Friday, September 3, 2010

Husker breakdown preseason

Strengths -

Badger - Running Game:  Nebraska returns 100% of their rushing offense from 2009.  Roy Helu Jr rushed for 1147 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, good for 4th and 2nd in the Big 12.  Rex Burkhead proved himself a solid back-up averaging more than 4 yards per carry last season.  Add to them a more mature Cody Green and the athletic abilities of Taylor Martinez under center and Nebraska should improve over last years rushing totals that were good for sixth in the Big 12.

Bugeater - Wide Receivers:  Niles Paul and Brandon Kinnie provide two experienced and reliable options for the quarterback(s) to find.  Paul proved himself to be a go to target with exceptional speed last year and should only improve on that this year.  Kinnie can be an isolation type possession guy we haven’t had since career reception leader Nate Swift.  The freshman Quincy Enunwa apparently will earn some playing time and may even be an impact player for the Big Red.  

Weaknesses -

Badger - Quarterback:  Zac Lee and Cody Green combined to lead a passing attack that ranked 11th in the Big 12 last year.  Niether QB completed over 60% of their passing attempts.  Zac Lee had only 14 TD passes, tied with Austen Arnaud, for 8th most in the conference.  I don’t imagine we’ll see much of an improvement over last year regardless of who is under center, especially if the running games lives up to expectations.

Bugeater - Linebacker:  With the injury to Sean Fisher, and the overall uncertainty at the position, linebacker has to be the biggest question mark for the team.  The defensive quarterback must be a good communicator and know his assignments and the assignments of his teammates to be effective.  Will Compton, Matt May, Eric Martin and new comer Lavonte David have all been in the mix for starting MLB.  With the use of the so called “Peso”, Eric Hagg will see some time in the middle of the defense.    

Player to watch -

Badger - Taylor Martinez:  I have 100% bought into the T-Magic hype machine.  If this kid is as good as advertised he could be the next in the long line of great Husker QBs.  If not, I guess we’ll just have to wait till next and start hyping up Jamal Turner.

Bugeater- Prince Amukamara and Jared Crick:  No one can replace the most dominant defensive tackle in the history of the game Ndamukong Suh, but these two guys will lesson the impact of the loss.  Amukamara is the first lock down corner Nebraksa has had in recent memory.  His ability to disrupt the opposing teams passing game will benefit the Huskers in incalculable ways.  If you can’t throw the ball to one side of the field because of his presence, it makes for a long day.  Jared Crick had a great Sophomore year tallying 9 1/2 sacks.  I expect Crick to slide into the role Suh has left and make his own chaos for unsuspecting quarterbacks.
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  1. Update: Announced this morning Wil Compton injured his foot in practice and is out for a few weeks.

  2. How could both of you mss the biggest weakness. No more Matt O'Hanlon!!!


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