Early impressions

Check out some of my quick thoughts on the 56-21 victory by the Huskers over the Washington Huskies.

I haven't had a chance to watch the game again yet, so these are just my initial thoughts from watching it live.

Stop running Tray in the spread sets so much, his skill sets don't fit that scheme. Use him in the Pro Set with 2-2 and 2-1 personnel, then let him follow the lead off the guard's hip. He needs to be seven yards from scrimmage to get his momentum going.

I already touched on this in another thread, but my player of the game is Brandon Kinnie. The kid made play after play today on special teams, in the passing game and on some big 3rd downs. Now with BK and Paul showing the ability to beat defenses, NU's ability to run the ball only gets better.

O-line played outstanding. I'll need to see it again, but that illegal hands to the face by Keith Williams looked like a bogus call. All I saw was him push the shoulder pad up around the facemask. Either way, he still needs to keep his hands lower and inside, but he was trying to compensate for getting beat by the DT's penetration. I expected a few false starts because of the environment, so that did really surprise. All in all, this might be the best performance so far by Barney and his boys under Pelini. Ricky Henry, along with Caputo also played a whale of a game.

Helu and Rex also played hard and fast. You can really see the power in Rex now with all the off-season conditioning he had and Helu looks healthy and a tad bit faster than last year. I think he shed a few pounds for the better. Hopefully both guys will continue to feed off each other, and make Taylor's job that much easier.

Watching Martinez, I couldn't help but wonder, was he thinking back to his the championship game his senior year in high school. There he went up against Matt Barkley, everybody's top ranked guy that year. So there today across the field stood Jake Locker, all the experts top pick in the draft. Well he out played Matt that night, just as he did Locker today, kinda ironic if you ask me. We all know Taylor can run, and I truly think his passing game will get better as time goes on. He'll throw a couple one-hoppers here and there (which is better than being high with the ball), and might take a couple bad sacks or two. But he also makes jaw-dropping plays that could put NU in BCS game later this year.

Defensively the secondary played almost flawlessly, other than the dropped coverage on the TD pass to Kearse, but its football and everybody get beat occasionally. I thought this was the Dennard coming out party, as he played about as well as I've seen a corner at Nebraska play in my 35 years. Prince is undoubtedly one of the top players in the country regardless of position, but I assure you Alfonzo is making a steady climb. I hate to say it, but I think this will be his last year as a Husker. He already has a first round grade.

Hagg and Gomes also continued their stellar play in the secondary, those two actually free up Prince and Dennard to do the things they do. Both Hagg and Gomes can cover anybody in the offensive set, WR, TE or the RB. It really is amazing to watch them work, this is bar none the best secondary in the nation.

The D-line got close a couple times with sacks, but I give Locker credit, he was able to get rid of the ball just in the nick of time on several occasions. But the D-line still got solid pressure in the passing game, and it looked the gameplan for the DE's was to keep Locker in the pockets, and give him pressure up the middle. So the DE's actually played a good game with containment, even though it won't show up in the stat sheet.

LB's, overall had a great game, but missed a few reads and took a bad angle or too. But for having young guys in the system, I thought they performed respectably. That's another position that will get better with time, and reps in practice. LaVonte is all over the field, and even when he makes a bad step, he is fast enough to recover and still make a play.

Henery's punting was also top-notch, and NFL teams have to be drooling. There aren't many duel-threat kickers out there, and none as accurate as he is. He will be a huge weapon again this year, and will help decide a game or two before its all done.

Those are my initial thoughts, what are yours? Join the conversation on the Red Zone messge board and give us your thoughts on the game.

Early impressions of the game


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