Just Breathe...That was my wife's advice as Minnesota left Lincoln on Senior Day with a win after the Huskers lost a big half time lead and all of the momentum. Well I have been breathing and doing a lot of reflecting on this season and here is what I have come up with. First Bo does not deserve to be fired just yet. I have not exactly been singing his praises as of late, but there have been a lot of things that are out of his control that have helped the Huskers drop the last two games in a row. First there are the injuries, missing players, and suspensions. The Huskers are loaded with talent, but a lot of that talent has been sitting on the sideline or should be sitting on the sideline watching. Look at the tally...Curry, Jackson, Rose-Ivey, Moss, Taylor, Alexander, Turner, and Burch have all been gone all season long. Abdullah, Bell, Gregory, Santos, Carter, Pelini, Reeves and several others have missed time or should be sitting to take care of injuries. That is ridiculous. Second Pelini's defensive system is proven and can work when people are doing what they need to do (See 2009). A coach can only do so much and then the kids need to take over and perform and that has not been the case. And finally football is all about confidence and the Huskers don't seem to have it right now. At the start of the year the Huskers were dripping with confidence and had a swagger that was hard to ignore...what I saw in the Wisconsin and the second half of the Minnesota game was a team that had no confidence in themselves or their ability.
So what happens this week against an Iowa team who is looking to win back to back games against the Husker and defend their home turf in the final regular season game? I don't know, but here is what I think.
Offense: The offense has been lethargic in the past few weeks ever since their leader and best player AA went down against Purdue. Lets be honest the Huskers O is not the same without AAs presence and it doesn't appear that Tim Beck can figure out what to do even though he has a ton of additional talent waiting to prove themselves. Well here is the answer...pound the ball with Cross and use Louisiana Smooth Cethan Carter on shirt routes to move the ball down the field and control the clock. Grind out the game and control the flow so Iowa can never get into a groove. with Bell probably not 100% you need to use Westerstache on short routes and crossing routes with Pierson El. The only way we win this game is if we keep the ball in our possession for the majority of the game.
Defense: We have struggled against the run in the last few games, but our secondary remains a strength in coverage. Our D backs and safeties are good enough to control Iowa's receivers one on one which means we can spare a man or two to fill gaps and keep Weisman from getting on a roll. Weisman is not a threat to break a big run, but once he gets that big A$$ moving he is tough to bring down. We need to gang tackle and try to hit him in the back field before he gets any momentum. The Iowa Oline is big and strong, but they are not extremely agile so our speed guys will need to beat them off the ball and get in the backfield. The D line will be the difference between Victory or a third straight L.
Fearless Prediction: Reeves will finally be starting at center and will help to get some push up front against a good Iowa D line...Hell in a Helmet finally shows up for the final game of the season and the boys open lanes for Cross and AA. Gregory gets the best of a talented Oline using his speed and positioning to make some big stops on third down.
We are in year seven of Bo-ball and we are having the same conversation about the same topics each year. Since players come and go each year and the teams we face each year do too, why does the Husker conversation remain pretty much the same? Bo over the years have blamed his players each and every step of the way. We hear terms like "players must have want to, they are mentality weak, not playing smart, not executing" and the list goes on and on. Bo and the fellas give the players everything they need in practice according to him and yet during games we have the same kinds of problems each year with mostly the non-powder puff teams except with a few teams like Wyoming and McNeese State sprinkled in. As many of you know, I have been on the Strength and Conditioning wagon for over the last five years now. We still have that problem and it surfaces each year as teams we face physically have their way with the Huskers! So, why the same problems year in and year out? What one aspect of the program remains the same each year? We have also had many coaching changes over the last seven years too and has that helped any? If MSU, Wisconsin and Minnesota ran right up the gut and around the Huskers at will, any idea what the Iowa game plan is going to be at home, in the cold and wind?
the Blackshirts should match up well with Iowa's offensive style, maybe tally a few sacks and get a turnover or another defensive/special teams score
I'm a little concerned with the lack of offense the last few weeks and the Hawkeye defense is pretty stout
High Octain Grain 24
What the hell. I pick the HUSKERS in a show of spectacular football!
Our beleaguered youngsters will decide to play to win and respond in kind to all the cheap shots, falling on players on the ground as much as possible,body slams, and gut punches in the pile that are characteristic of B1G football. Our conference may not be the fastest, but it's the fastest at getting a 300 lb. guy to trip and fall down on your best players if that's what it takes.
So, enough whining. We need to gut punch Iowa early and often.
BIG RED YOUNG OVERACHIEVERS - 35
Iowa Birds - 27
And a boy howdy, I hope y'all are all wrong!
GO BIG RED!!!!!!!!
NU 20, IA 31
HEART...That's all I have to say. Those kids stared down adversity and fought back like champs.