Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012 AT 1:00 PM / Updated at 2:28 PM
Mad Chatter, Sept. 11
Dirk Chatelain Omaha World-Herald

There’s plenty to discuss in the world of pro football, tennis and baseball. But let’s stick to Husker football, the reason for this special Tuesday edition.

Late in the third quarter Saturday at the Rose Bowl, Tim Beck’s offense took over at its 4-yard line after a penalty. The score was 27-27.

Nebraska’s first two plays — both runs — left it with third-and-8. The quarter ended, giving Beck time to think what he wanted to do.

His next call was brilliant: quarterback draw.

Taylor Martinez ran over a defender and moved the chains. That’s when Nebraska, after a sluggish third quarter, found a rhythm. Ameer Abdullah burst free for 36 yards. Braylon Heard went for 9, 5 and 7. Then Abdullah for 2.

But on third-and-1 at the UCLA 21, Beck got cute. Fullback Mike Marrow got stuffed.

That call, followed by the next six calls, arguably lost the game.

Call No. 2: After a UCLA punt pinned the Huskers at the 5-yard line, Beck called a zone read, which Datone Jones blew up. Should Martinez have handed the ball to Abdullah? Yes. But that’s not a read you want your quarterback making on his goal line late in the game.

Calls 3, 4, and 5: The next drive was the one that really hurt Nebraska. The Huskers took over at their 20 with 6:49 left, trailing 29-27. Rather than going back to the ground, Martinez threw three straight passes, all incomplete.

Calls 6 and 7: Nebraska took over again at the 20 with 3:23 left. Again, Beck had an opportunity to run the ball — NU had three timeouts and needed only a field goal. Martinez’s first pass was batted down. His second attempt was intercepted.

From there, UCLA added a touchdown, ending any realistic hopes of a Husker rally.

You may have noticed that Abdullah’s last carry of the game came with 13:20 left. After a night in which he rushed 16 times for 119 yards? That’s not acceptable.

The way UCLA’s front four was beating Nebraska’s offensive line, Beck needed to lean on his backs. Let the offensive line attack those pass rushers.

Often when play-callers fall behind late in the game — even by two points — they get impatient. They feel pressure to move the ball quickly. Beck fell into that trap.

Nebraska’s passing game may be better than last year. But it wasn’t good enough to pass its first real test.

***

>> I asked John Papuchis about it last week. I asked Bo Pelini about it Monday. Why don’t the Huskers tackle more often in fall camp? Aside from scrimmages, defenders wrap up ball carriers, but rarely take them to the ground. It’s common practice under Pelini.

I understand you don’t want Rex Burkhead and Abdullah getting hit all the time. But aren’t there fourth- and fifth-stringers you can tackle at full speed? The roster expanded from 105 to about 145 three weeks ago. Why wasn’t the defense going full contact against the scout team more often?

I admit that I have little expertise on this subject. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

>> Looking for a bright spot from the defense through two weeks? Last year, the Huskers allowed opponents to score a touchdown on 69 percent of red-zone trips. That was 11th in the Big Ten and 104th nationally.

This year NU has given up touchdowns on just two of nine red-zone trips — 22 percent. In fact, when you consider that UCLA put up 653 yards, 34 offensive points isn’t very much.

>> Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo talked Nebraska on ESPN Radio Monday.

“People say, ‘Oh, Notre Dame’. We’ve accepted that Notre Dame really isn’t that good,” Russillo said. “Nebraska every year, let’s see what happens. And then they can’t even stop UCLA.”

Said Van Pelt: “The only nickname from past glory that has taken a bigger hit than Blackshirts is ‘The U’”.

>> Finally, a quote from Brady Hoke on the Big Ten teleconference: “Our conference, at the end of the day, will hold up to anybody.” Sorry, Brady. If the league continues at its current pace, nobody outside the Big Ten footprint will even know you’re playing by November.

