August 6, 2008

2008 Husker Defense Preview - The Jupe Noire

“This will be one of the Big 12’s better defenses”

“The talent is too plentiful to underachieve much like they did last year. Nebraska has been making strides since the embarrassment of two years ago. Big 12 opponents need to beware” -

“The Husker linebackers are considered the finest in the conference.” -

“ Linebacking is the strength of this defense, led by two, two year starters. The secondary will be better. Establishing a defensive line will be key.” -

“In the North, you’ll most likely see the Nebraska Cornhuskers emerge and meet up with south champ Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game” -

“Nebraska proved to be difficult for other teams to figure out (defensively), expect more of the same this season. The linebackers look to dominate the middle, while the secondary should be a winner. This could be one of Nebraska’s best. The Big 12 North looks like a shoe in. The Big 12 Championship is a possibility as is a BCS bowl bid and victory” -

Let’s talk about your Blackshirts for a moment shall we?

You remember the blackshirts don't you? That vaunted unit of Nebraska pride that year in and year out dominated teams and sent them home in body bags? Remember when... despite an anemic passing game and questionable coaching.... you could always count on the Husker defense to pulverize opposing backs and stuff rival offenses in their tracks? Trev, The Peter Brothers, Grant...the list goes on and on.

Ummmm, yeah. That’s gone.

The quotes you see at the beginning of this column should not surprise you, just as they should not shock you in any way shape or form. They should not make you scratch your head, nor should you challenge that they are valid quotes…because oh trust me…they are.

No, they should look familiar because all of these quotes came from various sources almost exactly one year ago. Despite some obvious “holes to fill” last season.... pundits and Pollyanna’s alike all simply assumed that the Husker defense would be strong enough to withstand pretty much any challenge that came they way in 2007. And hey…even if they couldn’t…at least they could hold off teams long enough for “The best offense in the Big 12” to take over a game. Sam and Mo would make sure that the defense was always coming back onto the field in attack mode. Ruthless...vicious...rock solid. Yes, this was the blackshirts.


Now, you and I both know that it would not take me much effort to tell you how bad of a defensive unit Nebraska fielded in 2007. In fact, it would be borderline insulting for me to actually go and attempt to find the words to describe just how wretched and pathetic your team actually was. Oh sure, you gave up 28 or more points NINE times…and yes, you gave up 40 or more points SIX times….but seriously; don’t you think even I am below calling you out for that?

And sure, there is the 116th ranked rushing defense, the 112th ranked total defense…the 114th ranked scoring defense and of course the 117th ranked turnover margin. But again I ask you…what fun would there be in re-hashing that? Is there any way to rationally discuss that even if we wanted to?

No, with all of the numbers that spun your skull in 2007...the real number you need to think about is 56. Why 56? Because contrary to popular belief, this defense did not take some nose dive off a cliff. Last year’s spectacular free-fall into the charcoal black depths of hell was not instantaneous. 56 was the Total Defense ranking of the Huskers in 2006….exactly one year before your most humiliating performances of any unit you have ever put on the field.

So if your defense was ranked 56th in total defense in 2006...(which is barely in the upper half), can you tell me one reason why all of those accolades mentioned above were placed on your team at the start of 2007? Can you tell me why ANYBODY would be butt ass stupid enough to look at a program starting an entire new front four…a gimpy group of crappy linebackers and a bunch of no-name defensive backs and have the sack to say publicly that they would…”Be one of the Big 12’s best?”

I know why….

Because with your name recognition fading faster than the career of James Blunt, you people have somehow convinced yourself that simply taking the field with plain white helmets and a big ol lame N on the side is good enough to stop opposing offenses. Somehow, just the mention of a mythical article of clothing is somehow supposed to put the fear of god into opposing offensive coordinators?

“But crazy blog guy, that was all Kevin Cosgrove’s fault. We have a whole new start now!” Forgive me if I’m wrong..but wasn’t your last defensive coordinator before Kevin Cosgrove (and before Pelini’s one year audition to become Bob Stoop’s coffee gopher) a scapegoat for all your woes? Aren’t you the same people that nearly burned Craig Bohl’s house to the ground because his defenses were getting lit up left and right? Is that the order you're trying restore?

Do you see the one constant yet in all this?

I personally don’t believe the blackshirts are going to be that much better this year, quite frankly because they haven’t been worth a shit in a long long time. Do you think you have the NFL talent that was on your roster in 2003 when Bo Pelini was here last? Do you think you even have anywhere near LSU talent? (Did you know King Bo's defense gave up 24 or more points in 7 of LSU's last 9 games last year? Did you know that King Bo's LSU defense gave up over 27 points per game during that same span? I'm guessing you didn't. They sure skunked Middle Tennessee State though didn't they?)

