Saturday, October 22, 2005

Crappy Weekend

What a crappy weekend this is turning out to be. The UNO Mavericks get swept at home by the Miami Redhawks in hockey. And the Huskers get trounced by Mizzou in Columbia.

Just got back from Columbia, and it was a sad day when the Huskers rush for -2 yards for the game. Nebraska got beaten badly both offensively and defensively. For the third straight week, Kevin Cosgrove starts with an ineffective game plan, then is slow to make adjustments. A three-man front might make sense against teams that spread the field like Missouri and Texas Tech, but dropping 8 men into coverage with an inexperienced secondary like we have is insane. Eventually, someone is going to break down in coverage, and with absolutely no pass rush, the quarterback can simply bide his time until it happens.

You simply must get pressure on the quarterback.


I can hear the Cosgrove defenders saying "but if we blitz, someone will be uncovered". Guess what - it's happening anyway. The prevent defense doesn't work against Tech, and it didn't work today against Missouri.

Props to Brad Smith for a huge game. I haven't seen defensive breakdowns like that since the 2001 Colorado game, and before that, in a high school game.

On offense, it would be easy enough to criticize Zac Taylor, but I won't tonight. The man took an incredible amount of abuse in this game. When Nebraska got the ball back with a minute left in the game, I really hoped that Joe Ganz would finally get a chance to take a couple of snaps in a game. But no dice, and Missouri got another chance to use Taylor as a tackling dummy.

I was extremely disappointed with some of my fellow Husker fans today. I understand leaving early when the game is out of reach - especially on the road, where you don't know how the locals will react. (Every Missouri fan I came across today was classy...) That's not my criticism.

Some fans like to stand and cheer their team on. That's great! But look around when you decide to stand; if you're the only fans standing, sit down. And when your team is on offense on the road, and the home team is screaming for their defense, cheering "Go Big Red!" at your offense is counterproductive and just shows your ignorance. Or should I say stupidity.

When the opposing quarterback is laying motionless on the field, it's in extremely poor taste (and poor sportsmanship) to complain about the roughing penalty and yell "hit him again". Especially when your defensive player is lucky that he didn't get ejected for that helmet-to-helmet hit.

And please don't insist that, if it wasn't for the LeKevin Smith fumble against Tech and Terrence Nunn's fumble today, we'd be 7-0. We were lucky to be in today's game; 2 of our 3 touchdown drives were under 10 yards. Today's game could have easily been 41-10 or worse. And when you consider the endings against Pitt (blocked FG) and Iowa State (dropped interception by Nick Leaders), we're probably closer to 3-4 than 7-0.

It's time for some sleep; it's been a long ugly day.


AJ said...

Glad you made it back safe Mike. Hope your weekend wasn't TOO terribly bad. :) OK..I hope Saturday afternoon was bad..and I'm sure it was...but I'm glad you got back safe. Hopefully you were treated OK. I saw a little bit of everything from MU and NU fans. Fans are fans I guess.

Great post as always.

Husker Mike said...

Not a problem; we try to "get out of Dodge" after away games, though we didn't leave until Mizzou started taking a knee with a minute to go. Most fans of all schools are decent folks, though every so often someone thinks he needs to be a tough guy.

Husker Mike said...

I had to remove several posts that started with a thread that, while it made some fair observations, sprinkled it with racial remarks. I gave a warning, and the remarks were repeated. So I delted the whole thread. And will do again.

There were a couple of items, though that weren't objectionable that I will address. One is that Nebraska has slow, no talent players at linebacker. I've heard this criticism before about Scott Shanle and Barrett Ruud, but I think their status in the NFL pretty much proves that criticism as invalid.

The second is that we have freshmen on the bench that are better players than the guys who are playing. I addressed this in part a couple of weeks ago, in that the 2005 recruiting class was severely overhyped. These guys will eventually be good players, but there is a reason they aren't playing. They aren't ready.

Carl said...

Thanks for the thread edit. I thought the comments were out of line.

As for UNL's secondary I don't know if its talent or coaching. If I see another corner trying deperately to time his face guard just right to a) break up the play and b) avoid the PI call I'm gonna puke. Also, what's with the outside curl route? Every team we play hits us with it several times a game for 6-9 yards a pop. Its really frustrating to not see some adjustment on that play. As bad as the coverage was I didn't think it was one our biggest problems in the Mizzou game.

I thought our biggest problems on Saturday were the turn overs. My comment at half was 'we'll win if we don't start turning the ball over'. Ball security seems to a mystery the coaches can't figure out.

The second biggest problem was the O-line play. Is it true that we're leading the nation in allowing sacks? Bad news.

How is Shreveport this time of year?

Cheers Mike, again, great blog.

Husker Mike said...

Many fans point to the Terrence Nunn fumble at the 3 as the turning point of the game. However, remember that was 4th down. What if the pass was incomplete? Mizzou gets the ball at the 33. If we had punted on 4th down, we would have been happy as punch to give 'em the ball on their own 3.

jjj112665 said...

A punt is not the same as a turnover though Mike. A turnover pumps up the other team. Especially when it happens that close to the goal line. A good punt inside the 5 usually fires up the D. If we had scored there we would have had the momentum and MU would have had a different game plan I am sure. BIG BIG BIG turning point as far as I am concerned. 14 point swing.