and long situations in the game. Interestingly Nebraska converted 2/3 of its 3rd and long opportunities against Louisiana Tech. One was the 28-yard completion to Purify and the other was a 13-yard completion to Hardy. The lone 3rd and long the Huskers failed to convert came on a drop by Hardy that would have gone for a first down.

    Personnel Breakdown


































































    PersonnelRunsPct. Yds. PassesPct. Yds.
    2 WRs1280%112320%4
    3 WRs416%172184%178
    2 TEs1263%28737%37
    3 TEs1376%69424%52
    4 TEs686%19114%31
    Totals4724536302


    One of the strengths of the WCO is the ability to utilize multiple formations and personnel groupings. Often a single play can be run from any number of these groupings creating a playbook that seems almost endless. In the 2006 opener, Nebraska highlighted the flexibility of its personnel groupings. We see these represented in the table above. You can click on the formation names to see a screen capture of the formation as it appears pre-snap.

    The biggest thing that jumped out while charting the Louisiana Tech game was the use of the 4 TE set. I honestly had not noticed the regularity with which we used this grouping until now. I was aware that we often had three TEs on the field, but hadn’t always noticed the fourth. I wasn’t alone. Several times during the play-by-play Jim Rose told the listening audience that we were aligned in a 3 TE set, when really all four were on the field. I know because I stopped the tape numerous types and recounted. You also might notice the arrows in the picture of the 4 TE set, just to ensure I wasn’t hallucinating. My hunch was that Callahan devised this “jumbo” package to help jump start the running game. Given that we threw just one time out of this formation against the Bulldogs (a play-action toss to Herian for a 31-yard gain), my hunch seems correct.

    The other grouping that sticks out is the 3 WR set. While we see this personnel grouping used a lot against LATech, what is interesting is how it was used. Of the 25 times we used this personnel grouping, all but seven came from a shotgun formation. In addition, of the 17 plays with 3 WR from the shotgun seven came while Nebraska was in its 2-minute offense late in the first half. That 14-play drive saw Nebraska complete 7/9 passes, pick up five first downs and overcome a Kurt Mann personal foul. Cody Glenn capped the drive with a 1-yard TD run.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    2006 Analysis

    My first attempt at analyzing games from the 2006 season should appear in the next day or two. The write-ups should look similar to what is going on at this fine USC blog.

    I am very interested in your feedback. What stats/analysis would you like to see? I've been pulling out what is interesting to me or what is believed to be important by various coaching books or comments. At this point, however, I am absolutely buried in data. Any question someone has about down/distance/gain/personnel/tendencies, etc., I can probably answer. The difficulty lies in trying to persent the data in a meaningful way. In other words they will remain "works in progress". But if you have particular questions that you would like me to attempt to answer, I will do my best to get to it.

    For instance, I am curious to see how many times Nebraska ran the toss sweep last year prior to the Marlon Lucky halfback pass against Texas. I should be able to answer that exact question in the next few weeks.

    Monday, May 28, 2007

    New Project Husker Videos

    You can check out Project Husker IV Parts I and II below. These are the creation of frequent DXP commenter DT and are amazing as always. Enjoy. I promise to get something worthwhile from me up here in the next day or two.



    Sunday, May 27, 2007

    Happy Memorial Day



    Enjoy the streaker at Lincoln's Haymarket Park during a Nebraska-Texas baseball game. WooWoo!

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Pythagorean Projection - Nebraska and Expected Wins

    The Pythagorean projection is an approximation of a team’s wins based solely on points scored and allowed. This concept was made famous by baseball analyst Bill James who discovered that the record of a baseball team could be very closely approximated by taking the square of team runs scored plus the square of team runs allowed.

    Later statistician Daryl Morey of STATS, Inc. attempted to apply the formula to many sports. The basic Pythagorean projection formula looks like this:


    What Morley found was the formula worked best for other sports if the exponent was tweaked. For example, for the NFL, the exponent is 2.37 instead of 2. The Pythagorean projection works remarkably well for the NFL. According the 2006 Football Prospectus:
    "Out of 18 Super Bowls played since the 1987 strike season, 11 were won by the team that led the NFL in Pythagorean Wins, while only seven were won by the team with the most actual victories".
    Using this information as a starting point, I have attempted to examine the Expected vs. Actual Wins for Nebraska from the Osborne era through Callahan’s first three years. For my analysis I utilized the 2.37 figure of the NFL. The results of the analysis are listed in the table below.











































































































































































































































