But enough about stats and common sense. Do you really think you can turn all of this around, simply by having a guy come in…dumb down the scheme and make players “try harder?” SERIOUSLY? Aren’t you people supposed to be pretty sharp? TRY harder?!?! Do you honestly think Ricky Thenarse is going to be thinking about how great the 91 Huskers were as he’s trying to chase down Michael Crabetree? Do you think Ty Steinkuhler is going to be waxing poetic about TO’s first National Title when Sam Bradford is throwing 500 straight completed passes over his head...all from the comfy confines of a giant green space about 15 yards beyond his grasp?

Try harder?!?!


Friends, your problem was not Kevin Cosgrove. Your problem is not me. Your problem is not “trying harder”. Your problem is the fact that you people convinced yourself that your defense has been worth anything over the past several years in the first place. Once again...the constant here is you and your complete and total lack of realistic expectations.

Will NU be better than last season on the defensive front? I dunno…maybe. Do you honestly believe it’s within repair to take a team with zero talent and make them into world beaters? In the best offensive league in the country? Can you survive the spread offenses of Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma or Kansas? Hell, can you stop Iowa State?

With all of that being said, why should I even attempt to preview your defense at this point? Apparently, I don’t even have to. It seems that according to your logic, you could put the cast of America's Next Top Model on the other side of the ball, and as long as your coach pounds his fist against the wall and has his team listen to Red Ranger’s Lunatic Fringe at full volume before a game…you’ll come out a winner.

So with is your preview:


Your defense is going to suck. Same as they always have.


Anonymous saunders45 said...

"Same as they always have," way to throw out the blanket statements and look like dumbass. If you are going to paint with broad strokes, I'll bite and play too. Mizzou will lose in Lincoln, "same as the always have."

Seriously, statements like that just make you look retarded. I enjoy reading your blog but when you contradict yourself, i.e "I have the facts" to "I don't give a fuck about facts." It dumbs down your argument. Maybe this comment will actually get posted, considering you're too much of a chicken to post my others. If NU finishes with more than 4 wins, you fail.

7:25 AM  
Blogger NE-Jhawk said...


The KU rivals board has been infected with this moronic line of thinking from husker fans all off season.

Cosgrove gone + Tom Osborne kissing our boo boos = All better now.

7:48 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

You sir Saunders are an idiot and a liar. If you read this blog more than once, you'll know I ALWAYS publish Nebraska comments..because you people make yourselves look like idiots more than I ever could.

I DARE you to find ONE and I mean ONE post of yours that I rejected. You can't do it because it's never ever happened. I can count the number of posts I've rejected on one hand.

Therefore, your whiney little barb has zero merit and you and I both know it's a crock of shit.

But the way...please quote me where I said, "I don't care about facts"...I love it when people make up arguments against me and run with it. You've got an alternate opinion and you can call me out? do it.

Don't make up shit and then act all tough about it.


8:13 AM  
Blogger Husker_Engineer said...


You would have had better luck with Spanish in your title in this state....c'est la vie...

The minute I saw that picture of the lads last year, I knew it was destined to become a favorite of yours....

Defense has stunk for a bit, no doubt about that. I can understand your belief (and your hope) that more of the same will follow. I happen to think you are wrong...and not just because they will be trying harder.

I guess the one thing in your preview that I did not understand was your line of reasoning about the LSU 2007 defense. Are you saying they were not a good defense? They were in the top 20 in nearly every defensive statistical category. If bad = #3 total defense, then I would like to be bad....hell, I would love to be in the top 30 this year in team defense. Just don't suck. Maybe that should be the motto....goal....whatever you want to call it....

"Let's try not to suck and we can build from that."

I also still disagree with your assessment that there is no talent on this defense. Would you say that LSU has talent? What metric are we to use? Pointing to Nebraska's defense last year is not a valid metric for this year imo because too many of the variables have changed. Cozgrove alone is a big enough variable. He did what he does and tried to build a Big 11 defense....guess what, Big 11 defenses are generally crap against speedy, spread we saw over and over during his tenure.

Anyway, I assure you that this defense has talent. Largely --completely in many cases--unproven. The great thing is that in 23 days, we begin to see how things unfold.

I also assure you that the defensive changes will include much more than trying harder. Personally, I am looking forward to a defense that knows fundamental tackling skills...that would be nice.

I leave you with a question that I would not mind to know, but I am guessing you will not want to be pinned down on it.

