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The Blackshirts Have Their Sights Set on a Conference Title.
Here's a trivia tidbit for you diehard college football fans: If the Huskers make it to the Big Ten Title game, they would be the only college team to play for two different conference titles in consecutive seasons.
But let's not put the cart before the horse, shall we?
After three seasons of watching their hard-nosed coach, Bo Pelini, storming the sidelines, chewing his gum with ferocity, Husker Nation has come to expect that their team will play with passion, especially the defense.
This year should be no exception.
With senior DT Jared Crick, junior DT Baker Steinkuhler and junior DE Cameron Meredith terrorizing quarterbacks, hard-hitting senior LB Lavonte David punishing running backs and receivers alike and senior CB Alfonzo Dennard patrolling the secondary, the Blackshirts should fit right into their new conference with its more physical style of play.
Nevermind the reports that Dennard is out "indefinitely" with a pulled leg muscle and might miss the season opener against Chattanooga; Pelini views it as an opportunity for his other corners to get more practice time.
Suffice to say that Bo is confident in his defense.
Where most of the fans' curiosity lies is in the offense.
Last season, Taylor Martinez came out of nowhere, racking up Playstation-like numbers until injury began to slow him down. By then, opposing defenses were assigning players to shadow him and he became less effective and some drama erupted on the sidelines.
At one point, the quarterback position became so depleted that, during the Iowa State game, Pelini had junior RB Rex Burkhead take over for a series (Burkhead played QB in high school).
At season's end, the Huskers suffered a sputtering, turnover-plagued swoon, losing three of their last four games which prompted Pelini to fire OC Shawn Watson, junk his West Coast attack and promote running backs coach Tim Beck in favor of a simpler playbook.
Another issue that must be should be addressed is the loss of three starters on the offensive line, especially since Nebraska allowed 29 sacks last season.
The offense will feature Martinez primarily in the shotgun with Burkhead now taking over duties for Roy Helu Jr. following his departure to the NFL. Other than that, Pelini is being tight-lipped about the Huskers' up-tempo offense.
Simply put, Pelini says he's trying to win a national title and his new offense should fit in any conference.