    CoachYearGamesPoints For Points Against Expected Wins Actual Wins
    Callahan 2006 14 428 256 10.89
    2005 122962527.138
    2004112752984.985
    Solich20031332218810.1610
    2002143833358.107
    20011344918911.5211
    20001245621310.310
    19991341115011.9112
    19981338318311.089
    Osborne1997 1356519712.0113
    19961351215312.3011
    19951242115011.0412
    19941342114512.0413
    19931242117610.6511
    19921242717210.759
    19911245420810.379
    19901241314711.059
    19891249217411.0610
    19881347418211.7811
    19871242313311.2710
    19861241615011.0210
    19851239813611.139
    19841235910511.3810
    19831362418612.3012
    19821349313712.4012
    19811234910311.379
    1980124399311.7010
    19791238013111.1110
    19781244421610.169
    1977123152008.959
    19761341618111.419
    19751236713710.9410
    19741237313211.069
    1973123061639.809


    Some have since utilized the formula as a crude measure of whether a team has over- or under-achieved. From this perspective if actual wins < than expected wins a team has “under-performed”. Likewise, if actual wins > than expected wins that team has “over-achieved”. Notre Dame blog The Blue-Gray Sky completed a similar analysis of their team last year. Like BGS, I tend to see the formula more as a measure of a team’s luck over the course of a season. As BGS states:
    “...because what the Pythagorean method really measures is how many games you were supposed to win based on a strict measurement of points scored and points given up; it's not a measurement of how good a team really is. Perhaps another way to talk about it is in terms of Fate: which teams were "luckiest", and which teams were snakebitten.”
    So we could see the 2006 Huskers as a team that under-performed according to this measure. After all, the team’s expected wins were 10.8 and their actual wins were 9. Or we could think about the luck or lack of break’s the team experienced. Like say a 22-20 loss to Texas on a late fumble or a 17-14 loss to Auburn that included a “risky” fake punt.

    But whichever way you choose to view the Pythagorean projection (and there are many), it is an interesting statistic in college football. I continue to hope that CFB moves toward the statistical analysis that is now commonplace among the MLB blogosphere. My plan is to continue to help usher Nebraska football coverage into the “Moneyball” era with pieces such as these.

    As it stands, the analysis was hardly earth-shattering, but was an interesting undertaking nonetheless. Some things of note:

  • Check out how consistent Nebraska was during the 1980s and early 90s. Even managing to score 421 points three straight years.

  • One of the first things I did was jump to some years I felt the Huskers under-achieved (1987,1992,1998). Lo and behold, the formula agrees!

  • I don't see a whole lot of "over-achieving" going on. Have we really been that unlucky through the years?


  • You can read more about the Pythagorean projection at:
    Pigskin Pythagoras
    Football Outsiders

    Monday, May 21, 2007

    Blaine Gabbert Videos

    In the first, he discusses his ability and some of the schools he was originally looking at.



    In the second his committment to Nebraska is discussed along with some highlights. Major bonus is that Rivals.com hottie Ashley Russell introduces the video.

    Friday, May 18, 2007

    Erin Andrews Picture of the Week


    Outside of non-stop bickering from Mizzou fans regarding the Gabbert commitment, there just isn't that much going on in Husker Nation.

    I've secured some tapes of 2006 games so I can add details to my efforts to chart every offensive play. I hope to have that completed sometime before the 2007 season. Actually it shouldn't take that long. Hopefully it will prove to be a worthwhile endeavor. I've already had tons of fun analyzing the data that I do have. But then again, I'm a big nerd.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    It Will Be More Meaningful Come February...

    ...But as of right now, Blaine Gabbert is committed to Nebraska. This is a pretty big deal given that Gabbert is a highly sought after QB recruit out of Missouri. Gabbert apparently selected Nebraska over Mizzou and Alabama. So take that Nick Saban!

    Again my emotions are tempered until he actually signs on the dotted line. In the meantime I'll have to get used to having a QB around for a few years by the name of Blaine. I don't know why, but I can't help picturing Andrew McCarthy's character from Pretty in Pink everytime I hear that name. Blaine. Heh.

    I planned on getting a more meaningful post up tonight. Unfortunately the editors of the textbook I teach from decided to switch editions just in time for summer school. Rat Bastards. Seriously I don't know how anyone in academia gets used to this. Redoing all of my lectures, exams, handouts, etc., during the two week break between the end of the spring semester and the beginning of the first session of summer school is less than pleasant.

