Monday, October 31, 2011

Nebraska - Michigan State Highlights

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nebraska Blackshirts beat hungover Michigan State 24-3

The Nebraska defense have earned their black shirts this week by holding the Michigan State offense to 187 yards and 3 points.  It was the best performance of the year for a much belittled defensive unit.  They provided some answers to the questions they've been plagued by all season.  Can the stop the run?  Can they stop the pass?  Yes and yes.  The Blackshirts allowed only 86 yards passing and 101 yards rushing.

Carl Pelini entered the Husker locker room after the game toting a mesh black practice shirt.  I'm guessing a tiny amount of jubilation took place.  The black practice shirt is a simple piece of clothing that holds a tremendous amount of reverence.  It's a tradition standing bigger than any single player or coach.  A symbol of accomplishment. After Saturday's performance, it was well earned.

"It was awesome," said Will Compton.  "Well deserved."

"That's the most fun I've ever had in a football game,"said Cameron Meredith.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heisman Trophy Race Lead By Stanford's Andrew Luck

Article first published as Heisman Race Lead by Stanford's Andrew Luck on Technorati.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has positioned himself in the top spot of the Heisman Trophy race by clearly being the best college football player in the country so far this season.  Leading the No. 4 ranked Stanford Cardinal to a 7-0 record, Luck has been spectacular on the field.  He has the Cardinal executing a nearly perfect run/pass balanced offensive attack that is gaining 500 yards a game and scoring the nations second best  48.6 points per game.
Stanford's Andrew Luck Heisman Front-Runner

The most impressive display of Luck's football abilities might have came last month.  During the 45-19 victory over UCLA,  Luck began calling his own plays out of the no-huddle offense.  He was reading the defense, then signaling a play to teammates, in an up-tempo attack.  The strategy worked for Stanford scoring touchdowns on two drives.

Most college quarterback's are required to be able to read the defensive formation and audible into a secondary play when the situation calls for it.  Few to none are actually making the play calls on the field themselves.

"It's 100 percent up to him to get us in the right play," said Cardinal coach David Shaw.  The Cardinals have allowed Luck to call plays in each game since. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nebraska Volleyball No. 1 in AVCA Coaches Poll

Head coach John Cook has the Nebraska volleyball team playing extremely well.  In fact Nebraska is now ranked No. 1.  Read about it here.

Man named Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh article written by Jason Whitlock

Controversy is building around arguably the most famous Husker ever Ndamukong Suh.  I'm waiting to see how Suh responds to the allegations. 

Red vs Red ATS Results Week 8

Here are this weeks results for the Red vs Red ATS pick challenge. Thank you goes out to our guest picker Jeff.

Badger 2-2

Guest 2-2

Bugeater 1-3

Thank you for checking out Red vs Red.

Nebraska 41 Minnesota 14

Friday, October 21, 2011

Red vs Red ATS Week 8

Each week Red vs Red will bring you our prognostications on what we deem to be the most interesting games of the week (or the easiest pick).  A huge thank you goes out to our guest picker this week, Jeff from St. Joseph, Missouri.

No. 12 Kansas State - 11.0 @ Kansas
Badger:  Kansas could be the worst BCS conference team in football and Bill Synder looks to have rekindled the magic in the Little Apple once again.  Kansas State 34 Kansas 10

Bugeater:  Time for the all-state college showdown in Lawrence.  Kansas State is playing really good football and Kansas is just not good, at all, like terrible.  Kansas State 48 Kansas 16 
Guest:  Kansas State 21 Kansas 14

No. 19 Auburn @ LSU - 22.5
Badger: With LSU's best offensive and defensive player out for this week this might be the best

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Huskers face Minnesota in Legends division game

Article first published as Huskers Face Minnesota in Legends Division Game on Technorati.

The key message to Husker players this week, don't overlook Minnesota.  Several players interviewed after practice Tuesday repeated the same line, "We're focused on playing Minnesota".

Nebraska (5-1, 1-1) heads to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN (1-4, 0-2) for their third conference game of the season.  The Gophers have several playmakers on their roster including junior quarterback Marqueis Gray.  Gray is coming back from a turf toe injury suffered two weeks ago, but should be ready to play.  He'll try to get the ball to Minnesota's top receiver Da'Jon McKnight.  McKinight leads the team in receptions (25) and yards 316.

Minnesota's numbers are not good so far this year.  They are ranked near the bottom nationally in passing yards (108th), points for (109th), and points against (109th).  The team is also ranked at the bottom of nearly every category in Big Ten Conference.

