Saturday, December 04, 2010

Turnovers and Quarterback Issues Doom Nebraska in Final Battle with Oklahoma

Nebraska dominated the first quarter of tonight's final conference matchup with Oklahoma, but offensive mistakes the rest of the way doomed the Huskers in the end. It almost seemed like two separate games; Nebraska was rolling early on behind a dominating offensive line performance and a stifling Blackshirt defense. I admit it, I was feeling pretty good when the Huskers were up 17-0.  But the Sooners struck quickly, and the momentum was clearly on the side of the Sooners.

The Blackshirts played well enough to win tonight.  I would have liked to have had an answer for the running back screens, but overall, it would have been enough if the offense could have delivered.

All week long, e-mail boxes throughout the state were filled with stories that Taylor Martinez was suspended last week and was transferring somewhere else.  Those rumors turned out to be just that; bogus internet garbage just like the stories about Bob Davie's cable guy or the the banker in Ghana that needs my help to transfer $25 million out of his country.  Martinez started, and sadly, finished the game.

I have no issue with Martinez starting tonight's game. He looked more mobile than he has since the first half of the Missouri game, so it was an easy choice for him to start. But against the best defense he's faced all year, he made way too many mistakes.  Trouble holding onto the ball.  Holding onto the ball too long and taking a sack.  Panicking and throwing the ball into coverage for an interception.  Martinez made a lot of freshman mistakes, and this late in the season, a quarterback shouldn't be making those mistakes. Granted, in September and October, Martinez wasn't so much a quarterback as another running back, amazing us with his legs, making us forget his limitations throwing the ball.  We saw a little bit of a dual-threat quarterback emerge against Oklahoma State, but he regressed back tonight.

Which raises the question, why was Martinez allowed to finish tonight's game? Midway through the fourth quarter, Rex Burkhead seemed to take over with Martinez moving to wide receiver.  All that to set up a deep throw to Martinez?  Martinez was open, but Burkhead couldn't get the ball to him until the coverage caught up to the quarterback.  The Wildcat is a nice diversion and wrinkle, but down the stretch, that seemed to be all Nebraska had available.

Which makes no sense to me.  Were both Cody Green and Zac Lee unavailable tonight?  Was Rex Burkhead really the best backup quarterback available tonight?  I didn't hear that asked in the postgame press conference, and it's the number one question I have about tonight's game.

Credit goes to Oklahoma for winning tonight's game; they made the plays tonight, and Nebraska didn't.  But Nebraska's coaching staff has to answer the question as to why Nebraska didn't pull Martinez tonight.

And that's the question that's going to eat this state and the Husker fan base tonight.  The Blackshirts played well enough to win, but like last year, couldn't do it all. At least last season, Zac Lee made a few plays down the stretch to give the Huskers a chance.  This year, the Husker quarterback wasn't making plays much of the game, and didn't get pulled, even though there were two other options that have shown that they could make plays in previous games.

Why?  Why?  Why?


krossfader said...

Exactly. This all comes back to the coaches. If Martinez isn't doing it, you owe ti to yourself to at least try to mix it up.

So disappointing.

jr said...

You can't look to the refs for costing us the game. That was the best big 12 crew this year.
Bo needs to finally admit to himself and to Husker nation that though it is true defenses win championships. You have to get there with an offensive coordinator that knows what he is doing. He is all over the map with his play calling. Rex B. was moving the team in the "Wild Cat" (it should be called the "Wild Husker") Rex should have been allowed to keep with it, IT WAS WORKING !!! How many 3rd and 2s this year have we passed instead of running the ball to pick up the first ?? We all know what happened, Punt the ball. Watson is a nice guy and all but I've had enough of his play calling. After awhile he out thinks himself with these calls.
Taylor M was not welcome on the sidelines by his teammates.Did you see the reception. All you had to do was look at the interplay (or lack thereof)with the rest of the players. His past history and antics are wearing thin. I hope the kid grows up, he's a work in progress, but when the kid is having a bad game, go sit him down Bo. Zac Lee was trying to help "t-magic"(maybe someday)with the plays but Taylor was not paying attention.
When Rex B. came in the team came alive.You can't convince me that was all the plays Rex B. knows in the "WildHusker"!!! Go Rex Go. It's fun to watch. And it works.
Bo needs to start acting like the head coach that he is. Start making the tough decisions with players ,with the coaches. If someone has been costing you games, take action now. Start using your Head Coaching powers and correct mistakes during the game not after. Let Carl P. coach the defense. Start paying attention to the offense and get more involved. Heck have Coach Tom look at it. You have the best kicker in the history of the NCAA football and don't use him ?? The losses we had to endure the past two years are winnable by a couple of field goals here and there.

Anonymous said...

After the game, I tried to comfort myself by thinking "the better team won." But objectively, that really wasn't true- the better-coached team won. Dirk Chatelain breaks it down pretty good in the World-Herald today- Pelini is nowhere to be seen when it comes to running the offense and it clearly isn't working. The sad thing is they were within field goal range twice down the stretch, and then we saw the bad snap the Burkhead fumbled and Martinez taking another inexplicable sack on the next possession. You have the best kicker on the planet and twice you get pulled form field goal range. Inexcusable.

-Arch Stanton

Brandon said...

All we had to do was put Green in and let Henery work his leg a little bit. That's it. Like the others said, we have the best kicker in the history of NCAA and we don't even use him to his abilities! Hell, I would have let him go for a few 60+ yarder's last night. I'll back up Bo but he needed to make some simple changes last night and it didn't happen. No hard feelings against OU. They played solid, consistent, and fair football.

Dave said...

My thoughts right after the game was that we must have been lied to when the coaches said that the QB race was dead even. If so, why not give one of the others a chance to do something. Clearly, Martinez wasn't just inept, he was hurting the offense. He needed to sit. Just like Green last year against OU, we needed Lee's arm and experience. Lee has looked good the few times he as been out there. I'm sure he could have managed the game as well, if not better than Martinez. Such a waste. The win was right there and NU fumbled it away.