Yes, you heard me right: trap game. Look, Nebraska hasn't been as polished on either side of the football as some might have hoped. The Nebraska performance on the offensive side of the ball looked crisper on Saturday against Washington mostly because of less turnovers and more consistent play from the quarterback position.
Still, Taylor Martinez had a less than 50% completion percentage and Nebraska was about even with Washington in time of possession and total yards. Still, the offense could go toe to toe with the opposition's offense and outscore them.
T. Martinez is looking for his niche through the air
That was against Washington though and at home. No offense Washington, Keith Price is an exceptional quarterback and Chris Polk could basically start anywhere in the country, but Washington allowed 27 to Eastern Washington and 32 to Hawaii…in Seattle. Washington might get away with that, but Nebraska doesn't.
And now you have Wyoming; a 3-0 Wyoming who is averaging 36 points per game. More than that, they are opportunistic. Wyoming is +2 in turnover margin per game while Nebraska is just even in that category through three games at home.
There are things to be concerned about and here is what I will be watching on Saturday:
1. Will Jared Crick or Alfonzo Dennard play? It's clear that Dennard is invaluable to the Nebraska defense. Nebraska is 78th in passing defense allowing a completion percentage of 55%. Now, it doesn't help that Nebraska's biggest threat along the defensive line might miss Saturday, but the Huskers are going to need a lot of bodies in the secondary this weekend.
2. Big game let down/looking ahead? Yes, Bo Pelini has spoke to looking ahead to Wisconsin and said it won't happen. Then again, there is a slight history of Nebraska football teams under Bo's tenure of not taking top competition seriously. I mean, look at the games against FCS opponents the past two years, South Dakota State and UT-Chattanooga, and you also have even Fresno State a couple of weeks ago. Sorry, but there is a track record of it happening.
Will anybody be looking ahead to next week?
3. More new plays this week and targeting the right people? I had been a little bit baffled through the first two games when it comes to the relatively small number of different looking run plays that Nebraska had run. Against Washington it was clear that they started to uncork the bottle, which was great. Nebraska even came out and threw deep to Kenny Bell on the first play of the game. Bell, Jamal Turner, Kyler Reed and even Aaron Green need more touches in this offense. A steady diet of Rex Burkhead will soften it up for all of them, but just not enough touches for the more dynamic play-makers through the first three games.
If there is one thing that could hurt Nebraska this weekend it will be execution. If the Huskers come out flat and battle through playing a Wyoming team before a big match-up at Wisconsin it could cost them. Wyoming has the system in place to do it offensively.
Nebraska is going to have to learn how to take time off the clock by long, sustained drives filled with short to long gains and lots of first downs. The Huskers can't afford to stay on the field a long time defensively in the highest altitude stadium in DI football.
Expect a lot of work for Burkhead, Heard and Green this week as well as maybe a few more run plays. I also hope that Nebraska blocks some of the run plays that they did against Washington better because it's clear that they could be effective. I'm taking Nebraska, but again they allow more points than they should, 45-24.