Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cody Green Takes Over at Quarterback; Husker Offense Remains Lethargic

The much-rumored fan-requested change at quarterback took place today, but didn't provide Nebraska much of a spark on offense.  Cody Green did some good things on the ground and a little bit through the air, but made some mistakes in the second half that reenergized Baylor.  But the results were much the same as the last few weeks:  a lethargic offense with only one offensive touchdown.

One thing is clear in my mind:  Zac Lee got too much of a bum rap for the Husker offensive problems.  Green has an upside and at this point, I see no reason to switch back at quarterback barring injury.  No need to play quarterback Pong like interim Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins.  The problems for the Husker offense go deeper, and start with an injury depleted I-back corps.  Roy Helu was ineffective and is still looking to be injured.  Dontrevious Robinson ran strong...but got injured as well.  So now the Huskers turn deep onto the depth chart.  Marcus Mendoza does ok running wide, and Lester Ward looked passable running tough inside.  Austin Jones doesn't seem to provide much of anything.

Without much of a running threat other than Green, that puts too much pressure on a Nebraska passing game that doesn't really offer much of a threat.  Niles Paul occasionally makes the big play, and Khiry Cooper shows potential.  But right now, there isn't much there to work with either.

Bottom line is that until Helu, Robinson, or Rex Burkhead get healthy enough to contribute, this offense is going to continue to struggle.

On defense, the defensive line looked strong but the secondary struggled at times after Alfonzo Dennard left the game due to injury.  Jared Crick was a man possessed out there, and Ndamukong Suh was strong as well.  The personal foul call against Suh late in the game was almost laughable.  If that's a foul, then it's time to abandon tackle football and become a fan of the Lingerie Football League.

Bottom line:  It's a win, but it doesn't give fans much of a reason to be optimistic about the rest of the season.  Other than the Oklahoma game, every game down the stretch is a game that's up for grabs, and it's up to this team to continue to fight through their problems, work on improving, and try to finish the season strong.  Mail in performances, and Nebraska could be home for the holidays once again.


Peter Earl said...

The anemic offense is depressing to watch and I am scared to think how it's affecting the Husker's recruiting efforts. Nebraska is in real peril of becoming irrelevant nationally, if they haven't already.

Nate said...

It seems like the playcalling got more conservative as the game went on. Like Watson was just calling the game to not lose, as opposed to playing to win. After the Huskers recovered a fumble was a perfect time to throw to the endzone and go for the kill shot, but instead Watson called a qb draw..
There aren't enough plays called that are designed to stretch the defense or loosen them up at all. I was calling to put Green in the whole time, but Green is like putting your thumb in a hole in the Hoover Dam. He can run out of those terrible situations the playcalling is getting him into, but he can't stop those crappy situations because he isn't calling the plays

Anonymous said...

Injuries have plagued us as well so we know what you're going through. Still, we're looking foward to playing you guys. It's been two years. Too long for such a fine tradition.

See ya Saturday! :-)


MeatyBob said...

I wholeheartedly agree that there was/is much more wrong with this offense than Lee, but Lee was still not performing well, and needed to be replaced.

To me, in sum, Green seemed about as "good" as Lee. Lee wouldn't have thrown that pick, but Lee doesn't convert those 1st downs with his legs. So if Green as a freshman in his first start performed as well as the 23 year old junior in his 7th start, seems to me that Pelini made the smart move.