Cornhuskers 2011: New Offense Same QB Similar Results with Little Defensive Help

Mark BrunswigContributor IOctober 2, 2011

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 1: Ciante Evans #17 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers tackles Jared Abbrederis #4 of the Wisconsin Badgers October 1, 2011 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin.  (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)
John Gress/Getty Images

Hello Husker nation and football fans around the world.

What a start to conference play for the Big Ten and for its newest member, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The Cornhuskers took a real trip north for a conference game for the first time in well, forever, sorry Aimes isn't a trip north.  The host was defending Big Ten champion, Wisconsin Badgers.  The Badgers didn't show much hospitality, on the field at least, sounds like the city of Madison and its people were more then hospitable.

Nebraska came into the new conference as a favorite to win the new Legends division and possibly the league's inaugural championship game in Indianapolis.  Things will have to change drastically if the Cornhuskers look to compete for any kind of a championship this season.

Lets start with the offense.  The young offensive line that was supposed to be a spot of worry for the Nebraska offense has been all but a worry.  When given the chance to line up and push people around, they seem to respond pretty well.  Pass blocking still needs some work but could be a lot worse.

Play calling and decision making are still far from impressive.  Option to the short side of the feild five times, when did Tim Beck talk to Frank Solich.  Yeah it didn't ever really look that bad, and we didn't fumble is as many times.  We are supposed so fast though, so why shorten the field. 

Oh yeah, on that note, ball security still isn't QB Taylor Martinez's forte.  Martinez also, as much as coach Bo wants to say he can make all the throws,...he really can't, and may never be able to.  Drop back passing isn't the way to go, to many progressions for him, even if it is off of play action. 

Coach Pelini has put all his loot in a Martinez vault, as much as he preaches compete and play.  It seems to be more compete and hope.  Not saying Carnes or Kellog would be better or more explosive, but right now, both seem to be better game managers.

Downhill running seemed to be working so well in the games early going.  Play action was there as they began to bring a safety up into the box.  The play action passes called may have been questioned, whether it be Pelini, Beck, or Martinez.    

After it was said and done, the Nebraska went away from what was working, some smash mouth football.  It was like the opposite of last season.  Then three sweet interceptions by the kid who can make all the throws, and suddenly its all downhill and not on the legs of Rex Burkhead. 

On defense the Nebraska Cornhuskers had been picked apart by three freshman QBs this season already, all be it one of them was a red shirt freshman.  Russell Wilson is a sixth year senior who looked the part of leading candidate for the Heisman, picking apart the Husker defense.

Wilson only hit four different receivers but ended with 255 yard on 14 of 22 passing and two touchdowns.  Adding 32 yards and another touchdown rushing.

The defending Big Ten champions did all but demoralize the new kids in town.  Monte Ball looked like a All-American out of the backfield, and the Badgers O-line was more then good enough in front of 81,000 plus rushing for 231 yards as Wisconsin wins big 48-17.

The Legends division title still might go through Lincoln, but this young Husker team has a lot to get fixed before Big Red nation can think of that. 

Thanks for dropping by, feel free to comment, and I'll do my best to get back to you.