What would constitute a Husker defense that does not suck? Something quantitative would be nice.

8:41 AM  
Blogger croc said...

man, at 112th in the nation, just playing the odds says that NU's D can't be worse than last year's. i mean, hec, they only can drop 7 spots, but the difference between 56th and 112th is their oyster.

looking forward to the Buffs lighting up the scoreboard in Lincoln.

9:18 AM  
Blogger DouglasCountyBuff said...

Thanks for serving as a beacon of hope from behind the corn curtain. As a member of your "second favorite fan base" I find it reassuring to know that there are others out there, outside of the Mile High City, that have uncovered the truth about the self fans in college ball.

As for Mizzou, most of us Buff fans concede they will win the north and are, of course, pulling for them to win in Stinkin'.

Thanks for the entertainment.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"..I love it when people make up arguments against me and run with it"

Where are you getting the "try harder" line you've been beating into the ground? What Husker fan/forum/billboard are you quoting? You make up husker fan 'quotes' all the time.

Your above statement makes you a hypocritiser!

10:22 AM  
Blogger AJ said...'s not's French there Pierre.

And yes..."try harder" is a term I use all the time. As for quotes...I thought the actual quotation marks (those things that look like this ") was enough to show you what was an ACTUAL QUOTE.

You people get more dense by the's almost hard to comprehend.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Husker_Engineer said...

Perhaps reading my comment was optional for you, but I know it was French....hence the c'est la vie....I was making a joke about...never mind, does not matter.

11:17 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Just because you copied and pasted the accent marks doesn't mean I believe you...which I don't.

But yeah..whatever.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Husker_Engineer said...

Well shucks....

I had spelt it sest la vee, but muh spell checker went off like a stuck hog....soz I checked and sho enuf I had spelt it got me good AJ, can't get nuttin past you.


BTW: With your gift for sarcasm, if you are not a judge or an IT guy, you missed your calling....

12:09 PM  
Anonymous saunders45 said...

AJ: "I have credibility and factual results and you have a temper tantrum."

AJ: "KU has a 26-28 record over the last 5 years. Mizzou has 43 wins."

DT: "Missouri has compiled the following records the last 5 years:
12-2 (2007)
8-5 (2006)
7-5 (2005)
5-6 (2004)
8-5 (2003)
Anyone who's completed the second grade could tell you that totals to a 40-23 record, yet somehow you've tallied three more wins for the Tigers. "

AJ: "And by the way...I don't give a fuck if it was 40 or 43 or 50. If you want facts...go to ESPN.."

I'll man up and admit the quotation mistake, I took DT's quote for your exact comment. However, the subject of the comment remains the same.

Also, I posted my "If NU finishes with more than 4 wins, you fail," twice on the predictions entry. It's still not there. We'll chock it up to a 'technical error.'

BTW, you can thank SI when Chase breaks his leg, or whatever the curse chooses this year.

All that said, at least we can all have a laugh when the beaker's get raped in Tampa by USF. Bulls by 2+ TD's.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And yes..."try harder" is a term I use all the time. As for quotes...I thought the actual quotation marks (those things that look like this ") was enough to show you what was an ACTUAL QUOTE."

and yet you give no source.


12:58 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

560 posts in 4 years, and the best example you can give is 40 wins vs. 43 wins? THAT's your trump card? What, you going to go back and make sure I used a ; correctly in my sentence structure next time? (Forgot, spelling nazi is here as well.)

As for the "sources". That's funny...I thought, etc were actual sources. My mistake, because I'm sure it would be very hard to go to these sources and find their 2007 previews as well.

I'm not going the extra mile to link these types of things, just because you're lazy and too stupid to tell the difference between a source, a quote and a paraphrase.

PS - I'm well aware of the SI jinx and would have done just fine if they had picked Texas Tech or OU or somebody else.

1:14 PM  
Blogger NE-Jhawk said...

And over those 5 years what is MU's record against KU?

I'll help you since you have fact issues these days (don't get the past wrong AJ, its all these guys have) I'll help you out.

MU vs KU in the last 5 years?


It must take real balls for NU fan to claim KU will loose to SFL. Just keep holding your breath buddy....sooner or later your bound to be correct, right?

2:51 PM  
Anonymous saunders45 said...

I didn't have to go back 560 posts and 4 years for 2 reasons. One, I'm not that bored, and two, I didn't need to go past 30 days to prove my original point.

3:16 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

NE, I do give you a lot of credit. Not only do you make your crazy ass predictions and try and top them with each column..but you actually have the strength to carry not one but TWO delusional fan bases on your shoulders.

