OK, Iowa State is a streaky team. Hot in the first half against Kansas, to be sure. But horrible in the second half...and horrible down in Waco last week. And horrible yesterday, to be sure. Was Iowa State that bad, or did Nebraska play that well yesterday? My vote is on "Yes...all of the above."
Offensive Line: B Generally good pass protection yesterday, and they cleared out enough holes to get the running game started. But they can do better. On NU's first possession of the third quarter, Iowa State only rushed three and still got the sack when Lydon Murtha completely whiffed on his block.
Running Backs: A- OK, nobody cracked the 100 yard mark, though both Marlon Lucky and Roy Helu, Jr. topped 90 yards of total offense. Everybody's buzzing about lining up Marlon Lucky as a shotgun quarterback; this starts setting up all sorts of interesting options for future trick plays. Have you seen what the Miami Dolphins are doing with Ronnie Brown? This could be a lot of fun.
Quarterback: A Completed 72% of his passes for 328 yards. No turnovers. A solid A.
Wide Receivers: A- Nate Swift had a monster first half, and all of the receivers had a fine day...except for the fumbles. Remember when we used to talk about the drops by Husker wide receivers? They're catching everything in sight now; in fact, we almost take them for granted now.
Defensive Line: A Ndamakong Suh was a force inside, and didn't bite as badly when the Cyclones tried to bait him late in the first half. Zach Potter nearly picked off a screen pass, and could have walked into the end zone for an easy pick-6. Pierre Allen forced the first turnover in weeks.
Linebackers: B+ Phillip Dillard and Cody Glenn looked pretty healthy yesterday.
Secondary: B+ Decent coverage all day. Murillo got called for a pass interference call that looked like it should have gone the other way. Matt O'Hanlon looked like he got out of position on Alexan Robinson's 67 yard touchdown run in the third.
Coaching: A I criticized Watson for not pulling Joe Ganz late against Missouri, but it turns out Shawn Watson had a good reason for keeping him in anyway. It looks like Nebraska's offense now has an identity: let's call it the "Spread Coast Offense", integrating some of characteristncs of the now ubiquitous spread offensee into Watson's background in a West Coast style of football. And it's looking pretty good right now.
Overall: A- Solid win on the road. This team is playing better and better.
Elsewhere in College Football
Texas Tech: D+ How the heck can you trail Texas A&M last week? Now the season starts getting serious, with Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma up next. You may be 7-0 now, but you can easily be 7-4 a month from now.
Colorado: C- Kudos to Dan Hawkins for finally accepting what the rest of college football knows about your son.
Kansas State: F The Ron Prince death watch continues.
Missouri: 0 Even Andy Warhol is now spitting on Chase Daniel.
Ohio State: A Maybe I wrote these guys off for dead a little too soon. Or maybe it's just the fact that the rest of the Big MAC is that bad. Here comes the Big MAC championship this weekend, though.
BYU: F So much for that BCS Buster...