Friday, September 01, 2006

GameDay Preview

So what to expect tomorrow? Well, I'm curious to see if Bill Callahan will follow through and "pound the rock" tomorrow and this season; something I was hoping to see the last 2 years. In any event, there are several reasons why I think you'll see a little more of the Husker running game:
  • 4 running backs with no apparant leader at this time. Fans love Cody Glenn's attitude and effort, appreciate Brandon Jackson's work in returning from injury, want to see the potential that Marlon Lucky brings, and want to see if Kenny Wilson is everything that has been written and said.
  • Keeping Zac Taylor healthy is perhaps the biggest key to this season. Nebraska simply cannot afford to let Taylor take as many hard hits as he took last season, and the best way to prevent that is to run the ball.
  • More confidence in the offensive line
On defense, I'm curious to see how the reworked secondary performs. I think Tierre Green will be outstanding at safety, and I think Andrew Shanle will be fine as long as Kenny Wilson is wearing the same uniform. Courtney Grixby is solid as well, which means that the question mark will be at the other corner, where Andre Jones takes over for the injured Zackary Bowman.

And like most other fans, I'm interested in seeing the improvements to the stadium. I've certainly criticized Steve Pederson, but one decision I haven't criticized him for is the need for upgraded facilities. The new HuskerVision screen is certainly needed, as the old screen has been showing it's age the last couple of years. It will be nice to be able to watch the new screen without using my binoculars from my vantage point high up in the south end zone!

I am a little concerned that they will try to "overdo" the Tunnel Walk this year. I remember the first tunnel walk against UCLA in 1994...nobody knew it was coming when all of a sudden there was this loud noise, and then stars suddenly started spinning on the screen, and suddenly the team appeared on the screen unexpectedly, and the stadium erupted. The next year, they added animation of the Sears Trophy exploding out of the field, and the year after that, the animation went even further. In recent years, though, it's almost as if they are trying "too hard" to outdo themselves and end up making the experience less than it could be. Most every stadium uses their video screen for a dramatic introduction, so it's no longer the unique thing it once was. That's ok. Just don't overdo it. In 2004, they tried adding fireworks to the end of it with horrible results. Fireworks in the daytime are worthless, and it overwhelms the band.

Rumor has it that Nebraska has installed a smoke machine at the tunnel entrance; I sure hope I've heard wrong. Smoke machines might have been cool 15 years ago when Miami used them, but they're pretty passe' as well. I've also heard that Sirius might be retired as well, which might be a shame as well. Sure different music could work, but for many fans, Sirius IS the Tunnel Walk and the tradition. And if something is a tradition, you only change it at your own peril.

It will be interesting what 6,000 more fans means as far as game day traffic and the like. KMTV-channel 3 is reporting that Lincoln is reducing the number of police officers assigned to gameday traffic control, which definitely doesn't sound like a good idea.


jjj112665 said...

With all the inexperience in the defensive back field I kind of wondered if the coaches didn't want to evaluate them under game circumstances and that is why we didn't blitz as much after the opening drive. I felt that the coaches thought that they could start blitzing more and get the game in control if they had to so they backed off to see what the corners could do in coverage agianst some decent recievers. Wouldn't surprise me to see that again next week. Better find out what we have before going to USC and get them some game experience.

Husker Mike said...

Good observation. The fact they kept Andre Jones in as late as they did indicates they want to get these guys as much experience as they can. However, defending Nicholls State's triple option is going to be of absolutely no use in preparing for USC.