Sunday, September 28, 2008
Nebraska had VT to a 4th down and then there was some commotion and the announcers said there is a flag. For what? Personal foul? Who did that? Suh? That wasn't a late hit!! In the above picture, you see Erin Andrews from ESPN/ABC turn around and leave the game because she was upset with the call.
The Huskers didn't play very well most of the game and in reality, VT could have had a three TD lead at half. But they didn't. The calls late in the game took away our "hope" but it didn't cost us the game. What cost us the game was that we were sloppy and made a lot of mistakes.
A real disappointment again from the offensive line. I guess in the great years we could run even if the opposing team stacked the middle. That was until we faced Oklahoma.
The offense has some real issues. It starts with the offensive line. They need to respond starting this week or it could be a very long season!!! Roy Helu has to get more carries! Joe Ganz has to hit his receivers with consistency like he is capable of doing. We have to be able to run the ball I don't care what anybody says. We have to and as long as we can't, we will be an average team at best.
On defense, there was a lot of receivers open. Missed assignments. We seem to play better with the nickel and dime package. We need to find a away to get Eric Hagg in the game all the time. Maybe he should be safety. Ricky Thenarse played well when he was in but he is still hurt.
Enough rambling. Is NU still going to win the Big 12 North? Stay tuned but this writer thinks the team will rally. The point spread is eleven points but many feel it will be worse.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
This writer sees a low scoring game this week with Nebraska's Alex Henery hitting a 41 FG with seconds remaining. The final score will be 17-14. Stars of the game will be D. Suh, Zach Potter, Cody Glenn, Tyler Wortman, Ty Steinkuhler, and Alex Henery. On offense, it will be a struggle with the VT defense. Special teams will be big this week.
It will be a great game to watch so get buckled up and get ready!!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Virginia Tech beat North Carolina in a thriller yesterday. Their loss was to East Carolina who is ranked. They play the game in Lincoln this Saturday which gives NU the edge. This writer believes NU will be favored by 3-5 points.
With a win this week, NU will hit the Top 25 polls again. When was the last time we did that? Well actually on 9/30/07, Nebraska was rated 25th in the AP and 23rd in the USA Today poll. After the 5th week of the season last year, we were rated.
Nebraska is rated 30th in the AP poll and 27th in the USA Today poll this week. They are ready to break-in to the elite group.
Who are the top teams in college football right now? This writer rates them as follows:
1. USC-Very talented. Pac 10 is really down this year. USC may not get a game until the National Championship Game. I wish they were in the SEC. That would be fun!!
2. Georgia-QB Matt Stafford is very talented with his top targets being DJ Shockley and David Greene. The running attach is led by Knowshon Moreno. Quite a name. SEC team
3. Florida-Fast and they hit hard. SEC team.
4. Alabama. Big surprise this year with Saban as coach. They play Georgia this week and wow would this writer like to see that one. It is at Georgia so they will be favored but don't be surprised if Alabama pulls this one out. They are good!
5.& 6. Oklahoma and Missouri. Big 12 elite.
7. Penn State. Big 10's best! Not saying a lot but they will end the season possibly undefeated with USC. I think Wisconsin is beatable.
8. LSU. Another SEC team who could beat any team on a given week.
9. Texas Tech They can pile up the points!!
10. Wake Forest.
Teams close to the Top 10. Texas, BYU, Wisconsin, Auburn
Some of this week's games this writer will be watching this week besides NU/VT and Georgia/ Alabama are Louisville/Connecticut, Colorado at Florida St., Tennessee at Auburn, Arkansas at Texas, and TCU at Oklahoma.
The Toddler says Oklahoma needs to be ready for TCU this time.
Who is Nebraska's MVP. Who would we miss the most if they couldn't play this week? These ranking are based on talent and the depth at their position.
1. Joe Ganz
2. Ndamukong Suh
3. Zach Potter
4. Nate Swift
5. Alex Henery
6. Phillip Dillard
7. Lydon Murtha
8. Cody Glenn
9. Matt Slauson
10. Eric Hagg
11. Pierre Allen
12. Marlon Lucky
13. Prince Amukarara
14. Mike McNiel
15. Ty Steinkuhler
Texas A & M, Iowa State, Baylor, and Kansas State are at the bottom of the Big 12. This writer hates to look to next year but Colorado will be favored in the Big 12 North with Chase Daniel and Joe Ganz gone.