The Big Ten is 2-7 against BCS conferences. One team has both of those BCS wins — Northwestern. Imagine that, the Big Ten needing Northwestern to carry the banner.

>> Thanks for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow with a regularly scheduled edition.

About Dirk Chatelain

Dirk Chatelain is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and general assignments. You can follow Dirk on Twitter (@dirkchatelain) or email him at dchatelain@owh.com

Comments

  1. David says:

    Beck did this kind of nutty play-calling last year (Wisconsin, Michigan, South Carolina). Wonder how much longer it’s going to take for him to learn from his mistakes. He claimed before the season started that he did some dumb play-calling last year. Game 2 this year and he’s right back at it. Hmm … I like the guy and would love to see him succeed. I know coaches can be stubborn, but we sure have quite the crew of bull-headed dudes on our staff it seems. 10 games to go, though. We’ll see what happens …

    1. UltimaRatioRegum says:

      You said it. He admitted this problem last year and promised he had learned from it. Then at the first opportunity (when challenged)…doh!

      1. Where has Beck Coached? says:

        Look at Beck’s coaching history.

        There is a reason he panics.

        Even the drive where he called same toss sweep that worked over and over (looked like HS football), the last time he called it the UCLA CB and Safety were sprinting into our backfield as soon as Martinez reverse pivoted, totally abandoning their pass coverage responsibilities and the backside DE was crashing down the line, not accounting for Martinez bootleg.

        Brilliant OC would have used the 3 straight successful tosses to set up a fake toss play action pass or bootleg, taking advantage of the defense selling out to stop a play that was killing them (How many well timed Option-passes did we see in the old days where TE was open by 20 yards that were game changing plays because teams had sold out to stop the option?)

        Bottom line for me is Beck doesn’t have any experience in major football as OC outside NU so we will have to be patient as he learns on the job.

        Want to know what a top tier OC can do for you? Compare WISKY 2012 with previous WISKY teams before their OC left this off season.

        Watch NFL and any coach will tell you, taking the ball into your own endzone in 4th qtr of a tied game is asking for trouble. NFL teams either pound on ground or do 3 step drops to prevent sack/safety. That is coaching 101. Beck called play because it worked once in 1st half for a 90 yard score.

    2. MikeG says:

      I am beginning to see that Beck and Bo are all talk. They claim to KNOW the problem but keep doing the same boneheaded thing. I am encouraged that Bo finally figured out that he needed guys lie Santos and Zaire at LB for the speed. But he is still dumb to rotate them at the WILL. You want to solve our speed problem on defense? Play Zaire, Santos and Stafford at LB. Play PJ SMith and C. Osborne at Safety. Play Seisay, Baptiste and Evans at DB, and for gods sake get Eric Martin on the line full time.

    3. MikeG says:

      Even better yet is drop the cover 2 and bring up a safety to get extra pressure on these mobile QB’s. Our DB’s can hang with recievers as long as we can get pressure. When we dont get any pressure, even Prince or Dennard wouldnt be able to cover for long periods of time. Once a reciever breaks his route and just runs to get open and help his QB, the DB is finished.

    4. Owen K. says:

      David, you took my talking points exactly. My question is the same as yours. How long will it take for Beck to learn?

  2. Sean says:

    Your theory of a bad call is if it works or doesn’t work? Get a clue Dirk!

    1. HuskerPhil says:

      The results speak for themselves. What is your criteria of a good/bad call?

    2. Choegh says:

      Dirk is merely pointing out that we had the ability to run the ball and didn’t. Taking what he defense was giving, so to speak.

    3. Brad says:

      Acutally I was wondering the same thing after NU went right down the field before the Morrow stuff on 3rd and short. I thought here we go – this is the plan to wear them down and firnish them off with physical play. And then poof, all gone. And where was Imani Cross during this time. Seems like third and short is a hell of a good time for him. Not to second guess, but you can really see things start to break down when the pressure is on. And the tackling is getting worse by the year.

