OK, admit it. We all knew that Nebraska had a lot of issues, but deep down, we really hoped that the 2008 version of the Huskers would break free of the shackles of mediocrity and transform themselves back into relevence in a prime-time broadcast.
Well, back to reality. Nebraska lost 35-30 to Virginia Tech, though the Huskers did have their chances. Bo Pelini says the Huskers made way too many mistakes yesterday to a good team. The pessimist looks at last night's statistics, and worries what a high powered offense could do to the Big Red. The optimist looks at the mistakes that were made, and wonders what this team could do if those mistakes are corrected.
So let's grade last night's performance:
Offensive Line: C In those rare occasions that they were asked to run block, they opened up some small holes and gave the backs two to three yards to work with. But there were some issues with pass protection in the first half.
Running Backs: Incomplete The I-backs combined for 19 rushes. Only two in the second quarter. I had hoped that type of playcalling left Lincoln last year.
Quarterback: C- From the end zone, you could see that interception coming as soon as Joe Ganz threw the pass. While Ganz didn't lose the game, he need help to win, and the play calls in the Virginia Tech game required Ganz to win it himself.
Wide Receiver: B+ Nate Swift might go into the Nebraska record books as one of the most underappreciated wide receivers to ever wear a Husker uniform. Without Swift, Nebraska never even sniffs a comeback last night. However, he needs some help from somebody other than Todd Peterson.
Defensive Line: C+ Early on, they got some pressure on Tyrod Taylor. But as the game went on, the Hokies started to find some running room.
Linebackers: B- Cody Glenn was all over the place yesterday, leading the team in tackles. Phillip Dillard was right behind him.
Secondary: D Way too many blown coverages yesterday. Fortunately, Tyrod Taylor didn't take advantage of that. Problem is that Chase Daniel will.
Coaching: D- Only 19 carries for the I-backs yesterday. Very little downfield passing. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the head coach. One difference this year is that this staff will treat this game as a learning experience for both coaches and players.
Overall: D+ The Hokies made the plays yesterday, and the Huskers didn't.
Elsewhere in College Football:
USC: F Just because it didn't look like you had much resistance on your road to Miami doesn't mean that you could stop and take a break. With your remaining schedule, it's going to be difficult to play your way back into contention.
Alabama: A+ Except possibly the Sooners, nobody's been more dominant.
Kansas State: D+ Wildcat fans are a little concerned about their defense after giving up 37 to the Ragin' Cajuns.
Colorado: D- Who'da thunk that the Seminoles could score 39 points on a 1-A opponent?
Service Academies: B+ Navy knocked off top 25 Wake Forest, but Army couldn't quite knock off the New Baylor.