UCLA Game Week Reads - September 3rd, 2012

It's a whole new game. Great game, Mr. Martinez!

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

Great win on Saturday! (Check out the animated drive chart and Husker Mike's grades!)

And congrats to rcech, current leader in Corn Nation's fall Pick'Em!

This week, Nebraska takes hopefully the first of two trips to the Rose Bowl this season, taking on UCLA this Saturday, 6:30 CDT on Fox.

Go Big Red!

In today's Reads, the defense learns about Southern Miss by reading the newspaper, UCLA gets excited for Nebraska's arrival (and their freshman phenom Hundley) and Nick Saban's Alabama may match Osborne's feat. Those stories and more below.

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

Football (1-0)

Tunnel Walk - Nebraska vs. Southern Miss - September 1, 2012 - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Wow I'm unimpressed... -JLew
Not nearly enough game footage to get the crowd pumped up. That's unfortunate. - Salt

(**) Letting go of a Big Red tradition : The Lincoln Journal Star Online

It's no longer a birthday party. I trust the students will figure something out - they're a creative bunch.

Team News

Huskers are wary of buying into hype about offense - Yahoo! Sports

We have a stiff challenge coming up against UCLA and now's not the time to oversell our potential. Let's reconvene on that in December.

(**) Red Report: Husker receivers setting the bar high : Husker Extra

THEY CAUGHT THE BALL. All joking aside, a great weekend for the receiving corps. And those tight ends. (Anyone notice the bounty of passes to tight ends? Think Belichick's visit had anything to do with that?)

More Nebraska football and other stories after the Jump!

(**) Notes: Papuchis adjusting to new view - Omaha.com

The defense knows they need to figure out the mystery of the mobile QB...

(**) Husker 'D' felt prepared for unknown : Husker Extra

Nebraska held Southern Miss to a TD and a FG based on words from the local media. That is insane. Also, now we understand why Pelini runs a tight ship for information. Couldn't he at least put out misinformation?

(**) Pelini: Nice starting point, but lots to improve | sports.omaha.com

The dust is beaten out of this team. Let's hope for another strong performance against UCLA.

(**) Sideline chatter: Coach Kaczenski fitting right in : Husker Extra

Interesting dynamics on the sideline.

Southern Miss (0-1)

Southern Miss-Nebraska football stats (Sept 1, 2012) -- HuskerMax™
For those of you who are interested.

Southern Miss Vs. Nebraska Final Score: Cornhuskers Dominate In 49-20 Win - SBNation.com

Nebraska covered the spread, which was counter to what I expected. Good thing I don't gamble.

Southern Miss notebook: Lampley's return uncommon | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Let's hope Nebraska's special teams figure out how to block kicks - it's been an issue for a while.

Quick Hits: Nebraska 49, Southern Miss 20 - CBSSports.com

If Nebraska can keep up their offensive attack, we'll be that much harder to game-plan for. And may I point out that the Blackshirts made USM earn every yard - only one play over 20 yards.

Husker O-line does its job - The Grand Island Independent : Huskers HQ: huskers, football, spencer long, barney cotton, jeremiah sirles

Let's see where the line is once we enter Big Ten play. But they did have a good Saturday. Keep it up, guys.

(**) Eagles' weak spots revealed | Hattiesburg American | hattiesburgamerican.com

"I think they were just working on plays. We stopped them a few plays here or there. But, frankly, they might have missed a block or something. I don’t know how else we stopped them. It’s just something that’s got to get better."

And apparently Nebraska didn't pull out anything new that they hadn't seen before.

Without Burkhead, Huskers run it up in passing lane - Yahoo! Sports

Get well soon, Rex. Thankfully, Abdullah, Heard, Cross and Marrow should be able to fill his shoes. Yes, it might take all four of them.

Scout.com: What You Need To Know From Week 1

Nebraska never had much of a passing game last year and the offensive options were limited, but quarterback Taylor Martinez spent the offseason changing up his passing mechanics and looking stronger in practices. All the work paid off, at least for one week, tearing up defending Conference USA champion Southern Miss for 354 passing yards and five touchdowns in the surprising blowout. Unfortunately, for the Husker attack, star running back Rex Burkhead suffered a knee injury in the win.

