Senior receiver Brandon Kinnie wasn’t in the mood to acknowledge any potential excuses when talking with reporters Monday about his season-opening performance.
He had two catches for 7 yards in last weekend’s 40-7 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga. Three other passes (an out-pattern, a post over the middle and a slant near the goal-line) thrown his way all fell incomplete, even though they were catchable balls.
But hey, those throws could have been placed better, right? At least two were thrown slightly behind you. … And you had a defender all over you on one slant pattern. Pass interference? … What about the wind? It was pretty strong Saturday.
Ultimately, Kinnie said, none of those things matter. Just catch the football.
“There’s a lot more that goes into it, but at the same time, if you play wide receiver, you’ve got to catch the ball,” Kinnie said. “That’s your job.”
To make a basketball analogy, Kinnie compared his responsibilities to that of a 3-point specialist.
Not every 3-pointer will go in. Nobody’s perfect. But if you’re open and you miss, be ready to hear some criticism. Same goes for a receiver if he drops a pass.
“A 3-point shooter is supposed to hit 3-pointers,” Kinnie said. “That’s what you’re there for. You may not play as much, but if you come off the bench you’ve got to be ready to hit the 3.
“I’ve got to catch the rock. Can’t make any excuses.”
Kinnie’s self-critique mirrored the general sentiment relayed by the rest of Nebraska’s offense Monday. There weren’t many satisfied members of that unit.
Sam McKewon wrote Tuesday about offensive coordinator Tim Beck, who bluntly stated after practice Monday that the Huskers underachieved Saturday. Dirk Chatelain was pleased to see that side of Beck, a stark contrast to the always-optimistic perspective of his predecessor.
McKewon also broke down the mistakes of Nebraska’s young offensive line on Tuesday.
Yoshi Hardrick told McKewon that the players were “mad” about their performance. That was evident in meetings Monday, assistant coach John Garrison said to a small group of reporters after practice.
The entire offense met first to dissect the game film, and the linemen didn’t like what they saw.
“And once we got into the O-Line room, it was very quiet,” Garrison said. “You could tell that these guys, they were upset the way we played. … Not much needed to be said after we got out of that offensive meeting. They were already feeling it. They knew how they played.”