Nebraska shouldn't overlook Minnesota, but clearly this is a game they should win.  Nebraska is ranked No. 11 nationally in offensive rushing and the offensive line play has been punishing in the fourth quarter of games.  Expect Rex Burkhead and the freshman trio of Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard, and Aaron Green to all get plenty of touches.

Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is coming off a spectacular performance in the second half of the Ohio State game.  Martinez has continued to improve this season, he's averaging 97-ypg rushing and has created 1598-yards of total offense.  Look for him to continue checking down to the running back on passing plays, an obvious emphasis in practice before the Ohio State game.  Martinez typically plays well on the road and this will be a chance for him to shine.    

Offensive coordinator Tim Beck's play calling has improved each week as well.  He's focused on using plays that work well and using them over and over again.  It's a strategy that seems to have been missing from the Huskers offense in the last few years.

Beck is using the players that are practicing hard and making plays in games.  "Our expectation are very high, and this is what we expect," said Beck when asked about playing time for players.  "The guys executing and making the plays are the ones playing."                    

Nebraska surely won't let their guard down on the road against an inferior opponent.  If they do, Minnesota is talented enough to keep this game interesting.  


Monday, October 17, 2011

Junior College Transfers a Highlight for Nebraska

Max Olson from has put together a great article on Nebraska's junior college transfers.  Read it here.  

If you're a Husker fan, then you already know these names Lavonte David, Yoshi Hardrick, Daimion Stafford, Joeseph Carter, and Stanley Jean-Baptiste.  Each of these guys are junior college transfers that have landed on the big stage at Nebraska.  They all have seen playing time and one, Lavonte David,  might just be the Husker's MVP.  

Check out Max's article.  Very insightful read.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nebraska's offense uses diamond formation to confuse defense

Article first published as Nebraska's Offense Uses Diamond Formation to Confuse Defense on Technorati.

In Nebraska's record setting come-from-behind victory over Ohio State they used a unique offensive formation called the diamond.  This consists of a quarterback in the shotgun formation flanked by a triangle of running backs.  It can be effective for a run or pass play.  The diamond fits Nebraska's talent perfectly, and they proved it Saturday night by scoring two touchdowns out of it.

The Huskers first used the diamond formation in the 3rd quarter following Lavonte David's mauling (fumble recovery) of Ohio State's Braxton Miller.  Quarterback Taylor Martinez was flanked by Aaron Green on the right, Ameer Addullah to his left, and Rex Burkhead a couple of yards directly behind him.

Nebraska's "diamond" formation.  (Screen shot from BTN Game of the Week)
On this play Martinez fakes the hand-off to Green as all the backs move up-field to the left.  Martinez strides into a wide open lane created by Adullah, WR Brandon Kinney, and the pulling right guard Spencer Long.  Avoiding a single pursuing defender, Martinez burst into the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown making the score OSU 27 NU 13.

The second time Nebraska lined up in the diamond was on first and 10 from the 47-yard line.   Martinez, moving to his left, hands the ball to Green.  Green falls in behind lead blockers Abduallah and Burkhead for a physical seven yard gain up the sideline.

The final time the diamond formation was used by Nebraska proves how effective it can be in confusing defenses when it's executed perfectly.  On first down, Martinez fakes the hand-off to Abdullah and throws down-field to WR Quincy Enunwa for a 36-yard touchdown.

In total, the diamond formation was used three times resulting in two touchdowns and a positive gain.  The formation isn't anything new, it's been used since the earliest days of football.  For Nebraska it's just another wrinkle offensive coordinator Tim Beck can use to confuse the defense.

Thank you for checking out Red vs Red.

Monday, October 10, 2011

ATS Pick Results Week 6

It was an ordinary week in college football. Teams that were supposed to win did, teams that were supposed to lose did. Thanks to Bill for picking with us the week. The results for ATS week 6:

Badger: 3-1

Bugeater: 3-1

Guest:    2-2 highlights of Nebraska vs Ohio State puts together the best game highlight package out there.

Nebraska sets record in come-from-behind win over Ohio State 34-27

LB Lavonte David

Article first published as Nebraska Sets record in Come-From-Behind Win Over Ohio State 34-27 on Technorati.