That is not an easy feat my friend, and you should be commended for it.

Oh, and go to hell redlegger.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


And if you go back 6 years that record becomes 3-3.

If you're trying to argue that ku was better than Mizzou over that time period, you better look at the whole picture. The ONLY thing ku managed to do was stop Brad Smith and sucked major donkey balls before and afterwards.

3:45 PM  
Blogger NE-Jhawk said...

Have I made a prediction I'm not aware of?

I say this because I realy hate making predictions. I may take others to task for thier predictions but I try to stay away from them myself.

And I don't have to 'think' KU was better than MU during that period. That's what playing the games is for.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous saunders45 said...

NE-jayhawk, I just so happen to be a Husker fan who moved to Tampa 8 years ago, and currently take classes at USF. I know quite a bit regarding both teams, and barring a total meltdown by USF, Kansas has little chance of a W.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Time to give up this silly blog. It hasnt been relevant for years.

You are in your mid 30s with kids.

Sack up and start playing daddy.

8:36 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Yeah, it's really tough to sacrafice that 20-30 minutes once or twice a week.

This blog writes itself. I just hit "publish".

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The blog writes itself, but you have no time for facts or sources.


Keep trying to convince yourself.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Husker_Engineer said...

Three comments I wish to never see here again:

1: "If you hate it so much, why don't you move?"

2: "Your team might be good now, but wait until NU gets back on track."

3: "You have no new material and this blog is stale."

Author's Note: These are not direct quotes, just my generalizations.

If you search the archives, I am betting some variant of these three makes up like 90% of the posted comments. Now, if they were funny, relevant, or contributed something, that would be one thing. However, it just dumbs down everything when you post something like that without engaging your mind first. Seriously, think about it.....for each of those comments...

1. You can like Nebraska and NOT like the University of Nebraska or its fans.

2. Scoreboard. It ain't 1995. Tommy Frazier sells insurance (or whatever it is he does now). We don't run the triple option. Charlie McBride enjoys the weather in AZ. Nothing that happened with the 1997 team is going to make this team tackle summary, move on and enjoy the team you have now.

3. Then start reading some other blog. If this blog is stale or AJ is so angry and bitter and you can't stand it, go read Ted Brockman or Husker Mike or....whatever else.... Alternatively, you could write something insightful, new, or funny...just a thought.

AJ, I know your love of all those fun Husker motto's and T-Shirts. I thought you would love this one:

On the front: Restore the Order

On the Back: This time we mean it!


In closing, AJ, you are still a douchebag Tiger fan...I hate you...and all that.

8:56 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

I don't have to convince myself of shit. I put my writing out here for all to see EVERY day. You don't even have the balls to moniker your lame and predictable shstick with initials.

Also, I hope that psychology degree is being put to good use. Being able to psychoanalyze somebody over the internet based on 10 paragraphs of writing is a pretty amazing skill. You are truly blessed.

10:47 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

PS - I will never grow tired the whole, "your blog sucks but I'm going to come back over and over every single day" act.

It's probably my favorite part of this gig.

Oh and HE...I like that t-shirt idea. That's kinda funny.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Husker_Engineer said...


Wish I could take credit for that idea, but someone beat me to the punch. Expect to see the T-Shirts this fall....

I know you like to pull the puppet strings of some and watch them dance....and dance they do...for me it is like laughing at a retarded kid...I know I shouldn't, but the shit is kind of funny and I can't help some point though, I gotta tuck the smile away and try to do something to help my retarded brother not look so freaking retarded.

11:37 AM  
Blogger NE-Jhawk said...

A husker fan who knows quite a bit about the Jayhawks?

There's got to be a first for everything.

11:42 AM  
Blogger timmediah said...

Good Entry, laughed at the Sam Bradford pocket of green jokes.

Someone called into the Sports Animal about to weeks ago and said the only guaranteed loss for Nebraska this year is OU. I almost drove into the Bar Ditch. Al Eshbach tore him apart for even trying to compare Bo Pelini to Bob Stoops.

If Nebraska fans in Oklahoma call in to radio in Oklahoma saying a national title is not out of the picture this year sense they benefit from a comfy schedule, I can only imagine how bad it is in Lincoln.

They must be minting coins and printing shirts already, just in case.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Husker Engineer

Now I know this is going to be hard to comprehend, since you are an engineer, thus having a superiority complex, so please concentrate when I tell you this.

LSU defense DOES NOT EQUAL NUB Defense.

