Saturday, November 15, 2014

Badgers Bludgeon Huskers, Raising Questions That Scream For Answers

I've been a huge Bo Pelini supporter over the years. I've accepted the excuses over the years.  I freely admit that nine wins - even with four losses - is a decent year in college football.

I still believe that.

But when Wisconsin guts, filets, and disembowels Nebraska yet again, it's past time for excuses. It demands questioning everything.  I'm not calling for Bo Pelini to resign or be fired.  But something has to change.

Thing is, this game didn't start that way.

The defense looked great in the first quarter in forcing three fumbles and locking down on Melvin Gordon.  Huskers led 17-3, and fans should have been feeling pretty good.  Wisconsin made a few adjustments to spring Gordon free, and Nebraska imploded.

Eight straight touchdowns.  Gordon sets an NCAA record with 408 yards.  And the Badgers leave the field with a 59-24 victory.

This was the worst game in the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska.  The 2012 Big Ten Championship Game was really bad; this was worse.  At least in Indianapolis, you had an offense that at least tried.  And I also felt that the answers to the defensive issues were already underway.  Guys like Vincent Valentine and Greg McMullen were redshirting.  Randy Gregory and Maliek Collins were being recruited.  And Zaire Anderson was recovering from ACL surgery.

Those guys weren't the answer today. And for all of Taylor Martinez's foibles, he's still ten times the quarterback that Tommy Armstrong has been in recent weeks.  Especially today.  6 for 18 passing for 62 yards. 17 yards rushing.  Add in bad offensive line play and a clearly not 100% Ameer Abdullah...and you've got a completely impotent offense.

Everybody other than Abdullah needs to be questioned.  Start with Tim Beck and not doing something - ANYTHING - to get the ball to playmakers not named Ameer. Where was De'Mornay Pierson-El?  Where was the diamond formation?

And frankly, when it was clear that Armstrong didn't have it, where was Ryker Fyfe or Johnny Stanton? It's not like Armstrong's issues are a one-game thing.  He's struggled all season long for the most part. And if Armstrong is clearly the best we have at Nebraska, then the problem is even worse than we think it is.

Remember, Abdullah is a senior and won't be back next season.

Defensively, we saw the same thing we've experienced in past beat-downs.  Poor tackling, out of position, and nobody available to bail things out on the third level.  Is it scheme?  Nobody else has allowed Gordon to rush for more than 250 yards in a game. Is it coaching? Who's supposed to be teaching these guys fundamentals?

I don't know what the answers are, but it's pretty clear that something needs to change.  I don't know if it means that Pelini himself should be fired, but some changes have to be made on the staff on both sides of the ball.

It's time to question everything.


Paul Schmolt said...

I'll go further than you Husker Mike. Bo must go and hie DC as well. I am a Husker and always will be. I am tired of Pelini and his Buffoon antics. The man is a poor coach along with being a totally classless person on the sideline for a program that has always prided itself on a high level of class. True, he has won nine games per season, but never a big game. He has struggled this year against some second rate teams. Wisconsin came in to this game as the most one-dimensional offense we will see and we had absolutely no defense for ONE man. This Husker unit had two weeks to prepare and were not poorly prepared. They were totally unprepared. It was Keystone Cops with a big N on their hats. It's time to end this. Get a REAL coach and some class back in the program. Frankie was fired with nine wins per season and he was a Husker legacy as a player and a coach. The disgrace must stop, not just that of the performance, but the classless approach as well.

Dave K said...

It is as simple as this. Bo is in his 7th year as our head coach and competing in big games is not happening. I don't mind losing when Nebraska competes well and looks like a well coached team in the effort. The problem is we don't compete. We get embarrassed beyond belief. I thought I could not see a repeat of the Wisconsin 2012 game in my life time. That was a huge national embarrassment and then to see this happen again, even worse than before, is not acceptable. We pay this man a lot of money to put a quality product on the field and it is actually worse. Unfortunately it is time for a change, Is Jim Tressel ready to come back and coach? Please help my husker team become relevant again. P.S. I was giving Bo this year to show improvement and then I was done. I'm done. Out!

Husker Mike said...

I understand the frustration, but please, let's not bring Jim Tressel into the discussion.

Tressel's legacy of NCAA violations at Youngstown State and Ohio State pretty much make him unhirable. Kevin Cosgrove has a better chance of being hired than Jim Tressel.

Dave K said...

Jim Tressel is reformed isn't he? He is President of YSU and has not been in trouble with the law in three years. I can agree that Tressel may not be the coach we need, but who is?

I can live with Bo if he makes some major changes that allows NU the take the first step back to relevance. The status quo is not acceptable. 9 wins mean nothing if that means we continue to fail in astonishing fashion and never progress to relevance.

Husker '71 said...

I agree that something has to change and pretty quickly or this season will end in a complete disaster. Minnesota will be no pushover and if the offense lays an egg then look out for a complete meltdown.
Bo has the knowledge to coach in the bigs he has proven that....he has absolutely no concept of who to hire to help him. The papoose was nothing more than a go-fer and Bo makes him a D C. WTF and then there is Ross Els.....and Barney no coaching Cotton. Coaches like he played .. Not well. Ron Brown is a mainstay but he has outlived his usefulness. Gotta keep Joe Ganz and let him coach the QBs. We know they need help. Tim Beck has nothing to offer with about as much creativity as my Airedale Terrier. At least the Airedale knows when he has made a mistake and adjusts......don't poop and step in it. I know bad analogy but the point remains the same.
They fired Frank for reasons that went beyond the football field but he did make changes when he was told to do so. All Bo has to do is adjust, lose some of that ego, keep his head in the game, don't belittle players after a mistake on national television. Coach....don't yell. Impart your knowledge to help the player so you become a real winner. Nebraska people are proud but they will not tolerate being embarrassed.
Grow up Bo and become a leader and stand up and release some of your dead weight.

riff1006 said...

I agree with Husker 71 about berating players on national television. Once they make a mistake Bo compounds it by getting in their faces and it snowballs from there, one player after another, one ref after another, and pretty soon he's alienated everybody, especially his players and the fans. This isn't leadership! This has been apparent since the aTm fiasco a few years ago and he still hasn't learned his lesson. Every time he acts like an *** the whole team implodes.

Dave K said...


Husker Mike said...

A couple of things about Bo and his fiery interactions with players who have made a mistake. He's never alienated his players (well, maybe one or two). And while you see him getting into player's faces, you don't know what he's saying. It's always about the mistake, not the individual.

jeff725 said...

"Treat your soldiers as if they were your own beloved sons, and they will follow you into the deepest valley..."

--Sun-Tzu "The Art of War"

Steve Wemhoff said...

I know the QB is just one of many issues on this team. (Coaching, OL, LBs, coaching oh and coaching too!) But wasn't it reported that Ryker Fife and Armstrong were neck and neck or at least somewhat close in their battle for the starting spot?

My point is, why if they were close in fall camp and Armstrong has not progressed or even some would say regressed, isn't the backup QB given a shot?

I keep thinking what would Urban Meyer, Nick Saban or any other HC do in a situation where the starting QB was not performing and performing badly at that. I mean 1 for 10 for the 1st half. Really!

Husker Mike said...

Speaking of Saban, here he yells at a player, who walks off the field in tears.