Well after a hard-felt loss...we've come back with ooh soo much to talk about....
THE HOT LIST:
1. Texas Tech/Nebraska Grade Outs
2. Husker Press Conference
3. New Top 25
4. Big 12 Rankings
1. Nebraska went into Saturday's game with an opportunity to take another step in the right direction towards their goal of winning a Big 12 North title..especially since Kansas fell on the road to Colorado last weekend. We'll get to the grade outs soon but a drumming of 21 points at home to Texas Tech has a lot of Husker fans thinking that we are headed down the a path that ends with Nebraska losing 4 to 5 games this season. Nebraska took a monumental steps backwards on Saturday and left many Husker fans asking many questions about one side of the ball...the offense. To the Grade Outs:
Offense: What can you say about the offense but that they single handily lost this game for Nebraska. There are now pressing questions for this offense such as why can't Nebraska rush the ball with authority anymore? Why does our offensive line continue to have mental breakdowns that kill scoring drives? Which backup running back is ready to shelter the load for a beat up Roy Helu? Who's the big play WR on our team that can single handily change the game? Which QB will start this Saturday? Why can't Zac Lee make timely throws when pressured in the pocket? As you can see my questions about the offense can pile up quickly. Am I a proponent that we need to start Cody Green on Saturday???...not exactly...and here's why....when it comes to being a good offense our team has to be able to run the ball effectively....Look at all the good teams in the Big 12 that have won the Big 12 title...they could run the ball effectively and at will. Nebraska must first shore up its offensive line problems before they invest on getting a new QB into the game...because if we can't protect that QB and open holes for him to run...it wont matter who you put back in there...they still won't be effective. I do agree that if we continue to play Zac Lee he will have to get better at making decision quickly...he struggled on Saturday making quick reads and getting the ball out effectively.....I trust Shawn Watson's judgment on who should start..but if you go with the idea of making a QB change...this is the week to do it.
Defense: What can you say about the play of the defense...they allowed the #1 passing offense in the country to just 225 yards and only allowed 29 total yards of offense to Texas Tech in the second half. The coveted blackshirts were handed out on practice Monday...but the concerning issue was how Texas Tech ran the ball right at our defense late in the game to score another touchdown to officially put the game away. Another pressing issue was the defense inability to create a pivotal turnover when our offense was struggling as mightily as they were in the game. Creating turnovers and stopping the downhill running game will be keys to beating ISU this weekend as the Cyclones bring the best rushing offense in the Big 12 to Lincoln on Saturday. I think I speak for many Husker fans that don't want to see our defense play as well as they did on Saturday and lose by 21....but if they played completely lights out...they wouldn't have allowed 21 points to Tech.
2. I listened to the Husker Press Conference this afternoon and I came away impressed with a few things.
Bo: It's clear that Bo was unhappy with Nebraska's play on Saturday but reiterates the word that Nebraska must execute effectively every down if they are going to get back on track with the goals they have mapped out this season. Bo did comment that Roy is banged up and that he will practice today wearing a green no contact jersey to keep his shoulders healthy. Bo also commented on that he places his faith in Shawn Watson and that after looking at the tapes of practice and grading out both quarterbacks...the best grade out will start this Saturday.
Suh: It was clear that Suh knew about how good the defense played on Saturday but that it didn't result in a win and therefore to him meant nothing to him. He also commented a bit today about that this team will not become a divided team on who should start at QB and about the offense not doing their part to score points and win games. Suh looks at the offensive struggles at what happened last season when the defense was struggling and the offense was carrying the team...Suh looks at this situation as the defenses chance to carry the team till they get back on track...he was certain they would be able to in the next couple of weeks.
Zac: Zac fielded a lot of questions about decision making in the pocket, but said today that he felt that he got the ball out quickly on 3 and 4 step drops. He didn't comment on his lack of running out of the pocket when there is no one open and about his passing accuracy. He did say that he really didn't hear the boo's at him after a few bad series early in the 3rd quarter. He also commented that Cody and him come back to practice every week and compete their tails off together to start the next week. Looks like Zac has won every week...we'll see if he wins this week.
Cody: It was funny to see the true freshman a bit starry eyed today about being asked to sit in on the Husker Press Conference and field questions from the media. Cody did say that he got away with a few passes but not all of them as he talked about his INT that sealed the loss late in the 4th quarter. What you took away from what he said is that Cody will continue to stay in any role as long as this team keeps winning. He's a great competitor and did say once again that as of right now this is Zac's team and Zac's offense. He did talk about his growth as a QB from the time he started in the spring till now...he is comfortable with knowing a great deal of plays from 250 to 300...but feels that Zac knows more of the pre-snap reads than he does...By his tone it appears that they are seriously looking at him to start this weekend but early signs seem to be pointing to Zac.
