Thursday, November 27, 2014

Up in Smoke

PYB went to the first half of Nebraska's football game against Minnesota last Saturday. We witnessed a far-from-perfect but almost opportunistic half of football from the Huskers, as they racked up 21-7 lead. Due to logistical reasons, we had to leave at halftime.

By the time we got parked in front of a television to watch the game's end, the Gophers were on their way to pounding a more-talented-but-soft-as-hell opponent into the ground. On its final offensive series, as Tommy Armstrong led NU's rattletrap offense down the field with as much efficiency as Cheech & Chong's SS, we all knew the end result.

So when a Minnesota defender stole the ball from DeMornay Pierson-El, we weren't surprised. Then, when Nebraska's Blackskirts let a Gopher running back drag them nine yards for a game-clinching first down, we didn't bat an eye and another game, week and season were up in smoke in Lincoln.

There's no need for in-depth analysis here. But, for the sake of tradition, here's what we saw:

--NU fans did their part. Filled the stadium. Provided a generally positive attitude. Cheered pretty loudly for a poorly coached, heartless team.

--Nebraska can't run block or pass block. We listened to Offensive Line Coach John Garrison Monday night on the radio, and he admitted the unit has struggled with both techniques and with penalties. He was honest -- something too rare in this staff. It was refreshing. But, any time a coach is so freely admitting that about his squad 11 games into the season, PYB would say that team is effectively fucked.

--PYB had Minnesota +10 points. Easy money. We were just sad that no money line was published and that we forgot to bet the second half while departing the game.

--The 'Skirts had no answer for Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner and his zone read play. He ran 22 times for 133 yards. He ran about as fast as Garrett Gilbert did for Texas in 2010. Two glaring concerns here: Gilbert lost his job the next year to Case McCoy and David Ash and that $3 million Bo Pinelli was outcoached by Mack Brown. Ouch.

--As recent history has told us, every time NU squawks about is rankings or mentions its chances at playing in postseason game of meaning, it shits the bed in the worst way. This year was no different, following the bottle blasting it took from a mediocre Wisconsin team (barely beat Iowa and lost to Northwestern) and the pounding it took from a pedestrian Minnesota team -- at home.

--Nebraska fans couldn't make Armstrong the scapegoat this week, while clamoring for the white guy backup. The sophomore was 13/19 for 223 yards with no turnovers but got sacked four times.

--NU ran for 4.6 yards a carry, but still lost to Minnesota -- at home.

--Nebraska's offensive drives went as follows:

First Half

Second Half
Field Goal

How's that for halftime adjustments?

--Following the game, Pinelli had no answers except that Tim Beck's drive-killing, deep pass call in the fourth quarter was OK. Second and 1 is a "waste down", see. The rest of us fucksticks just aren't football-savvy enough to know that. That's fine, if your quarterback is Aaron Rodgers, you have a good offensive line and your best receiver is healthy.

NU has none of the three. NU is not good enough to waste a down against any team. The fact that its coaches are the only ones not in touch with that fact is appalling. The fact they don't realize the result of their frivolous actions is embarrassing. The fact that Pinelli has expressed no strategy to get from bad to better is mortifying.

That's all we have Re: Minnesota. Been there. Watched that. Let's look forward, instead, to NU's epic battle against Iowa tomorrow:

--Iowa is favored by just one point. Load up on the Hawkeyes. Iowa sucks, but at least plays with some balls. It's sad that NU is going to rack up its second consecutive loss to a team that does not try to score in many games.

--Nice recruiting, Huskers. Maybe Pinelli & Co. were too busy signing zone-read stoppers to chase a home-state, starting-caliber defensive lineman.

--PYB hopes that these two warriors can manage to suit up Friday. Kenny Bell is suffering from a head injury. Replays show his head barely hit the turf, and his niece and elevator full of friends told us postgame that he did not have a concussion. Unfortunately, the NU offense has struggled more than usual in the multiple times Bell has left games early this season. We thought Bell only came up lame after dropped passes. This time it was after a 73-yard reception. Things really are devolving in Husker Nation.

Randy Gregory contracted an 'illness' after laying over the dogpile on a one-yard Minnesota touchdown run. Early reports say it's been that tough-to-shake case of NFL Draftitis. Paging Mr. Clowney....

--One last chance for Beck to come up with a real game plan this season. He found an identity against Miami, then threw it on the ground and pissed on it for the next eight games. One last chance, also, for Pinelli and Papuchis to rise to the occasion and slow down a bad offense.

But, we kid noone. They won't do it. We'll watch. We'll hide our eyes in shame. We'll watch NU slide one game closer to a .500 long-term Big 10 record. We'll get the same post-game answers we've gotten for seven years. We'll still be fine.

That's the joint,
That's the jam, 
Turn that shit up, 
Play it again....

Happy Thanksgiving.


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