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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Something's Seriously Wrong If...

Roy Helu Jr. isn’t starting next week. Yesterday, Helu Jr. threw up 115 yards rushing, 61 yards receiving, and 2 TDs. In 10 games this season, Helu Jr. has rushed 82 times for 566 yards (a 6.9 ypc average) and 5 TDs compared to Marlon Lucky’s 114 times for 470 yards (a 4.1 ypc average) and 7 TDs. And when you look at Lucky’s biggest asset to the team – receiving – Lucky has 22 receptions for 275 yards and 1 TD to Helu’s 20 receptions for 217 yards and 0 TDs. After the game, Bo said in an interview that Lucky “appeared” to have “tweaked” his ankle early in the game which is why he only carried the ball 6 times for 7 yards. I’m not advocating Lucky doesn’t play at all anymore, but I’d like to see Helu Jr. and his dual ability to punish the defenders who take him straight on and to break away through the defense once a hole opens up get at least 20-25 carries a game the rest of the year. (More "Wild-Husker" on its way?)

Ndamukong Suh isn’t thinking about professional football after this season. The junior had a career high 12 tackles yesterday – 4 behind the line of scrimmage – to go along with a 2 yard touchdown reception. Suh is the best player on our team right now and it’s not close. If NFL scouts weren’t drooling over his mobile 6’4, 300 lb. stature before, they are now. After 10 games, the defensive tackle from Oregon leads the team in total tackles (60), tackles for losses (12), total sacks (4.5), and forced fumbles (1). Suh also has 1 INT for a TD, 3 pass break-ups, 1 blocked kick, and 1 TD reception for 2 yards on the season. He is strikingly similar to old Oregon Duck and current Baltimore Ravens' DT Haloti Ngata, who left after his junior year to become the 12th overall pick (and was once was a Frank Solich de-commit back in 2002).

…you think Joe Ganz, Nate Swift, and Todd Peterson will be easily replaced next year. At receiver, Swift, Peterson, and Marlon Lucky have combined this year for 126 of the 241 total team receptions and 1,671 of the 2,918 total receiving yards. At QB, Ganz has 231 of the team’s 241 total completions, 2,833 of the team’s 2,913 total yards, and 19 of the team’s 21 passing touchdowns (Lucky has the other 2). As the back-ups and heir apparents, Patrick Witt is 6 of 8 for 45 yards and Zac Lee is 1-2 for 5 yards on the season. Before Nebraska starts the 2009 season with a moderately difficult 6 game stretch,
Sat, Sep 05 Florida Atlantic Memorial Stadium

Sat, Sep 12 Arkansas State Memorial Stadium

Sat, Sep 19 Virginia Tech at Blacksburg, Va.

Sat, Sep 26 Louisiana-Lafayette Memorial Stadium

Sat, Oct 03 Missouri at Columbia, Mo.

Sat, Oct 17 Texas Tech Memorial Stadium
Patrick Witt (or Zac Lee), Menelik Holt, Niles Paul, and Mike McNeill will have an almost insurmountable of work to get done in the passing game in order to pick up where the seniors left off.

...if anyone thinks that the coaching isn't significantly improved over a year ago. With the departure of the 'offensive genius' known as Bill Callahan, we have seen the Husker offense fall from only 9th nationally to 14th nationally. On the defensive side of the ball, our defense has gone from 112th nationally to 81st nationally. If you aren't impressed by that number, consider that in 2008 we have played the #2 (Texas Tech), #3 (Oklahoma), #6 (Missouri), #18 (Kansas), and #23 (Western Michigan) ranked offenses in D1 (half of our games). If we can cut down on penalties - we rank 102nd nationally - and get a few turnovers - we rank 109th nationally, an 8-4 record is on its way. Nice job but as Wolf from the movie Pulp Fiction once said, "Well, let's not start sucking each other's dicks quite yet. We still have a long way to go." Now, go get some recruits.

*It is also worth noting that being ranked 109th nationally in turnover margin is sometimes a good thing - especially for a rebuilding football team. As any professional Las Vegas oddsmaker will tell you - when predicting the success of a team before the season, always look for teams with the lowest turnover margins the previous year to have the biggest turn-around in their records the next season.
"While those considerations are very likely to contribute to the churn of team records, I now believe the major cause is the randomness of turnovers." Read the rest of the handicapper's view here.
Here's to believing that....

*How nice would it be to land the two 4 star high school friends from Maryland that were in town for the game yesterday - DT Terrence Stephens and DE Jason Ankrah?

*MLB Earnest Norman was the first new commit from yesterday's visits.