After a loss like Saturday night's to Wisconsin 48-17, Nebraska will be heading back to the proverbial drawing board to try and figure out what they do next. The toughest job the players and coaches will have this week is trying to forget about Wisconsin and move on. Ohio State is coming to town Saturday night for Nebraska's Big Ten opener, and they won't be looking to offer sympathy to the Huskers. If their not careful the they could easily get upset again, the Buckeyes are great at capitalizing on downtrodden teams and are sure to take any advantage.
Here are six things, both positive and negative, seen during the game.
+ 1. The offense as a whole in the first 20 minutes of the game. Taylor Martinez looked OK early and Rex Burkhead was running tough, they scored two touchdowns. Then the implosion occurred.
+ 2. Freshman Jamal Turner had five catches for 84 yards. Turner showed toughness when he held onto the ball after getting hit on a couple of those receptions. His shifty speed is inline with the fastest guys on the field and he appears to run good routes.
+ 3. Bo Pelini's temper seemed completely under control the entire game. The television doesn't show Pelini at all times, but maybe you've noticed the cameramen sure are quick to focus on him whenever there's a play with emotion. In the post game interview he took full responsibility for the loss and actually apologized to the fans for such a crappy outing.
- 1. Tim Beck. Unfortunately, he's not as capable of calling plays during a big game that Husker fans hoped for. Few people will probably be sleeping worse than Beck after this fiasco in Madison. He was hard on himself, "I did some bonehead things too tonight, obviously." Yep. Like letting Martinez pass and not just ramming the ball into the line with Burkhead. This subject will fill the airwaves this week for sure.
- 2. Taylor Martinez. Ugh. What can be said? Let's speculate on a potential replacement or a duel quarterback system perhaps? Back-up Brion Carnes has to be getting a little bit frustrated with the performance of his counterpart. All indications suggest Carnes can actually throw the ball. Maybe even to the team with the same colored jerseys.
- 3. Defense. Yep, it's now very obvious the whole unit has been overrated the entire year of 2011. Starting with spring practice all the way through summer, and up until Saturday night, not enough could be said about the great blackshirts. Those same shirts might not see the light-of-day this season. All three levels got exposed by the high powered Badger offense. The Pelini brothers will surely get some of it fixed, but the optimism is now gone.
The Huskers have five days to shake off a terrible performance on the road. The conference members were all watching last night surely taking notes on how to attack Nebraska's multiple weaknesses. At least there's no more pressure to finish with a perfect record. Pick yourselves up, brush off the blood, stop pressing, have fun, and play some football.