Monday, September 01, 2008

Nebraska Football: You'll Never Guess My Favorite Play

I only saw the first half of the Nebraska game, so that narrows it down. But you'll still never guess my favorite play.

No, none of the touchdowns. None of the sacks or other high-drama defensive plays.

My favorite play was when Western Michigan tried to run a quick screen to the wide receiver, with another wideout popping out to block and spring the receiver. Other teams have tortured the Cornhuskers in recent years with that play. We never seemed to catch on.

When Western Michigan tried it, the defensive back blasted the blocker back several yards into the receiver and stuffed the play, allowing other tacklers to converge. I hope that's a sign of better personnel and scheme on defense.

Other impressions --

Give Cody Glenn a blackshirt. Give Larry Asante a tray of water bottles and tell him to keep the football players hydrated.

Didn't see the Joe Ganz INTs. The radio announcers said we had tight ends open for TDs on plays where he dumped off to backs. Still, I like him.

I thought Bill Callahan was out of my system, but I still feel a trace of anti-Callahan fever when I watch Ganz and contemplate how that may be the best measure of Callahan's arrogance. One way to guarantee that he was "right" to recruit and play Sam Keller was to never let Ganz get a snap. Then Ganz played well enough to save Callahan's job if Kevin Cosgrove had provided a serviceable defense.

Nowhere for backs to run. Quentin Castille looks like he's in great shape, but 6 yards on 5 carries against WMU? Of course, last year we ran all over Nevada, but the season didn't play out that way.

Didn't see the second half, which we lost 14-13 and by yardage. Did we get outcoached? In such a mismatch it should have gone the other way considering we had our first string in all the way and were passing late in the game.

Sneak a helmet onto assistant coach Mike Ekeler for kick-block teams. It's in the paper ( if you didn't see it on TV. He went about 12 feet in the air leaping on to players coming of the field after a defensive stop.

I'm going to see the Kool-Aid glass half full. Get all the linemen healthy. Get more familiar with offensive and defensive schemes. IMPROVE each week instead of the static, auto-pilot performances of Callahan-Cosgrove units.

Finally, my newspaper and TV on-screen indicator say it's "The Bo Pelini Show" but the logo for show is "The Nebraska Football Show." My guess is that Il Duce Pelini said the focus should be Nebraska football instead of him.

Other Big 12 teams --

Missouri's Jeremy Maclin looked like Vince Young, a man among boys, cruising around the field at will. Maybe Nebraska punter Dan Titchener was practicing that shank for Missouri, which might be for the best. And Adi Kunalic must keep putting kickoffs into the end zone.

I only saw the 4th quarter, but Colorado looked solid against Colorado State. It was a shotgun spread formation, but the play-calling was old style Nebraska smashmouth on the ground. I don't know anything about Colorado State this year, but the point is that the Colorado O-line moved the entire line of scrimmage down field and opened lanes. Glad that game is last so we have time to get our act together.

Chattanooga had 1 first down and 36 yards of total offense against Oklahoma. That is a painful day of football. And somehow 57-2 sounds worse than 57-0. OU snapped the ball over the punter's head into the end zone. I don't suppose that will happen when we're there.

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