Arkansas State Week Reads - September 12th, 2012

Bringing you coverage of Nebraska and Big Ten sports and other stories from college football and beyond.

The unranked Nebraska Cornhuskers take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Memorial Stadium this Saturday at 11am CDT on ESPN2.

The Reads are a little late this morning so I screwed up the publishing order for today. Earlier this morning, Husker Mike previewed Malzahn's Red Wolves. Get ready for the defense to get burned again. Save us, Taylor Martinez - you're our only hope.

Go Big Red!

In today's Reads, Nebraska fans manage to keep out of "This Week in Schadenfreude", the defense looks to re-tool itself and the Big Ten coaches hazard against panicking over the Big Ten's rather abysmal start to the season. Those stories and more below.

No Check-Down Pass today, to keep the Reads' footprint as small as possible. Catch up on Nebraska football, the Arkansas State Red Wolves and other stories around college football after the Jump!

(Sites indicated by the double asterix (**) may have a limited number of views per 30 day/month period.)

Yesterday at CN:

Nebraska vs UCLA: By The Numbers - Corn Nation

Jon does some math and yeah, let's hope Nebraska figures out that whole "tackling" thing. I hear it helps make "119" smaller.

2012 Week Two - Playoff Selection Committee Guessing Game - Corn Nation

Aaron snubs USC in favor of Mitten State and has no idea on who to pick for his fourth spot.

Is Husker Youth Movement on Defense a Panic Response? - Corn Nation

Husker Mike doesn't think so and the comments suggest y'all are way too rational.

Football (1-1)

Husker N Side, Rallying Around Team Jack and a Great Cause

Support Team Jack and get a nice t-shirt in exchange.

Get a Sneak Peek: New Arena, East Stadium - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

I encourage someone to go check this out and report back on their thoughts.

Offense

(**) Red Report: Carnes tries hand at wide receiver : Husker Extra

Hail Varsity: Hot Reads: Keeping it simple

In the same story, UCLA coach Jim Mora said the staff "boiled down" the defense in the second half. "We didn’t pressure, I don’t believe, one time in the second half," he said. "When we pressured in the first half we gave up some plays."

Sounds like UCLA adjusted and Nebraska waited for Beck to figure it out. And Mizzou's fans get called out by a Georgia student. Did you know their fans were terrible? Apparently the SEC didn't get the memo.

(An FYI for those of you who did subscribe to the magazine, Hail Varsity now offers a digital edition of their magazine for all of your devices. You just need your account number and zip code.)

Hail Varsity: Martinez goes back to work

If Arkansas State is pressuring all day, hopefully our offensive line can handle them long enough for Taylor to have another big day in the passing game.

(**) Abdullah will take whatever he can get | sports.omaha.com

I suspect until Beck knows who to trust, Heard, Abdullah, Cross and Marrow will share carries. Marrow might be stuck with blocking for a while though.

Martinez, Huskers Prepare for Arkansas State - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

It's incredible that one Burkhead is equal to one Abdullah plus one Heard. Insane, really. Would love to have Rex back now that he has some excellent backups.

(**) Mad Chatter, Sept. 11 | sports.omaha.com

Call No. 2: After a UCLA punt pinned the Huskers at the 5-yard line, Beck called a zone read, which Datone Jones blew up. Should Martinez have handed the ball to Abdullah? Yes. But that’s not a read you want your quarterback making on his goal line late in the game.

How about we just have a rule that the QB doesn't do any hand-offs in the end zone?

(**) O-line's fundamental errors cost NU in loss - Omaha.com

Might want to execute and stick to your fundamentals, gentlemen - your defense needs the help.

Hail Varsity: Pipeline Tradition

This may make you angry at Barney Cotton. Or want to hire Tenopir as more than an off-season consultant.

Defense

(**) Shatel: Supply not meeting demand on Husker defense - Omaha.com

Oh, he's definitely better than Cosgrove - I expect the defense to improve.

Scout.com: As Harvey Sees It: Where did the D go?

Maybe we should make a push for one of the Stoops brothers in the off-season. Bob'll be looking for a job, right?

Nebraska defense tries to stop the bleeding - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

STEP ONE: Tackling drills. That takes us from 119 to like 30 in a single game.

(**) Husker D-line looks to deepen rotation : Husker Extra

Compared to Joseph, whose secondary is doing a solid job, Coach Kaczenski's had a tough welcome.

(**) Husker Q&A with Stanley Jean-Baptiste - Omaha.com

Jean-Baptiste might see the field more.

Stories

Five things you should know about the Tunnel Walk : Husker Extra

5. "Sirius" by The Alan Parson Project has always been part of the production in some way. That’s not to say HuskerVision doesn’t get some negative feedback, just like the team.

"We’ve talked about (changing the music) a lot. I know a lot of people have opinions about it, but I think most of our fans want that. The problem is, it’s just like with music. If you ask someone in the stadium what song they want to play to get everyone psyched up, you’re going to hear 50 different opinions."

WHOA HEY NOW TRADITION RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE

Justice Clarence Thomas Interview - LSUsports.net - The Official Web Site of LSU Tigers Athletics

Justice Thomas talks football, law and life.

No drama for Santa Margarita in rout | yard, stanton, yards - Sports - OC Varsity

A look at future wide receiver Johnny Stanton. (I keed. He's a QB. And we'll be happy to have him fighting for snaps.)

Scout.com: Video: Stanton does it big for Husker fans

Watch video of Nebraska commit QB Stanton! Dream of future championships and stuff!

