This last game against Wyoming showed us a little different Husker team than we saw in week one. While week one against Fresno State showed us a great running attack and very little in the way of passing, this past week was the opposite. Against Wyoming, The Huskers threw the ball for over 400 yards and ran for only 138. Many people wanted to see a little more passing after the Fresno State game…including me, but the Wyoming game seemed a little extreme.
Looking back on both games, I have decided that while balance on offense is a good goal, you still have to take what the other team gives you. If a team does everything it can to stop you from doing something, it is best to do something else…and this is what happened last Saturday. The Wyoming Cowboys focused on stopping the run nearly the whole game, so Langsdorf and Tommy Armstrong went to the air…and did so very well. In fact Tommy Armstrong is now the all time Nebraska leader in touchdown tosses with 57 touchdown passes. On Saturday, he moved ahead of Taylor Martinez who has 56. It is good to know that Nebraska can both run and throw the ball if needed, and it is even better to know that they will exploit what ever the other team gives them.
The blackshirts looked good again, except for a couple of fly sweeps. I hope they get that fixed before Oregon gets here. Nate Gerry made a statement in his first game of the year by grabbing two interceptions and making a team high 7 tackles. His performance earned him Big Ten defensive player of the week honors.
The rest of the defense did a great job too…I’m thrilled to see how much better the defensive backfield is compared to this time last year. One other guy that I kept seeing in the middle of big plays last week was defensive end Ross Dzuris. He had 2 tackles for loss, a half of a sack and a fumble recovery that he nearly took in for a TD. And how about that turnover rate? The blackshirts got 6 turnovers this past week and currently are tied for the national lead in turnover margin with +3.5 per game.
Next up is a game many of us living in Oregon have been looking forward to for the last several years. The Ducks are going to Lincoln! I for one was dreading this meeting a couple of years ago, but that is not the case any more…I firmly believe this version of the Huskers can beat Oregon. It definitely will not be easy as Oregon is a very good team with great speed, but the Huskers have the tools this year to compete.
Guys to watch out for on the Oregon roster include their new QB Dakota Prukop who transferred from Montana State after a very successful career. He has learned the Duck offense very quickly. They also have one of the best running backs in the country in Royce Freeman. He has just under 300 yards in his first two games, and in his last game, he averaged nearly 10 yards per carry.
While the Duck offense appears to be as dangerous as ever this year, the defense has shown a few cracks. The Duck defense gave up 388 yards to Virginia and 392 yards to UC Davis. With these kinds of defensive stats, I think the Huskers have an opportunity to put points on the board. They just need to slow down the high powered Duck offense.
Can the Huskers move the ball on the Duck defense and slow their offense down enough for a win? Join us at Dukes this Saturday and find out.
Saturday, September 17th Watch Party
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Oregon Ducks
Game Coverage Begins at 12:30 PM PST
By all appearances, this should be a great game. Both teams had a relatively easy time in their first two games. For both teams, this game will be their first major test of the 2016 season. Odds makers have Nebraska favored, but by only 3 points. Also, early forecasts by national experts shows a near even split on who is favored in this game.
A couple things that the Huskers need to clean up for this game in order to win include penalties and the punt game…mainly the receiving part. The Huskers currently have 0 put return yards for 2016.
We hope you can join us Saturday, September 17th at Duke’s…doors open at 11:30 AM.
Duke’s will be offering a variety of lunch items. Arrive early for good seats! Families with children are welcome, however OLCC rules dictate that minors may not remain if a game goes beyond 9 PM.
The next game is on September 24th at 4:30 PM PST against the Northwestern Wildcats.