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
We’re continuing our give and take with “enemy” writers, and though our first conversation with Cornhusker faithful deserved something special. As such, we’ve eschewed the usual conversation with folks who blog and instead turned to the some of the geniuses behind the best Nebraska board on the intertubes.
Formerly anchors for Huskerpedia, HuskerDan and Tad Stryker are thriving at HuskerMax, which should be a required stop for anyone who cares about B1G sports (not just Nebraska). Here we go!
Husker fans seem to be experiencing “A Tale Of Two Taylors”- last season he started well, but struggled at the end of the year, and we saw similar issues in the two halves against Wisconsin. What are your thoughts about his occasional inconsistency and how does Big Red adjust moving forward? Are Nebraska fans excited to have option football return to Memorial Stadium?
Husker Dan- I don’t think there is any nostalgia about option football. Frank Solich ran it and got fired. Husker fans want to win and they don’t much care what kind of offense Nebraska runs, just as long as it consistently wins games. Last year, Taylor Martinez’s problems midway through the season dealt primarily with his foot and ankle injuries. And Saturday night, it was poor play calling (among other things) during the middle of the second quarter and beginning of the third that force third that forced Martinez to try to be Tom Brady. Passing is not one of Taylor’s strongest points. Three of his passes were intercepted and all led to Badger TDs. Game over.
Tad Stryker- Husker fans are in favor of option football; they would like to see the coaching staff commit to using the running game more, since it’s the strength of the team. I am puzzled why Husker offensive coordinator Tim Beck had Martinez throwing the ball so much when NU led 14-13 late in the first half. Martinez has started 17 games now but is still very erratic at times. That is not a good sign. He still does not seem to realize that he has limitations throwing the ball. Nebraska needs Martinez to gain some maturity.
Quick word association- What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “ESPN”?
HD- Game Day.
Mali- I’m sorry, those are the wrong answers, although Tad was close. We would have accepted “Biased”, “SEC”, or “Selective Journalism”… moving on. Read More
Eric and Joe get together on this week’s radio hour to discuss the trials and tribulations facing the offense following the Michigan State game. They also talk about the latest suspensions and express the frustrations most Buckeye fans are feeling, along with their feelings towards Gene Smith. Lastly, they talk about Nebraska and what the Buckeyes need to do in order to pull off the win in Memorial Stadium.
For the opponent’s preview, Eric is joined by the excellent HuskerDan of HuskerMax.com. They discuss Nebraska, along with their recent addition to the Big Ten and the welcoming committee laid down by Wisconsin.
All this and more on this week’s Radio Hour!
Note: At the time of the recording, we believed Corey “Philly” Brown would be fully ready to play. Currently his status is listed as “Day-to-Day”, and while there is a chance that we will see him on the field, it’s not as certain as we claim in the podcast.