Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Week 1 In the Books; USC awaits Huskers
-Nebraska, at the very least, is a lot better than it was at the beginning of last season. After watching Nebraska struggle with Maine and not be able to run consistently on a Division 1AA team to open last season, I was sincerely worried about a repeat of 2004. LaTech, which beat Fresno State late last season, is a legit 1A team and a much better opening opponent than Maine was last season.
-Callahan's committment to running the ball appears to be the real deal, but I already suspected as much after watching the spring game.
-The offensive line, while still not dominating or superior, is light-years ahead of last season.
-I'm not usually a big proponent of the "running back by committee approach". However, after watching the Huskers wear down a decent LaTech team with its four-headed monster, I'm think it might work out nicely. All four appear deserving of playing time and all four bring a little something different. If it were up to me, I'd have the backs in this order: Glenn, Lucky, Jackson, Wilson. If the game were on the line and the Huskers needed 4 yards...I'd probably give the ball to either Glenn or Jackson.
-It was nice to see Matt Herian back. He didn't look quite as explosive as he used to, but he still looked like one of the best tight ends in the country.
-It was not nice to see so many dropped passes. Zac Taylor could have been well over 300 yards with over 80% without the drops.
-Nebraska's secondary looked shaky at best. The defensive tackles are not yet up to the standard set last season. The corps of defensive ends is possibly the best in the nation, and the linebackers are as deep as talented as almost any team.
-I hope Cozgrove was holding something back against LaTech. If he elects to use the "off-man" coverage he's so fond of against USC in two weeks, I strongly suspect Nebraska might have to score 40 or 50 points to win. Personally, I'd like to see Nebraska use a zone-blitz type scheme against USC.
-If you didn't watch USC against Arkansas on Saturday, be warned: USC still has plenty of talent even with Bush and Leinart gone. USC's receivers will be an absolutely matchup nightmare for Nebraska's secondary.
-USC gloom and doom aside, Nebraska looked like a 9 or 10-win team against LaTech. When you consider the problems in the North Division (particularly at K-state and Colorado), Nebraska should be able to win the division easily this season. That even takes into account a possible loss on the road at Iowa State. The Cyclones have a brutal conference schedule that includes Oklahoma and Texas.