It happens about this time every year. Crispness fills the air with that first cold front across the plains, the 24 fall practices have come to a close, and game planning is now upon us. Are you ready for HUSKER FOOTBALL?!!
This is the second year of the “Bo era,” and if we have all learned anything, it is that this man is 100 percent totally serious about Husker football and what that means in his mind. Just ask Quentin Castille.
Yes, Bo Pelini has a compassionate side to him also, as evident by his call on a former colleague down in Louisiana to find Castille a good place to continue his education and football career.
This year’s team is definitely what you would call an enigma, wrapped in a riddle—from the defensive side of the ball, where more than likely two freshmen and a sophomore will start at the three linebacker spots, to a new defensive tackle with exactly two tackles lining up next to expected All-American Ndamukong Suh.
Not to mention a secondary that ranked 82nd in pass defense—and the defense is supposed to be the “given” on this year’s team. Oh wow!
Of course, the defense is supposed to be the strength when you have a starting quarterback who has two career completions, being backed up by a true freshman and a former linebacker. Ah, security is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?
Combine this with only one I-back with game experience, along with a freshman from Texas, who by most media accounts is a combination of Roger Craig, Tom Rathman, and Mike Rozier all rolled up into one.
Think about these numbers for a minute: 38 out of 85 scholarship players are either redshirt or true freshmen. That’s 45 percent. Combine that with the fact that there are only 14 senior scholarship players this year. Now is that young or what?
Yet by most accounts, including yours truly, the Huskers are pegged by many to be the de facto Big 12 North champions. Now that, my friend, is respect for Bo and company.
Here’s a quote from Bo!
“You know, it’ll be interesting to see. We have a number of our guys who are playing football for us that haven’t been out there before. That’s part of the deal. You’ve got to see how they react once the bullets start flying for real...we put pressure on them every day. We stress the little things. You’ve got to get them taught.”
What the Huskers do have is strength and experience on both the offensive and defensive lines, and that is where championships are won—in the trenches. Plus the fact that Pelini and his staff will have them ready to play this season with fewer breakdowns occurring.
Another thing you can count on without question is that this team will be a much better team in November than this Saturday, when they open the season against Howard Schnellenberger’s Florida Atlantic squad.
November will be the “do or die” month for us Husker faithful. Don’t doubt that for a second, what with the following occurring on the schedule: Nebraska at Kansas, Kansas vs. Missouri, and Nebraska at Colorado. Opening the month is a home date against Oklahoma and Kansas State sandwiched between Kansas and Colorado.
A 3-1 mark in November, and I’m pretty certain that the Huskers will win the Big 12 North. Everyone is saying that if we survive 2009, then we can look forward to 2010, where it looks pretty good: a national top 10 ranking and competing on an equal level with Texas and Oklahoma.
For Saturday, I see a close to the vest offensive game with the boys flying around on the defensive side of the ball to the tune of a 31-17 win. GBR!