    4. Waskel Wabbit says:

      Really, you don’t have to read it. Go elsewhere. He is right about the play calling!

    5. Jeremy says:

      Dirk is well reasoned and points out the same things we all say at the bar, in the stands, or on our couches on Saturdays. Being an objective observer or a kool-aid drinking nut, you should still be able to scrutinize what is going on with the program.

      If you don’t like what Dirk has to say, take it up with NUFB department. You’d like his reporting a lot better if the Huskers were winning or at least putting up an effort worthy of the tradition of the program, and the support it garners from the fans on game day.

    6. huskerfanbb says:

      Of course that’s the standard. It’s always better if it, you know, works.

      Beyond that, he’s philosophically right, anyway. Run the fullback on your own 5 yard line–run the zone read when you need a play on 4th down.

    7. Bo says:

      That’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s using numbers to prove a point. Stats don’t lie!

    8. WyoHusker says:

      Absolutely Sean, I always have no problem on Sunday morning, telling which calls were good and bad ;)

      Actually a pretty good and obvious observation that we went away from the run too soon and it combined with poor tackling made a mess of the day.

    9. Sean says:

      How is a FB run on 3rd and 1 a bad call?
      Any call on your own goal line is tough because all can end up in a safty. Zone read seemed to work on there own 5 so why not on the goal line?
      Yes , Nebraska throws the ball way too much. They did the same thing in the first game but nobody seemed to complain about that.

      1. Zeke in Bugaha says:

        The goal line is no place to be doing any reading that requires a pause before handing off the ball. Watch the NFL and you will see over and over…quick handoffs to RB and pound the rock. You gotta get relief from the threat of a safety.

        1. Biff in NOLA says:

          On the zone read from the goal line: Martinez said he thought it would work like his 95 yard run earlier in the game. Of course the DT had other ideas.

          My question is: Why was the DT allowed to reach the QB untouched?

          1. Michigan Husker says:

            I think that’s how the play is designed. The R tackle or guard maybe pulls to lead for the RB, and the one guy left unblocked (Now should he have been at least chipped/slowed momentarily?) is who T-Mart has to “read.” He said he couldn’t tell whether the guy was going to tackle he or Ameer and chose the wrong option. Ouch!

  3. Shane Stankowski says:

    Far more troubling than the inability to tackle – which can be attributed to a lack of speed causing players to be out of position – was the OC inexplicably abandoning the run in the 4th Quarter of a tight ball game. I hope this doesn’t happen again.

    Good analysis, Dirk.

    1. Nick says:

      I don’t totally agree with you saying the inability to tackle is caused by lack of speed and positioning. Although i agree with the lack of speed equals being out of position, the tackling issue seems to be poor technique.

      I feel like there are many situations where a player goes “flying” past the ball carrier with their arms out, maybe giving them a slap as they go by. What they need to do is come in under control with their heads up, ready to make solid contact and wrap up. I’m no coach, nor was i a player at any high level, just how i see it.

      1. UltimaRatioRegum says:

        Saw a TON of that these first two games.

      2. Shane Stankowski says:

        Yeah, I guess my take on them “flying” by the ball carrier is that their lack of speed doesn’t allow them to beat anyone to a given spot. Therefore, they’re in an all-out sprint to make the play, as opposed to already being in position and being able to break down and tackle the dude.

        Or, hell, maybe you could say they’re out of position b/c they’re idiots and don’t know the scheme. Regardless, tackling is an issue, but the OC needs to NOT call plays like he did in the 4th Quarter of that game. Not giving a guy w/ 120 yards on 16 touches a single tote in the final 13 minutes is whack.

  4. raul says:

    I have been reading comments on many sites these last couple of days and everyone says we need to recruit better and get more guys like Suh. The problem with that theory is Pelini has very brang in almost no talented recruits on defense. Most husker fans have not realized that the pedigree for his two great defenses was Calhans recruits. Its disturbing to think that in five years Pelini has virtually no great players and we are all saying where is the speed at and Pelini says he is recruiting kids to compete in the B1G. I wonder if that how teams like USC, Alabama, LSU, Oregan and the others think. I figured we were recruiting kids to be able to beat any team on any day, not just a group of teams.

