October 18, 2006

I'm just not feeling it


This is already a long week.

I was all set to write about how Nebraska is going to get prison raped and left for dead on Saturday, when I felt a strange, sobering sensation. I wrote it off as the cold October rain, and set off to work. Just as I was about to set words to screen, I had a vision. That vision was the Texas secondary scrambling (at home) against a mediocre at best Baylor offensive scheme. Don't get me wrong, it's probably easy to overlook Baylor at home (when you rest 3 starters), but disturbing nonetheless.

I then went ahead and looked at some stats, and they were strikingly similar. Texas is #77 in the nation in passing defense...Nebraska is #86. (Memo to Gary Pinkel...THROW THE BALL on 11/4) Texas is #2 against the run, Nebraska is #21. Here's where it gets strange. Texas is #11 in total defense...Nebraska is #51. If their defense against running and passing is so close, why are the total yards so far apart? Is it because of the schedule? Texas played Ohio State, Nebraska played USC. Both teams have dined on more cupcakes than an Oprah book club meeting since then. Did Adam Barmann skew NU's defensive statistics? Did Texas get a boost from playing juggernauts Rice, North Texas and Sam Houston State? Is Texas really THAT good? (We know Nebraska isn't)

Things get even more strange. Both teams have moved the ball very effectively. Texas has scored often and through the air, putting up the 2nd best offensive numbers in the country to this point. Nebraska has grinded it out as of late, and struck quickly at times as well. They carry the #11 ranked offense in the country. Turnovers are fairly even as well. UT is #2 in turnover ratio, NU is #11.

Is it flash versus vanilla? Texas sports the quick moves of Jamaal Charles and Selvin Young, quite possibly the best running tandem in the country. Nebraska is lead by a four headed mediocre running back festival that literally bores a defense to death. (In recent games at least.) Limas Sweed is the Longhorn's home run threat. Purify fits that bill for the Hicks.

I think the reason I'm not feeling the usual Texas blowout is the weather. One thing I've learned over the years, is that Texas boys normally don't like games where its' 45 degrees and raining. Then again...Nebraska doesn't have a whole lot of Nebraskan's on the roster anymore...so that's a moot point as well.

So why do I feel this is still an easy UT victory despite fairly even stats, neutralizing weather and Nebraska's mediocre home-field advantage? (Yeah, I said mediocre. Don't forget, 3/4 of this UT team beat Ohio State in the horseshoe last year.)

The difference is coaching.

It doesn't take an MIT graduate to figure out that Mack Brown...with all of his problems has a pretty good handle on his team. Despite Bill Callahan's clever use of ball control over the bottom of the Big 12 North, he's going to need a bit more flash to beat UT. What this is going to come down to is poise and experience....something the Huskers absolutely do not have.

I've tried every single way I can think of to see Nebraska winning this game, and despite the improved talent and the fact that Texas hasn't left their own state yet...and I just can't do it. Texas has too much flash. Too much experience and too much talent to get tripped up. This is actually a very good match up for Nebraska, and you may not get a better chance to beat them than right here and right now. But when the chips are on the table, don't look to an NFL flunkie to throw down a full house and rake em in. I mean hell...if Adam Barmann can do it......

More to come this week.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For someone who cant stand Nebraska, you sure do waste enough time breaking down the game. Do you view film too?

I think Bill will open the offense up this week. Especially after he realizes he wont be able to run at all on this team.

The man coaches differently at home. He seems to 'open' it up more.

Colt McCoy on the road. His first hostile environment. Add some bad weather and I think this game goes into the 4th qrt.

Texas wins with good D and a heck of a tandem at tailback. Charles and Young are dynamic.

Texas 27 NEB 17

11:14 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Well in most state, the company Janitor doesn't chat with everybody on how the slot receiver isn't getting enough touches on third down.

Yes, it's so hard to make 2 clicks to the NCAA stats website and see the rankings. It wore me out just spending those 30 seconds...probably 30 seconds less than it took you to bitch about it.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ
Two things that have me very nervous and make me think NU might actually make a game of this are:
1) Colt has not really played a road game yet especially one in a hostile enviornment like Lincoln. Passing is how NU will be exposed and I don't like afirst year starter in his first road game in Lincoln leading the team.
2) 200 yards total offense against OU. I know they won easily but just a hair over 200 yards total offense? Against the same defense that gave up like a gajillion yards to a moderately decent Oregon team? I have a bad feeling that this Texas team might not even be a top ten team, and is not nearly as good as the sum of it's parts. I HOPE I am wrong.

JG

12:10 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

That's kinda what I'm getting at here JG. It's a bad matchup for Texas with every possible hurdle against them. (Unlike Mizzou..which take out the Pinkel factor, I think matches up extremely well with NU)

A&M falls in this same category, and it comes down to this: They don't excel at what Nebraska is weakest at (secondary). I'm not for certain McCoy can't handle the pressure..he very well may...but like I said..everything is against him here..including the weather, which looks to be shitty by Saturday.

