Sunday, April 07, 2013

Besides #TeamJack, Other Things to Like (& Dislike) At the Husker Spring Game

The highlight of the day was Jack Hoffman's 69 yard touchdown run, without a doubt. But there were other things of note on the day.  First, the good:

Alonzo Moore looks to be the next Nebraska wide receiver star.  I liked what I saw on his first catch of the day; I missed the second because I was explaining something to my daughter. Sadly, we didn't get a replay on the HuskerVision screens of it.  Jordan Westerkamp's hands are legit and as advertised as well.  Nebraska's receiver corps are absolutely loaded for the next couple of years.

A really nice hit late in the game by Corey Cooper, who looks to be finding a home at safety. Wil Richards had a nice game for the most part.

Tight ends were a big part of the day. I know not to read much of anything into anything we see in a Spring Game, but I think Nebraska is going to manage just fine without Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed this season.

And some of the not-so-good:

At first I was dismayed by the yardage that King Frazier and Graham Nabity were finding on the ground. I'll temper that by remembering that Nebraska had decent success running the ball last year behind the offensive line. The problems up front weren't in running; it was pass protection.  I still wish I could have seen a little more out of the defensive line.

I liked what I saw out of Zaire Anderson in the "compete" drill.  I saw some nice effort by Trevor Roach, and Jared Afalava made some plays.  So did Courtney Love, who really should have been worried about his high school prom date yesterday. Thomas Brown, on the other hand, seemed to catch my eye more with his misplays than anything.  Todd Neeley of the Hastings Tribune was awfully impressed with Brown, for what it's worth.

The player everybody wanted to see was Tommy Armstrong, and he showed a lot of promise. I can only wonder what the people who want Taylor Martinez benched thought when Armstrong fumbled on his very first play.   Did it again in the third quarter.  Nice moves in the open field, and a decent arm.  He looks more natural than Taylor Martinez on the option.  Is he a threat to unseat Martinez as the starter?  I'm not sure I saw anything like that, but what I did see is a solid option for 2014...and an insurance policy for 2013 that would allow Taylor Martinez to run more aggressively this season.  Call me decidedly old school about not liking Martinez running out of bounds to avoid contact.  I've understood why he's done it the last two years, but I've only accepted it grudgingly because of the lack of a viable backup. Now that excuse is off the board.  Do it judiciously, of course...but hopefully Martinez can be more aggressive on the ground in his senior season.

Placekicker Mauro Bondi showed a strong leg, including a doink off of the uprights on a kickoff with the wind. He kicks linedrives, which could be a problem on field goal attempts. Speaking of kicking, I think offensive tackle Zach Sterup actually looked like a viable alternative in the punt return game...especially in contrast to the bungling we saw last season.  His over-the-shoulder grab in the lineman punt-fielding competition was one of the highlights of the day.

Of course, the true highlight of the day was #TeamJack. Hard to believe that the story only keeps growing.

An ESPY? You never know, but it's going to be awfully tough to top yesterday for a great story. I'm so glad that I was privileged to have a chance to watch it.

1 comment:

NU6NCS said...

This will go down as one of the greatest plays in nebraska football history. Very classy and makes me proud to be a Husker fan.