This edition of the report card is a little more difficult than the regular report cards, since it was the Husker offense versus the Husker defense. And with so many new players on the field wearing jerseys without names, I spent a heck of a lot of time trying to figure out who was who out there, and whether plays were the result of something good or something bad. (It probably didn't help that my seats were in the nosebleed section of the north end zone...)
So here's my report card...feel free to disagree or comment otherwise.
Quarterback: A- No quarterback really made any mistakes out there. Playcalling was limited, and the green jerseys made it difficult to evaluate running ability. Zac Lee was laser efficient, while LaTravis Washington was surpringly efficient with a howlitzer for an arm. Cody Green looked fairly good as well for a guy who should have been spending a Saturday afternoon getting fitted for a tuxedo for the prom.
Running Back: B+ Quentin Castille had to face the white defense with Ndamukong Suh on the field, but did fairly well. Austin Jones looked good, but of all the young backs, I liked Lester Ward the best. What impressed me with Ward was his ability to fight for yards after contact. Collins Okafor disappointed me with his first few runs, but he showed great acceleration later on, especially on that long touchdown run.
Wide Receivers: B- The passing game was kept simple and short most of the day, so the receivers didn't have a lot to contribute. Antonio Bell had a nice catch, but I really liked Chris Brooks' ability to snare those missiles from Washington. Marcus Mendoza is going to be a weapon that can stretch the field this fall.
Tight Ends: A+ Are the Huskers loaded at tight end or WHAT? Mike McNeill emerged as a weapon towards the end of the year. Now let's add in Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed as well. Reed outraced the entire secondary on his 71 yard touchdown reception.
Offensive Line: B+ Running lanes were tough when Suh was in the game, but things opened up after he left. Sadly, without names on the backs of jerseys and numbers rolled up into their pads, it was tough from my perspective to keep track of everybody.
Defensive Line: B+ Suh is still Suh. Cameron Meredith made some nice plays early on as well. We're going to have a little more depth on the d-line this season.
Linebacker: C- With all of the new players wearing no-name jerseys, it was really tough to keep track of what was happening. The linebackers got roasted by the tight ends all day. Will Compton had a couple of nice tackles though.
Secondary: B- I really hoped I would have seen an interception, what with two first-time quarterbacks taking the majority of the snaps. P.J. Smith looks like he could become a playmaker back in the secondary.
Special teams: A- You could tell by the number of hankies that special teams hadn't been worked on much, but some nice individual efforts. Alex Henery missed wide right on a 50 yard field goal. What a bum, he's absolutely no good from that distance. He does show promise as a punter, though. Tim Marlowe had a very nice punt return late in the game.
Meteorologists: F Two weeks ago, there were predictions of a blizzard. Then, an 80% chance of rain. Instead, the sun broke through after kickoff and it was a gorgeous spring day in Nebraska.
Overall: B+ Nobody got hurt, and not a lot of mistakes out there.
Elsewhere in Spring Football
Missouri: Just 13,122 showed up, and the defense (with only 4 returning starters) dominated. Tiger fans should be worried.
Iowa State: 7,000 showed up to watch Austen Arnaud go 22 for 35 and 250 yards against the top defense. Clone Chronicles wasn't impressed.
Texas Tech: The next name to enter Tech's record books in Leach's high powered offensse: Taylor Potts. 12,500 fans showed up.
Texas A&M: 8,000 fans showed up trying to understand what the hell Mike Sherman is doing to the Aggie program. The final score: Offense 117- Defense 107. Nobody knows how it happened.
Oklahoma State: Dez Bryant and Kendall Hunter didn't play, and the second half was a race to beat a thunderstorm to Stillwater.