3. The New Top 25 the week of Oct. 19th:
1. Alabama (1)
2. Florida (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. Cincinnati (6)
5. USC (5)
6. LSU (9)
7. Miami (9)
8. TCU (8)
9. Oregon (11)
10. Oklahoma State (17)
11. Georgia Tech (15)
12. BYU (12)
13. Penn State (13)
14. Pittsburgh (23)
15. Utah (22)
16. Iowa (21)
17. Ohio State (4)
18. Houston (18)
19. Texas Tech (UR)
20. Boise State (16)
21. Virginia Tech (7)
22. West Virginia (UR)
23. Arizona (UR)
24. Nebraska (10)
25. Kansas (20)
The top 2 remain the same with Texas moving back up to 3....Cincinnati is a big jumper over USC with a nice road win over South Florida...LSU rises 3 spots...with Oregon and Oklahoma State breaking the top 10 this week with nice wins on Saturday...GT moves up after beating Virginia Tech....Pitt jumps too with the shakedown of teams losing ahead of them...Iowa jumps following a nice win at Wisconsin.....Ohio State falls from 4 to 17 following a bad loss to Purdue...Texas Tech breaks the top 25 following its nice win over the Sker's.....Boise State drops following a near loss to Tulsa....VT drops from 7 to 21....Arizona comes in from the unranked crowd....Nebraska drops to 24 and KU is 25 but both teams must win impressively to stay in my top 25 next week.
4. Big 12 Rankings:
1. Texas (6-0) (3-0)
Texas stays atop because they are unbeaten but have one big game left against Oklahoma State on Halloween...rushing the ball effectively is still a concern with this team.
2. Oklahoma State (5-1) (2-0)
A beatdown of Missouri on Saturday has recharged this team that big goals written on the whiteboard at the beginning of the season are still within reach. Getting Texas and Texas Tech at home helps that cause.
3. Oklahoma (3-3) (1-1)
OU's defense keeps them in every game they have lost...but losing Sam Bradford for likely the season can't keep pending losses to Nebraska, Texas Tech, and possibly Kansas from happening. Winning out is OU's only way to salvage this season.
4. Nebraska (4-2) (1-1)
Nebraska's still has the best defense in the conference...but offensive woes have begun to blacken the outlook of this season.
5. Texas Tech (5-2) (2-1)
Texas Tech has favorable games at home and a big one still left on the road...Oklahoma State. This team can quietly make some noise in the Big 12 South...who would of thought after getting beat by Texas..
6. Kansas (5-1) (1-1)
Kansas defensive problems are likely going to provide Kansas with a mediocre season as losses to Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech are imminent. Todd Reesing can't save them every game...think Mangino is rethinking his idea of using a 4-2-5 defense now.
7. Missouri (4-2) (0-2)
Has this team underachieved or are they just that bad??? It appears that this team leans too heavily on Gabbert's bum ankle...The image of this team can change beating Texas at home on Saturday.
8. Iowa State (4-3) (1-2)
The Cyclones broke a nice losing streak in the Big 12...but how well with they look on the road playing a vengeance hungry Nebraska team? Austin Arnaud is quietly having a breakout season for Iowa State.
9. Kansas State (4-3) (1-2)
A beatdown of Texas A&M gets the angry fans off Synder's back for another week. A loss to Colorado this weekend will almost certainly bring back those critics and gets the pressure back on his shoulders.
10. Baylor (3-3) (0-2)
The Bears are on a path to continue their non-bowl streak of 16 years....injuries have all but taken away what looked like a promising season...and the loss to Iowa State last week on the road has left a very sour taste to this season.
11. Colorado (2-4) (1-1)
The QB change could keep the fire Dan Hawkins supporters subsided only if they continue winning...all eyes will be on how well that new QB can play on the road this weekend at K-State.
12. Texas A&M (3-3) (0-2)
Things have gone from bad to ugly in just 2 weeks for the Aggies. The Aggies came into last weekends game as heavy favorites and left with a thrashing to probably one of the worst teams in the Big 12 North....0-8 in the conference appears likely this season...could we see a coaching and AD change at A&M like we saw at Nebraska last season???
Coming back tomorrow....