Hey, we're a star in the Big Ten! (h/t JLew)

Big Ten bowl projections: Week 2 - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 3): Nebraska

Taylor's arm changes everything, doesn't it? I think ESPN had us slated for either the Insight or the Gator Bowl before. Important to note that I don't think it'll be Oklahoma as the Big 12 representative. (h/t JLew)

What we learned in the Big Ten: Week 1 - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

4. Martinez and Miller have done their homework: Nebraska's Taylor Martinez and Ohio State's Braxton Miller both are among the nation's best athletes at the quarterback spot. But both men also entered 2012 with questions about their passing skills after one (Martinez) took a step backward in 2011 and the other (Miller) barely threw the ball in his freshman year.

Let's hope this isn't a September Heisman kind of deal and Taylor can keep it up. (h/t JLew)

Big Ten helmet stickers: Week 1 - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez: With running back Rex Burkhead sidelined early by a knee injury, the Huskers offense was squarely in Martinez's hands. And it was in very good hands. Martinez's hard offseason work on his mechanics paid big dividends as he completed 26 of 34 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions in the 49-20 win over Southern Miss. He'll face better defenses, but his decision-making and accuracy were mighty impressive.

(h/t JLew)

Martinez makes magic for Huskers - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

Southern Miss' defense did not look very good, so don't read too terribly much into the Huskers' 632 total yards. But do take note of Martinez's improvement, which was undeniable. If he can play like that, and Burkhead isn't gone for long, this is a serious Big Ten title contender.

Amazing what one bad weekend for the rest of the Big Ten can do for Nebraska's image. (h/t JLew)

Opinion

Husker Mike's Blasphemy: Taylor Martinez Shows Progress to Doubters and Southern Miss

Our own HuskerMike recaps the game. Saturday was definitely Taylor's day.

(**) Chatelain: ‘Overlooked' Huskers looking good - Omaha.com

I think we stay under the radar until October. Hopefully we don't crash and burn. (And Dirk sounds absolutely giddy in this piece.)

(**) Steven M. Sipple: Beck needs -- and has -- plenty of weapons : Husker Extra
Needless to say, the offense is by far the most exciting offense we've seen at Nebraska in a long time. Perhaps back to Eric Crouch?

(**) Shatel: With Rex on ice, T-Mart applies heat - Omaha.com

This offense has been built to complement Martinez and it shows.

Hail Varsity: Check the Technique - Brandon Vogel

There is something different about the team, not just Taylor. Perhaps the lack of a Spring Game to over-inflate expectations and a solid first outing is making things sunshiney, I don't know.

Retooled Martinez passes first test in a big way - Tad Stryker - HuskerMax.com

I really think Martinez has turned a corner.

Martinez, Huskers Impressive In Opening Rout - KLIN

We can't really judge this defense following Southern Miss' musical QBs. UCLA won't be doing that - they'll just have their true freshman dual-threat QB Hundley who is his own bucket of trouble for Pelini's defense.

This Just In...Southern Miss Commentary - Justin Prestidge - HuskerMax.com

I agree - a solid outing but it's too early to figure out if this team will be consistent. Certainly hope so.

UCLA (1-0)

NCAA College Football Recap - UCLA Bruins at Rice Owls - Aug 30, 2012 - CBSSports.com

A good tune-up for UCLA, even if it was just Rice. Look for a tough game this Saturday. Their QB, albeit timid in the pocket, could be dangerous.

UCLA Football vs. Nebraska: Why Bruins Will Beat Cornhuskers 45-38 - Go Joe Bruin - A UCLA Bruins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.

They seem fairly confident for a team that struggled against Rice. (For comparison, Southern Miss. Weak?*) UCLA is dangerous but I think they would've lost to Southern Miss. (And Hundley wasn't that amazing.)

*Update: See carlosatthetoe's comment below for clarification. (It's the first one.)

UCLA plans to put on a show for home opener against Nebraska - latimes.com

Could Nebraska turn the Rose Bowl red?

(**) McKewon: UCLA's talented offense should be truer test for NU - Omaha.com

UCLA's first game may have been against Rice, but they still have a talented offense that should challenge the Nebraska defense.

