Nathan Enderle had his homecoming, and much like defensive tackle Jared Crick told the Omaha World-Herald, he received "no mercy."
The Nebraska Cornhuskers' defense looked polished.
The offense, while impressive at times, sputtered and stopped enough times to frustrate fans, and worst of all, Bo Pelini.
Nebraska dismissed the Vandals with a 38-17 showing that gives way to a key game in the Cornhuskers' 2010 season.
They now travel to Husky Stadium to face Jake Locker & Co.
What do the Cornhuskers have to work on to ensure a win? Let's have a look.
Follow Brandon @bcbleacherrep
Head coach Bo Pelini used the word “sloppy” to define Nebraska’s play on Saturday.
He couldn’t have made a more apt assessment.
While the Blackshirts were largely dominant and grounded a quarterback that had stats in 2009 to rival Boise State’s Kellen Moore, there were lapses in coverage.
When Nebraska’s offense took the field, the mistakes made were simply avoidable.
Twice tight end Ben Cotton was called for clipping and a couple of holding calls made their way into the mix.
By the end of the day, Nebraska had 10 penalties for 123 yards.
Gifting over an entire football field’s worth of penalties made things so much more difficult for Taylor Martinez and the Cornhusker offense.
While the scoreboard read 38 points in favor of Nebraska, it very well could’ve gone into the 50s or 60s had drives not stalled or killed by penalties reached the end zone.
In 2009, Nebraska had eight turnovers and lost to Iowa State 9-7 in jaw-dropping fashion.
In 2010, the Cornhuskers had eight fumbles, but lost only three to Idaho.
Some perspective on two of those fumbles: One was due to an audible where Taylor Martinez went out wide as a receiver and Niles Paul was running the zone-read. He faked to Rex Burkhead, but forgot to secure the football for what would have likely been a first down. The ball hit the ground and luckily for Idaho, a Vandal defender was in the area. This gave Idaho fantastic field position and the Vandals would score shortly thereafter.
Another fumble took place during a short-yardage situation where Nebraska looked to simply pound the football. Dontrayevous Robinson got the call, the big back went airborne, flipped in mid-air, and the ball popped out before he landed.
The result? Idaho football.
Nebraska running backs coach Tim Beck will likely spend all of the time that he's allotted trying to smack the football from his backs' arms this week.
There’s no doubt that Nebraska has its running game down to a science.
Taylor Martinez juked and jived for 157 yards and two touchdowns with one being a 67-yard scamper. Roy Helu Jr. complemented him with an additional 107 yards and a 56-yard athletic jaunt to the end zone. While the running backs didn’t get much attention last week, not one complained this past Saturday.
Nebraska’s receivers can’t be pleased with their showing. Five players totaled 111 yards catching and one of those was running back Rex Burkhead with 41. Mike McNeill did have multiple opportunities to get involved unlike last week, but the ball was usually just a bit out of reach. Brandon Kinnie still looks to be a solid receiver, but could really use the help of Niles Paul. Paul cannot seem to hold onto the football very well so far this year, and is crucial to an effective Cornhusker passing attack.
Taylor Martinez is still maturing and his receivers are still getting used to syncing up with him, but the passing game as a whole needs work.
While Martinez is still maturing as a passer, his time in the pocket varies.
He can always count on his center, Mike Caputo, to take care of his man. His guards are usually able to secure their defenders as well.
When it comes to the offensive tackles? This is where issues pop up.
One play versus Idaho underlined what Martinez had contended with thus far in his short career. He scanned downfield looking for an open receiver. An Idaho defender lunged forward, but didn’t get a sack. Martinez was able to step out of the full takedown, but still had a foot wrapped, so he tried to set and throw.
It was like watching a game of NCAA Football 11.
As soon as the throw had left Martinez’s hands, it was obvious that not only was it poorly thrown, but that if it was anywhere near a defender, it would be intercepted.
Mike McNeil came across the field and was in the perfect spot for a catch, but so was an Idaho defender.
Nebraska is breaking in some new blood at the tackle position, but they’re going to be headed to a hostile environment where audibles and check downs aren’t going to be as easy as they are in Lincoln.
Offensive line coach Barney Cotton has a lot of work to do and a week to do it.
As amazing as it is to suggest this, Taylor Martinez sits in the pocket a bit too much.
The fact that he’s clearly working to become a true dual-threat quarterback is no doubt appreciated by fans.
He wants to show that he can throw downfield, but when you’ve got a hole to run through as wide as two lanes on the Interstate, by all means take it.
Martinez was actually sacked during a play on which he had a full four seconds of time to pass.
Taylor should be praised for his youthful pocket presence as he is usually able to maneuver, and have a very good feeling where defenders are coming from.
