“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
– Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
As one particularly smart and handsome analyst observed, it looks like Nebraska is in for some changes in 2012. But this is Nebraska, and Nebraska by its nature is conservative and likes to keep things the same. So, to reassure those Nebraska fans who might be a bit freaked out at the thought of massive changes in Lincoln, here are some constants you can rely on from NU going into the next season.
In an attempt to defend the spread offenses of the Big 12 and in an attempt to bring more flexibility to the defense, Bo Pelini started using players that were a mix between safeties and linebackers.
After calling them “hybrids,” the defensive staff settled on the name “peso” to describe the defensive concept. While the concept took a bit of a back seat during Nebraska’s inaugural season in the B1G, it never went away.
Particularly with the skill sets of Nebraska’s defensive unit in 2012, look for the peso to be a part of the Blackshirts arsenal.
Bo Pelini isn’t afraid to ask his players to shift positions, whether he thinks a position change will better utilize a player’s talents or if there is a need for a particular position.
Braylon Heard moved from running back to defensive back, although he may be helping out as as a running back as well due to Aaron Green’s transfer. Jamal Turner moved from quarterback to wide receiver. Stanley Jean-Baptiste moved from wide receiver to defensive back. Ryne Reeves moved from center to guard.
And that’s just the most recent position shifts. Look for Pelini to continue his shuffling of the deck at NU.
Bo Pelini is a big believer in his defensive backs “being physical” with opposing wide receivers.
Even with the departure of Prince Amukamara and Alfonzo Dennard, don’t look for this trend to slow down. Junior college transfer Mohammed Seisay is 6'2" and 200 pounds, the perfect size to implement Pelini’s vision of physical coverage against opposing receivers.
Don’t expect to see that go away in 2012.
As one particularly smart and handsome analyst observed, Nebraska has a history of producing great kickers.
While he didn’t have quite the production of some of his predecessors, Brett Maher was still effective and dependable as a placekicker and a punter. With Maher’s return and with Mauro Bondi backing him up, Nebraska’s kicking duties should once again be in safe hands. Or, feet, as the case may be.
Nebraska fans fret about the running backs. About the defensive line. About the pass rush. About the play-calling. There’s a lot of things that keep the Children of the Corn occupied throughout the offseason.
But one truth remains, as it has since 2010. If Taylor Martinez is successful – or at least is not doing damage – then Nebraska has a chance to win. But if Martinez is struggling, as he did against Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Michigan, and South Carolina, then Nebraska’s chances of winning are practically nil.
So, at the end of the day, Nebraska’s ability to win still revolves around the enigma that is Martinez.
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