    Monday, May 14, 2007

    How Important is Maurice Purify


    I finished charting the 2006 season this weekend. As a result, we get to see some findings from my first level of analysis. With Purify’s assault dominating Nebraska coverage, I decided to attempt to determine his relative worth to the team.

    On the surface Purify had 34 catches for 630 yards and 7 TDs in 2006. He averaged 18.53 yards/catch. He also carried the ball one time for 1 yard and threw a 28-yard TD pass to Terrence Nunn against Missouri.

    He was also responsible for perhaps the greatest moment of the 2006 season. I’ll take any excuse to post this again.



    All of that is great, but doesn’t really tell the whole story. For that we need to go a little deeper. When I did that, I was a little shocked by what I found.

    First, of Purify’s 34 catches, 29 went for either a first down or a touchdown. In other words 85% of Mo’s receptions either moved the chains or put points on the board. That is pretty much unbelievable.

    Purify was perhaps even more impressive on 3rd down. For me this is where a go-to wide receiver earns his keep. In Mo’s case, Nebraska leaned on him big time on 3rd down. Here is what his third down numbers look like.


    Nebraska threw to Purify 23 times on 3rd down and he made the reception 14 times. Of those 14 completions, 11 moved the chains and three resulted in touchdowns. These are just amazing numbers on third down for any receiver, yet alone a JUCO transfer in his first year in the offense.

    And if you weren’t already impressed enough the average distance Nebraska faced on third down on Purify’s completions was 6.06 yards.

    So. yeah, if Purify misses any time next season we can more than assume that Nebraska will miss him. Especially come third down.

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Erin Andrews Picture of the Week and Some Help


    Ok, so I mentioned a pet project the other day, and I could use some help with it. I've decided to chart every play from Nebraska's 2006 season. So far I have 10 out of the 14 games done. This should be pretty cool once I have it done as it will allow for even deeper analysis. I will be able to break down play selection by down, distance and field possession and hopefully highlight some tendencies. I'll also be able to better analyze the value of individual players based on their contributions at important times in the games.

    Where I could use some help is in locating game footage. So far I've been limited to using the official play-by-play data sheets to extrapolate the information. I would like to be able to use game tape to add the formations, type of pass or run, etc. Unfortunately I no longer have any of the games from last season. My DVR sucks! So if you or anyone you know has any of the games on DVD/Tape or electronic file I would love to get my hands on it.

    My thought process is that this might be as close as we as fans can get as far as getting into Callahan's head. I feel somewhat qualified to take this on as my never-ending insomnia gives me ample late night opportunities for data entry and my stat-geekery knows no bounds.

    So anyway, if you or someone you know can help you can contact me at JAdams1277 (AT) aol.com.

    Thanks.

    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    Sam Keller Cup Check

    According the LJS which cites his father as the source, the charges against Keller from the cup throwing incident have been dropped.

    Well, that should just about put a lid on that. Ah, cup...lid. I slay me.

    Quick Hits

    Well, I haven’t really been doing a good job of keeping up over here at DXP. I’ve gotten sidetracked recently by a little pet project, but a little more on that later. Anyway, here are some quick hits to keep you entertained.

    · SMQ has begun his absurdly premature assessment series and I suggest you read them all. But of particular relevance is his look at Nevada. Nebraska hosts the Wolfpack on September 1.

    · While Nebraska is struggling to keep its players out of trouble, Texas really needs to reign in its fans. Below is evidence of the female Longhorn bank robber.



    · CFR has his Pundit Roundup posted. This is like one-stop shopping for all of you college football columnists.

    · Here are some details on the Purify situation gleaned from the official police affidavit.
    According to the police the report Mo confronted Joshua at the Alley smoking garden, yelled "you're the mother fer, that took my friends id." then pushed Joshua down onto the ground and punched him 4-5 times. The g/f tried to pull Mo off of Josh and Mo turned around and hit the g/f. The g/f had redness and slight swelling on her face according to the report.

    Joshua said the week before Mo and his friend tried to get into the Brass Rail. Mo's friend had a fake which Joshua took and denied them entrance.

    Halet (spelling ???) who works at the Alley observed Mo punching Josh while he was on the ground. Halet pulled Mo off and tried repeatally to get Mo out of the building. There were about 15 warnings from the Alley staff for him to leave. Several people finally got Mo outside when he tried to jump fence to the smoking garden and head after Joshua.

