Saturday, September 15, 2012

Make Tackles or Die Tryin'

A few gameday quick hits, as PYB tries to remember if there has been a time where we were less excited this close to a Cornhusker kickoff:

--John Papuchis got his ass ripped by 250+ blue hairs in Omaha yesterday, and the World Herald's @jonnyatawa wrote about it. Several concerns here:

1. NU's tackling sucks, because they don't do it in practice. They don't want to get people hurt. So, a starting WR blows his ACL in a 'special teams drill,' but live tackling is too risky? Didn't Nebraska rack up conference and national titles in the 1990s when the top offense and defense went live against each other at least once a week in practice? Wasn't Bill Callahan vilified for his no-pad, no-contact practices?

NU is paying a 'defensive genius' $3 million per year, and they don't tackle in practice? The reason elite schools may not tackle during the week is because they have natural athletes who just know how to run, catch and tackle. NU does not, and needs the reps. Subpar players must repeat their lessons weekly, just like subpar students.

Is this concept that hard to grasp? And, outside of about three players, does an injury to anyone else matter? Hell, the team's best player (and arguably ONLY big-game player) was out last week, and it supposedly didn't affect the team at UCLA. Whatever.

2. Nebraska's defense doesn't rush the passer, because it wants to contain the quarterback. Well, the four porkers up front can't contain the quarterback, so they may as well rush the passer and hope to get lucky a few times a game. You know, make plays. Sacks, fumbles, hurries, pressures, interceptions. Rather go down trying than die a slow death in every single game against a good team, every single season....

Papuchis said the coaching staff's goal is to avoid "undue stress" on the defensive line. Huh? God forbid they be expected to make a play. What about the undue stress that the lack of pass rush puts on the other seven defenders, as they try to cover faster players or hold coverage in the secondary for seven to 10 seconds. Every snap. For four quarters. For 13 games.

3. The NU defensive coordinator got pissed at a fan who questioned the team's goals, saying the aim was still a national title. Is this why several players spewed the "we can still win the Big 10" line after the UCLA loss? Every time this team loses, the company line changes to "we can still (insert watered-down goal here)".

There is no true disappointment when the national title dreams are washed away for another year. That's 15 and counting. The new generation's mantra: get your ass kicked, reload and aim lower. It's all good, we'll just drop a few Tweets to #HuskerNation and tell them they're the greatest fans in the world, and all will be forgiven. I'll live like a king, bask in the glow of my followers' adoration and ignore the glaring deficiencies in my team's performance. Perfect.

Finally, before we eject, many live-in-the-past Cornhusker fans (translation: 95 percent of them), have been creaming their shorts about this article. PYB read it, even before Dork Chatelain stole it for his blog. Solich was a terrible coach. He ruined Nebraska. He won only with Tom Osborne's players. He couldn't land an impact recruit. Couldn't manage a game.

That was then, this is now, you say? Well, go watch the tape of the MAC championship game from last season, where Ohio blew a big lead. All Frank's tanks show he's the same shitty coach, 10 years later. It's on tape. Go look it up. And spare us the bullshit defenses of his tenure in Lincoln.

All we got, as look for the silver lining of watching today's Arkansas State matchup: at least we don't have to pay $39.95 for this piece-of-shit game.


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