Brian Chistopherson at Husker Extra provided a run-down on what offensive line coach Barney Cotton said at the Big Red Breakfast this morning:
"Offensively we saw great effort on film," Cotton said of the San Jose State game. "Even though we didn’t see it on the rushing stats or anything like that, we that increased our knockdown total by 20 from the first game."
Cotton said they went from about 40 knockdowns in the first game to 60 in the second.
Nice to hear that the line is making progress. Let's look a little deeper - 60 knockdowns over 57 offensive plays.... not so great, unless he's only measuring knockdowns on running plays (why would he?) of which we ran 30 against SJSU.
Lydon Murtha, who missed the first two games because of a leg infection, was supposed to take a quarter of the snaps in his first practice back Wednesday, but was pushing guys out of the way to get more reps, Cotton said. Murtha will start Saturday.
This is great news, given that Murtha should be our most imposing lineman.
New Mexico State should provide a great opportunity for the Nebraska running game to show that they're back in business. The coaches can talk all they want about effort,
The optimist in me says that this is all great news, things are great (ghost of Steve Pederson), we're making progress and will be ready by the time real competition rolls around on Sept. 27th.
The cynic in me says that Cotton is saying nice things about them because he doesn't want to damage the team psyche or that this is the best he can say right now.
Maybe the difference between the cynic and the optimist isn't too far, as the two aren't contradictory.
The bottom line (a phrase I perhaps use too often) is that this football team and coaching staff will be measured by stats - how many yards and TD's they produce that ultimately lead to wins.
BTW, Nebraska cheerleader Katie Rockwell still needs your support in the Athlon Spirit contest. She's in second place right now, by over 9,000 votes. She's behind a ACC girl. Oddly enough every time she gets close to first, the ACC girl's votes suddenly jump by a huge amount.