The first game of the 2017 season is in the books and will be referred to as history from this point forward. So what has history taught us? First Tanner Lee is as advertised, calm in the pocket, decisive in his decisions and an upgrade at the QB position in regards to passing and passing accuracy. He did not look like a QB who has not seen live action since 2015.
Tre Bryant you earned the starting role as a Running back in practiced, you proved why last night. It was fun to watch a Husker back pound the rock through the middle, slice though small creases, run, jump and plow over the defense. If the other 3 backs bring the same intensity the future is bright for the run game.
The wide receivers had a good game, a young group that will just keep getting better. The Tight End position appears to be one that can be counted on....holy crap Hoppes What a Catch!
The O-line looked to be in control most of the night on the line of scrimmage and that was against a talented front 7 defense. Make no mistake just because ASU is in the sunbelt they reap the rewards of talented players transferring from schools such as Alabama, Auburn, aTm,, Arkansas among others. The mental mistakes need to be cleaned up this week and I'm sure the staff will be addressing them in the next 24 hours.
Special Teams is head and shoulders above last year, Punting was so much better and Lightbourne is going to be fun to watch mature the next couple of years. With the exception of one unexplainable kick out of bounds Brown was who he is, dependable and automatic. Spielman welcome to the highlight reel! I've watched that return 4 times already and I am still amazed how fast you covered the field......none of it possible without the fantastic blocking and setup of the run.
The Defense at times left you asking what the heck was that? In past history lessons we would hear "Well you watched it, what do you think?" Thank goodness this is a new history teacher and he stated exactly what he saw and I have to agree. In my opinion they played a much better team than some are willing to admit because after all they are from the sunbelt....Western Michigan, Boise State anyone, hey the group of 5 has some good teams and ASU has proven in years past they deserve to be put up there in that conversation. Many will be doubting the defenses capability and throwing ice water on the fire that is the new 3-4 defense.
The front 7 played with intensity all game long, the secondary came up when they were most needed....Kalu you are as cool as your Wesley Snipes hairdo, you played a heck of a game.
The Linebackers played well for a first game in a new defense and will be fun to watch as the year goes on, they were laying some wood in that second half!
Refs, Coaches: Yeah it was their first game too and it showed, I'm sure they will get better too.
In the big scheme of things, this was a win! There is work to be done and we all knew that before kickoff so nothing has changed. Hats off to ASU for devising a game plan that is very hard to defend, an accurate QB releasing the ball in less than 3 seconds consistently can make for a long day. I really liked the adjustments the staff made at half time, the 3rd quarter was all Nebraska but ASU proved they would not go quiet into the night in the 4th and anyone watching was saying oh please not a BYU ending! Good job by the Defense to bow up when needed and get that game over!
Next week should be another great challenge (Oregon beat their opponent 77-21), can't wait to watch our Huskers show how much they improved over the week. Go Big Red!
What you will find in todays News:
Bryant breaks out in first start
Riley liked team's fight at the end, but the dancing can wait
Report Card: Nebraska survives ASU test
5 fast takes after the Huskers survived Arkansas State
Tanner Lee, offense had mistakes but plenty else to feel good about
opponent Watch: Freeman runs for 4 TDs and Oregon beats Southern Utah 77-21
It’s not time for Nebraska Cornhuskers fans to panic about the defense yet — we hope
Bob Diaco's defense on red alert after Red Wolves roll Huskers for 497 yards
Nebraska's Defense Will be Fine
Nebraska’s Caleb Lightbourn sees muffed punt returned for touchdown as a fluke for Huskers
Gifford on the Husker D: "We're not worried. We'll be all right"
Diaco warned of growing pains, and he got that part right
Lindsey shakes off rust in first game
Absolutely, if you didn't believe it before the game, Arkansas St should have made a believer of you now. They are the real deal and will fare well thru the rest of the season, almost certainly will win the Sunbelt conference title, again this year!
Passing Defense: D-
Arkansas State’s run-pass options gave the Huskers issues all night, and Red Wolves were able to move the ball with regularity after a few empty possessions in the first quarter. Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen finished 46-of-68 for 415 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, and was more than content to take advantage of Nebraska’s soft coverage. Nebraska had more than a few busts on the evening, and the pass defense is one area that will need to be quickly shored up before heading to Oregon in a week. (Michael Bruntz)\
First and foremost the initial summary posted above by Low is well written. Lot of thought and effort put into your efforts. Brother you must share your kool-aid secret. 400 plus yards in passing by Justice Hansen! Ouch. I thought the secondary was suppose to be strength of this team? Kalu is the best Safety in the country? Lamar Jackson? Okay I understand bend but don't break. 36 Points by a Sun Belt team, I hate to see how much this defense will bend against Ohio st? Okay Coach Bob Diaco you have your work cut out for you even though you're not speaking.
