Spring Stumpers: Questions dying to be answered

There's too many questions, just too many questions about this Spring. Well, the only way you are going to answer them is if you ask. So, we do and we here at BRR do our best to answer some of those oh-so-important questions that are keen to the mind of your average-everyday-husker-fan. And, we let you get in on the fun. Check out this week's Stumpers for Spring.

1. What's the over/under on the attendance for the spring game?

Bryan: Personally, I couldn't believe the response that last year's game received although it was a perfect day for football. Spring games USED to be the type of even that you could just show up to, buy a $2.00 ticket, roam the stadium and get some autographs. Now, there are pre-game ticket sales, club-level seating and 60,000+ fans that may only get to see their Huskers on that day.

Steve: Ok, 61,000 was nice, the weather was perfect and the spring game didn't have to compete with Easter.

 

That set the table for just what happened, a better day than if you could have ordered it.

 

No construction this year limiting numbers, though, so can NU top last year's total or even better, sell the whole place out? I'm breaking it down like this:

 

If the Weather is good and Zac Taylor is the starter: 72,000

 

If the Weather is bad and Zac Taylor is the starter: 64,000

 

If the Weather is good and Joe Dailey is the starter: 55,000

 

If the Weather is bad and Joe Dailey is the starter: 47,000

 

If the Weather is bad and both Joe Dailey and Zac Taylor are hurt during the Spring and can't play in this game: 6

Last year the upper East stadium was closed, but still got over 60,000 fans into the stadium. This year in a perfect scenario, no parts of the stadium shut down, good weather, etc., I will say that the over/under will be 72,000.

2. Will the five spring semester, junior college transfers really make a huge impact on spring practice and if so how big?

Bryan: The early word out of Lincoln that I am hearing is that all of the mid-term recruits have looked very, very good and in particular the two linebackers Octavien and Moore. Taylor is a workout stud and I have heard he is making a big impression. While I have heard good things about Dagundero the unsung hero so far is Cryer who I have heard has been very impressive.

I believe that JUCO players are always considered to be a player that should contribute in their first year at a 4-year school and mid-term enrollers, even more. I would say that the 5 players will have a huge impact on the field and the depth chart at all of their respective positions. I am projecting 3 new starters out of the five and with Dagundero and Cryer you have guys that can definitely get into the rotation immediately at DT and even play along that "heavy" DL like last year.

Steve:  They had better or it was a waste of time even recruiting them.

 

I mean, seriously, the one thing that you absolutely LOVE about mid-year junior college transfers is that they can get on the field in January, work with the team during the Spring, have the entire Summer to pick up yet more of what they didn't over the first session of practices and come Fall, bam, there ya go.

 

Plus, It's not like these guys are coming into positions loaded front to back. Matt O'Shea on the defensive line still out with an injury. Brandon Teamer, gone. At linebacker, Nebraska lost both Barrett Ruud and Chad Sievers along with Ira Cooper. At QB, well, we know how well that went last year.

 

There's NO reason that these guys can't come in and play, but there's also no reason why all of them can't make a big impact even before Fall arrives. They were recruited for a reason and I figure that the coaches will get that out of them come hell or highwater.

3. Who's body part are you most worried about this Spring?

Bryan: Last year it was the toe of Cory Ross that slowed him down, but his tolerance for pain that literally won, or kept NU in, ballgames. This year I am worried about a couple of different body parts. The first is Lydon Murtha's foot. For us to be successful this year we will need help along the OL, especially at OT, to keep pressure off of the QB.

The second body part to worry about is Donald DeFrand's hip. He is in a great position to step up this spring and summer and make an impact on this team. There are two open CB jobs and he can put his name beside one if he can come out and show that he is healthy and can remain healthy.

Steve: As much as Joe Dailey's entire body was almost off-limits to even being touched last year, due to the complete lack of depth or experience at QB, I suspect that many will be putting the same value on the arm of Zac Taylor. Heck, his arm, his legs, whatever, Taylor is already being hailed as the guy that can take over the program until Harrison Beck is ready to step in.

 

I still cringe at the sight of the green jerseys, but when you look at how the QB position panned out last year, well, you better keep them all healthy, because you never know just when you are going to have to go dipping into the well.

 

As it is, Zac Taylor needs to stay healthy.

4. Who are a couple of players that have your interest piqued to see how they perform this spring and why?

Bryan: I'd say that the first guy that I am interested in seeing this year is only because I didn't see him last year, Lydon Murtha. I "ran into" Lydon in the stadium one day last year before the game. The kid was in excellent condition, very lean and a legit 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-7.

On the other side of the ball I am interested in seeing how well Tierre Green makes the adjustment to CB. For the record, I am not a big fan of this move. If anything, I believe that Green may be able to transition easier to safety where we also have depth concerns.

Some other players that I will have my eyes on are the five mid-semester transfers for obvious reasons, Joe Dailey to see if he's learned some patience in the pocket, Adam Carriker to see if he can really become the beast that we all think that he is and Terrence Nunn to see if he is ready to step up and lead the WR corps. with some serious talent coming in this summer to help him.

Steve: I have heard enough about Steve Octavien already, without him taking a snap, I am nearly drooling all over myself. Could it be the return of Demorrio or dare I say, Terrell?

 

I don't know, but when you hear about the wheels this kid has and the impression he's obviously made with his appearance on the depth chart as a co-starter along with Bo Ruud, that says something right there.

 

The other player that has my interest piqued entirely is of course, Zac Taylor. He's got the hype, the numbers from JUCO ball to inspire hope and the attitude that it's his spot if he's willing to do what it takes.

 

The renowned leadership of his as told by former and future teammates, Frantz Hardy and Justin Tomerlin doesn't hurt either. This team has enough lead by example types, they need someone that can actually drive a team, physically and verbally as well.

 

We'll see, but there's little doubt that the media attention that once was so flaunted over Dailey will now have a new QB in its sights. I'm eager to see how fast he learns.

And, our last question is brought to you by a fellow BRR poster, this one coming from ironically enough, a fellow staffer in Brandon Cavanaugh. And, we'll feature a question each week by other posters and give them their due review.

5. Is the QB running game dead at Nebraska?

Bryan: Absolutely not. If it is, we are in trouble. You can plan for a passer's great arm (unless you are playing Peyton Manning) and you can just plan for a quarterback's running ability, but what you need to be able to do is both things effectively at any given time.

The ability for the quarterback to run in the WCO makes it so effective. Look at players like Gannon and Steve Young. They were filed generals, great quarterbacks and both are elusive enough to get those yards when they have to leave the pocket. The reason you didn't see more QB running last year was the fear of injury.

While some may not have seen that as a bad thing it would have been detrimental to last year's team which did not have a good replacement for Dailey from the bench. Player's like Dailey, Taylor, and Harrison Beck are all in that 4.6-4.7/40 range, which is good enough that linebackers should consider them a threat.

Even their recruits like Josh Freeman and Tim Tebow carry the type of speed that it seems would make them a threat to run as much as they should be to throw.

Steve: Nebraska didn't run last year, because they couldn't. They had one QB they had faith in and that could realistically run the offense, whatever the degree of efficiency.

 

The coaching staff coached that way the entire year and Dailey's play outside of the pocket illustrated that.

 

Tentative, hesitant, it was Dailey at his worst, because Dailey wasn't allowed to do what I think he does best: make something happen outside of that dreaded pocket.

 

With the near ballooning numbers at QB, I don't expect the coaches to throw caution to the wind and start running the option, but no coach is going to limit his QB if he knows his QB can do something that will make the offense more effective.

 

If he can run, they will run and if he can't, they won't, but as Callahan was so famous for saying last year, they will do it when THEY want to do it and not when the defense dictates.

 

The running QB isn't dead. It's just going gone on hiatus, but should return when the depth chart is more complete.

 

Ok, you've read our blathering on and now, it's your time to chime in. You agree, disagree, think we are out of our skulls? CHIME IN and let yourself be heard by just clicking HERE .

 

See you in a week.

 


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