Report Card: Huskers 38, Idaho 17

This week's game is tough to grade out, because the Huskers played at both extremes at various times during the game.  At times, they imposed their will on the Idaho Vandals on both sides of the ball, but at times, the offense discombobulated. Perhaps that's to be expected when you've got a redshirt freshman making his second start, but it's obvious that Bo Pelini was not amused. The Huskers could get away with that against Idaho, but not necessarily the rest of the season.

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QB: What impressed me the most about Taylor Martinez's 67 yard touchdown run wasn't Martinez's speed. We know about that. No, what impressed me was the fake handoff to Roy Helu. It fooled everybody around me in the south end zone. It fooled television cameramen from KMTV-Channel 3 and KETV-Channel 7 who were shooting highlights. And most importantly, it fooled most of the Idaho defense. And with his speed, Martinez was coasting towards the end zone by the time the Vandals realized they'd been had.  That being said, Martinez had a rough day in the pocket, as Vandal pressure twice forced him to cough up the ball.  Nebraska could get away with that this week, but not necessarily going forward.  Grade:  B-

RB: If I were to grade Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead, these grades would be easy A's.  Both backs totaled over 100 yards on just a handful of touches. But Dontrayevous Robinson brings this grade down with his fumble as he tried to go airborne into the endzone.  Grade: A-

WR: Brandon Kinnie had a beautiful block to spring Helu on his 58 yard touchdown run.  But there were a lot more negatives from the receivers and tight ends than positives.  Ben Cotton had two costly 15 yard penalties. Niles Paul fumbled a snap trying to run a play out of the Wildcat formation...and a fumbled punt as well.  Grade: D

OL: With all the sweeps the Huskers are running this season, I'm having a hard tome evaluating the line play. I love the depth and wonder if we'll see both Yoshi Hardrick and Jeremiah Siriles starting at tackle by midseason.  Listening to former Husker offensive lineman Brendan Stai on the post game coverage, he was impressed with what he's seen out of the line so far. So I'll take his word for it, and give these guys a B.

DL: I'm thinking that Nathan Enderle will be feeling Jared Crick most of the week. You can tell that Crick got into Enderle's head because he literally froze on a rollout at the end of the first quarter and became an easy sack target. The dominance of the line shouldn't have been a surprise; North Dakota's defensive line had five sacks against Idaho last week. Interesting wrinkle this week, as Crick and Steinkuhler lined up on the ends a few times.  Grade: A-

LB: Nebraska spend a lot of time this week in dime defense with only Lavonte David lined up as a linebacker. Problem is that from my perspective, it wasn't all that effective. When the Huskers went dime, it opened up the Vandal running game. Perhaps the Pelinis aren't confident to leave Eric Martin out there in passing situations, but I think they may have gambled a little too much with the dime defense versus the base Peso defense.  Grade: B

Secondary:  At first look of the highlights, you have to think that Prince Amukamara was the slacker of the bunch who failed to snag an interception. But he was third on the team in tackles, and he deflected the ball to P.J. Smith on his interception. Dejon Gomes and Rickey Thenarse had beautiful interceptions that should have Jake Locker concerned as he watches film this week.  Anthony West's interception was the culmination of all of the pressure and looks that the Blackshirts threw at the Vandals; Enderle by that point had no idea what the Blackshirts were throwing at him. Grade:  A

Overall:  B-  Throw out the penalties and turnovers, and I think the Huskers could have easily scored 60 or 70 points yesterday. That makes this awkward, because it was a good victory, but no where near where the Huskers are capable of playing.

Elsewhere in College Football

Kansas:  A+  Nice way to turn things around, Turner, with an upset of a Top 20 opponent.

Colorado:  0  The Dan Hawkins' saga continues in Boulder. If you want to catch a glimpse of the ongoing train wreck in Boulder, the Buffies are running a "4 for $60" special for tickets to this week's game against Hawai'i.  You can't beat that price on any luau.  This isn't going to help raise enough money to buy out Hawkins.

Iowa State:  F  I thought the Cyclones were better than that.  I guess not.

Oklahoma: A  He's still "Big Game Bob"

Oklahoma State:  C-  Apparently Troy is better than Washington State.

ACC:  D-  Well, at least Al Groh and Washington Mike London and Virginia gave a somewhat acceptable performance against USC.

Minnesota:  F  Giving up 41 points to South Dakota?  Three years ago, division 2 Nebraska-Omaha beat South Dakota 41-14.  What's the problem here?  The Daily Gopher tells an all-too familar story

Minnesota has fast, strong, agile, big players on the defensive side of the ball.  Yet the defensive line couldn't contain the quarterback on roll-out plays.  Tackling technique was awful.  The linebackers failed to recognize screen plays until the fourth quarter.  Blitzes were always telegraphed.  The defensive secondary was routinely deep-fried by receivers lacking in Big Ten speed.  No effective adjustments were made as the game progressed.

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