5 things we took from the game:
#1 Latravis Washington is a more than serviceable back-up. Accurate, poised, strong, and agile are all words that can be used to describe his play. And although I am a little baffled as to how he picked up the offense this fast, Washington seemed to be confident and comfortable in the huddle and in the pocket. Most of his passes were dumps to the backs and tight ends, but that is no different from anything Joe Ganz ever did. The only thing I learned about Cody Green is that he still isn't ready to lead this offense yet. And regardless of who starts at QB, the long ball will be back in Lincoln.
#2 Antonio Bell (2 rec for 38 yards) and Chris Brooks (5 rec for 48 yards, 1 TD) both looked really good on Saturday. I have no doubt that when Niles Paul gets through his legal troubles, then he will more than likely have to work his way back into the starting line-up - something that will be not come easy especially as soon as Brandon Kinnie and Khiry Cooper join the team. I said it last week and I'll say it again - Chris Brooks will be big this season. And also, Marcus Mendoza's (3 rec for 58 yards, 1 TD) position change proved to be a wise decision from the coaches.
#3 Although we like keeping the teams fairly even and thus creating a more competitive game, I want to see the #1 and #2 units play together. I would have liked to see them all get a chance to play on the field at the same time so we could get a more accurate assessment of where they stand on the depth chart and how they perform with the rest of the unit. Compton and Steinkuhler both appear ready to step in and start immediately this season. Both players will one day be all-conference. Book that.
#4 I was right about Helu and wrong about Castille. Helu's 20 pound weight gain did result in injury. Let me just say that he's lucky it was just a hamstring and not a knee or ankle. His body cannot handle the extra stresses he is creating on it - he's got all summer to drop it and he should. I thought Castille needed to keep his weight up to be more effective as a power rusher. Castille's loss in weight has given him more speed and elusiveness. I am more than comfortable with Castille as a #1 back if that is where he finds himself next fall.
#5 This is one of the deepest groups of tight ends I have seen at Nebraska. Ben Cotton (4 rec for 48 yards, 1 TD), Mike McNeill (3 rec for 23 yards), Kyler Reed (1 rec for 71 yards, 1 TD), and Dreu Young (3 rec for 29 yards) all played well Saturday and all appear to be ready to see the field often next season.
And here's the reason why Sammy Vegas and A. Rose only learned 5 things from the game. It's tough to balance football and smokeshows.
This week on The DXP Road Show: Live from Bloomington, IN (#26 thing to do for a sports fan before he/she dies!)