    The police arrived and Mo refused arrest, crossing his arms and standing against the wall. Purify was verbally warned 15 times and 4 officers to put his arms behind his back. After several minutes he was finally detained and taken to jail. Partial sample was taken and Mo registered a .126 BAC.
    This is certainly of unverified veracity, so take it for what it's worth, but it is another goodie that wound up in my inbox.

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Monday, May 07, 2007

    Sunday, May 06, 2007

    Maurice Purify Arrested

    You've got to be kidding me.

    I'm covering this as breaking news on the FanHouse, and will update as details become available either here or there.

    An Unusual and Refreshing Sight


    A Nebraska quarterback taking snaps with an NFL team. Unfortunately it's only mini-camp, but it's a start.

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    Erin Andrews Picture of the Week And FSU Memories


    I hate to give her more exposure, but this one hit close to home, as Jenn Sterger’s Florida State Road Trip hit SI on Campus. Given that I spent three years in the coed Mecca that is Tallahassee, I thought I would evaluate how Jenn did with her favorite Tally hotspots.
    Best place to celebrate a big win: Tennessee Street.

    The Strip, as we call it, is a mecca for Tallahassee nightlife. From dive bars (The Pub), to '80s for the ladies (Yanni's), it has a little something for everyone. Not to mention its where my fellow Cowgirl Allison and newbie Jessica hold down sweet bartending gigs at Big Daddy's -- ranked one of the craziest bars in the country. So don't be surprised if you hear a little Charlie Daniels and some bar stomping on a Thursday night ... things are probably just getting started.
    Jenn’s right on here, although my opinion on some of the bars she singled out differs slightly. Tennessee Street is like “O” Street on steroids. Literally. The guys are seriously meatheads. But the girls are tan, outgoing, and scantily-clad. What more could you ask for?
    Best landmark:

    The Capitol Building. Located next to Doak, it's better known for being an enormous phallic symbol. If you have to ask what I am talking about, I'm sure Google images can assist you.
    I was shocked to learn that I had traded one phallic state capital structure for another. Florida’s version is far worse, however. It even has balls.
    Best place for a guy's night out:

    The Palace Saloon. Forget the '80s music and girly cocktails. When the male population of Florida State needs to cut loose, they head to the Palace. The place just screams manliness: the lack of d├ęcor (aside from beer and sports neons), the abundance of pool tables and dartboards and the absence of any drink that requires a straw. Considering Tallahassee is devoid of gentleman's clubs, the Palace offers a retreat from the girlfriend's nagging, without the need for further explanation.
    Again Jenn was right on. The Palace is the best. Bonus points for being located a block from my apartment. This is the bar that provided the motivation for my first solo trek to a drinking establishment. Shortly after moving Tally, and before I had met anyone, the siren call of cheap Bud Light was too great to resist. I soon became a happy hour regular.
    Best place to grab a slice:

    Momo's. Pizza is a college student's main source of nutrition, and Momo's does its part to make sure no student goes hungry. The slices they serve up redefine huge: They are as big as your head!! And that is no exaggeration.
    More of the parallel world stuff. I went from LaBamba’s and “burritos as big as your head” to Momo’s with “pizza slices as big as your head”. Both were great drunk food and I’m just happy to have a fast metabolism.
    Best pregame ritual:

    The Village. Most schools have a special place to gather on game days... a building, a parking lot ... but Tallahassee has an entire village. The tenants of the apartment complex adjacent to Doak Campbell open up their homes, their hearts and their coolers to Seminole fans and visitors alike. Though visitors in blue and orange may get a bit of heckling, the kids that gather at the village are simply there to enjoy the pregame festivities and have a good time. Maybe it takes a 'village to raise a fan,' too.
    My first home game, I was absolutely stunned to find out a place like the Village actually existed. Imagine a cul-de-sac of small duplex-type apartments. Each with its own keg and or/bar service. Now add several thousand students and you have the greatest pre-game atmosphere I have ever encountered. This place is where red solo cups go to die.
    Hidden gem:

    Club Publix. Normally the hardest decision you face when you go to the grocery store is paper or plastic. But imagine a place where shopping is more than just a pleasure, it's a place to meet your future ex-girlfriend. Some of the hottest girls in Tallahassee can be found as close as your nearest grocer's freezer. So now it's not just paper or plastic ... it's blonde, brunette or redhead.
    Holy crap, I suddenly have a teensy-weensy bit of respect for Ms. Sterger. Publix is the Sistine Chapel of shopping excursions. Single guys in Tally were known to do their weekly shopping one item per trip, allowing ample time to gaze at the scenery. The only hidden gem that could perhaps compete was the weight room at the student recreation center. I used to joke that it was like working out at the Playboy Grotto. I don’t know what they put in sports bras, but it must be tougher than Kevlar. If you ever get the chance to watch a busty blonde hit the pec deck machine, I recommend you stare. A lot.

