It is more than a week until the Nebraska Cornhuskers will take the field in Memorial Stadium for their annual Red-White scrimmage. So why does this year’s countdown to the spring game seem to be moving so much slower?
The spring game is normally a pleasant oasis in the midst of a football-less time of year. It is anticipated by fans with the enthusiasm of an autograph signing, an event that is appreciated but not anxiously awaited.
While, in a typical year, there will be a position battle or two worth the fans’ attention, the game is mostly a fun chance for Husker fans to see the team throw the pads on and get after it on a warm springtime afternoon.
This year, however, is a bit different.
The Huskers do not have just a position battle or two to pique their interest on April 6th. They have just short of a complete defensive overhaul on their hands. Beyond the obvious vacancies across the linebacker and defensive line positions, veterans like Ciante Evans and Stanley Jean-Baptiste are far from securing their own starting roles.
Although these position battles and uncertainties will add great intrigue to the game next Saturday, it also provides all the more reason to await its arrival with greater angst.
Until the Big Red get their biggest taste of game-like situations since the Capital One Bowl, Husker fans will have no answers to the pressing depth chart questions surrounding the offense and defense.
Since Nebraska fell to Georgia, all eyes have been on the 2013 season and the Huskers’ quest for defensive improvement. There has been no shortage of speculation as anyone and everyone has offered his or her opinion on what needs to be done and who should be the one to do it.
But enough of the guessing.
The spring game of course will not solidify a starting eleven or maybe not even narrow the field of candidates for vacant positions. But it will at least offer much more substance and reasoning for the speculation than is currently available.
Because only so much can be gleaned from dissecting post-practice interviews and reading practice reports based on individual drills. When the Huskers take the field next Saturday, many fans will get their first look at some of the young talent in the program and hopefully receive some much needed clarity regarding the Huskers’ potential starting lineups for the 2013 season.