Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Blackshirts are Back - If Only For a Half

Much has been made about the awarding of the Blackshirts to most of the starting defense this week. Some feel that giving up 35 points to Kansas isn't Blackshirt worthy. Others think that no Blackshirts should have been awarded this season; box 'em up and bring them out next season. Nevertheless, Bo made the call to award them this week. It's not a decision I necessarily disagreed with, as I think the defensive line more than earned them last week.

But at halftime today, Bo's decision was certainly validated as for the first time in over a year, we saw a defense worthy of the fabled black practice jerseys. The Blackshirts allowed 7 points to be scored and only 117 yards, 64 of which were on that long touchdown pass. The Blackshirts were all over Josh Freeman, who somehow is being regarded as a first round draft pick. That's got to be based on measurables; he's got the size, speed, and arm that makes NFL scouts drool. But I've got to wonder how many recent K-State game those NFL scouts have watched. Freeman game is simply not consistent; he'll complete a few long passes each week, but for the most part, he struggles to complete much more than 50% of his passes. That's not going to cut it in college football, and it's not going to cut it at the next level.

His game today was shortened by a concussion suffered from that hit Zach Potter laid on him in the second quarter, but let's be honest, Freeman struggled from the opening snap of the game. Even TB over at BringOnTheCats is wondering why Kansas State's offense looks better with backup Carson Coffman at quarterback. (And if you were wondering, Carson is the younger brother of stud Missouri tight end Chase Coffman.) Now, in the second half, the Blackshirts seemed to not play with the same intensity as in the first half. Hard not to let up a little bit with a big lead, but still, a lot of the credit has to go to Coffman.

On offense, other than a bad pass that got tipped and converted into a pick-6 to open the game, Joe Ganz had another fine game. Go up and down the stat sheet, and you'll find nice performances. Roy Helu, 80 yards and two touchdowns. Quentin Castille, 51 yards, a touchdown, and a collison with KSU cornerback Otis Johnson that you heard on the FSN pay-per-view broadcast. Even Marcus Mendoza got 10 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. Here's an idea of the domination: NU's rushing AND passing yardage exceeded K-State's total yardage.

The scoreboard didn't reflect the near total domination by the Huskers today. Throw out three plays (Ganz interception, Freeman bomb to Ernie Pierce, and the Brandon Banks kickoff return), and this game looks like a K-State/Nebraska game prior to Bill Snyder taking over in Manhattan. Yeah, that's a bit of would-a, could-a, should-a, but this game wasn't nearly as close as the score indicated.

No comments: