things first, I did get a chance to study up a little on the Maine Black Bears.
This trip to
What does this mean?
really knows, but I have seen the crowds in
Overall the Black Bear return 11 starters, 6 on offense and 5 on defense, with 0 specialist returning. 9 of the 11 started all of the games and 1 missed only I game.
things generally start with the QB and with
On the ground the Black Bears are also in good hands with Montell Owens getting the chance to shine after being behind a talented senior last season. Owens was able to average close to 4 yards per carry last season when he got the chance, and it seems like he has embraced the chance he is getting to show what he can do.
The receiving corps is stocked as well. Ryan Waller returns with 1459 career yards receiving as does Kevin McMahan, which will add experience and talent for Whitcomb to throw to.
On special teams, the Black Bears return an exciting return man in Junior Arel Gordon. As a sophomore Gordon racked up 2 TDs and over 700 yards in Kick Off returns with an average of 27 yards per try.
most people believe this is a mismatch, on paper there is no way that
was able to out gain and out first down
Things to look for on offense
I am very interested to see if the Offense is a finely oiled machine. They need to be at the line early in the play clock to run the shifts and motions that are a part of the offense.
Command of the offense
We have all read the stories and heard about how well
Use of "packages"
How well will the coaches utilize the different skill-sets of the offensive players. Ok, this may have to wait until week 2 or maybe even week 3, because they may be saving some stuff for the tougher games.
How well the Oline communicates
This is always tougher to see when it is working, but really easy to see
when it isn't. Busted blocking assignment on blitz pickups will tell the tale.
Hey it is going to happen,
The timing between the WR and QBs
Between the lack of quality QB play and receivers running sloppy routes
last year, it was a toss up what caused the most harm to the offense. I will be
interested to see if some of the stories of great chemistry between
The Newcomers…of course
I am sure everyone will be abuzz the first time Lucky steps in the huddle, and I am right there with you. It is kind of like Christmas morning and having all the new toys to play with. I am also very excited to see the old toy, Cory Ross, who after the warrior-like performance against OU will forever be one of my Husker heroes.
Things to look for on defense
This unit has to get off to a good start and play with great enthusiasm. They need to look like they know what they are doing and fly around. I came away from the opener last year very troubled with the defense. They were thinking too much on the field, which slows everything down. I want to see them reacting and blowing stuff up.
Inside pressure on the QB
It seems like NU has the guys to come off the edge and get pressure on
the QB. What I want to see is the push up the middle, making the QB feel the
heat right in his face. I want to see this form
The use of "packages"
I am very curious to see how the defensive coaches use some of their skill players. How will the 3 man front look who will stay on the field and who will be replaced?
I want to see players getting snaps on defense to prepare them for later in the season.