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    Nebraska’s 2009 Schedule is Mortifying

    I don’t know how else to say it. We have officially lost all ability to rag on Kansas State and the creampuff-laden schedules of the Bill Snyder era. We are what we hate.

    Exhibit A – The Huskers’ 2009 Football Schedule

    09/05 Florida Atlantic
    09/12 Louisiana-Lafayette
    09/19 Virginia Tech
    09/26 Arkansas State
    10/03 Missouri
    10/17 Texas Tech
    10/24 Iowa State
    10/31 Baylor
    11/07 Oklahoma
    11/14 Kansas
    11/21 Kansas State
    11/27 Colorado

    Not one, not two, but THREE(!) teams from the Sun Belt Conference. This is college football purgatory. If I wanted to watch teams from the Sun Belt, I would, you know…cheer for teams from the Sun Belt. Instead I chose the magic, the wonder, the tradition that is NEBRASKA FOOTBALL. And what do I get for my years of dutiful obsession? Owls and Ragin’ Cajuns and Indians.

    This is why the rest of the college football world refuses to take us seriously. This is why ESPN displays its so-called “Husker bias”. This is why starting 4-0 or 3-1 means nothing. This is why our non-conference games are only televised on a pay-per-view basis. This is why I’m starting every sentence with “This is why”.

    But just how bad is the Sun Belt? As a conference it has only been around since 2001. But its members have been playing Division I teams for quite some time. This is how Sun Belt Conference teams have fared against the other major conferences.


    To say that they have been less than competitive against the BCS conferences is a bit of an understatement. To say they belong on the field with Nebraska is a travesty.

    Oh where have you gone strength of schedule component? We miss thee.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Where Are They Now - Eric Crouch Update

    I was surprised to come across this recent article on Eric Crouch and his adventures in Canada. I almost forgot he was still alive and kicking north of the border after his injury last season. After several failed attempts at football, Crouch sounds weathered and more mature, which is certainly a good thing.
    "I'm trying to win that starting spot," Crouch said Tuesday. "I'm not there to sit on the bench and hope we win. I would like to be the quarterback that helps win games and helps win a Grey Cup this year. It's a long time coming for me. To me, it's all about being the best and to be able to win a championship in the CFL."
    Crouch has earned the label “quitter” among many Nebraska fans, and that is perhaps unfair. Most of us have or will be humbled at some point in our life. Luckily most of us experience this outside the public eye.

    But the past is the past and his current spot seems like a good fit for his skills.
    "His background isn't in dropping straight back and throwing," Buratto said. "When we're at our best, our quarterback isn't always dropping straight back and throwing. We want him to make defenses worry about him."
    Crouch always made defenses worry in college. He is perhaps the most elusive player I’ve ever seen in person. I also thought he would have made an amazing professional tag player, if such a league existed. Just watch teams try to get their hands on him in these highlights.

    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Remembering Zac Taylor



    Here's a great set of highlights from the career of Zac Taylor at Nebraska. And what a fine, albeit, brief career it was.


    · 2006 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year (Associated Press, Coaches, Kansas City Star,Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman,Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
    · 2006 First-Team All-Big 12 (AP, Coaches, KC Star, Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
    · 2006 Nebraska Offensive MVP
    · 2006 Guy Chamberlin Trophy Winner
    · 2006 Davey O’Brien Award, Manning Award, Maxwell Award Watch Lists
    · 2006 Second-Team Academic All-Big 12
    · Nebraska Career Record Holder for Passing Yards (5,850), Touchdowns (45), Completions (470), and Attempts (821)
    · Nebraska Season Record Holder for Passing Yards (3,197, 2006), Touchdowns (26, 2006), Completions (237, 2005), Attempts (430, 2005)and Total Offense (3,165, 2006)
    · Nebraska Single-Game Record Holder for Passing Yards (431),Completions (36), Attempts (55) and Total Offense (433)
    · 2006 Big 12 Commissioner’s Spring Academic Honor Roll
    · 2006 Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll
    · 2006 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team