Troy State coming off a 7-4 year is coming to Lincoln to try and do better than they did last time. Oh sure, TSU gave NU a decent game for awhile, but come on, it's Troy State. They are one year out of the division one double mediocre league, so this shouldn't be a competition. Not so fast as the hobbit looking bald guy from ESPN says. The Trojans give Miami a great game for over a half, made NU rely on it's special teams for as convincing a victory as it looked and played yet another BCS team in Maryland. The team could play last year and almost all of those guys from last year are coming back to Lincoln.
The Trojans are going to have one major issue though. The Trojan Spread offense with Brock Nutter (there is a seriously funny joke in there somewhere) performed extremely well. But, the problem is, good old Nut won't be around to Spread the Trojan this season. He's being replaced by Hansel Bearden. Yeah, there is a Gretel joke in there somewhere as well. OH, PLEASE, DON'T EAT ME!!!!!!!!!! The only thing that might be eating Bearden any time soon is a revamped Blackshirt defense that did quite nicely against ASU last week, holding the Sun Devils' offense to 10 total points. Hansel though won't be panicking too much as his offensive line will be able to say something that NU's O-line can't say for once in their lives. "We're bigger." 302 lbs. average across the line compared to NU's 300 even. Their training table must consist of energy bars and fruit loops.
TSU will also have to replace their star running back, Demontray Carter. Replacing him will be (what do you know), 5th year senior, "Chrysler" LeBarron Black. Damn, I just had a Chris Berman moment. BACK, BACK, BACK, HE'S UP AGAINST THE WALL AND.........HIS HEAD JUST FELL OFF AND WENT INTO THE LAP OF A LITTLE KID DRINKING A SLURPY!!! Now, there's something you don't see much at the baseball park. I didn't think they had slurpies here.
Anyhooo, there is some returning talent on the offense though and not just along the buffet line, but at the wide receiving core , they got a ton of experience coming back. Good thing to. This offense uses more wide receivers than Beano Cook has chins. Coming back are three starters, Heyward Skipper who has averaged over 15 yards a catch throughout his career with the Trojans and Division 1-AA transfer, Andrew Amerson who averaged 8 receptions a game through 30 games with Cal-State Northridge and also scored an almost Heide Fleiss like 20 touchdowns. The other returning starter is Jason Samples who averaged over 10 yards a catch last year.
OK, enough about the scoring Trojans, let's talk about that elastically comfortable defense that prevents the penetration of the other teams' offense from doing any real damage. Once again, we roll out the viagra wagon, because most of these guys are just plain old. I am surprised they haven't formed a pension plan. Oh yeah and get this, the defense is called the "deadbolt" defense , so dubbed by their defensive coordinator, Wayne Bolt. I have to say that this isn't very original and hardly fits in the format of the overall team concept. I have a few suggestions. How about "Team Chastity" or better yet, "Defenso-Provera"? Yeah, I got tons of these.
Yeah, ok. Moving on.
The defense has 7 starters returning and 5 of them are going for lifetime achievement awards as fifth year seniors. One the line, 3 - in the secondary, 3 and one at LB. The standouts amongst the groups are Jose Gamboa on the line, Naazir Yamini at the MLB position and Rayshun Reed at the right cornerback position. If you want to look at any that could have a decent individual effect on this game, these three are a good place to start.
Troy State is a little light on the interior, but nothing major as they have a 274 lbs. average across the board.
One good thing about this game for the Huskers (especially after last week) is that when it comes to returning starters on special teams, Troy State has none. Yeah, they have some good guys at the returning position in Amerson and Skipper, but when it comes to kicking balls, for once, wrinkles don't permeate the landscape as a Freshman (Thomas Olmsted) will be the kicker and that very same freshman will be the punter as well. Ahh, I can just see the conversations between the aged veterans and the youngsters coming in. "Son, I remember when we used to do gassers wearing nothing but galoshes, a jock strap and a cap with fish netting sewed over the front. We ran those gassers for twenty hours straight, one hundred yards long, uphill both ways, but damnit, we were grateful." Damn, SOMEONE GIVE ME A HUG!!!!!!!!!
I am telling ya though, don't let this carbon dated team fool ya. They gave it good to some of the best teams in the country last year, NU included. With all that experience coming back, NU better be on it's toes or team "Wrinkle Cream" could shock some people.
NU matches up well across the board with most of TSU's personnel, but this will be a game of attrition and who gets on the board first. Neither NU or TSU has any real experience at the QB position, but while the Trojans are supposed to be the most prophylactic, errr, I mean prolific scorer, they could be in a world of hurt if their QB gets pressured early.
The biggest key here is going to be NU's defense. The NU offense will be able to put points on the board against the TSU defense, but can the NU defense repeat the performance of last week and even better it against an offensive line that might be the biggest they see all year? My guess is yeah, yeah and HELL YEAH. This version of the Blackshirts could be as good as NU has seen in years and Demorrio Williams is ready to bust the Terrell Farley stigma and make a name for himself.
Troy State is going to be game and it's going to be a game for about a half, but let's face it, when it comes to conditioning and a war of attrition, my bet is that this Trojan breaks right around the third quarter for good. If Lord can continue the learning process along with his offensive line, they should be able to wear out a game, but overmatched defense.
Fozzie predicts that this collection of Trojans finds the promise land twice, once in the form of a TD and once in the form of a field goal. I have to tell ya though, that's a waste of almost an entire box.
Players of the game:
Offense: Wilson Thomas
Defense: Barrett Ruud