July 15, 2006

2006 Husker Preview Continues - Offense

So this week, we've looked at a couple of pressing issues for this Husker team. First we saw the modern-day fairy tale that is the "Great" upcoming Husker defense. We saw that against five of the worst teams on their schedule, they were unstoppable, yet against the top six they got their ass kicked. Next, we examined the PCP-laced pipe-dream that Nebraska would somehow top USC on September 16th.

One thing I get a lot is, "Hey Mr. Hater, you crack on everything Nebraska. Why don't you bash Nebraska's offense? You don't because it's so good".

Uhhhhhh, yeah...that's it.

Let's look at the Husker offense shall we?

A few years ago, Steve Pederson cut the guts out of some of you by firing Frank Solich and banishing him forever into the Sibera of college football..the MAC. While some of you were jumping off of Silos, others took the more brainwashed approach. Somehow in those past couple of years we came full circle:

- Great rushing offense that would suffocate you with ball control
- Solich fired for not being good enough
- NFL reject and 5th choice coach comes in and installs new system that doesn't work in college.
- Team sucks for three years, losing to every big 12 team but Baylor in the process.
- Team beats a Colorado team that had quit and Michigan in a "neutral" bowl game
- Offense is now suddenly NFL caliber, and would finish 2nd in the NFC Central.

Did I miss something in this timeline?

Let's start at QB.

I will say one thing...that Taylor kid is pretty tough when it comes to getting his ass kicked. Against Missouri last year, Taylor was on his back more than Chasey Lane. But he kept getting up time after time. Only until the K-State game, (When Callahan burned Harrison Beck's redshirt) did he finally get KO'd.

Anyhow, I think Taylor is a fine QB...but like it or not, the WCO produces fine QB's and fine QB stats. The MIGHTY Big Red passing attack, one that is supposed to instill fear into every single DB from here to Seattle next season was a modest 54th in the nation last year. (224.33 ypg). Not exactly David Klingler numbers we're talking about. You want more proof you say? How bout the fact that Taylor was a whopping 73rd in the country and 7th in the Big 12 in passing efficency. (115.94 rating). These underwhelming numbers came in an offense that throws short passes all over the field, and did so 430 times last season. (2654 yards).

All in all, Taylor may look like the second coming of YA Tittle to Husker fans, only because they were used to the gunslinging talents of Jamal Lord, Mickey Joseph and the greatest of all Husker passing QB's...Turner Gill. Seriously, Taylor's a tough kid who seems to be grasping the offense OK...but his numbers are about as exciting as a Kathy Lee Gifford Christmas special. Bottom line is, his offense is designed to put up big, efficent numbers...and he has yet to do so.

What's that you say? He didn't have anybody to throw to?

Husker wide receivers will never be confused with Jerry Rice or Tim Brown, but when you look on paper...they are very much like their QB. Mediocre numbers. Mediocre talent. Mediocre skills. Did they put up horrible numbers? Not really, but my grandmother could catch 25 balls in a West Coast offense. Nunn always somewhat impressed me, although I know a lot of Husker fans are too thrilled with his play. Nate Swift has one skill....sticky fingers. (Like former Husker Reggie Baul, but different). Both of these guys are decent WR's, but nothing that is going to instill fear into any DB. Do you honestly think some USC DB is going to look across the line at Nate freaking Swift and say, "Shit, I just hope I can hang with this guy". Uhhhh now. 3.75 catches per game in 2005 isn't going to instill fear in anybody.

The Purify kid may or may not be decent this year. How many times have we been WOWed by the numbers of some JUCO kid from LA, who was supposed to turn the Husker offenese upside down? Thunder Collins anyone? I will hold my judgement until I see him. Matt Herian was a decent tight end, but I'm guessing if you haven't been able to step foot on a field in two years, you may have lost a step a two in the time you've been out. Who the hell comes back after that long and is just as good or better than they were? It's unfortunate he got injured and I"m sure he's better than whatever stiff you had last year. But to count on him to be Antoino Gates is sill.

This leaves us lastly with the Husker offensive line. Yes, that big beefy unit of old, who gave their fans the word "pancake" so they could use it in a sentence. I'm not going to go into how each lineman played, because just thinking about doing so is causing me to slip into a coma. Let's just say that any offensive unit that gives up 38 sacks and the 107th rushing game in the nation isn't exactly fixable in ONE off-season.