And then finally the NFL. The best two teams right now are Dallas and Denver. New England has dropped so far without Tom Brady that it is hard to believe after they blew everybody out until the end last year.
Much improved are Atlanta and San Fransisco. Of course any week, any team can beat anybody.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Nebraska whipped up on New Mexico St. 35-7. It was Nebraska's best game so far and it was a fun game to watch.
The running game got going. We will see when we play Virginia Tech if it continues or if New Mexico St. just didn't have the defensive talent.
All the running backs and offensive line played well. Mike McNiel had great touchdown. Joe Ganz played well. Marlon Lucky had his best game.
Nebraska played a different defense than what we have seen in the past. Four cornerbacks were playing most of the game. With that, we were playing a lot of the game with one linebacker. This writer is uncertain as to whether the cornerbacks are considered linebackers with this scheme but the defense was loaded with faster, quicker players to defense against one of the nation's top passing teams. Many times New Mexico St. lined up with four wideouts. The cornerbacks played directly over the receivers.
The defense was also assisted by the great play of the defensive line. Suh and Potter played very well.
On the first play of the game, #23 was playing and the fans started to say who is that? Who is Lance Thorell? Lance made four tackle on the opening drive and ended with the second most tackles on the team with eight.
Lance is a tremendous athlete from Loomis, Nebraska. Loomis is a town of app. 400 people. Most people that follow high school sports know that Loomis has been a power in D-2 and D-1. Lance was all-state in football and basketball. During his high school play, he played on the state champion basketball team in D-2 and he played in the playoffs in football. He broke the record in the 110 yard hurdles for Class D and won that race and the 300 yard intermediate hurdle in Class D. He was also a member of the Class D champion track team. He was close to the times that Niles Paul was running in the hurdles the whole 2007 track season.
So those that have followed Loomis know Lance is a great athlete. But we know there are tons of great athletes in sports. Lance's success, in this writer's opinion, is due to his hard work, his desire to succeed, and his ability to understand football concepts faster than most athletes. Lance is out to prove to himself and others that he can play for the Big Red. Who would have thought he would have been a contributor this quickly? Maybe Lance.
Before Lance entered his senior year, we had Lance complete a questionnaire. This may help you to get to know him better even though a lot of accomplishments have been achieved by Lance since this time. Lance is a cousin to Matt Hill, the Lincoln Southeast product, who is playing basketball for Texas. Remember this questionnaire was completed in August of 2006 and a lot of things have changed this that time.
Lance Thorell, a senior at Loomis High School, is relatively an unknown except for the schools that have played against him. Coach Grant Mollring of Eustis-Farnam was quoted earlier in the year in the Kearney Hub "and the best athlete west of Kearney, in my opinion, is Thorell". Eustis-Farnam plays Loomis this week in D-1 action.
Thorell has excelled in football, basketball, and track at Loomis High during his career. He played on the D-2 championship basketball team three years ago. He had top five performances in Nebraska in the 110 highs and the intermediate hurdles.
He is a two time all-stater in football. Last year he had 101 tackles and eight interceptions. Coach Denis Reese has put him in a position where he can help the team the most. His sophomore year he played receiver on offense and had a great year with all-stater Drew Billeter throwing TD's to him. Last year he played QB. This year he converts to running back. He will be tough to stop and should have a sensational season.
His strongest positions in college looks to be receiver and safety. He has excellent speed, great hands, and is a very tough hard hitter on defense.
Lance is 6'1" and weighs 180 lbs. He benches 245 lbs. and squats 315 lbs. His 40 time is 4.6 and he has a 33 inch vertical jump. His best season in receiving was in 2004 when he had 914 yards receiving and 14 TD's.
Lance will excel wherever he plays and would be a great walk on for the Nebraska program.
This year the word will get out how good he really is. Watch his progress this season.
