Saturday, April 19, 2008

Scenes from the 2008 Husker Spring Game

Nothing new about this picture, really. I've seen similar photos of the stadium over the years. Oh..wait. All those other photographs were taken in the fall.

This was a sold out Memorial Stadium in April. Yeah, Alabama packed their stadium last year, but admission was free. This was a sellout. In April. For a scrimmage.

Joe Ganz had plenty of time to find Curenski Gilleylen for a 77-yard bomb on this play. Good protection for the Huskers' returning quarterback here. Ganz even got a star from ESPN's "College Gameday Final" this evening, primarily for this play.

On Ganz's second touchdown pass, the defense got a little more pressure on Ganz. But Ganz still got the ball to Marcus Mendoza, who scored on a 24 yard reception. Husker defensive coordinator Carl Pelini had a great view of the pass rush generated by Barry Turner and Eric Hagg. Interesting that many of the coaches were on the field; they got a great view of what was happening, and were able to provide immediate feedback to the players.

Quentin Castille blew through the defensive line early in the second quarter on this run, and while he won the first battle with Prince Amukamara, Amukamara got the better of Castille when he stripped Castille of the ball a couple of seconds later.

Patrick Witt wishes he could have had this pass back. With :36 left in the 2nd quarter, Armando Murillo picked off Witt, giving the Red squad the ball at the White 38. The Red squad failed to capitalize as the clock ran out when Ganz completed a 20 yard pass to Nate Swift.

But from my perspective, the run of the day had to be my daughter's scamper from the end zone all the way out to midfield at halftime, as she attempted to escape her parents, who were in hot pursuit. With the relatively even split of talent between the two squads, today's game should be useful to the coaching staff in team in evaluating the progress of the team. But the biggest impact of the spring game is on youngsters, who get an opportunity to be introduced to Husker football. We'll have plenty of photos to remember today's game by.


AJ said...

Hope the family had a good day Mike. At least you had good weather.

By the way...Pelini ran the option on the first play?? and turned it over?

Oh boy.


Husker Mike said...

I think my daughter enjoyed it. She spent a lot of time yesterday running around with a football with her cousins. I bet she'll spend a lot of time napping today, though.

Pelini tried to do a Bob Stoops, and open his first spring game with a classic Nebraska play. But a senior walk-on linebacker from Grand Island blew the play up. Oh well. I noticed that the few remaining members of the Kool-aid crowd got a chuckle out of it as some sort of proof the option game is dead.

Erika Krull said...

I was at the game, but missed the option play because my daughter dropped something in the stands at that exact moment! Anyway, while that first play was disappointing, I read it differently than many might.

I didn't have too much issue with our offense last year. We scored enough on offense that we should have at least one two more games simply by our total points (KU and CU). It was our defense that was so anemic.

Knowing that a hungry Blackshirt went AFTER the option and batted it down seemed like a little victory in my eyes. The offense seems to have weapons, the defense (??)) Well, it has Cody Glenn and maybe a few others who will step up more than last year.

Will we see shadows of Grant Wistrom and Jason Peter running around this year? Well, maybe not, but there's hardly anything that couldn't be an improvement.

I liked the spunk and the werewithall this defender (can't recall the name) had to get in there and break it up. I saw more quality tackling at the spring game than I did all last season. Seriously.

Disappointed I didn't see a successful option play, but more excited that I saw a shimmer of a real defense.