Arkansas State (1-1)

Arkansas State Says WR Allen Muse No Longer With Football Team - ArkansasSports360.com

Doesn't sound like he has played this fall. Best of luck to the young man and I hope things work out better for him wherever life takes him.

3-And-Out: Malzahn Wants More From Red Wolves' Offense, Impressed With ULM Victory - ArkansasSports360.com

"The thing about UCLA is they performed very well up front and they protected their quarterback," Malzahn said. "They’ve got a good offensive line and some good skill guys. We are different. We’re a team that has very few returning starters back on offense and we’re a work in progress. So, I know that they had a tough week last week, but I know Coach Pellini and I’ve coached against him and he’s one of the best in the business and I know that we will have to earn what we have."

Sounds like the Southern Miss game. We'll get scared but eventually our depth is going to overwhelm them. And I also believe Pelini will get this fixed, even if he has to micromanage the defense like he did in 2008 and 2009.

Big Ten (16-8)

Surveying the Field: Big Ten must transform itself and can look to the Pac-12 for inspiration - CBSSports.com

With or without the intraconference cannibalism keeping them out of the BCS conversation?

Penn State's Bill O'Brien stands by Sam Ficken as kicker - NCAA Football - SI.com

O'Brien is sticking by Ficken, the only kicker listed on the depth chart. But when asked later, O'Brien also said the kicking job has been open competition each week this season won by Ficken.

Reminds me of a West Wing episode:

Bartlett: "So you're the nominee."

Sam: "No, I'm not. Everyone's on the ballot."

Bartlett: "Are there any other Democrats?"

Sam: "Well, no."

Bartlett: "Then you're the nominee."

Good luck to Ficken in the future...

Wisconsin, Arkansas upsets hurt Heisman Watch hopefuls - Cory McCartney - SI.com

Somehow Ball and Martinez stay on this list. Gotta be honest, Ball has GOT to be regretting staying right about now.

Power Poll, Week 2--What Type Of Fire Is Your Team Edition - Off Tackle Empire

Chemical plant fire! That means we're dangerous, right?

Big Ten coaches says it’s too soon to write off conference after difficult week - The Washington Post

I'm curious - if Big Ten schools get better as the season goes, doesn't that mean we could end up with an ACC-like split of 7-5 and 5-7 schools? Is that better than our current dumpster fire?

I'm not sure the media will care if Nebraska, Mitten and Mitten State burn through their schedules if they believe the Big Ten is a down conference this fall. Mitten State is going to need a lot of upsets to happen to get the nod for a BCS spot over USC.

Other Stories

Arkansas, Wisconsin tumble out of Top 25 after Week 2 upsets - Andy Staples - SI.com

25 Last week: NR

UCLA Bruins (2-0) Bruins coach Jim Mora refuses to acknowledge that he or his team has done anything special. According to Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times, Mora forgot to keep the game ball after his first win as a college head coach Sept. 1. After the Bruins beat Nebraska, Mora declined to assign any deeper meaning to the win. "We're 2-0," Mora said. "It means we are 2-0. It means we beat Nebraska and we are 2-0, and we'll play another game next Saturday." This is probably the best attitude to take with a program that has been irrelevant for so long. UCLA's schedule sets up quite favorably. If Mora can keep the Bruins on an even keel, he might look back after the season and realize he did something amazing.

Last game: Beat Nebraska, 36-30

Next game: Saturday vs. Houston

That's just hurtful, Jim.

This Week In Schadenfreude: The Hog Containment Field Has Been Shut Off - SBNation.com

I'm proud of all you for flying under the radar compared to Iowa and Wisconsin. The Big 12 really misses us - we're the only fan base that really cared.

Air Force's Troy Calhoun says media blackout was about academics - NCAA Football - SI.com

GASP. (Also, Pelini should use this excuse, just once, just to piss off the local media.)

NAIA denies eligibility for ex-Hurricane Ray Ray Armstrong - NCAA Football - SI.com

Moral of the story: transfer before they ban you. Or be honest.

Site feels so bad for Arkansas bettors, it refunds all wagers | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

Well, you probably shouldn't wager anyway...that being said, whomever had ULM probably didn't make any money as they probably lost their other bets. Because let's face it, if you're willing to pick a 30-point dog against a SEC team with championship aspirations, you're probably not making all the best picks.

Georgia defense getting 2 suspended players back - Yahoo! Sports

Good on Georgia for not playing around with their suspensions, unlike a certain school located in a clothing accessory-shaped state.

Mississippi's Elston suspended 1 game for hit - Yahoo! Sports

No flag was thrown for his hit so instead of his team getting a 15 yard penalty, the player has to sit out the next game. No matter how deserving, it seems like the player is being punished more for the referees' failure to call it on the field than for the hit itself.

Ducks dealt blow with injuries to G York, S Boyett - Yahoo! Sports

USC is winning the Pac-12 anyway, right? Maybe this'll make it possible for a rematch against UCLA in the Rose Bowl. (Dream big or why bother, right?)

Florida Players 'Flopping'? Just The Tip Of The Iceberg - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Doesn't really make Florida geniuses - Italy has been doing this for YEARS. And teams do that to Oregon all the time.

***

Join me every morning Monday to Friday for a round-up of the day's stories. Comments, rants and cat pictures are welcome below! (Not a member of CornNation? Join today and take part in the conversation!)

Have a great Wednesday! GO BIG RED!

-Salt Creek and Stadium

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