Texas has WAY more talent than NU does, and Young and company at RB could be the difference. But if Taylor somehow gets in a groove, I think Texas will be on their heels.

Don't read me the wrong way...I hope I'm wrong...but the more you look at it, the more there is a reason the spread is only 6.5.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous bhg said...

If Texas has a difficult time I'd be suprised. Callahan and Cosgrove, that's really all that needs to be said.

As for Texas having trouble with a hostile crowd, hell, even our ouwn defense says it gives them problems. Texas QB vs. Kansas QB, let me see, I'd say that if Kansas could throw for 400 yards Texas should be able to get close to a mile.

I don't see this one being close, Callahan can't call a game, and Cosgrove should be a poster child for ARC. Texas will roll easily and have the starters pulled by mid-fourth quarter.

(Although I was certain about Missouri, and they crapped out on me too.)

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bevo and company are ninth in the BCS ratings, who do you think they take that out on?

12:43 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Anybody else think it's funny you guys are trying to convince me Nebraska gets destroyed? :)

I wasn't so certain about Mizzou last week. A&M's physical running game was a bad matchup for that front four IF they couldn't get turnovers..which they couldn't.

Plus, never underestimate Kyle Field. that place is as tough as it gets on the road...and Gary Pinkel coached team's haven't been real successful in that regards.

On the flip side, I apologize to my KSU friends, but I feel a beatdown coming in Columbia this week. I could be wrong though.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mizzou defense doesnt matchup with Nebraska. If you dont like the bland play calling you are going to hate the NU/Mizzou game. A&M showed what a power running game can do to the Mizzo D. Overall it may be a good matchup. But NEB will have much success running right at Pinkel's boys.

12:53 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

1) You don't have a 270lb running back.

2) Counter question: Rucker and Coffman are 6'7". Ekwerekwu, Franklin, Saunders are all 6'4" or taller. How in the hell is Grixby and the rest of the munchkin nation going to cover them? Considering they let up 480 yards to Brad Smith alone last year, and gave up 100+ points to Texas Tech in the past 2 years (similar offense)...I'd say that's a pretty unfavorable matchup for you.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous bhg said...

I don't think I'm trying to convince anyone that Texas is going to beat Nebraska. Texas has better athletes, they are a better coached football team. Texas biggest hurdle may be the weather, but doubtful that is all that much of a hurdle to victory.

If Kansas can burn down our defense, do you expect less out of Texas?

Cosgrove is a train wreck at best as a defensive coordinator, the man's brain has ceased to function because of being stuck up his backside for so long. As as stated in prior posts, if you pick Cosgrove over Pelini, how bright could you have been in the first place?

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've made mention to "Nebraska is going to get prison raped".

How does "prison raped" differ from "rape", and how exactly would you know the different degrees of rape, other than first hand knowledge?

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ, you will love this...Bruce Feldman has picked the Huskers!!!! His head is SO FAR up PETE CARROLL'S ass, he has no clue what is going on in the outside world.

7:13 PM  
Blogger JP Anderson said...

AJ says, like every week before a Husker game, blah blah blah, stat this and stat that and blah blah and oh by the way stat blah.

Mack Brown has the BEST and MOST talent in America, outside of perhaps USC, and I would agrue with Texas' last recruiting class the two are virtually equal talent-wise. Check the recruiting over the past three or four years and the depth charts for Texas and USC and then compare it to the rest of college football. Texas' success has very little to do with coaching, except on the defensive side of the ball, which is the reason they got over the hump.

Mack Brown couldn't out-coach my 4th grade midget football coach if the talent levels were equal.

Find a new angle, dummy.

Go Big Red!!!

8:52 PM  
Blogger JP Anderson said...

if Adam Barman can do what?

lose?

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aj:

Just be prepared to bend over and take it like a man.

GBR.........

11:00 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

OK, let's not be fucking stupid here. I said Texas would struggle, but come on. Unless Callahan quits and Pete Carroll suddenly becomes your coach in the next 48 hours...you aint winning. But I respect your visual image. To each their own.

JP - That's the weakest spin I've ever heard. Adam fucking Barmann..KU (bottom of the big 12 in offense) put up 400 yards against you. At the same time, you pissed away a 17-0 lead early, only to win because the ref didn't see your pasty white receiver fumble the ball across the goal line.

This is what I get for being mellow...the freaks come out.

Big post tomorrow...today was nuts. My apologies.

11:12 PM  
Blogger JP Anderson said...

Texas has 21 5-star recruited players who don't start.

Nebraska has like 3 on the whole roster.

Who coached the better game today?

5:34 PM  

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