Off-Season Reads - July 13th 2012

50 days until Memorial Stadium fills up with red people again. 48 days to Thursday night kickoffs.

But no waiting for a daily link post! Here it is!

It's quite late in the day but I'm new to this so bear with me. I'll be taking suggestions below on how to improve as well.

I tried to cover not only football but our other sports as well as the Big Ten. I didn't really get into college football in general since there's plenty of coverage of that at the mothership, the WWL and elsewhere.

Comments and rants welcome!

Enjoy!

-Salt Creek and Stadium

Football:

Pre-Snap Read: A College Football Blog

"This isn’t merely Mora’s first college head coaching job, but also his first taste of college football since 1984, when he spent one season as a graduate assistant under Don James at his alma mater, Washington. "

Pre-Snap Read reviews UCLA and sees them losing to Nebraska even in its dream season (ouch). Frankly, of all our non-conference games, this one scares me the most. UCLA will be implementing a new spread offense (previously UCLA was trying to run the Pistol) and a 3-4 defense. While their QB position is still undecided, it's worth noting that former Nebraska recruiting target Devin Fuller is in the mix.

Steven M. Sipple: Husker's Twitter barrage reflects age-old issue

Slow down, big fella. We get your point. You're hungry. You're tired. You're broke. Your financial aid, in whatever form, can't arrive quickly enough. Welcome to life as a college student.

On the one hand, I understand how frustrating it could be to not have money (graduate student!). But on the other hand, there are more mature ways of letting people know about your discontent.

***

More links, including stories about our other Nebraska sports and our Big Ten brethren after the jump!

Dienhart: Q&A with Nebraska OC Tim Beck " Big Ten Network

Q: How were Big Ten defenses different than Big 12 defenses? A: I thought Big Ten defenses were much more physical. In particular, the defensive lines were better. The Big Ten defenses didn’t do as many things; Big 12 defenses do a lot of things, different fronts, coverages. In the Big Ten, you don’t have that. I also thought the Big Ten defenses knew their systems a little bit better. In the Big 12, there are so many spread offenses, you have a lot of gimmick blitzes and gimmick coverages to try to confuse quarterbacks to get them to screw up. You could find holes in those defenses, or you could put something new in from week to week to beat those defenses. In the Big Ten, they seem to know their defense better. They adjusted to things better, they knew their weakness of the coverage or front. As soon as we started to take advantage of something, they knew how to fix things. It was a learning experience, and we think we are better for it.

An interesting read on the state of Nebraska's offense from our OC himself, Tim Beck. I found the part about not running up the score mildly amusing. I guess Pelini doesn't want his younger self running across the field, eh?

Steven M. Sipple: At Nebraska, empty seats can lead to 'hot seat'

Nice nugget from @BTNStatsGuy on Twitter: Nebraska allowed only 17.0 points per game and 315.1 yards in nine wins last season. ‪Meanwhile, the Huskers‬ surrendered 37.8 points and 430.8 yards in four losses. Such wild mood swings seldom produce championships.

Hopefully our luck improves. (Oh, and Sipple offers up some commentary on just how warm Bo's seat is. SPOILER: it involves bench warming at Memorial Stadium.)

Steven M. Sipple: Martinez's detractors provide 'fuel'

Taylor Martinez is aware that many folks — TV analysts, fans, you name it — think his throwing motion is, well, unsightly at times.

I really hope we can talk about something else. Unfortunately with the Olympics coming up, the first time someone sees the shotputters they'll be thinking about Martinez.

NU kicker Maher named to two award watch lists

Nebraska senior kicker Brett Maher was named to two award preseason watch lists Wednesday.

I bet you can't guess which two!

Volleyball:

Jordan Larson selected for U.S. Olympic team

Jordan Larson is headed to her first Olympic Games as a member of the United States women’s volleyball team.

Hey, congratulations! Good luck, ladies!

Women's Hoops

Yori's contract extended through 2017

Connie Yori's fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in six years earned her a few more years with the Huskers.

Well deserved, I think.

Husker women get Terps for Challenge

The Nebraska women's basketball team added a marquee game to next season's schedule.

Two top teams playing each other. Can't have that in college football. (Right, Big Ten/Pac 12?)

NU women's basketball team sets nonconference schedule

The Nebraska women's basketball team will get a few tough tests before facing the Big Ten Conference gantlet next season.

It's nice to know one of our basketball teams is ready to be challenged.

Nebrasketball

Fourteenth Annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Matchups Set for Nov. 27-28 - BIG TEN CONFERENCE Official Athletic Site

Just a reminder that we get Wake Forest on the 28th. There's a chance we might win this year and contribute to the Big Ten's current win streak (the ACC leads the series 10-3).