    1. Corn julio says:

      He says he is recruiting players to the BIG to by him a couple more years. You are spot on about it shouldn’t matter for a group of teams or a certain conference. Recruiting is recruiting, coaching is coaching. Recruit the best athletes, coach your tails off and see where the chips fall.

  5. ME says:

    Sorry. The defense allowed 600+ yards. Sure, there were some offense play calls that could have been better, but to suggest that is the reason NU lost the game is preposterous. It looks as though you fell into a common arm-chair quarterbacking trap, which is to look at only the last few plays of a game, while ignoring the entire game itself, when assigning blame.

  6. Chad says:

    Couldn’t agree more Dirk! I was thinking the same thing during the game.

  7. Ronald Fitzke says:

    What’s new? Beck and Pelini both need a lesson in play calling. I don’t know what everyone sees in Beck. He has never done a good job calling plays. Pelini was supposed to be exactly what the Huskers needed! BS, he gets out coached in every big game. Mohra has been fired every place he has coached but if he played NU every week he would be a BCS champion.
    As far as tackling. What do you mean tackling. The Huskers are probably one of the worse tackling teams in College football. Very seldom do you see a wrap up tackle.

  8. NUCORNWEEVIL says:

    Full Contact in camp separates the men from the boys… and is the catalyst for developing “nasty” players. Apparently that was withdrawn during this year’s camp, as nobody on that d-line even comes close to qualifying as such.

  9. mac says:

    UCLA had the mojo 3/4ths of the game, especially defensively. For the most part it seemed they had more energy, more speed…and an attitude that they’d smack us harder in the mouth than we would them, and they were right. Their coach had them jacked and confident. NU came in like it was a business meeting…and were it not for a few untimely penalties their yards would have been converted to points and they would have won by 3 tds. We scored on some nice drives…but they moved the ball almost at will. And, their front four put pressure on T-nez and their backs covered up our receivers most of the day. Hopefully more speed to the point of attack will limit this kind of mismatch in the future. Simply the score wasn’t indicative of the beat down UCLA put on NU.

    1. DMHusker says:

      You ain’t kidding there.

    2. Homer Sampson says:

      It wouldn’t have been so bad, if on a number of ucla plays, when our defense had a player trapped for a loss, they had in fact made a tackle. Instead, numerous times these went for huge, drive-continuing gains. I saw defensive players run in and hit the ball carier with a shoulder, thinking the guy would just fall down. But he didn’t. It is hard enough to get a tough (surprisingly so) team to 3rd and long. And then to have those backbreaking, long gains, when the runner should be stopped for a loss, demoralizes the defense, and the whole team. Then Beck apparently panics and starts going to TM’s weakest suit. There is plenty of blame to go around, but just fundamental tackling might have been enough to survive this shootout.

  10. Waskel Wabbit says:

    “I understand you don’t want Rex Burkhead and Abdullah getting hit all the time. But aren’t there fourth- and fifth-stringers you can tackle at full speed?” if you’re looking for a tackle dummy look no further than Bo. Maybe he’d be good for something afterall.

  11. Brett says:

    If they indeed only wrap up the running back in practice…..then the teams tackling skills shouldn’t be a surprise. They play exactly like they practice….only getting the job half done.

  12. James Nan says:

    Very good article, Dirk. I am beginning to believe you guys that cover the Huskers know more about the sport than our coaches. I hope they are reading your articles and listening to the radio because I just don’t think they get it.

  13. redark says:

    Tim Beck admittedly struggled last year with his play calling probably due to lack of combat experience as a new coordinator. It appears it may be the same this season when things get tight. I think Bo Pelini would serve the team better sitting in the press box. His actions on the sideline if the game is close cannot possibly be calming to players or coaches. I am sure that before this season is over that his unfocused brain and wandering eyes will explode onto the field turf of Memorial stadium probably after losing to Penn St after “failing to execute” once again.

