Saturday, December 27, 2014

Huskers Come Up Just Short Against Southern Cal

One of my takeaways from the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska is how they battled back when the chips were down. It wasn't always pretty, and it didn't always work out, but the Huskers battled.

People will point out the yards and points that the Blackshirts gave up. That's fair. But the counter is how future NFL quarterback Cody Kessler had his worst game of the season. Might be his last game for Southern Cal, as he's expected to declare for the draft.

Javorius Allen gouged Nebraska at times, and could have done worse if the SC game plan would have allowed it. That's surprising, considering Nebraska's injury situation at linebacker. Safety play didn't help there either.

Offensively, many onlookers online hated the lack of carries for Ameer Abdullah, but they really weren't noticing how the Trojans were keying on Abdullah all game. What I didn't like were the lack of quarterback runs in the first half, especially considering what Boston College's Tyler Murphy did against SC in September.

It didn't help that the Huskers were getting dominated up front. Dylan Utter was the surprise starter at center, but looked more like a speed bump against the Trojans defensive line.

No doubt in my mind that Husker fans may never truly appreciate Ameer Abdullah for what he meant to this team both on and off the field. Both he and Kenny Bell deserved better endings to their NU careers.

I also don't know if Husker fans will appreciate the outgoing coaching staff. Two guys that deserve better exits are recievers coach Rich Fisher and defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski. Fisher turned around a sorry group of receivers that couldn't catch a cold, while Kaz turned defensive line into a strength. I don't know who will replace them, but I suspect we'll miss these guys.

By the end of next week, I suspect we'll know who Mike Riley's assistants will be. And for as much negativity that resulted from Bo Pelini's private comments to his team, I hope now the focus turns to his comments about his successor, where he advises his team to give these new coaches a chance. 

We all would be well advised to do that, even if we aren't impressed or overwhelmed with them initially.


James Leroy Wilson said...

When I found out that the Huskers didn't even have a full-time quarterbacks coach, I was appalled. We need a guy who's been in the NFL to work on mechanics, reads, and accuracy. A few better throws here and there, and Pelini keeps his job. But qb skills and qb recruiting wasn't his priority. THAT was his downfall.

Husker Mike said...

Very few college teams have a full-time quarterback coach. Most of the time, it falls to the offensive coordinator. (Officially, Tim Beck was OC/QB's coach.)

College teams are limited in the number of assistant coaches, so having a QB coach means that you have one fewer assistant at another position.

FWIW, I do agree with your thought that quarterback development has been an issue at Nebraska, so I do agree that QB coaching was an area of need if Pelini had been retained. I had resisted the notion of a QB coach for a long time, but it's become clear that QB development has been an issue.