The Nebraska Huskers claimed their first Big Ten Conference win by rallying from a 21-point 3rd quarter deficit to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes 34-27 on a rainy Saturday nigh in Lincoln, NE. Ohio State dominated much of the game on both sides of the ball, before falling apart allowing Nebraska to score 28 second-half points. The Huskers improve to 5-1 on the season, while the Buckeyes have now lost back-to-back conference games.

Early in the game all the talk was about the true freshman for Ohio State Braxton Miller. Miller was knifing the Husker Blackshirts for yard-after-yard leading his team to a 27-6 lead. Then the pivotal moment of the game happened. After rushing up the middle for a five yard gain, Miller was attacked from behind by Nebraska's Lavonte David. David stripped the ball from Miller and recovered the fumble for the Huskers.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Five things from the Nebraska come-from-behind victory over Ohio State

What a wild and wet ride for the Huskers in Lincoln Saturday night.  Nebraska set a record for the biggest come-from-behind victory in the schools' history by ralling to defeat the Ohio State Buckeyes 34-27.

Nebraska looked terrible in the first half and amazing by the end of the game.  If you turned this game off at halftime thinking Nebraska has a lot of questions to answers, you were right about the questions but were wrong about the team.  After this loss, Ohio State fans are going to be wondering how it happened being up 27-6 in the third quarter.

Here are five random thoughts on Nebraska's historic entry to the Big Ten Conference.

1.  Nebraska's defense needs work but showed a significant improvement in the second half.  The questions are still there, but the two turnovers by David and Jean-Baptiste were huge leading to 14 points.

2.  Tim Beck adjusted the game plan to take advantage Nebraska's strengths and Ohio States weaknesses at halftime.  He let Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead run the ball 43 times, sticking with the run even tough it wasn't effective early on.  This was something Beck took a lot of criticism for following the Wisconsin game.  His boss was happy with him after the game, "Tim Beck called a phenomenal game in the second half," said Bo Pelini.

3.  Taylor Martinez's explosive running ability is still second to none in the country.  When T-Magic finds the edge and hits an open lane, he can out run almost anyone.  Martinez quieted some of his critics by showing leadership and poise in the come back.  He finished 17-102 yards rushing and was 16-22-1 for 191 yards 2 touchdowns passing

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Red vs Red ATS Week 6

Each week Red vs Red will bring you our prognostications on what we deem to be the most interesting games of the week (or the easiest pick).  A huge thank you goes out to our guest picker this week, Bill from Mitchell, South Dakota.

No. 3 Oklahoma -10 vs No. 11 Texas at the Cotton Bowl

Badger:  Not close, OU's offense features two players (Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles) destined to be stars in the NFL.  Texas features, well nothing really, a QB who's biggest asset is his last name.  Oklahoma 31 Texas 14

Bugeater:  Didn't this game use to be called the Red River Shootout?  This year's match-up (106th all-time) features an explosive Sooner offense against a tough Texas defense.  Texas should be able to slow down the OU attack but won't keep them from scoring plenty.  Texas probably won't be able to score many points themselves.  Oklahoma 40 Texas 18  

Guest:  Oklahoma 23 Texas 22

No. 17 Florida @ No. 1 LSU - 13.5

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Nebraska Quarterback Taylor Martinez taking the heat from fellow students and media

Article first published as Nebraska's Taylor Martinez Feeling the Heat From Fellow Students and Media on Technorati.

Yoshi Hardrick, teammate and friend of Taylor Martinez, has come to the defense of the often attacked Nebraska quarterback.  According to Hardrick fellow students have been razing Martinez and his girlfriend while in class about his performance on the field.  Martinez threw three interceptions in a 48-17 loss to Wisconsin Saturday night.  

"Some girl told him, 'Stop throwing interceptions,'" Hardrick said. "It's just too much.  He's in a Spanish class and they're talking about interceptions."

Martinez's girlfriend has also reportedly been on the receiving end of offensive remarks about Taylor's play on the field.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Three positives and three negatives after a Wisconsin beat down

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.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wisconsin 48 Nebraska 17

Russell Wilson is the real deal.  Expect him to be the front runner in the Heisman race after spanking Nebraska this week.  Wisconsin's offense will be very difficult for any defense to stop.  Their defense might not be super, but it's good enough to keep them undefeated in the regular season.

Tonight's game exposed Nebraska in more ways than one.  Defensively they're really bad.  Even when they put pressure on the ball, they're lacking the ability to make tackles.  The corners and safeties aren't good enough to cover top receivers and easily get beat because of blown assignments.  Offensively, the play calling has to be much better and someone needs to challenge Martinez for the starting job.

More to come....

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