He stepped up in the face of oncoming traffic, clearly ready to take a hit, and delivered short, accurate strikes versus Idaho.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of this is that Martinez is learning how to sit in the pocket and not take off like a jackrabbit at the first sign of trouble.
He should start getting into the habit of sliding to avoid some rather brutal pops to the head when he does take to the ground.
Washington running back Chris Polk is going to try to save Jake Locker the embarrassment that Nathan Enderle endured.
The Huskies’ main rushing threat averages 104.5 yards per game, but only has one touchdown to his credit through two games.
Being down 10-0 against Syracuse, Polk finished the day with 117 yards on 20 carries, including a 52-yard touchdown run.
Nebraska’s first two opponents have shown that success can be had against Nebraska’s front seven assuming that you can confuse them.
Western Kentucky’s Bobby Rainey had a career day versus the Cornhuskers, and the Vandals’ Deonte` Jackson managed 60 yards on 11 carries.
Polk has managed 92 yards versus BYU and the aforementioned 117 versus Syracuse, but then there's the challenge of a Big 12 defensive line like Nebraska's.
The key for Jared Crick, LaVonte David, and whoever plays “Peso” will be to read Polk as best they can inside and out.
One or two big plays will likely occur due to Polk, but Bo Pelini has shown he can tighten the screws on most offensive units as a game goes along.
Washington quarterback Jake Locker is both an excellent passer (555 yards and five TDs on the year) and knows how to use his feet on short-yardage situations.
The key for Nebraska is to frazzle the Husky quarterback as badly as Nathan Enderle.
If the Cornhuskers’ defense showed anything against the Vandals, and they showed quite a bit, it’s that they’ve stepped up their game in shedding blocks.
Enderle was sacked five times. His backup was taken down twice. The Vandals lost 80 total yards thanks to the Blackshirt attack.
Washington faces a defense much different from the two they’ve already competed against.
While the traditional front four need to be met, Nebraska has a handful of swarming linebackers including latest sensation, LaVonte David.
The hybrid "Peso" back also should be a concern for Locker.
If Nebraska can seep through the holes and flush Locker out, it gives him no choice but to deal with…
A good day for a secondary is when you can make a couple of interceptions, keep the opposing quarterback's men covered like a blanket, and force him into one of the worst games of his career.
Nebraska's defensive backs decided to do one better.
Enderle threw 31 passes into the Cornhuskers’ secondary, 16 connected for 219 yards. One scored six points for the Vandals.
Five were intercepted. Two resulted in 14 immediate points for the Cornhuskers. The rest fell flat.
Idaho receiver Daniel Hardy managed 75 receiving yards against Nebraska. He was the lone “star” against the Cornhusker secondary as the next best receiver was Armauni Johnson with 37 yards.
Jake Locker’s team may cost him any Heisman hopes due to their eventual record, but he is still a dangerous weapon.
He has to contend with about eight Cornhuskers that Pelini and his brother can mix and match to take away his favorite passing targets.
Nebraska looks to not only shut down Locker, but to erase any idea of an invitation to New York for the Husky quarterback.
The sooner the Husky faithful go quiet, the better.
The last thing a redshirt freshman quarterback needs on his first road test, let alone one to Husky Stadium, is a loud crowd.
You’ll likely see Martinez and his offense stick to the ground for the first drive or two with some short passes mixed in for comfort.
The Nebraska offense has shown that they can run roughshod or they can use a little finesse when necessary even when the going gets tough.
One way or another, the ball will get down field barring penalty, and even that might not be enough.
Idaho provided some excellent film on just how to stop Martinez occasionally. Conversely, Taylor now knows what people are going to try to do to take him away as the “X-factor.”
What Washington (and likely the nation) knows is that Nebraska has been playing vanilla against Western Kentucky and Idaho.
Now that a true test comes in the Washington Huskies, you’re likely to see a little more of just what Shawn Watson has dreamed up.
Syracuse was able to lead 10-0 on the Huskies before Washington stormed back. Nebraska is more than capable of bolting out to the same lead quickly.
The Battle in Seattle should be an excellent contest, but we all remember what happened the last time Nebraska faced a team from the Pac-10.
"...We do have to get our energy up. I didn't want our energy to drop. Last week, it did."
No, those aren't Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini’s words, but of Washington's Steve Sarkisian.
Pelini's statements will likely mirror those of his Washington counterpart’s.
The Nebraska head coach has shown clear frustration with what appears to be his players getting a little too comfortable after stomping on their opposition for a half.
A trip to Seattle may just be the cure.
After two showings, a gauntlet will be thrown at the feet of the entire Nebraska roster: Produce for four quarters of football, not just the first two, or regret it later.
The Cornhuskers have shown that they have the ability to deflate a road crowd with their abilities on both offense and defense.
A little bit of consistency, and Nebraska will be deadly.
Not to mention 3-0.