Friday, September 17, 2010

Grades And Thoughts For The Idaho Game

Man this game was so... whatever it was, it took me almost a week to write about it. Actually it wasn't that bad. In fact if last weeks message after the 49-10 victory over Western Kentucky was it wasn't that good than the message after this weeks 38-17 victory over Idaho is it wasn't that bad. To be sure there is a lot of hand ringing over the turnovers and penalties as well there should be but you can make a case and a damn good one that Nebraska played a much better game in week 2 than they did in game 1 despite what you may have heard or believed. Unlike game 1 where Western Kentucky scored 10 points and should have scored at least 17, Idaho scored 17 points and probably should have scored 7 or 10. Nebraska not Idaho kept Nebraska's score down in the high 30's. This was in actuality more of a 52-10 game than a 38-17 game which given the fact that this was not a bad opponent is really...not that bad...not bad at all.

Offense B
Nebraska came out and set the tone for the day by driving down field stopping a drive with a penalty then having to kick a field goal. On drive #2 they drove down field and Taylor Martinez fumbled the ball away. Nebraska had almost 300 yards at halftime yet both of their offensive touchdowns came on one big one play drives. The second half started when Niles Paul (whom-else?) fumbled the ball when he was lined up in the wildcat. I thought the call sucked as there was really no need for it. Nebraska had been beating Idaho with basic stuff the whole first half so there was no need to get cute. And when your best runner is possibly the quarterback is there need for a wildcat? I thought Sean Watson called a fine game overall but that call was curious. The fumble on the first play again set the tone for the second half. Nebraska had numerous scoring opportunites but only cashed in one. And even on the 3rd quarter touchdown run Taylor Martinez fumbled but managed to recover in the end-zone. Nice to see Roy Helu have a long touchdown run and Rex Burkhead was Rex Burkhead but I thought Taylor Martinez took a step back. He had good numbers and another long touchdown run BUT he missed a wide open Mike McNeil who could have ran for a month if Taylor got the ball to him. He fumbled several times losing one and he threw an Interception when he was in the grasp of a defender that was so bad that you can't blame his youth. A 9th Grader should have known not to have thrown that ball. Still he rushed for 157 yards and threw for a high completion percentage. Nebraska moved the ball at will but as often as not could not get out of their own way.

Defense A.
5 interceptions, 2 for touchdowns and 7 sacks against a pretty damn good defense. While I believe Nate Enderle was more than a little spooked for his homecoming give much of the blame for that to the blackshirt defense. Idaho's first 3 points came at the end of the 1st half when the defense had been out on the field the entire quarter because Nebraska scored on 2 one play drives and 2 interception returns for touchdowns. There 1st touchdown came after Martinez's boneheaded interception and their last score came against the 5th string. Tough to find anything other than the play of the bench to be upset about from this bunch Saturday. 6 turnovers in one game? I think under Kevin Cosgrove Nebraska went all year with out 6 turnovers.

Special Teams. A.
Nebraska did a better job on kick return defense this week and their returns were OK. Alex Henery had one short field goal which he made with ease and though his punting average was only 26 yards a kick both of his punts were downed inside the 20. Solid job all the way around.

Overall. B
Really this could have been an A game and probably should have been. But I can't give an A with 4 turnovers and a 100 yards in penalties. The good thing is we were so dominant that we still managed to win the game without breaking much of a sweat. The bad thing is this week 4 turnovers and a bunch of penalties might be enough to get you beat at Washington even though it's a game you should win. One last thing about this game. last week I ripped the officials this week play by play man Jim Armstrong gets my ire. Armstrong is a veteran of Midwest sporting events having called Big 8 and 12 basketball and football along with Kansas City Royals baseball for many years. The announcer with his trade mark a loud exclamation of WOW! was never very good. Saturday he was fucking terrible. Niles Paul caught every pass whether he actually caught it or not. Once Idaho fumbled and Nebraska recovered it and Armstrong never did figure it out calling it a loss of downs in confusion. He had Idaho ahead 31-3 at the half. You are never going to get great announcing on these PPV games I realize that but for $40 can't we do better than that? If we can't simulcast the radio play by play. Color analyst Gary Reasons was actually pretty solid on the broadcast too bad he got no help from Armstrong who is probably still yelling WOW! Usually Ron Thulan calls the PPV games and while Thulan is not a great Play by play guy by any means at least he is usually competent and professional. And really that is all I ask. Jim Armstrong owes us an apology for that shitty performance. WOW was he awful.

Around The Big 8.

Kansas 28 Georgia Tech 25. Talk about going from the outhouse to the penthouse! No matter what happens the rest of the year Turner Gill has something to hang his hat on.

California 52 Colorado 7. Worse than laying an absolute egg in Berkley is Dan Hawkins insistence that his team is just this close to being really good.

Missouri 50 McNeese State 6. Exactly what Missouri should have done.

Oklahoma 47 Florida State 17. As bad as OU looked last Saturday that's how good they looked this Saturday...maybe better.

Texas 34 Wyoming 7. Texas pissed and fiddled for almost a half before putting the Cowboys away. They are getting the job done and little else.

Baylor 34 Buffalo 6. Any blowout is a nice blowout for Baylor. They join the real world this week however.

Iowa 35 Iowa State 7. Iowa looks damn good Iowa State needs some run defense.

Oklahoma State 41 Troy 38. Uh speaking of need some defense.

Texas A&M 48 Louisiana Tech 16. Much like Nebraska A&M battled their own mistakes all night bu still found away to win in a rout.

Kansas State 48 Missouri State 24. Hey KSU can throw on teams like Missouri State. If they can throw on real teams they could be a pain in the ass. Then again did you see UCLA last Saturday night? maybe not.

Texas Tech 52 New Mexico 17. New Mexico really sucks so you don't know just what to put in to this. Still I hope they kick Texas' ass this week.

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