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Nebraska Football 2011: Week 1 Recap, Preview of Fresno State

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 03: Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs downfield against the Chattanooga Mocs during their game at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE September 3, 2011. Nebraska won 40-7. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images
Matt ZvolanekCorrespondent IISeptember 7, 2011

Recap: Nebraska beats Chattanooga, 40-7 

Well, how to describe last week’s game? 

It definitely wasn’t an impressive win, but it did answer some questions, such as what the new offense would look like.  Although it didn’t look too bad, concerns arose about how QB Taylor Martinez will do with the pitches on the option.  He was either too early or too late.  Need an example?  Just look at the “handoff” Martinez gave to Rex Burkhead. 

Another big question that was answered was in the kicking game.  Now, don’t go around saying “Alex who?” quite yet—which was a common phrase echoing around the student section.  Brett Maher proved he can hit the long field goals, evident by the 50- and 48-yard bombs he hit. 

Saturday also featured quite a new faces.  Ameer Abdullah showed flashes of his speed on his punt returns and might have been able to go the distance if not for some of his blockers.  Jamal Turner’s explosiveness almost led to Brion Carnes’s first career touchdown. 

But we can’t forget about the defense.  How about Daimion Stafford’s hit on that Mocs running back?  Stafford proved he could bring the wood.  In fact, a lot of the defense did.  One guy in particular who stepped up is Cameron Meredith.  Meredith had two sacks—already eclipsing his total from last season—an interception and the blocked kick return. 

Lavonte David led the team in tackles, again and Jared Crick looked equally impressive.

 

Nebraska (1-0) vs. Fresno State (0-1): What to Watch For

Fresno State visits Lincoln Saturday and is looking to rebound from last week’s loss to the Cal Golden Bears.  Pat Hill’s squad has long had the philosophy of "anyone, anytime, anywhere" and has pulled some big upsets in his tenure, meaning the Bulldogs likely won’t be intimidated by the crowd. 

Watch out for Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr, whose older brother David currently plays for the Giants. 

On the Huskers side, look for the offense to gel.  The Huskers' strategy last week was to get as many young players experience as they could, explaining some of the offensive woes.  On the defensive side, look to see if Meredith can live up to the now lofty expectations and if Alfonzo Dennard will be back. 

 

Biggest Question

The offense seems to be the biggest question mark.  How much of it did we see last week?  Can Martinez execute the pitches in the option and can he throw the ball better? 

 

Projected Outcome

Though the Bulldogs are tougher foes than Chattanooga, expect another Husker win.  The Bulldogs can put up points, so don’t anticipate a shutout.  It could be close for the first half, but the lack of depth will show in the second. 

Final Score: 45-17

 

Interesting Fact

Have you ever wondered what the green “V” on the Bulldogs' uniforms was for?  It represents the California Central Valley and the agricultural background.

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