Saturday, September 24, 2005

The myth that this is "Just like 2003"

There is a popular myth out there with some folks that 2005 is mirroring 2003, and since that season turned out ok, this season will turn out ok. To be fair to these people, yes, the 2003 "Bo-shirts" were dominant on defense and certainly ahead of the offense.

But, you also have to look at the competition and what actually happened in those games.

NU 25, Maine 7: 1 offensive TD, 4 FGs, 1 defensive TD. 121 yards rushing, 192 passing for a total of 313 yards.
NU 31, Wake Forest 3: 1 offensive TD, 1 FG, 3 defensive TD's. 120 yards rushing, 114 passing for a total of 224 yards.
NU 7, Pitt 6: 1 offensive TD. 174 yards rushing, 93 passing for a total of 267.

NU 17, Oklahoma State 7: 1 offensive TD, 1 FG, 1 defensive TD. 268 yards rushing, 78 yards passing for a total of 346 yards.
NU 31, Utah State 7: 3 offensive TD's, 4 FGs. 273 yards rushing, 132 yards passing for a total of 405 yards.
NU 18, Penn State 10: 1 offensive TD, 4 FGs. 337 yards rushing, 60 passing for a total of 397 yards.

Utah State and Wake Forest are probably comparable teams, and Pitt and Penn State are probably comparable. But Oklahoma State in 2003 was significantly better than Maine, especially when you consider the OSU backfield now has Tatum Bell and Rashaun Woods in the NFL and QB Josh Fields might be too if he hadn't chosen to play baseball.

And let's compare the results: the 2003 "anemic" Huskers averaged nearly 362 yards a game. The 2005 Huskers are only averaging 266 yards. If Nebraska is to make it to bowl eligibility, those numbers will have to significantly improve.

Some people are snickering at Iowa State's struggle with Army last night. Funny, how many of those same fans snickered at Ohio's upset of Pitt, and assumed that if Pitt wasn't good enough to beat Ohio, we should roll Pitt. Iowa State appears to be a schizophrenic team, playing very well one week (beating Iowa) or playing very poorly. If they are on next week (and no reason why they won't be, with the number of Nebraskans on their roster), they still could roll the Big Red.

1 comment:

Adam said...

You're also being generous in your comments of OSU. Don't forget Darrant Williams on that team as well. That Cowboy team was ranked in the preaseason, IIRC, and finished the year in the top 25 and went to a bowl. They were pretty dang good.

Utah State had Kevin Curtis, now playing for the Rams and Penn State was very solid as well.