One thing I haven't seen mentioned anywhere - TE Hunter Teafatiller started this game. He played one play, left the game and then I never saw him again. His return could be key, as you can see the number of times that Mike McNeill had miscues.
Here is a run down on Nebraska's offensive drives, including notes on blocking. Overall, a sloppy game (thank you Captain Obvious).
|Start Time||Time Possesion||Field Position||# Plays||Yards Gained||Result|
|1Q - 15:00||2:35||Nebraska 35||5||-10||Punt|
Lucky, 7 run.
|Drive starts at 14 after block in back penalty.
Castille minus one yard (Mike McNeil missed block)
Ganz to Swift completion for 12
Ganz option for four yards
Ganz complete to Peterson for 12
Penalty - SJSU offsides
Ganz complete checkdown to Helu - 27 yards
Helu rush up middle 17
Helu rush four left (TD if TE Dreu Young holds his block longer)
Penalty - SJSU (no clue why they called personal foul)
Castille 2 yard TD run (LG Mike Huff slow on finding block on pull, Castile powered into the end zone anyway)
|Ndamukong Suh interception return for touchdown. What a wonderful play!|
|2Q - 14:56||2:21||Nebraska 25||5||15||Punt|
|Lucky for 6 up middle (nice hole, nice blocking)
Ganz to Swift, play-action for 23 yards
Lucky for 3 yards right (Lucky strung out to sideline instead of heading upfield)
Lucky minus two (LG Keith Williams missed block)
Three false start penalties in a row. (Niles Paul, Mike McNeill, Menelik Holt)
Ganz to Henry (DB outplayed WR Henry for body position, nearly intercepted)
|Helu rush -2 (run blitz, too many guys to block)
Ganz sacked (poor blitz pick up by Helu, Ganz scrambled, cannot escape)
Ganz complete to Paul (good protection, Paul ran route short of first down on 3rd and 15)
|Interception by Ganz (protection good, poor choice by Ganz)|
|3Q - 13:45||3:40||Nebraska 10||7||29||Punt|
|Lucky 0 rush (run blitz, Mike McNeill doubled on DT instead of looking to block blitzer)
Ganz incomplete (too low for McNeill)
Ganz scramble for 10 yards
Penalty - SJSU offsides
Ganz complete to Swift eight yards on WR screen
Castille middle for 2 (eight guys in box, no push on left side, Slauson slow on trap)
Castille right for 0 (Burkes missed block - badly)
Ganz complete to Holt for 4
|Helu middle for 2 yards (Castille missed block, Mike Huff missed block on LB that made tackle)
Helu pitch left (LT Mike Smith missed block)
Penalty - (Mike McNeill cut block penalty for -13 yards),
Ganz complete to Helu for 5
Ganz rush for 1 (snap early or line missed count)
|Ganz complete to Swift for 12 - WR screen (great blocking Peterson)
same play to Swift for 12 (again, great blocking Peterson)
Helu right for 12 (Keith Williams misses block on LB at second level, Helu avoids tackle in middle, nice vision on run)
Castille fumble on option (blocked well, this is a TD if not fumbled)
|4Q - 12:17||:10||SJSU 0||0||0||TD|
|Niles Paul kick off return for TD. Beautiful. Good blocking downfield by #15 Dennard|
|Shanked punt by SJSU.
Ganz roll out complete to Holt for 20.
Helu left for 7 (nice cut by Helu),
Helu middle for 2 (eight in box, DB come up to make tackle)
Castille for 2 picks up first down
Penalty - holding (Slauson takedown)
Helu 14 yards for TD (going off-tackle, FB Lawson misses block, Helu cuts outside, excellent cut by Helu)
|Zach Potter interception to stop SJSU drive.
Ganz complete to Peterson for five yards
Ganz checkdown complete to FB Lawson for four yards
Lucky middle for 7 (Lucky pushes pile forward)
Ganz incomplete (Mike McNeill started blocking on Ganz scramble, never looked for ball)
Ganz complete to Paul for 15 (screen, Slauson misses second level block)
Ganz complete to Peterson for 21 (great block by Swift, gets second knockdown)
Ganz incomplete - misses Peterson
Penalty - false start - 5 yards (Burkes)
Penalty - holding - 10 yards (Hickman)
Ganz incomplete - misses Lucky on screen
Ganz complete to Peterson for 21 yards (great protection)
SJSU pass interference penalty
Lucky pitch right for two yards touchdown (easy run, decent blocking)
|1:45||1:45||Nebraska 38||4||12||End Game|
The wide receiver screen proved to be a great weapon against a defense that was stacking against the run. Swift and Peterson complimented each other extremely well, both excelled at blocking and receiving.
The false starts can be corrected. What's troublesome is how slow the offensive line is in coming off the ball and getting into the defenders. Not only were they slow, but they weren't physical. They don't have the attitude or the swagger that an offensive line should have.
Far too many missed assignments. You can forgive McNeill and Dreu Young somewhat, they're fairly inexperienced. You can't forgive Mike Huff or Mike Slauson, they simply have to play better.
Nice thing - the 2007 team would have lost this game. They wouldn't have pulled themselves together, but this team did that in the fourth quarter. You'll notice that in the two TD drives, they overcame mistakes (penalties) and got the job done.
Below is the animated drive chart for the game.
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