The seemingly annual battle of teams who’ve disappointed their fanbases.
These two teams have seen each other a grand total of . . . wait for it . . . two times. The last time came last bowl season in the Capital One bowl which was a high powered shoot-out between the two. Neither electing to play much defense the Bulldogs beat the Huskers 45-31 in Orlando. Their last meeting prior to that was the Sun Bowl in 1969 which the then top of the food chain Huskers under Bob Devaney destroyed Georgia 45-6. They would win the AP National title in 1970.
Neither team finished the season the way they had hoped or they way they had started it. Georgia began the year in the top ten and loaded with talent that should have taken them to the title game. Injuries to several of their best players on offense and defense, the Bulldogs did the best they could to become bowl eligible. Nebraska suffered an early non-conference loss to UCLA at home and had time to recover but a loss to Minnesota in week seven soured their chances at a B1G title.
I found a great website that shows a ton of statistics that can have an impact on your choice to win this game, which includes a Transitive Wins which is like the man that beat the man that beat the man. StatMilk Nebraska v. Georgia.
Nebraska has one of the best players in the B1G over the last two seasons in Taylor Martinez but his injury would hand that off to junior Ameer Abdullah, who finished this season with over 15oo yards rushing and 8 touchdowns to go along with 26 receptions for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns. He rushed for over a hundred yards in eight straight games this season and did so in ten of the twelve games. Illinois was a sieve against most teams and Abdullah almost went for as much as Carlos Hyde against them pulling down a cool 225 averaging 11.3 a carry and scoring 2 touchdowns. Abdullah edged out Hyde for the over-allpurpose yardage per game lead with 154 a clip. If he returns for his senior season next year, he will be a handful and threaten to go over 2,000. Read More
Last year Nebraska joined the B1G and Ohio State traveled to Lincoln for an exciting game. Last year also introduced us to Tad Stryker, Dan “Husker Dan” McGlynn, and Husker Max.com. They joined us last year for our questions and they graciously decided to put up with us again this year and answer our questions about this year’s game.
1) Watching Nebraska defeat Wisconsin (woot!!) on Saturday, we couldn’t help but have deja vu with the second half comeback. Do you attribute that to great half-time adjustments, players executing the game plan better in the third and fourth quarters, home crowd momentum, or Bert Bielema just being awful? We’ll totally accept a combination of the two.
Tad Stryker: Yeah, that comeback did bring back a memory or two, didn’t it? The home crowd was a big factor, but the players settled down and stopped making critical mistakes. As far as coaching goes, putting Ciante Evans on Abbrederis for the second half was one of the best adjustments the Huskers made all evening. Second-year offensive coordinator Tim Beck stuck with the running game despite being down 17 points, unlike last year in Madison.
Husker Dan: The main cause of the Huskers’ second half resurgence was that they got out of their own way. There were also half-time adjustments to the offensive and defensive line schemes. Better execution, half time adjustments and the fact that Russell Wilson is playing for the Seahawks helped to contribute to the Husker win! Bret Bielema is a good coach, but clearly doesn’t have the talent he’s had the past few years.
2) Taylor Martinez has improved his passing significantly this year, both statistically and in his decision making. However, there seem to be several moments of regression (UCLA game, 1st half against Wisconsin)… what are the coaches doing to help him put together a complete game?
HD: This is a great question. I’m not sure the coaches can do much, other than stay out of his way. Taylor Martinez is light years from where he was a year ago. He played most of 2011 with two bad wheels that limited his ability to throw and run. This year, he’s become much more of a leader. He is definitely in charge of the offense. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance this fall. When he reaches his full potential, look out. He has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
TS: Martinez has improved a lot, but I still don’t think he can beat a high-level opponent with his arm alone. I think the coaches just need to keep reinforcing his confidence and let him run the ball with abandon (no more hook slides). When the Husker run game improves, Martinez improves as a passer, and so on.
3) At the game in the Rose Bowl, the Blackshirts seemed to be out of position in a number of occasions. What adjustments have Nebraska’s defensive personnel and coaches made since UCLA? Read More