Yeah, I know, time to move on. Let's forget about last Saturday and start thinking about this Saturday. But before we do that, let's do a Monday rewind and list three good plays we liked, one each from offense, defense, and special teams, and three not-so-good plays we didn't really like, again, offense, defense, and special teams. As you might imagine, it was a lot easier to complete one of these lists than the other one from Saturday's game.
3 Good Plays
Offense: I'm gonna go with the obvious. 2nd and 6 from our own 8 yard line. Zone read play. Taylor Martinez keeps, sprints through a gaping hole, and is gone. It was just nice to see his explosiveness with his feet again. He is best when he can run in a straight line, and man, can he run. Hopefully we'll be seeing many more big plays like this the rest of the year.
Defense: As bad as the defense looked most of the game, they were able to get some stops in the second half. This one occurred on 3rd and 13 from the Nebraska 27 with 4:12 to go in the 4th quarter. Will Compton blitzes from the right side, Andrew Green blitzes from his right corner position. They converge on Brett Hundley for a nine yard sack which pushed them out of field goal range, forced a punt, and kept the Cornhuskers alive. At this point, I still had confidence that we were going to win the game.
Special Teams: Nebraska drove to the UCLA 37 yard line with three seconds to go. Brett Maher nails the 54 yard field goal, but it didn't count. Jim Mora called a timeout. They lined up again, but Jim Mora called timeout. They lined up again, but this time there was no timeout and Maher boots the 54 yarder through the uprights. It's been a rough start to the year for Maher, but this should be a confidence booster, and should have lifted the team going into halftime.
3 Not So Good Plays
Offense: First couple minutes of the 4th quarter, 3rd and 1 from the UCLA 19, after a drive that started at the Nebraska seven and included five straight running plays. Mike Marrow loses a yard on a fullback dive right up the gut. 4th down, forced into a field goal. I don't have too much of a problem with the play call. Power I formation, maybe you should let the fullback be a lead blocker, but Marrow had success last week, and if your O-line full of 300 pounders can't get a push to gain one yard and a 250 pound fullback can't bull his way for one yard, well, you got problems. Wrong play call and, wait for it....wait for it.....bad execution. Do we have a naked boot leg in our arsenal? With Taylor's speed and the defense keying on a run up the middle?
Defense: You know what, I'm not picking one specific play. I'm picking the one very basic play we couldn't stop, and they ran over and over and over. The quick swing pass to their running back (again, do we have this play in our playbook?). I don't know how many times they ran this successfully, but I'm pretty sure it was over five times. And each time their offensive skill players in space were too much for our linebackers and safeties. Our d-lineman look soft and our linebackers look slow. Period. I guarantee they don't run that very successfully with one Lavonte David patrolling from sideline to sideline.
Special Teams: Brett Maher is having a rough start to the year. After failing to convert on third and one (see above), Nebraska opts for a field goal and a chance to take a three point lead early in the 4th quarter. Maher can kick 37 yard field goals in his sleep, but not this one. He pushed it left. Old mo is squarely back on UCLA's side after stuffing us on 3rd and 1 and then missing the ensuing field goal.