You'll notice I didn't mention a running game preview, basically because there is none. The departure of Cory Ross, and the inability to make Marshall Faulk appear out of thin air, has put Air Clownahan in a pickle. Who do you start at RB? An untested sophmore who rushed for a whopping 3.2 yards per carry last year? Or another untested sophmore who averaged 2.9 yards rushing a game last year?

Hmmmmmmmm, the decisions.

The loss of Cory Ross is going to sting like no others. It's not like you're playing a Steve Spurrier offense, where the QB is going to be standing in the shotgun all day. I'm no expert on the Corn Coast Offense (kill me if I do)...but I'm guessing a running back is a slightly important cog in the machine.

In conclusion, listening to Husker fans babble on about their masterpiece in progress really makes you wonder about a couple of things. First, is there REALLY anything better they could be worrying about? And two, does the "POTENTIAL" to be a mediocre offense mean that you're going to be a National Title contender?

Seriously, after looking at these numbers, along with the defense that I already broke down this week...does THIS sound like a National Title contender to you? (insert puzzled look here.) Bob Stoops ruined it for all of you by taking a talented young team a few years back, and winning a title a year after going 7-5. Well, after taking a look at the numbers, it sounds to me like a lot of tickets to the BCS are being punched based on POTENTIAL.

After putting up with Quin Snyder for all those years, I don't have much patience for people who preach to me about potential. Bottom line, even with modest improvement, the Husker offense will be nothing more than mediocre.

And last time I checked, mediocre never won a championship.

I hope you people are prepared for reality and that giant billy club that is about to smack you upside the head.


Blogger NYC Taxi Shots said...

go buffs

10:45 AM  
Blogger Jesse said...

I can't believe you went through all that and failed to make a Christy Brooks reference.

7:24 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Good point.

He was hurt, and from what I've heard...isn't even close to being 100%. However, if you listen to last year's hype, he's probably ready to start for the Patriots this fall.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous nnn said...

funny stuff....keeps me in balance supporting the greatest College Football program in the last 40 years!

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was not a well written and objective piece. which is probaly why it's on this board and not a real news outlet. It takes a real man to bash an offense that hasn't even started it's 3rd season after going through one of the biggest changes in cfb history. I also find it amusing that this "writer" feels the need to point out that callahan was not the first choice in the coaching search but then doesn't seem to want to mention that he may have been had he been available when the search started. The "writer" doesn't want to mention that as soon as Callahan was let go he was a big target of ours. not sure how your supposed to target a coach that still hs a job. maybe this genius "writer" could help us understand. ofcourse, this writer may want to remember a coach named carrol, he was a 4th or 5th choice coach for USc, and he is running an offense over there that this "writer" says doesn't work in college. rats, I just wasted more blog space then this piece of dribble warranted

10:59 AM  
Blogger AJ said...


Did you just say "this was not a well-written and OBJECTIVE piece?"

Are you on crack?


You want the same Gerbels-esque propaganda that you're used to...go listen to Big Red Wrapup or SportsNightly on KFAB. You make it sound like there is some sort of deficency in the amount of Husker kool-aid drinking information that is available.

Last time I checked, this wasn't cnn.com or even HuskerPowerHour.com. It was one guy who hates your team.

I know this is difficult for you to understand...but the sooner you do, the better off you'll be.

Chug some of that Mountain Berry for me. It's my favorite.

PS - Coincidence that KoolAid was born in Nebraska? Fat KoolAid guy, barely able to stand up...all rosey red and hopped up on sugar? It all makes sense when you think about it.

AJ - Fair and Balanced news reporter

3:30 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

AJ, some people just can't handle the truth. And then some are afraid to put there name behind anything they say.

That moron covered both.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was about as ignorant a piece of drivel as I have seen in the past 40 years. Obviously the author wasn't breast fed as a child and was always picked last for the team.

The author's knowledge of NU football is minimal; his hatred is only surpassed by his stupidity.

7:44 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Or the author could be a former National Champion who doesn't give a shit enough to "research" every single player.

You want real news...go read Steve Sipple or Sean Callahan.

What did you expect?


9:58 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

What's worse are the conclusions he's made about you-- while not knowing you. Right, Mr. All-Star?

4:17 PM  
Blogger Husker Mike said...

Hey, AJ... it looks like some of the juveniles from "South Park" (as I prefer to call it) found your blog!

8:33 PM  
Blogger Go-Man said...

aj shall soon be their patron saint!

9:02 AM  

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