    1. UltimaRatioRegum says:

      What actions on the sidelines during that game were causing issues? Did you see something we all missed?

  14. GP says:

    Yeah, I didn’t like the fullback hand off on third and one. But, that’s been a strong play for Nebraska over the years. It could have been brilliant – who’s to say. It certainly wasn’t “cute.” If Martinez would have pitched to an I-back who got stuffed, you would have probably made the same analysis. But I do agree, we quit running the ball just when we started to make it work. The O-line was getting results and UCLA seemed a little tired. It was a perfect time to continue pounding the run. And, like you indicated, we started acting desperate. The sudden rash of passes put the O-line in a position where they were not going to be successful.

    1. Skytown J says:

      The fullback dive has been a good play for NU occasionally, but usually not when the defense is looking for it. The UCLA D-tackle guessed right and submarined through the A gap and right into the legs of Marrow. That totally stacked the play up. It had no chance. Any call looks terrible when the play fails. Maybe a QB sneak. You’d think at athletic TM could get a yard.

  15. B Diz says:

    Was thinking the exact same thing; NU was gashing their D with the run all game, err for three quarters at least. Also, did not understand the pass plays that NU was running, 5 yard out after 5 yard out. We always hear about how fast and quick the WR’s are, why not test their corners one on one deep a few times? The one deep post route late in the game, Wullenwaber was interfered with and drew a 15 yard penalty. Very reminiscent of the play calling when falling behind last season, and this was only a one possesion game, why not stick with what was working! Abdullah even commented that he feels like he should be toting the rock 25+ times. Heard deserves more touches as well, has shown a nice burst on a very limited number of carries.

  16. Tim Bangert says:

    Beck and Papuchis are way to green to be coordinators at a program like Nebraska.

    1. Corn julio says:

      To Tim B. you hit the nail on the head. Coach beck and JP way to green for NU program.

  17. z23 says:

    Completely agree. Not only should they have not abandoned the run on the previous series, but particularly during the 3:23 series, you pound that rock. First, you know you can. You’ve been doing it all day. Confidence. Second, you give your defense some breathing room. They may have sucked the first half but minus the safety they’ve been pitching a shutout up to that point in the second half. Confidence. That leads to point 3. With only three min left, you can march down that field, score a touchdown (or fieldgoal) and put that game away with a minute or less left on the clock. CONFIDENCE.

    This is stuff a 7-year-old has figured out just from playing Madden.

  18. Wisconsin lost the rose bowl two years ago from TCU by going away from the run when it was working. I do not understand why Cross did not get opportunities to carry people with him going north and south, when clearly Ucla adjusted to the pass orientation on defense. Burkhead would have been a big help, but even using a bruiser like Cross would have helped I have to believe particularly when what you’re doing is not working.

  19. Cyclone Doug says:

    I love it that all 4 teams who went to “greener” pastures lost this weekend – Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, and Missouri. Big 12 Karma?

    1. UltimaRatioRegum says:

      What I love is the Cyclones giving the Hawks what-for. That was awesome. Karma? Eh..we should have earned some good karma after Cosgrove, Callahan, Watson…..

  20. Mark says:

    Haha. I love how everyone complains that the ball is never given to the fullback and then when we do, you call it a dumb play? If it would have worked you would have wrote a whole article on how we need to get back to giving the ball to the fullback.

    1. Waskel Wabbit says:

      Good OL or Terrible OL, a fullback who weighs as much as he does and can’t gain a yard wouldn’t be playing for me. Its as much that as it is a poor call.

  21. Spencer says:

    I couldn’t agree more! BECK PANICED!!!! there is NO REASON when we are running the ball that well tied and then only down 2 to start passing!! and to top it all off we still had all 3 of our timeouts left!!! we should have stuck to running the ball. it was total panic mode from beck. and you could tell that it spread to the players.

