Nebraska looks for redemption after victory

So I was wrong…Last week did nothing to calm the fury that has become Husker Fan…will this week be the week. I have to say that the guys on the other side of the ball will be a little better this week, how much is open for debate. As you most know Wake lost to Vandy last week… a fact that unless it is a quiz bowl, stings a little. So what do they have to offer the Huskers?

First the Wake offense is lead by a very capable young QB. Benjamin Mauk was a high school record setter, and has had two years to get settled into the college life. He passed for a career best 198 yards on 15 for 26 against Vandy. On the ground the Demon Deacons may have one of the best running tandems in the country.

 

Micah Andrews is coming off of a career game and was named the ACC offensive back of the week. He rushed for 254 yards on 34 attempts, that's 7.5 yards per carry, not bad for a guy that only got the start because of a suspension. Chris Barclay, who has been named to the Doak Walker Award watch list was suspended for the opener for violating a team rule. He is a two time all ACC pick who has lead the ACC in rushing with over 1000 yards the last two seasons.

 

The guys up front for Wake make that possible. They have a great one in tackle Steve Vallos. Vallos has started every game for the Demon Deacons since coming to town. He has played every spot on the Oline except center and has been named to the Lombardi Award watch list for the 2005 season. The rest of the offensive line is a little undersized with the Wake Forest offensive line averaging 287 lbs and the NU defensive line averaging 288 lbs.

 

On defense ,Wake Forest, is 75th after week number one. They allowed 422 yards and 24 points. If Vandy can run up 146 yards, one would hope that NU can do the same or more. The Demon Deacons have as many if not more newcomers on the defensive side as the Husker do. A couple of returners to look for are; DE Matt Robinson, MLB John Abbate, and CB Riley Swanson.

 

On the injury front, Wake has lost Lineman Brodie Overstreet for the game and a couple of LBs are dinged up.

 

Wake Forest has a very talented Punter that may be asked to keep the ball away from the NU return men.

 

Things to look for

 

When NU has the ball:

 

 

Can The offensive line clean up their play form last week. I think many of those young men will bounce back and play very well. Something that has not been mentioned much is the possible effect that the accident involving one of the coaches sons had on the olinemen. Many young men have never been around a near tragedy like that and their minds may have been a little bit elsewhere during final preparations for the game last week. That and the fact that this line hasn't had a chance to work together as a unit under game situations may have lead to some of the problems that occurred last week. The other thing is now with film of what went wrong it is right there in front of them to fix. I look for a much improved run game and continued improvement in pass pro.

 

The Drops by Wrs, hardy dropped himself out of a big night last week and Nunn hurt his chance for some big plays. I feel some of this was trying to hard to make plays in the first game. Hardy is a playmaker, who needs to let the game come to him. Also the increased role that Brooks will play will take ease the pressure that anyone guy feels. Catch the ball then run…they should be fine.

 

Just a little patience…ok don't get the visual of Axle Rose on this but think about the NU backs waiting and allowing the blocks to happen and the defense to run themselves out of position. I think NU had some backs that were pressing a little last week, which is understandable, but by giving a little more time to develop and see the running lanes they will have a big night.

 

When Wake has the ball:

 

Stop the run and make them one dimensional. The Demon Deacon would like nothing better than to have a huge night running the football. This can not happen, NU can not allow Wake to have long ball control possessions. The defense must force them into long yardage situations and then send the heat.

 

The Qb must go down and he must go down hard and often…ok maybe I messed that up a little but NU has to get into this kids head. I don't think he can take over a game and win it by himself. but I think NU needs to make him try.

 

No big plays, I know you are thinking no crap genius, but last week NU gave up a big play…this can not happen. Make WF earn everything.

 

Special Teams

 

Was that a punt return I saw last week? How about a few more this week. With a new dedication to the return game and a couple of pretty decent guys catching the ball NU needs a big play here. Things will be tougher with one of the best Punters in the ACC getting the ball deeper and higher. Maybe this is the week that they go after one and get a block. NU has the athletes in place to get that done, it will win a game for them.

 

 

I for one hope to see improvement in many areas, one of which is not margin of victory. I find it amazing that people care about not scoring a bunch of points last week. They were there, left laying on the field or caught and ran the other direction. I want to see improvement in the calling of the game and the execution of the play calls. If that means winning by 3 points then I'm ok with that.


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