Saturday, September 19, 2009

NU/Virginia Tech: Close Only Counts in Horseshoes and Handgrenades

Instant feedback on Virginia Tech's 16-15 victory over Nebraska.

  • Nebraska won most of the game, but two key breakdowns at the start and the end of the game resulted in the deciding points. Blown tackles on the opening kickoff and Anthony West's blown coverage were the big blows.
  • Don't blame Anthony West for this loss. Plenty of blame to go around, especially on the offensive line's discombobulation when Nebraska had 1st and goal at the 6. When you have to punt on 4th and goal, you know something horrible has gone wrong.
  • Zac Lee will have plenty of things to look at in his second half. His second quarter performance was nothing less than spectacular, but Virginia Tech turned up the pressure on Lee in the second half, giving him a stat line that'll look downright mediocre.
  • Thank goodness for Matt O'Hanlon. Read that profile of him from the World-Herald.
  • Roy Helu. What can I say; he carried the offense from the 2nd quarter on.
  • Ndamukong Suh. At times, he was playing volleyball with Tyrod Taylor's passes.
  • Pierre Allen and Barry Turner came up huge as well.

This one is going to hurt for a while, and the what-if's can tie you up in knots if you let them. Fortunately, I think Bo Pelini will get this team focused and not let them dwell too long on the negatives. We'll find out as the season goes on just how good Virginia Tech is, just like we'll learn just how good Nebraska is. We know that Nebraska nearly won at one of the toughest places to win as a visitor. Sadly, moral victories don't count.


AJ said...

Pollyanna free thoughts:

Good for you:
1) Helu is a beast. By far the best back you've had since Brandon Jackson. Dude has improved his mobility side to side from last year.

2) Impressed with Pierre Allen(sp) and Suh in the middle. Not because he's the second coming of Reggie White, but because he draws attention..leaving Allen open to harass the QB.

3) Screech Henry is pretty damn accurate and pretty scary from the opposing bench in a late game.

Not so good for you:
1) What QB were you watching? Lee was horrible, and almost into Jamal Lord territory. I didn't see the two Sun Belt Title matches, but he was absolutely brutal from what I saw.

2) Seemed once VT got past the front four, they really had their way. Your LB's need to step up big in conference play.

3) Your coaching was horrific. Oh sure you have your "passion" now..but he has no idea what he's doing on the offensive side, and he looks like a spoiled 5 year old throwing tantrums.

4) Holt reminds me of Purify a bit. Tough at times, invisible at other times. Did McNeil even play except for the 1 TD called back?

All in all..impressed..but not impressed. We knew the NU D line was good, and we knew your offense would struggle. (At least I do.) I now feel it is MORE likely that Nebraska COULD win at Missouri. However, I feel more confident than ever that they won't.

Anonymous said...

The offensive in critical situations was terrible...Some days you don't have a good day...Zac Lee was in a different/wrong time zone. Green's running may have been the difference. Lee can beat the less than mediocre teams..can he step up to the pressure of big games...Mizzou, Tech, OK..warm up Green. He could have done as well as Lee against VT...

Husker Mike said...

My first thought is to dismiss the Cody Green idea, but the more I think about it, it's not a totally insane idea.

Zac Lee is the starting quarterback because he knows what he's doing in the offense - knows the progressions, makes the reads, etc. He's also got a gun for an arm and pretty good wheels. He's the starter for a reason.

That being said, putting Cody Green in against Tech is an interesting idea. Worilds and company were disruptive in the backfield, and forced Lee to improvise. Suddenly, mastery of the offense matters less than pure athletic ability, and that's where Green could have done something.

It's an interesting idea, and would have given Lee a chance to get his head together if Green came in for a series.