Volleyball (5-0)

Werth Leads Huskers in Sweep of Colgate - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Well done, ladies! They sweep Colgate, winning 25-12, 25-19 and 25-13.

Nebraska Sweeps Pesky Anteater Squad - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

The Lady Huskers downed UC Irvine 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-21).

Women's Basketball

Huskers to Face Loaded Big Ten Schedule - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

They can handle it, I'm sure of it.

Women's Soccer (2-4-0)

Huskers Hold Onto 2-1 Win at Cincinnati - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

Good job, ladies!

Big Ten (10-2)

Dish Network, Big Ten in short-term agreement - mcall.com

Just FYI. No indication of how long.

Football Roundup - Opening Weekend - BIG TEN CONFERENCE Official Athletic Site

The Big Ten delivers recaps of the Big Ten's 10-2 record coming out of this weekend.

Penn State Is Signature Win for Solich and Ohio’s Offense - NYTimes.com

Adaptability is important. Good on Frank for being willing to change.

O'Brien looks for answers for PSU's late letdown - Yahoo! Sports

The mobility of Tettleton was a problem for an aggressive front seven. Sound familiar?

(**) Badgers football: Alvarez says Big Ten to upgrade non-league schedules : Sports

With the new playoff, it's going to be necessary. I for one would love for Nebraska to stop scheduling FCS opponents.

The Positive Implication Of Michigan-Alabama - Off Tackle Empire

OTE suggests that perhaps Michigan will finally appreciate where their program is. On the plus side, no one in the Big Ten is thinking BCS this fall. Which means we're all gunning for roses. It's Valentine's Day afternoon, everyone.

Other Stories

Snap Judgment: The Fearsome Foursome Separates Early - SBNation.com

Glad thats settled. Why should the rest of us play? I mean, look how well Oregon beat up Arky State! And USC and LSU! LOOK AT THAT COMPETITION. Seriously, everyone. It's week one. CHILL. (Includes us.)

D-III QB Sam Durley Sets NCAA Single-Game Record With 736 Passing Yards - SBNation.com

Someone had the difficulty set to "freshman".

Alabama's Defense Has No Respect For Your Gameplan - SBNation.com

Alabama very well might match Osborne's feat this fall. Good for them. (Can we get a Texas-sized spoiler out of the SEC please?)

No. 19 Cowboys dedicate shutout to ill coordinator - Yahoo! Sports

Arizona might as well pencil in the L - these kids are motivated.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith delivers an early Heisman statement | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

My pick for West Virginia to win the Big 12 is looking better and better. (Oklahoma? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.)

Cal Football Releases The Most Riveting Cable-Installation Video Of The Year - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

What did I just watch?

Maryland Keeps Reaching For The Stars - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Aren't they having budget issues? This seems unnecessary.

***

How They Did: A Look at Our Upcoming and Past Opponents.

Click the link for a recap of each team's previous game.

Date Opponent Last Week This Week Record
9/1 Southern Miss @Nebraska, L, 20-49 vs East Carolina (1-0) 0-1
9/8 @UCLA @Rice, W, 49-28 vs Nebraska (1-0) 1-0
9/15 Arky State @Oregon, L, 34-57 vs Memphis (0-1) 0-1
9/22 FCS Idaho @Air Force, L, 21-49 vs Black Hills State (0-0) 0-1
9/29 Wisconsin vs Northern Illinois, W, 26-21 @ Oregon State (0-0) 1-0
10/6 @URBZville vs Miami (OH), W, 56-10 vs UCF (1-0) 1-0
10/13 BYE BYE BYE BYE
10/20 @NU @Syracuse, W, 42-41 vs Vanderbilt (0-1) 1-0
10/27 Mitten vs Alabama, L, 14-41 vs Air Force (1-0) 0-1
11/3 @Mitten State vs Boise State, W, 17-14 vs Central Michigan Mitten (1-0) 1-0
11/10 Penn State vs Ohio, L, 14-24 @ Virginia (1-0) 0-1
11/17 Minnesota vs UNLV, W, 30-27 vs New Hampshire (1-0) 1-0
11/23 @Iowa vs Northern Iowa, W, 18-17 vs Iowa State (1-0) 1-0

Overall: 7-5

***

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 Labor Day! GO BIG RED!

-Salt Creek and Stadium

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