Huskers to Participate in Sun Bowl Invitational

Two of the Huskers’ non-conference games for the upcoming season were announced Wednesday evening, as Nebraska will travel to El Paso, Texas, for the 2012 WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

As mentioned in the article, Coach Miles' Colorado State Rams won this tournament last season.

Can Nebraska basketball turn the corner? - College Basketball Nation Blog - ESPN

"Everything is in place for Nebraska to succeed," Pitchford said. "With what they’ve done here lately, there won’t be any excuse for not winning games."

Some nice publicity from the WWL.

NCAA rule change allows Miles, staff more contact with recruits

What once got former Oklahoma and Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson in deep trouble with the NCAA — picking up a phone, at will, to call recruits — is now perfectly legal. The new rule for NCAA men’s basketball coaches went into effect June 15. Coaches can make unlimited phone calls and send unlimited texts to recruits who have completed or are finishing up their sophomore year of high school.

It'll be interesting to see if we can get some nationally recognized talent to commit and play for Nebraska.

Baseball

Nebraska reloads, offsets departures - Omaha.com

The additions come on the heels of four recent departures by future and current Huskers drafted in June's Major League Baseball draft. Two incoming recruits (Justin Black and Matt Strahm) and two juniors from the 2012 team (Travis Huber and Richard Stock) are playing professionally and won't be part of Nebraska's squad next season. A fifth Husker — All-Big Ten shortstop Chad Christensen — has indicated to The World-Herald that he's still weighing his options: to sign an MLB contract or to return for his senior season at NU. Christensen was Nebraska's top power bat last year and a 35th-round pick by the Miami Marlins. The deadline to agree to a deal is 4 p.m. Friday.

I'm not familiar enough with anything to do with baseball, but I'm guessing this is a good sign?

Huskers add Howell for 2013 - The Grand Island Independent

LINCOLN — The Nebraska baseball team announced on Thursday that Colton Howell has signed a National Letter of Intent to start playing baseball for the Huskers in 2013 season. A product of Fort Zumwalt West High School in O’Fallon, Mo., Howell is a pitching prospect and can also play the infield. He played at the same high school as former Husker and 2011 fourth-round MLB Draft pick Cody Asche.

Welcome!

Soccer

Huskers announce 19-game 2012 schedule - The Grand Island Independent : Sports

LINCOLN — The Nebraska soccer program announced its 2012 schedule on Thursday, July 5, with the Huskers set to play 19 games in their second season as members of the Big Ten Conference. The Huskers face six teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year, including Virginia Tech and Penn State, who each made Sweet 16 appearances.

Good luck, ladies!

Around the Big Ten

Osborne sees a positive amid Penn State ugliness

"I think most everyone in the United States is more aware of how important it is to not cover up, to not turn your head, when something -- particularly something affecting children -- is going on," Osborne said Thursday.

No comment.

Anticipation grows as Urban Meyer returns to college football | FLORIDA TODAY | floridatoday.com

A perspective out of Florida on the potential for success under Meyer. Lucky for us, he rotates off the schedule after this season so we'll only have to play them in the Big Ten game.

Northwestern QB Kain Colter takes issue with his NCAA ’13 likeness | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

Now, EA Sports doesn't always replicate the likenesses of players because the game tries to make the players ambiguous and not necessarily the actual guys on the roster, but it's clear that No. 2 on Northwestern is Colter. He's the starting quarterback and they have the same height and weight. Not saying it has to look exactly like Colter, but getting his ethnicity correct would have been a good place to start.

So...we've got Sam Keller attempting to sue EA Sports because of the resemblance question while current players are more upset because they don't look enough alike their digital counterpart. Okay!

B1G position rankings: RB (units) - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

2. Nebraska: Although Aaron Green'stransfer to TCU hurts Nebraska's depth, the Huskers still boast a strong 1-2 punch in Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah. Abdullah has had a strong offseason and should be able to spell Burkhead more this fall. Freshman Imani Cross is a good get on the recruiting trail

Well, hard to argue with Nebraska being behind Montee Ball and James White. Let's hope our receivers step up and give Rex some breathing time.

BTN2Go Now Available for Android " Big Ten Network

BTN2Go, a 24/7 mobile extension of BTN delivering live and on-demand programming to existing BTN subscribers of participating providers via the web, smartphones and tablets, is now available for Android users.

Seems to be fairly compatible across devices (a problem with some apps) but I haven't had a chance to try it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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