Saturday, September 16, 2006

Husker Game Plan vs USC: WTF?

Tonight's USC game had to be a rather frustrating game for Husker players and fans tonight. Overall, I thought the defense played decent against a very talented USC offense. I would have liked to have seen more pressure on Booty and less of Dwayne Jarrett, but he's an all-American. After the way USC offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin publicly criticized him, you had to expect Jarrett to come out big.

On the other hand, the Husker offensive game plan was downright disappointing and sadly predictable for most of the first three quarters. First down runs, second down runs, and then throw on third and long. Critics of the old Nebraska offense used to lampoon these scenarios, and then tell us that's why Nebraska needed to "modernize" it's offense to use something like the West Coast Offense. Then we get a big game, and what do we get? Even the ABC announcers were wondering where the option was with this game plan.

My initial reaction? An offense playing not to get embarassed. In 2004, Callahan's Huskers faced the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners and the Huskers ground it out, in part because that's what they did best and in part because they didn't want to risk throwing the ball. Against a top five USC team tonight, we sadly saw much of the same game plan.

Where were the tight ends? Where were the wide receivers? Until the 4th quarter, they were simply MIA. And sure enough, when they started to get involved in the offense, the offense began to click and Nebraska pulled to within 21-10. But that was too little too late. USC drove the field against the Blackshirts and took an insurmountable 28-10 lead.

Some fans might be satisfied that Nebraska beat the spread, but count me as disappointed because Nebraska was capable of much more tonight.


Stan said...

You're right on man. I was totally disappointed in the game plan. I was confused all night long. Then when we threw the ball down the field and we scored a touchdown, the very next series we went back to run, run, pass, punt. It was terrible. I was in shock. It was obvious that we could have played them closer than that. I didn't expect us to win, but at least we could have appeared to try. Our offensive game plan was lame.

And what about our defensive game plan. Granted, we played pretty well on D, shutting them down multiple times, but look where we went wrong. On the first touchdown to Jarrett, He ran a post right across Andre Jones' face and into the end zone for 6. Where was the safety over the top. We should have had safty help on that side to knock the crap out of Jarrett if he even thought about touching that ball. We did it again later as well. We never did any bump and run against their receivers. We continually gave them free runs all night long. We never really challenged them and didn't get enough pressure on Booty. Then in the second half we had the chance to pick off two passes, one would have been an easy six, and one would have ended a USC drive that led to a touchdown.

I think Nebraska really missed a chance to go in there and slap USC in the mouth. We just played it safe and I don't think any Nebraska football fan, TRUE Husker football fan, should be satisfied with that. I know I'm not.

AJ said...

I didn't get a chance to watch 100% of the game because my lawn furniture decided it had had enough and left down the street (with the help of 75mph winds)....

It seems to me that Callahan is so worried about what the adoring Red Masses will say if he gets destroyed (after the 70-10 game)..that he has made it a personal mission not to get smoked like that ever again.

How else can you explain 800 off-tackle runs in a row? Worse yet..when they did throw..they threw it 3-5 yards..which is pretty dumb if you're dealing with super-fast USC linebackers.

All in all I feel cheated...even from a Husker hating perspective. For the same reason you wanted to air it out...I think that's what kept SC from hitting the gas. THey slept through pretty much the entire game and still took a knee on the 5 yard line as time expired.

All in all...Callahan cheated you guys out of a shot to shock the world. Looked almost as if Gary Pinkel was calling the shots out there.

Oh well...better get ready for Troy..they are for real and will win next week if you aren't carefull.

Kalthalior said...

Our best offensive weapon is Zac throwing the ball and we never even tried to utilize it downfield until the second half. Norvell should be embarassed. The only postives in the first half were special teams play and the defense playing its heart out. The
Blackshirts were out on the field far too long with all the three and outs.

pastortom said...

I agree 100%...Zac is quite cabable of winning the big games, he proved that last year in the Michigan game and the Colorado game, and I am extremely disappointed and frustrated for him! He was not even given the chance to win the game...I wonder how he must feel?! You could almost see the disappointment in his face. The broadcasters were talking about him being the "best qb in the Big 12...too bad our coaches don't agree.

The game plan was horrible and lacked vision. Run, run,, run, pass...against a very aggressive and very fast defensive...come on, give me a break. And what about the 1/2 time adjustments that should have taken place? I thought you were supposed to figure out what was NOT working and try something new that would about trying a pass! When they did pass, THEY SCORED! It is not rocket science.

I for one believed they could and they should have won. It is NOT the players fault. The blackshirts did a really good job stopping the run...they just needed to get physical with Mr Jarrett. He looked like a high school kid playing against junior kids! The coverage on him was lacking...I agree with the safety over the top...but maybe that is a foreign concept for us.

Norvell should be embarassed...he called a horrible game and if he continues down this path...we will not have a successful season. Come on, open up the offense and put the game in Zac's hands...he is the man!

Dave said...

Someone please tell me where was Cody Glenn! Am I missing something? Cody Glenn is our best all-around back, IMO, and I'm confused why he didn't play. Help me out!

By the way, did you see former Nebraska strength trainer Brian Bailey, now with USC on sidelines? There's a guy that was totally respected by the players and FORMER coaches. Nebraska should never have let him get away! He's had the opportunity to prove himself at USC, and look at the results!!

Husker Mike said...

The World-Herald reported that Glenn played one snap in the first half. I thought I caught him in the game as the I-back who took the fake handoff on Zac Taylor's touchdown on the bootleg.