Published Saturday, September 1, 2012 AT 11:16 PM / Updated at 11:19 PM
Five things: Things we learned; things we don’t know
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

Things we learned

1. A full offseason within Tim Beck’s offense makes a difference. The entire unit looked crisp and executed efficiently all day.
2. Taylor Martinez has confidence that he’ll put the football where it needs to go. He may even prefer that defenses crowd the line.
3. Forcing players to leave the game for one play because their helmet mistakenly pops off is silly.
4. Bad games happen to even the most consistent of players. Brett Maher had a tough day. But he’ll bounce back.
5. The improvement of receiver Steven Osborne wasn’t exaggerated. All of the hard work is finally paying off for the fifth-year senior.

Things we don’t know

1. Why did it take so long to move Justin Jackson to center? He fits so well there.
2. Who stuffed the football with kryptonite? Seems like the only explanation for Nebraska’s Superman, Rex Burkhead, to leave a game because of injury.
3. The Huskers responded to adversity Saturday. Now can they do it against a team equal in talent?
4. How many defensive backs does it take to tackle Quincy Enunwa? He’s a powerful blocker, too.
5. The Blackshirts had 11 tackles for loss, the same number recorded in last year’s opener. Can they sustain the relentlessness?

About Jon Nyatawa

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008. He and his laptop, cell phone, tape recorder, pen and notebook all live in Lincoln. Follow him on Twitter: @JonNyatawa. Email him here: He welcomes feedback.


  1. NCAAFBFan says:

    Things we learned
    6. Defense still cannot stop a mobile QB.

    Things we don’t know
    6. Why can’t our defensive coaches develop a strategy to stop mobile QB’s?

    1. Guido says:

      Who cares if the QB scrambles for a few yards occasionally. Halftime adjustments were great by Papuchis. Zero completions from Southern Miss QBs in the 2nd half made them one dimensional and the end result is giving up 3 points in the 2nd half.

      I’ll take that any day.

      1. NCAAFBFan says:

        You are right Guido, if we only play USM caliber teams this year. But the competition will increase and this difficulty stopping mobile QB’s will be magnified. It’s just a curiosity to me that we haven’t figured this out given the quality of defensive coaches we’ve had.

  2. marv says:

    I don’t know about Enunwa’s speed or what he times out in the shuttle, but he is one of the first Nebraksa wide recievers that looked like an NFL reciever in a long time.

  3. RoverBrian says:

    Utterly Shocking: How bad the Special Teams played in all phases most of the game. For what is supposed to be a considerable Husker strength this season, the Special Teams were devastatingly bad during this first game. Shockingly bad. I think they will bounce back well (Hopefully!!) but Special Teams play this bad will kill us against good opponents. Maher especially has a lot of work to do. Total sleepwalking nonperformance. No matter how impressed I was by the team’s overall performance, the F grade by the Special Teams took my breath away. Man up guys!!!

  4. Ultibum says:

    The defense brought the blitz on 3rd and long and got burned on screen plays too may times.

  5. Ultibum says:

    The defense brought the blitz on 3rd and long and got burned on screen plays too many times.

  6. ArkHusker says:

    Why dont we just kick the ball out of the endzone? Too much thinking in coaching! We still cannot stop a mobile QB because we have a play the pass 1st defense strategy which I still cant understand. Offense was great however I still think it was too much passing. We got to establish the run and power/option game first.

  7. John Maddox says:

    Don’t our coaches know about quarterback basics ? They should have been helping on this from day one. Arm tackles where have the coaches been?

  8. midas says:

    exactly what you want in an opener: comfortable win, but plenty to work on.
    now, can NU improve enough to put a hurt on the Bruins?