This past Saturday, viewers saw the most complete game that Nebraska has played this year against the Washington Huskies.
Taylor Martinez looks to be the most dynamic quarterback that the Cornhuskers have had in nearly a decade. They boast at least two extremely talented running backs. Even the receiving corps is finally coming along.
The Blackshirts’ front four is solid, the linebackers are solidifying their roles and the secondary dashed Jake Locker’s chances for nearly any postseason award. His draft stock may have taken a shot too.
Taking into account what Nebraska has done over three weeks and comparing their efforts to the other elite teams, there appears to be only two teams that prove a legitimate threat to the Cornhuskers:
Alabama and Ohio State.
The Tale of the Tape
Alabama plays like a defending national champion, trotting out an offense already ranked fourth and a defense ranked ninth in the country.
The Crimson Tide has proven that they can stifle an offense and score more than enough points to get by. With a healthy Mark Ingram in their running back stable, that only looks to increase.
Ohio State dips a bit in offense, checking in at 20th overall, but defensively they sit firmly at seventh overall.
OSU has play makers, namely quarterback Terrelle Pryor, to lead the charge, but if properly schemed against, the Buckeyes can be bested.
One could easily argue that all three teams' schedules have been taking on two weaker opponents with an opportunity for a loss. Ohio State played Marshall, Miami (FL) and Ohio. Alabama faced San Jose State, Penn State and Duke.
Taylor Martinez and the Kitchen Sink
Any highlights containing 2010 Nebraska Cornhuskers football are sure to include Taylor “T-Magic” Martinez running a highly effective zone read offense. He’s finally starting to get in sync with his receivers, throwing his first touchdown pass of the season last week versus Washington.
This would sound unimpressive if he wasn’t giving Michigan’s Denard Robinson a run for his money racking up yardage and touchdowns on the ground.
Much like the Tide, Nebraska has two extremely talented running backs in Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead. Burkhead has proven his ability as a multi-purpose threat. Helu Jr. showed against Idaho and Washington that if you give him an inch, he’ll take a mile.
The Cornhuskers’ unique “Peso” defense isn’t something the Buckeyes or the Tide will see this season. As many as seven defensive backs could be on the field at once.
Idaho and Washington offensive coordinators have learned the hard way what it’s like to scheme against the Pelini brothers.
The Big Three
Initially, it appeared that Alabama and Ohio State had no equals, but cracks are starting to show. Nebraska had issues on offense and then defense versus Western Kentucky and Idaho, respectively.
Against Washington on a national stage, everything gelled. It almost looked like the Cornhuskers were playing a team from the Tyrone Willingham era.
At this point in the season, those projecting that two of these three teams meet in Glendale for all of the marbles don’t appear to be too far off.
The Cornhuskers don’t appear to be the odd team out at this point. A rematch of the 1971 National Championship game (Alabama vs. Nebraska) could very well be in the cards.
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