In his opening remarks, Pete was as confused by the Nebraska game plan as were most of us. It did use a lot of game time and it did limit our offensive plays. Coach talked about the wonderful game atmosphere and in particular the "Trojan Walk" before the game. That was his idea if you recall and it has grown into the inspiring event that genuinely helps the team.
Pete also talked about corrective measures that will be taken in behalf of students who attend the game. I don't exactly know how to characterize them under the restrictions so I'll let the administration announce then on their own schedule. For any newcomers, I should remind you that by request of the coach, I can't quote him directly, so my report will concentrate on my impressions of his remarks. In that vein, I got the impression that the school will support an application for a 6th year for Ryan Powdrell.
The tape of selected plays from the Nebraska game began with Special Teams. Greg Woidneck was shown placing another punt inside the 10-yard line – tackle by Patrick Turner. If my memory is correct, Greg hasn't had one go into the end zone yet. Troy Van Blarcom had very good results on kickoffs but we looked at the only one that was returned. The tackle was made inside the 20.
For offense we looked at several completed passes from John David Booty to Dwayne Jarrett. Some in the flat where Dwayne ran for good yardage after the catch. Twice we saw passes to #8 on out patterns where Dwayne was just in bounds and far enough down field for a first down. The pass timing between those two is looking very good. We looked at both TD passes to Dwayne. The slant and then the out. The slant by the way, was run on Jones who had popped off in the press last week.
Several completed passes to Steve Smith were reviewed. On the TD pass in the middle of the end zone, it was a thread the needle exercise with defenders on both sides. Several other successful passes to Steve were shown and the coach complimented #2's performance and conditioning. We looked at an excellent completion to Chris McFoy who was also complimented. Another successful pass was shown from JDB to Fred Davis.
Chauncey Washington had two featured plays. On one play early in the game, John David fumbled the ball, and out of a bunch of players, Chauncey picked up the ball and turned it into a positive run. We also looked at the TD run from #23, I think it was from the 7-yard line. #23 made a couple of defenders miss him and charged into the end zone. Of particular interest to me was to notice that Mike Brittingham was in at FB on that play and made a successful block to help spring Chauncey.
Several impressive runs by Emmanuel Moody were shown with the coach commenting on his remarkable average per carry – over 8 yards. Apparently we kept running those plays to the left because of the way Nebraska was aligned.
The defensive plays were spectacular in their success. Because of the plays that Nebraska ran, most looked pretty much the same except that different players were making the play each time. We caught them behind the line of scrimmage for a loss so many times that a report could look monotonous. Rey Maualuga got a lot of calls as did Keith Rivers and Brian Cushing. Fili Moala was singled out for excellent play. On one play Lawrence Jackson beat his blocker and stuffed the runner behind the line. Kevin Ellison also had a highlight play, as did Mozique McCurtis.
One play that we watched several times from both angles was the huge hit and sack by Thomas Williams. It should have resulted in a fumble and ensuing TD by Chris Barrett. But, the official ruled that the whistle had blown so the play was dead. All the plays of our goal line stand were reviewed over and over. They were the most interesting part of the defensive package we saw today. The officials again made some calls that were not to our advantage. On the bootleg TD at the end of the series, they were holding Dallas Sartz, but apparently unseen by the officials. We stuffed them at the line so many times that it really speaks well of our ability in similar situations for the rest of the year. I was surprised to see #99 Averell Spicer in on our goal line package. On one of the plays, with his quickness, he split two of their OL's and made the tackle for a loss. He looked very fast . I have been hoping to see him kick his game up for increased playing time.
The first question was about the impact of Coach Holt and Pete gave the same answer we have read in the papers, i.e. he is doing a terrific job. The next question was really a compliment about the turnover margin and Pete was quite ready to compliment the team for their play. Pete was asked about the play of Taylor Mays and his response was favorable. There was a question about the impact of the timing rule and the coach gave an extended answer with statistics. As part of that answer, I got the impression that JDB was having trouble seeing the 25 second clock as the sun set above the rim of the stadium. So, those delays were not related to the new timing rule.
PC was then asked whether we were going to stay with the 3-4 and 4-3 defensive formations. I gather that those future decisions will be dictated if personnel change. His next question was about the training routine and Pete gave an extended answer about what is done each day of the week and broke it into hour by hour. The coach was next asked about the Wolf blog and Pete hasn't seen it.
The issue about the FB position was raised. Just like last week when it was Taylor Mays turn to step up, this week it will be Stanley Havili turn to step up. Pete then answered a question about depth at CB and another about whether we should really have Cary Harris returning kickoffs. Then there was a question about the "slip kick" by Troy Van Blarcom and apparently it was a slip and not something that was planned. The coach was asked about the play calling in the first half and I guess the limited number of plays obviously limited the play calling opportunities.
The special teams lady asked about the lack of effort on their 31 yard punt return. Apparently many of our players thought a fair catch had been signaled and when the ref threw the flag they thought the play was over. Although he can not give specifics when asked about recruiting he seemed very optimistic. He was asked to comment about the playing time of the tailbacks. He did so and I gather that the limited number of plays is not helping the guys at the end of the line.
The MC kept saying "last question" but Pete just kept going. I think he enjoys MMQB as much as we do. He was asked about Ryan Kalil during the game and re repeated the press report that he had indeed suffered from dehydration. On an injuries question, he said things were good – with the exception of Ryan Powdrell – and that the procedure for Jeff Byers was a big success. There was a comment about how to replace Brandon Hancock's contribution to the team GPA and I interpreted Pete's answer, made while looking right a Brandon, they had no way to do that.
Pete answered a question about of plan for Arizona next Saturday and then repeated our plan to support Ryan Powdrell for a 6th year. The last question was called, Pete just kept going. There was a question about the punt fake play and then one about Nebraska's famous blackshirts which Pete answered by complimenting their front 7. The final question was about the FB position.
We adjourned at 1:30, about 30 minutes later than usual.