He responded to our questionnaire and here is what he had to say:
Favorite Game Memory:
"Beating Bertrand 48-16"
Best Athlete You Have Played Against:
"Steve Dent of Mullen and Wade Vontz of Cambridge"
College Interested in You:
"Iowa, Doane, South Dakota, UNK, Concordia, Morningside, Dana"
College You Are Interested In:
"Iowa, Doane, UNK, South Dakota"
What is Your Favorite Books:
Who is Your Favorite Movie Actor:
What is Your Favorite Movie:
"Dumb and Dumber"
What is Your Favorite TV Show:
"That 70's Show"
Which Actor Would You Like To Be Like:
What Are Your Hobbies:
"Hunting and Playing Sports"
What is Important For You To Be Successful:
Thank you Lance for giving us this information and good luck in the playoffs.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
In a short answer, yes. Will they? I don't know. When I did my Wednesday Preview, I said that before the season started I believed that Ohio State would win the game, but now I lean toward USC. Is USC that good? I don't know. We won't know for a few more weeks. Will they beat Ohio State, if they do, like they beat Virginia? I doubt it. Is Virginia that bad? Well, it seems that the ACC is not really that good this year, and Virginia may be at the bottom. But, Pete Carroll is unbelieveable in opening games. Ohio State did not look very good last week. But, the week before, they looked just fine. Not having "Beanie Wells" really hurts their chances. I agree with with Eddie at The Red Zone Report that Todd Boeckman has to have a career game.
Another thing you have to remember is that these are college kids. The ability of a team like Ohio State "getting up" against someone like Ohio U is not easy. For USC, you can bet they will be ready. Also, Ohio State has played two games where as USC has only played one. Things probably will not go quite as smoothly against Ohio State as they did against Virginia. USC has yet to face adversity this year where as Ohio State has.
As far as my poll is concerned, remember I update every three weeks. My poll is presently still from the preseason. I think things will be much clearer on Sunday. I will update accordingly.
Who's better, Texas Tech or Texas? Right now, I would go with Longhorns. Tech's defense hasn't shown up yet this year. I think that is unfortunate, but the type of offense that they run puts a tremendous amount of stress on the defense. The Lonhorns, however, have looked impressive so far. As a Razorback fan, I am a little glad that game got postponed. However, I look for Texas to plaster the Hogs in Austin on Sept. 27.
The New Mexico State QB, Chase Holbrook, is a Hurst, TX product from the North Texas area. Another one of those kids from Texas. Good luck to Nebraska against New Mexico State. Go Huskers!
Friday, September 12, 2008
The Aggies are coached by Hal Mumme. He is actually a pretty funny guy. The new defensive coordinator is Joe Lee Dunn. He coached last year at Ridgeway High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Even though he was at a high school, he is well known for his defensive schemes. He runs a 3-3-5 defensive. He makes his players pass a very rigorous "The Packer" drill before they can play. Dunn is the guru of the 3-3-5 defense. They have three down lineman and pack in three linebackers. Dunn will have the Aggies blitzing, blitzing, blitzing. Nebraska better protect Ganz because this is a game he could be hit very hard a few times. Of course with this gambling defense Nebraska will break some big plays on Saturday.
Nebraska has some ties to New Mexico State. Tony Samuel has the third most wins as the head coach at New Mexico St. He is a former player and assistant coach at Nebraska. In 1999, Barney Cotton was the Asst. head coach and Jeff Jamrog was the defensive coordinator for the Aggies. They beat Arizona State at Tempe 35-7 that year.
Nebraska has beat the Aggies twice. In 1979, we beat them 57-0. We were second ranked at the time. In 1982, we beat the Aggies 68-0 and listen to this. We had 677 yards on the ground and 883 total yards that day.
The Aggies are led by Chase Holbrook who is the real deal. He has no interceptions in the last 55 passes. He has a chance to break nine NCAA offensive records and nine NCAA passing records this year. He has 8485 yards for 60 touchdowns in his career. And believe it or not he has completed 70.1 of the passes he has thrown in his career.
Chris Williams is his top receiver and he is a good one. Probably the reason they are bragging about having better receivers than Nebraska. He is one of the best receivers in the country. He has caught 160 passes for 2284 yards and 23 touchdowns.
The Aggies have won five of their last six opening season games. They had their opening game cancelled against Nichols St. due to the hurricane weather.
New Mexico St could compete as well as San Jose St if we get off to a slow start. We have to get our rhythm going this week. WE need good tackle and tight end play this week. Lydon Murtha is back and the line should be more physical. The run game needs to be better this week. If they can't get going this week, we may have a problem this year. The competition is going to get tougher after this game.
Look to Nebraska to win 42-21. We will have a number of long touchdowns. Nebraska will go over 425 total yards. New Mexico St. will have 300 passing yards.
Now a couple of questions for our friend Todd Jones. He has Ohio State rated number one on his collegefootballtopten.com blog. With the opponent being USC and Ohio State going there to play, how will Ohio State beat USC on Saturday?
Who is better Texas Tech or Texas?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Roy Helu is a heck of a back and right separates himself from the rest of the field. There is a spark in the team when he is playing.