Let's give this team a couple more games before we judge them, are they ready to contend for a national championship? uh no! But they may be ready to correct their mistakes and play good fundamental football in Oregon. As far as Diaco, I have it on not so good authority that his hair crème is a 12 hour standard and because the game went past midnight he couldn't face the cameras with frizzy hair.....
and 1 and 2 and 3 now dip
I have to laugh, because I've outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is an animal. In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal. And, whenever possible, to look like one. I've gotta get inside this guy's pelt and crawl around for a few days.
Have you seen Bob Diaco? He's missing!
5 fast takes after the Huskers survived Arkansas State
It was a scrap in the alley for the Huskers on Saturday night. They got some licks in on offense, but defenders are going to want to throw chunks of this film in the dumpster after watching it once or twice. Here are five fast takes from Nebraska's 43-36 win over Arkansas State.
—Let's not play with the words. The first-half debut of the Bob Diaco defense was a clunker. The second-half work wasn't exactly a defense that looked sure of itself either, though credit can be passed on for making the kind of plays you need to make to survive a rough night. The pick by senior Joshua Kalu was a senior making a play his team had to have. And the Blackshirts produced a late-game safety. (One game with two safeties!) But there were way more mishaps than shining moments.
Now, you can learn from clunkers and no reasonable mind was expecting a piece of fine art Saturday night. But it was so ... dang ... easy for the Red Wolves in the first half. Nebraska wasn't going to get much pressure to begin with because the ball was coming out of Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen's hand so quick.
But the inability for Husker defenders to get off blocks was a major issue. When Luke Gifford finally had enough in the third quarter and busted through a block to make a TFL after a short pass, there was one of those "finally" kind of cheers from the crowd. The Husker defense seemed to get fuel from it. Dedrick Young got a sack on the next play. It was as good of a series as the Huskers had all night.
Prior to that, the same wide-open passing windows seemed to be available across the middle again and again. By halftime, Arkansas State had snapped the ball 48 times, accumulated 289 yards and 26 points. The Red Wolves are going to give other teams problems this year too. But the Huskers are also going to see a higher collection of better athletes as this season goes along. They'll see better ones as soon as next week. Whatever you may think of Oregon and its own question marks, the defensive performance Saturday isn't likely to have Husker fans brimming with confidence for that road trip.
— Tre Bryant told all the other committee members he'd be handling the group project and that's that. And Bryant was good -- quite good. He is patient without being a dancer. When he sees a hole, he has good explosion. His 24-yard in the second quarter came with about 15 years after contact. He broke tackle after tackle and won plenty of Husker hearts right then and there. Mikale Wilbon didn't look bad either on a couple carries, but it appears there is separation at the running back spot. By the end of the third quarter, Bryant had already carried the ball 25 times for 164 yards. I'm thinking that Husker running back room is a little bit more talented than perhaps given credit at times this offseason.
— It's hard to highlight just one of the receivers, because JD Spielman, Stanley Morgan and De'Mornay Pierson-El all had dynamic moments. But let's hone in on the true freshman Spielman. His 99-yard kick return for a touchdown was Nebraska's first house call in the kick return game since Kenny Bell against Penn State. Arkansas State just stopped kicking to him after that. Sometimes coaches give you all the clues. Mike Riley kept bringing up Spielman throughout fall camp. This was not just some flash of a moment for him. He's going to be counted on as if he's a junior or senior. He seems to have the personality that wants that responsibility.
— Tanner Lee was solid. His 44-yard touchdown pass to Stanley Morgan was more than that. That was an NFL arm on display. The beginning was a little shaky. Lee forced a couple passes on the first drive that could've been picked. But he settled in. He took hits and didn't flinch. The Husker offense was pretty darn good, really. Lee's arm and Bryant's churning legs made for a fine blend. While Saturday's performance will leave many toning down the expectations about Diaco's defense, nothing from this game will probably stop anyone who thought Lee was going to be really good this year from still thinking that.
— You can't give the special teams a top grade due to the meltdown on punt coverage early -- allowing a 63-yard from a guy named Blaise Taylor. If you are going to give up a return for six, one supposes you can accept it a little more if a guy named Blaise did it to you. And the guy looked pretty legit. But there were other parts of special teams that were quite encouraging. The Spielman kick return starts it off, obviously. But you know who had one heckuva night too? Caleb Lightbourn. He bombed a 54-yarder and had a beauty of a pin job inside the Arkansas State 5 that Kieron Williams caught. We've seen Lightbourn and Williams do that before in practices, so it wasn't luck. Then he pinned the Wolves inside the five again on a key punt with less than seven minutes left. This team is going to need him to be really good. He was on opening night.