Well we've come back to it finally....the start of another season of Husker football. We'll get into some tid-bits of practice as well as start my big 12 preview for football today as well. Since I really dont care that much of the Big 12 South...we'll start the preview with the big 12 north. Let's not waste anytime...once again
THE HOT LIST:
1. Husker Practice Thoughts
2. Big 12 Preview: Iowa State
Excited as I am....lets not delay....
1. Husker Football practice started for last Saturday....it officially marked the beginning of the final countdown till September 5th when the team will get their first chance to demolish an opponent at home. The team enters their 5th practice today and the headlines out of practice have been the competition at Linebacker....I agree that this is going to be one of the most herald positions to watch some really good competition. Veteran backer Blake Lawerance is now fighting off Matthew May to earn his spot back, his recent problems with concussions is causing some concern with the Husker coaching staff that Blake won't be able to play at the level he did in a handful of games last season. There's also competition with Sean Fisher at the weakside, Dillard and Compton at Mike, and of course Lawerance and May duking it out at strong side. A great post was put up my ESPN's Tim Griffin on Ekeler promising mayhem by his linebackers this season. There's no question that Nebraska will have younger kids on the field than last season, but I think this year they are upgrading their talent tremondously this year. With that said, I'll be keeping close eyes on this race as I feel Ekeler has to get 3 starters together and their backups some good reps to develop chemistry. We've seen it in College Football time in and time out....good teams have good chemistry and good linebacker play. Good LB play for the Huskers will be even more important as I expect every team to double team Suh, every game....that means that our LB's will have to cause "mayhem" just like Ekeler predicts....Gotta love Ekeler....
2. My Big 12 preview starts today as we'll look at the Big 12 North teams first today and maybe we'll get to the South...dunno just yet if I wanna preview them....but most likely will preview the ones Nebraska tangles with this season...sooo Iowa State....what can we say about them that hasn't already been said in the last two seasons....They are again starting with a new coach in Paul Rhoads....he's a defensive minded coach coming from Auburn where he was the defensive coordinator there before he was let go by Gene Chizik....I liked Gene I thought he could of done some good things there at Iowa State...but you have to realize what the job at Iowa State is like...your a low level tier team that has to have a coach that knows the identity of the school, I think finally they may have the right guy leading this program since the days of Dan McCarney...The team returns quarterback Austin Arnaud who passed for over 2700 yards and 15 TD's, but the problem with Austin was INT's where he was picked off 10 times last season. He'll have to step up his game in Iowa State's new spread offense if the Cyclones think they can stir the pot in the big 12 north this season. Having Alexander Robinson who rushed for 700 plus yards and 6 TD's, and R. J. Sumrall who snagged 7 TD's and over 700 yard receiving gives ISU some pieces on offence to make them competitive. The problem for ISU last season was defensive play...they struggled mightly at times to stop opponents from scoring and when their offense was out of sync for a game it lead to disaster for them....hmmmm sound familiar about what that's like.....I expect this to be a start of the rebuilding process for Iowa State....I don't think they'll get back to the good days of Bylthe and Meyer offense, but I do feel that for once they are on the right track to being competitive again...I expect them to win a game in the Big 12 this season as getting K-State at home will be their best shot at getting off the 0-8 conference record from a season ago. I expect them to lose to KU, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Baylor, A&M, Missouri, and Colorado. Record Predition for 2009: 3-9 with wins over North Dakota State, Army, and K-State. They could boost themselves up to 4 wins if they can upset Kent State on the road on Sept. 19th. I don't think they can but 3-9 is a game better than 2-10....ESPN has them in the Bottom 10 at #8...I agree...it's a big hill to climb to get back to being respected....I think they can at some point...just not this season.
3. A major major headline jumps on the page today as Virginia Tech's RB Darren Evans has torn his ACL in practice Tuesday and will now miss the entire season...This is huge for Nebraska as last year's Orange Bowl MVP is gone and Nebraska won't have to try to stop him and Tyrod Taylor at the same time. It's big because die hard fans like myself see this as an opening to spring a major upset on the road...and I'd have to look back at how long it's been since Nebraska upsetted a top 10 team on the road....Frank Beamer is a great coach...fast becoming a legend at VT....I expect him to have a stable of RB's ready to step in the spotlight and rush the ball...the scary thing is that VT had a young WR last season who they called "having Michael Vick like athleticism" but was sidelined last season due to a torn ACL, Nebraska knows all to well what its like to match up with a potential top tier WR (Crabtree) but I think Nebraska's improved secondary play will no doubt help Nebraska ink some more W's this season. We'll get to my prediction on the team later next week. Either way Nebraska can't look at Virginia Tech's setback as being the peice to blowing VT out of the water on their home field...it'll still be a dogfight....just maybe more even than the experts originally predicted.
I'll return on Friday were we'll continue our big 12 preview, check Husker football practice, and span the globe for the headlines...till then