Well I'm back for one last time this week before I strap on my Red and Cheer my fanny off this weekend....Let's get into it.
THE HOT LIST:
1. Nebraska vs. FAU Breakdown
2. LB play...importance of the "Big Game"
1. Well we'll start with a breakdown of the FAU/Nebraska showdown this weekend and get my final score prediction. FAU brings some confidence this season returning 6'5 QB Rusty Smith who passed for 3224 yards and 24 TD's but did throw 14 INT's as well last season. One of the bigger matchup's comes from how much pressure Nebraska's defensive line can get to Rusty Smith....he brings back his top 7 receivers from last season as well as a pair of big athletic TE's in Jason Harmon (6-3, 210) and Jamari Grant (6-5, 210) who run more like big WR's than TE's. If Nebraska can get to Rusty Smith and get him to develop "happy feet" in the pocket and rush throws it could be a long day for the Owls. They will most likely look to pass the ball as I feel they have a non-existent rushing game returning just 1 RB from last season. The second biggest matchup in this game I feel comes in the secondary and LB play.....how well can these guys cover this athletic WR's? We'll need to be on our game right away to prevent the owls from building any momentum from the get go....I look at this game as more of a defensive test....how much has our defense improved from last season....On Offense Nebraska should have no trouble with the Owls as they lost their top 6 tacklers from last season...they are a young inexperience group who are just unprepared to handle the running load of Helu and Burkehead.....
PREDICTION: This is a better opening opponent for the Husker's since they opened with OSU in 2003. If Nebraska's defense answers the call and gets pressure on Rusty Smith right out of the gate which is what I expect Suh and company to do then Rusty will have a long long day in the pocket....his jersey most likely will be battered from running for his life the whole game. I think that after this game we come out with a better sense that Nebraska has a legit defense that can stop good offenses this season and that the offense will still need some work in the passing game but will continue to make strides the whole game....Final Score: 42-14 Nebraska
2. Great article today in the Omaha World Herald about the play of LB's and how Nebraska will most likely start two redshirt freshman and a sophomore making them the youngest group of LB's in the Big 12. The growing pains that these guys will have to endure will have to be quick if Nebraska wants to be in Dallas at the end of the season playing for the Big 12 title. I think that even though we have a very very young group of LB's playing this year....that doesn't substitute the talent and knowledge of the game that I feel these guys have. We have to remember at times when we talk about the football team...the coaches have the final say...and there's nobody on the whole staff I support fully than Mike Ekler...he knows how to recruit and how to develop LB's....if these are our guys than they are...Look for Nebraska to rotate Blake Lawerance and Phillip Dillard in the mix as well...They'll need to be ready to rise to the challenge early and have a big game. This will no doubt build confidence within themselves that they can harness on all season. I think that when the season is complete these guys will have big years....making everyone else in the Big 12 cringe about the idea that this group could be playing together for the next 3 plus years.
3. A few tid-bits today as Nebraska really won't discuss exactly what they'll use Cody Green for on Saturday...he's by far progressed better than any freshman QB that Shawn Watson has ever coached....it'll be interesting if they think they can redshirt him and just use Zac all season or if he'll get some game snaps. I hope that if they chose to give him game snaps that they better decide to give him a decent amount from the whole season.....how dumb would they feel if they only gave him 10-15 reps all season losing a year of eligibility because of that....we shall see.
College Football kicks off tonight with Oregon playing at Boise State tonight...I've got Oregon tonight.......Let the season begin.
To all those I will see this Saturday....come find me in the family tailgating spot....I'll be texting you....Out until Wednesday to enjoy the Labor Day weekend.....as always GO BIG RED!!!!