In short, there's no true news to report. Another hit-and-miss win against a mediocre team. NU plays another scrub team this week -- Purdue. At least it's not at 11am, and no crab grass in sight. We've got some quotes from Tim, and he can tank all night. As an aside, NU gave out 16 Blackshirts even though it has about five good players. 16 - 5 = 11.
Anyhow, we put a few notes on paper after watching the game on DVR. A game vs. Rutgers lost out to a round of golf on a Top 25 course. For now, we'll wait until Nebraska plays an average Wisconsin team in Madison to see if it has made any true progress.
On with the show:
Tim Beck: Just doesn't get it. He doesn't understand. Why? Why? Why? This excerpt from the Omaha World Herald tells you why:
Beck: “No. You think every time we hand him the ball, he’s gonna run for 50? What if he runs for 2? Should they get frustrated, too, ’cause he didn’t run for 50? Is that the line’s fault then? Or is it his? Did he miss it? Or is it a bad play call because we should’ve ran the other way?
Nobody is saying Ameer Abdullah will score every time he touches that ball or that every run play should involve him. What they are saying is that after scoring easily on two long runs is that the next two drives should not be sacrificed in the name of the downfield pass. Use the tight end over the middle of the field. Use Imani Cross and Terrell Newby, who had 15 total carries, more. Get DeMornay Pierson-El a touch or two instead of zero. Keep moving forward. This team is not good enough to move without purpose and waste a full series (or two).
Drew Brown: Missed another routing field goal. Moving deep into the season, that's a glaring concern.
David Santos: PYB didn't watch the game live, but read tweets and texts saying how awful Santos was. Well, watching the game afterward and looking for it, it's obvious the kid is hurt and probably shouldn't be on the field.
Jake Cotton and Alex Lewis: Annoying penalty machines -- still.
Shotgun Snaps: Became a problem out of nowhere Saturday, as Mark Pelini decided to rocket the ball sideways for a while. Pelinis keep Nebraska fine. In an interesting side note, Nebraska has scored a touchdown on nine of its last 11 drives with Ryne Reeves at center.
Kenny Bell: Despite our intermittent criticism of Bell's post-drop injuries, we have to give her credit for continued outstanding effort while blocking downfield. Congratulations as well on the all-time receptions record. Niles Paul would have had it if his hands were bigger.
AP Ranking: Despite winning handily Saturday, Nebraska dropped from 16 to 17. Of course, pollsters had to make way for LSU to jump eight spots as a reward for scoring 10 points (at home) on a Mississippi team that made multiple critical strategy errors at the end of the game, including forgoing a chance to kick a tying field goal so they could instead throw an interception. PYB won't complain about that Pelini-esque boner, as it likely saved us thousands of dollars.
By the Numbers: We decided to take a look at the Big 14 football statistics this week, just in case some of our readers thought our posts too subjective. Things that caught our eye:
- Nebraska is pretty good in all offensive categories, while pretty mediocre (against a bad schedule) in all defensive categories except pass efficiency defense. Apparently, not having many good linebackers or defensive backs will do that to a team.
- NU is 11th of 14 teams in kickoff returns. Is having Abdullah on the unit still worth it?
- The Blackskirts are tied for eighth in sacks. Not enough pressure on the quarterback. They'll need extreme pressure to win at both Wisconsin and Iowa. Can Private Pinelli dial up something special for those games? Holding our breath....kind of....
- NU is 13th in penalty yards per game and still has a penchant for the wrong penalty at the wrong time.
- Sixth in turnover margin. Better than dead-fucking-last, we always say.
- Abdullah is third in rushing yards per game by a large margin, but has the most carries.
- Armstrong is second in total offense.
That'll do it for now. We'll go through the motions for another week along with the players and fans against a game-but-terrible Boilermaker team. We'll tune in and hope to avoid embarrassment in three weeks as Wisconsin dusts off its "Hits of the Very Early 1990s" CD and decides to Jump Around in Madison. Nebraska will enter that game after being idle on November 8, and hopefully, its coaches will use that as an opportunity to develop a strategy.
Certainly, if NU is paying its "defensive genius" coach $3 million a year, he'll have something brewing by November 15. Right? Right? Seven years in, and nobody can be sure.
Enjoy your week, and How 'Bout Them Cowboys?