  22. vahusker says:

    Sean: Dirk never said, nor inferred what you allege, what Dirk did say was that is a read you usually don’t want your qb to make on the goal-line, and imho Dirk is correct in that assesment, you usually don’t want to have the opportunity for mistakes or bad reads while in your own endzone. (I can’t believe I’m actually defending Dirk and his thinking-this must be bizarro world)

  23. Gumpa says:

    While I would agree that maybe Dirk is not in a position to be micro-analyzing calls, I tend to agree with his findings. I was most diappointed with the offense. i expected the defense to struggle. I did not expect the offense to do itself in. What happened to the runs up the middle and the pass across the middle and the screen passes? Where di they go? You cannot beat a good tema without balance and unpredictability. But, if you want to talk about defense, maybe you should put your linebackers in a position where they can get to the guy they are covering before he has the ball and is 20 yards downfield. While this is an athetisism issue, I still prefer to blame the coaches for putting the players in those positions.

  24. Pat says:

    I agree, I felt when we ran the power sweep 20 times in a row that he was on to something. But then it just disappeared. I guess he filled his quota of run plays for second half. Or he thought it wasnt ‘explosive’ enough. Patience. Slow it down. Pound the ball. Give your defense a much needed rest. But our running back doesnt see the ball for the last 13 minutes of the game.

    Every play cant be a touchdown, Coach.

  25. Husker Bill says:

    My thinking was just like yours. They finally had the Bruins on their heels when they were running right at them, and then POOFFF! Like magic… the good plays went away (runs) and they converted into a passing team. Maybe he didn’t have the confidence in the running game w/o Rex in there, I don’t know, but my stomach turns when I see lousy play calling with all that talent. I do not see that we were out recruited and that they had more talent, I see a team that will never meet its optimum performance because the coaches get in the way. OK, I admit I am comparing Bo to Tom, but it is only natural to see it that way and watch Bo just stand there and let the plays be called and then get upset that they don’t do well on the field. At this point in Tom’s career, he was even considering transferring himself to Colorado, if I am not mistaken. Somewhere in here, Bo has to step up as a head coach or he will have 9-4 seasons every year for 20 years (or worse). I don’t see 9 wins at this point. Look for Tom to retire soon, and Bo to be gone in another year, in my opinion.

  26. Mel says:

    Nothing on offense works unless you have a good offensive line coach who produces good offensive line play. The Huskers just don’t have that…again this year.

  27. Roger says:

    Why he went away from the option game that was working late I don’t know but I believe continued poor play on the defensive line and missed coverage by linebackers which ended up giving the offense terrible field position almost the entire game didn’t help any.

  28. Chris Duryea says:

    I just felt like offering my two peso’s….How long did it take Oz to get over the hump and start dominating? With the changes that have come to the game, it’s not possible to suggest that because we were once great, we should be great right now.I have faith that the greatness of our team comes from the loyalty of the fan and that is crucial to the team and how it performs. If the majority of the team has no idea of the past? how can it perform above average to win the games it probly has no buiseness winning?? Those were the days I remember and those are the days that I try to explain to my children….A fan that now lives in Colorado… But will always be a husker….

  29. Mark says:

    I listened to the 2nd half of the game on ESPN Radio while driving back home. Even I could tell that we needed to run the ball and the announcers were saying get back to the run.

  30. redark says:

    Tend to believe a few more mis-direction plays, half back pass or reverses mght keep the opposing defense a little off balance even if they are not successful all the time.
    Beck said he regrets the third and one call but if a 250 lb fullback can’t get a yard, I don’t blame the call, blame the blocking breakdown. How bout a fake to Marror and a little Tebow style jump pass over the pile of flesh.

