1. Taylor Martinez has been a handful for Penn State in the past. How is this offense different without him?
It's really hard to tell the difference Martinez would be making because the offense is so banged up. At times they have played without three starting offensive lineman -- including Spencer Long, an All-American type of guard who was lost for the season with a knee injury. If losing guys up front wasn't bad enough, backup quarterback Tommy Armstrong hasn't had a complete set of receivers either, with Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner and Jordan Westerkamp all missing time for various injuries.
Armstrong is young, so it's not likely with a full roster he would be having a Martinez-type effort. But it's definitely hard to know what he really is at this point. He's had his mistakes, but he hasn't always gotten a bunch of help.
2. Everyone knows about Ameer Abdullah. But what other offensive players do you believe will give Penn State the most trouble?
Senior wide receiver Quincy Enunwa seems like he's extremely motivated this week. Enunwa was held to no receptions last week after averaging seven the previous two contests and wants to have a bounce-back performance. He's a no nonsense type of player and will do anything for his team to win, even if a conference championship game appearance can't be obtained.
3.The Cornhusker defense appears to be wildly inconsistent. Why has it been so up and down?
This is a very young squad -- the front seven really only has one or two part-time starters back from a year ago. They also replaced both safeties. It took some time -- probably more than the coaching staff wanted to see -- for this team to come together on that side of the football. When just one guy is not doing his assignment, there can be a breakdown. At times earlier in the season, it was like Nebraska was playing with nine guys knowing what they were supposed to be doing and two more running around. They got exposed. Last week they gave up 41 points to Michigan State, but that was on the offense. Nebraska had five turnovers in the game, three of them coming inside the MSU 30-yard line. It's hard to get stops on a short field and when you are constantly out there. This defense has been playing better and will be pretty special in a few years.
4. What is one thing about this Nebraska team the average college football fan does not know but should?
I still don't think Ameer Abdullah is a household name, but should be. If he's not a finalist for the Doak Walker Award it will be a travesty. He's rushed for 100 yards in every game except a loss to UCLA, where he put up 98. It would be one thing if his yards were up there because Nebraska was giving him the rock 30 times a game without Taylor Martinez, but it's not the case. Abdullah is currently averaging 6.5 yards per carry. It's hard to believe that a lot of teams didn't think he would be a running back at the next level because of his size.
5. What is your overall take on Bo Pelini, and is his job on the line as the season winds down?
Pelini's seat is definitely warm -- at least from the media and fan perspective. New athletic director Shawn Eichorst isn't one to talk to the media much, so nobody really knows what he's thinking. But the combination of blowout losses in big games and Bo's unfortunate audio leak has things pretty interesting in Lincoln. I personally feel like if Bo wins the next two games, he's probably safe. If he splits between PSU and Iowa, I don't know. If he can't get his guys motivated and they lose both contests -- there will be a coaching search in Lincoln. The schedule set up perfect to make a conference title run, with neither OSU nor Wisconsin on the slate. Injuries have piled up, but when do the excuses stop?