Still no answers
Sorry I have not gotten back sooner we just moved into our new home. I am compiling a list of all your questions and will comment on those asap.
I would like to thank everyone who checked out my website and commented on my blog. I knew after reading several of the responses that Nebraska still has the best and most passionate fans on the planet. I really appreciate all the comments regarding the site, this whole process is new for me so I feel like I’m learning on the run.
Well, here I am again, another new week and still no answers. I feel like I could take last weeks entry and apply it to any of the last seven games. I will say this, the team played with improved intensity and a little fire in their bellies, at least in the first half. What the hell did they do in the locker room at halftime? Did they give them each a pillow and say “We will wake you up in fifteen minutes?” Why in the world were no adjustments made during the half? Did they really think A&M was going to come out of the locker room and not have changed a thing? Why are we sitting in “over” defense when we’re playing a team that runs the dive option? I probably have just as many questions as you do and I am equally as frustrated.
I’ll start by giving some game thoughts. On offense, I thought Shawn Watson did a good job calling the plays in the first half, probably the best combination of run and pass that I have seen all season. I thought he tried to get our power running game going. He got the freshman (Castille) involved early and it gave our offense a different dimension that we’ve been missing all season. Even though he is young there are no excuses for fumbling the ball, you have to hold onto the rock. I also believe that when a young player fumbles the ball, you have to put him back in the game soon so he doesn’t loose his confidence. The fat guys up front did a better job blocking for the inside run but they still need to get better on their pass protection. Too often when Keller dropped back to pass he had somebody in his face. A&M’s defensive line shouldn’t have been that effective, they’re just not that good. The passing game didn’t work for several reasons. One was, Sam threw some bad balls. Two, the receivers dropped a few and three, the protection wasn’t great. The thing that pisses me off is why we abandon the running game so fast. We came out in the 3rd quarter and pretty much gave up on the run. Keep the balance in the offense, the game isn’t won at the end of the 3rd quarter, there are four full quarters, so keep that in mind when your game planning for Texas.
Defensively, I saw more emotion out of our guys at least in the first half. They looked like they were running around smacking people in the mouth, having fun. I’m not saying it was a great half of football but it was much better than what we had seen in previous games. Why didn’t we force McGee to try and beat us with his arm? He wants to keep the ball on the ground; he wants to run the option, that’s what he’s good at. A few times in the first half we jumped into what looked like a 46 defense, this is what we should have been playing most of the game. Four lineman and two linebackers walked up on the line of scrimmage, load the line of scrimmage and force them to pass. At some point you have to say this 43 defense is not working and you have to try something else. Change the defense, change some rules, change some assignments but for heaven’s sake change something. Instead of having the defensive end run down and tackle the dive, let him slow play it, this will give him an opportunity to help on the dive but if the quarterback keeps the ball he can play him. This also gives the secondary a chance to get off their blocks and get to the pitch. Why in the world did we play an over front against a team that runs the dive and the veer? Balance up the line of scrimmage, put the two tackles head up on the guards, this way they can two gap and make plays in plays in both A and B gaps.
How ironic that we get smocked by the one thing that we used to kill people with, the option. For all you out there that think the option is dead, hello! I talked about this on the radio and why the option is so effective. Unless the opponent runs the option themselves, it is extremely difficult to prepare for in a few days. It is assignment football and if one guy on defense is wrong, you’re going to get hurt.
I want to spend a little time talking about the atmosphere at the game. I was down on the sidelines for the first half so I heard everything that our players heard from the fans and let me tell you, it was great. I knew as soon as I got to the stadium that there was a special feeling. Fans seem to have hope, I have to believe that Coach Osborne played a huge role in this feeling. We know that even though we are struggling now, our program is heading in the right direction. It was great seeing some of the ex-players; I know a lot of them are happy to be back. I was glad to see the old tunnel walk video; it certainly lets everybody know this program is built on its tradition. Seeing the fans get out of their seats every time the defense took the field gave me goose bumps. Oh, what I would give for just one more day in Memorial Stadium.