  31. FLHUSKER says:

    <<<Shawn Watson's brain<<<<< Let's see, games tied 27-27, 8 minutes to go, defense is playing like hell, we've on our own 4 yard line, what play can I call that will have our QB stand in the endzone as long as possible holding the ball, hmmmm, lets see, hmmm, I know READ OPTION, yeah thats the ticket! BAM, safety, game over, we lose! Might be the bonehead call of the post Osborne era, albeit there have been many. Watson should have taken off his headset and resigned right then and there.

    1. Rob says:

      You’re aware Tim Beck has been our offensive coordinator for the past 1.5 years, right?

      1. MikeG says:

        HAHAHA!! Shawn Watson??? Dude, where have you been?

  32. Rich says:

    Dirk Chatelain for Offensive Coordinator at Nebraska!!!!! Sounds like he has all the answers!

    1. Waskel Wabbit says:

      Rich for ??? Sounds like he has no answers!

  33. barneyhigh says:

    One problem 3 walk on d 2 caliber athletes while great kids down t have a chance against superior athletes…go can t recruit. The UCLA game lost a top potential linemen from Arizona committed to UCLA he had us on his list. 28 walk sons on scholarship and those could be going to 4 and 5 star athletes if they could recruit. 145 on roster. From 105. Less personalized coaching ……everyone is talking about our total lack of speed. Only one cause that will never be fixed by no…..recruiting

  34. Husker9457 says:

    Dirk, obviously the sky is falling…

  35. Slimcutta says:

    Tell me what coach you really think Nebraska COULD get that you’d be happy with? Don’t worry I”ll wait!

  36. Paul says:

    I am really going to piss off some fans now. I have been a long time Bo supporter but as a Husker fan in Kansas I continue to hear about our lack of recruiting, but earlier in the day I watched K-State crush Miami. Do any of you think we or the U doesn’t have more “star” players than K-State? I saw a physical team that didn’t make mistakes and f-ing tackled. I’m tired of one excuse after another. Dirk hit it dead on. Unless Taylor audibled (and I don’t think he did) Beck put him in some horrible calls at the worst time. Coaching as so often is said is about putting your players in position to succeed. Then he throws him under the bus on top of it. The zone read play in the end zone was inexcusable. Coach Brown said that they were “running what UCLA was giving them” (the pass) I believe the word you are looking for Coach Brown is “baiting”.

  37. ste_lam@att.net says:

    I hate to second guess any coach because they obviously have more training and experience in these matters than I. However over the past several years, especailly with Tim Beck, I’ve wondered why when the ground game is working do they abandon it so quickly?

  38. kmack says:

    Not sure that a fullback dive on 3rd and 1 ought to be considered “cute”.

  39. Hskrbll says:

    Do we run any “counters” anymore? Mis-direction? Inside reverses? Double-Options (remember MSU). I don’t see any “set-up” plays, maybe I don’t get it. Just pound the rock 70/30…..Hope springs eternal….

  40. BigRedBret says:

    Our team is lacking in physicality and that is a direct result of less physical practices. Watch the touchdown Tommie video from Huskermax, in the old days of great NU football, the Offense and Defense were not teammates during the weak. They pounded on each other. It wasnt until Saturdays that they werent teammates, and considering the two are never on the field working together at the same time, thats not a problem. In fact you could make a case for the animosity during practice between the two units as a way to make the 2 groups gel with each other against one another. And it makes them more competitive. The offense sees the D doing badly and instead of feeling pressured to carry them, it will get a little swagger on and decide to win the game on their own to rub it in the defensive groups face. Anyways, we obviously need to get better at tackling and doing so at full force, full speed is the only way to get better.

  41. Tommyboy says:

    Pellini is not going to ever win the Big Ten.He cant recruit,he cant lead,and he cant pick the best men to help[ie Coordinators].Some coaches are just made to be Coordinators not Head Coach.Maybe Dr Tom should tell Bo we need to hire a good Offensive or Defensive Coordinator ,pay him 750 G a year and groom him to take over Bo’s job.Dr Tom picks him,not Bo,as Pellini doesnt like competition.Isn’t that obvious?Please excuse any spelling errors.