Niles Paul is doing some good things. The kickoff return for the TD really fired up the team and the fans.
Nate Swift and Todd Peterson continue to be forces on the receiving core.
Defensive Line. Playing well. Suh, Potter, and Allen were standouts.
Prince A. The defensive backfield seems to be less passive when he is playing.
Penalties!!!! Momentum and drive KILLERS!
Barry Turner. His broken leg is a downer for the team and our depth will be hurt by the loss of this fine man.
Offensive line. This includes the tight ends. Many blocks were missed and we were physically dominated at times. We HAVE to get better to be a Top 25 team.
Fullback. When are we going to start using the fullback as a weapon? RUN him three or four times during the game and give the defense more to think about.
Tyler Wortman. We need to find a way to get him some time as he is too good to be sitting when we are running the "nickel" defense. Maybe he could back up Glenn and Dillard to give them some relief.
The offense plays well when Joe Ganz is rolling out and throwing.
The special teams are playing well. The defense got three turnovers on Saturday. That's a huge help to this team in key situations of the game.
This game was decided by about five or six plays. We were outyarded by 50 yards. Next week we will put together a team game and come away with a big game. If not, well there won't be an if not.
Nebraska played another true freshman on Saturday, Alfonso Dennard. He is a cornerback but his action was as kickoff returner. He had two kickoff returns for 21 yards. So far, Nebraska has used Sean Fisher and Mason Wald on special teams this year. This writer is not aware of any other freshman playing. It appears that we will redshirt and large number of freshman this year and build for the future.
Friday, September 05, 2008
Last week Bo Pelini became the fifth straight Nebraska coach to open his first full season with a win.
Bob Devaney 1962 59-0 over South Dakota
Tom Osbone 1972 40-13 over UCLA
Frank Solich 1998 56-27 over Louisiana Tech
Bill Callahan 2004 56-17 over Western Illinois
Did you know that Bill Walsh and Vick Vermeil were San Jose St. Alums?
The two-time Hot Dog Contest champion Joey Chestnut is a San Jose St. alum.
Nebraska wins Saturday 45-14.
What is your prediction???
Thursday, September 04, 2008
John asked me a few questions the other day. He wanted me to share them in a post. I have done so at my site in a segment called CFTT Inbox. The link to that post is here.
That being said, here is John's questions followed by my answers.
1. What kind of season do you think A & M will have. They have a strong Husker connection from last year’s coaches and also Tim Cassidy.
2. How good is Alabama? Can they beat Georgia on a neutral field today or USC? Is Saban that good of a coach/ He has a pretty good track record with wins.
3. Who do you think will win the North in the Big 12? Is Missouri a lock?
4. What is your game of the week? It could have been Florida and Miami but Miami has gone down hill.
Here are my answers.
Games of the Week
Wake Forest vs. Mississippi–WF defeated Baylor soundly, and Ole Miss looked pretty good in Houston Nutt’s debut. We have a game between a coach who turned down the Arkansas Razorback head football coach job and a coach who left the Arkansas football head coaching job. This will be a good early test for the Rebels to see if they are bowl worthy, and it will be a chance for the Deacons to get a little redemption for the ACC.
Louisiana Tech vs. Kansas–A lot of people weren’t talking Jayhawks coming into the season. Back to earthy they would say about KU. Louisiana Tech beat a Mississippi State Bulldog team that went to a bowl game last year and most people think Sylvester Croom has headed in the right direction. Is La Tech for real? We’ll see if they can stop KU’s “Blue Collar” spread attack.
I just don’t know about A&M. Their fans have already written them off for the season, but I have to think they have enough talent to be at least 6-6. However, it seems Oklahoma State is much improved, but Baylor ought to be someone they can beat.
About Alabama. I saw a mature, seasoned team on the field with Clemson. They dominated the line on both sides of the ball. They appeared to have made the offense more manageable for John Parker Wilson (the QB), and they seem to have the horses to run the ball. Their TE was super Saturday, too. As far as them beating Georgia or USC, that is hard know just yet. Alabama has a lot of freshmen on the field. They will make a mistake (most likely) at some point. I think that they might be able to line it up and go toe to toe with both teams.
As far as the Big 12 North goes, I am not sure about Mizzou. The score in the Illinois game tells me that their defense is not there yet. They gave up 451 yards to a QB who was known for his feet. Either way, giving up that many yards to any QB says that your defense is not quite ready to win a championship. I need to evaluate Kansas and Nebraska before making my analysis. Also, Colorado.