Schemes, coaching, yeah, you may be better, but I don't see Glenn Dorsey on the Nebraska sidelines. The 3rd string D at LSU would start in Lincoln, and Pelini hasn't turned in a helacious recruiting class, so unless you have a bunch of All American walk ons, you will not be close to the LSU defense! It takes.... wait for it,..... Coaching yes, BUT..... TALENT, and you don't have it!

12:17 PM  
Blogger Husker_Engineer said...


No shit jack....really? Thanks for the heads up about the fact that Glenn Dorsey ain't here.

When you say LSU has more talent than NU on defense, could you please tell me how you know that aside from last year's performance. Is it their Rivals or Scouts numbers? Is it something objective? Have you actually seen LSU's 3rd string defense -- or are you pulling something out of your ass to make your case?

I am willing to go out on a limb and say that NU's defense will go from 112th in total defense to something in the Top 40. Considering that is a jump of 72 places, I would count that as a significant improvement. I also predict that at least one of NU's DB's will garner All Big XII honors.

My prediction is not based on guys trying harder or mind melding with the 97 is based on the fact that in 2008 the defense will have better coaching and better utilization of talent.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Husker_Engineer said...

Oh yea Mr. other is up with assuming I have a superiority complex? Are you mad because I forgot to tip you for parking my car or something?

My bad.

4:00 PM  
Blogger bornred said...

Husker Engineer

Now I know this is going to be hard to comprehend, since you are an engineer, thus having a superiority complex, so please concentrate when I tell you this.

LSU defense DOES NOT EQUAL NUB Defense.

I smell nebforcu all over this post. Sac up, Sally and at least post with one of the usernames you were using before (ya, it was nebforosu up until, in consecutive years, Florida and LSU pulled back to back trains on them, stretched their collective asshole until it could fit over a goal post and then kicked them to the curb, like the dirty little bitches that they were in the last two NC games. I'm sure it's just coincidence though that your blogger id changed to nebforcu after that).

I love seeing these posts from the Husker hating fans out there. More proof that the Husker fan base doesn't have the corner on dipshits and it's all out there for the whole world to see...


PS. I look forward to your next set of insightful comments with things like "air is really light" and "The 95 Huskers aren't the 08 Huskers". Those kinds of deep thoughts really help put our fans in their place.

PPS. As if it's a stretch to assume this year's defense can't improve. Dude, there were only a handful of teams worse than us on that side of the ball last year and we've gone from an offensive minded HC to a defensive minded one. I'm certainly not making any bold predictions about where they will end up, but I think it's pretty safe to say they'll be better

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ, as a huge Buffs fan I have been enjoying your blog for a long time. This is my first post, but I was too lazy to create a username. But on to a couple of points I want to make.

1. Why do corn fans assume the defense is going to be so much better because Bo is back in town? Newsflash fuskers, Bo ISN'T your freaking D-Coordinator, he is your head coach with a sterling 1 whole game to his credit!!! Your DC is basically an unknown with less than stellar credentials named Carl Pelini. I looked up his coaching pedigree, and I have to tell you it didn't have me trembling in fear. So you have not one, but two unknowns basically at your HC and DC posts. Guess it isn't your credentials as much as who your brother is.

2. Coaching transition does NOT happen overnight. You all think that the coaching staff and the players are going to hit the ground running. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. There is a good reason that logical football minds always say that a coach needs 3-4 years to really develop their system and players.

3. The rest of the Big XII isn't static, and other coaches and programs also stress fundamentals and work ethic as much as Bo Peep. Live in the past all you want, thinking that a new coaching staff just flips a switch that says Nebraska is back. The general consensus is that the Big XII is stacked this year, because many teams are expected to be even better than they were last year. Nebraska doesn't get a free pass to develop their system and improve while the rest of the conference lounges around at the pool.

By the way, where can one get that Order Restored...This time we mean it shirt? That is absolutely hilarious!


11:24 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Welcome back Randy

PS - I was going to write a new column, but Women's Olympic beach volleyball is on. Top that? You can't.

12:06 PM  
Blogger bornred said...

Why do corn fans assume the defense is going to be so much better because Bo is back in town?

Well, simply put, it's the exact same reason that chip fans like yourself pose questions in this way and make statements like below...

You all think that the coaching staff and the players are going to hit the ground running.

Stupid ass assumptions.

It's one thing to be too lazy to create an id, it's another entirely to be too lazy to think before you post. You can't understand how Husker fans can assume so much, all the while assuming we all do.

That's fucking brilliant...


8:28 PM  
Anonymous Keef! said...

Been away for a while, so I just read this one. Never mind all the other shit, the Lunatic Fringe comment had me rolling. Keep up the hate - someday it may be "relevant" again.

10:02 PM  

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