UCLA Game Week Reads - September 5th, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 1: Wide receiver Taylor Dixon #87 and the rest of the Nebraska Cornhuskers take the field against Southern Miss Golden Eagles during their game at Memorial Stadium September 1, 2012 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

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

This week, #14/#16 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, Sean Fisher scores a 39 on the MCAT, Nebraska's offense gets called "uptempo power" and a Missouri player is shockingly misinformed on the Big Ten (and will fit in the SEC really well). Those stories and more below.

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

N for 'Nowledge

(**) Notes: Burkhead still not ruled out - Omaha.com

The senior from Millard North found out last week that he (Sean Fisher) scored 39. The top score possible is 45 and the average score for those accepted into Harvard Medical School is 35.6.

One smart cookie. And yeah, for a guy who goes out and throws himself at other people every day, I'm going to guess interviews will go okay. Well done, Mr. Fisher.

Volleyball (5-0)

Huskers Host Ameritas Players Challenge - Huskers.com - Nebraska Athletics Official Web Site

The Huskers will take on the Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday at 7 p.m., while Nebraska and Duquesne will face each other on Friday at 4 p.m. and the Huskers will meet the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday at 4 p.m. Kentucky and Duquesne will meet on Thursday at 4:30 p.m., while Kentucky and Oklahoma will play each other at 6 p.m. on Friday and Oklahoma and Duquesne will face off at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Good luck, ladies! (All times Central Daylight Time. TV and radio information available at the link.)

Football (1-0)

2012 College Football Rankings: Alabama Jumps USC In Both Polls - SBNation.com

Nebraska moved up to #14 in the Coaches' Poll and #16 in the AP Poll. All of the teams ahead of Nebraska won their games. For some reason, Oklahoma only fell one spot despite almost losing to UTEP - FSU, Georgia and Arkansas all handled their opening weekend opponents with ease. And South Carolina? Shouldn't they be higher? They did after all beat a SEC team. (Oh, and BYE BYE BOISE)

More Nebraska football and other stories after the Jump!

(**) Notes: Burkhead still not ruled out - Omaha.com

As for football things, some interesting tid-bits here and there. Of note is that Pelini wasn't worried about the tackling against Southern Miss, marking it off as rust. If we see the same thing this Saturday, then he'll get worried.

(**) Q&A: NU defensive end Avery Moss - Omaha.com

Q: What was your first game at Memorial Stadium like?

A: That was insane. I remember taking my official visit (last season) and coming through the tunnel walk, and I was like, ‘This is where I want to be.' Under a year later, actually being suited up and coming out there ... it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. I'm glad I get to do it over and over.

No redshirt for Moss and he's excited about that.

(**) McKewon: Vocal and fiery, Jackson thriving at center - Omaha.com

If the offensive line keeps up their solid line play from Saturday, it'll be hard to argue with Jackson getting the nod at center. I'm a little sad we can't have him for two years at center (redshirt senior).

(**) Abdullah plays big in Burkhead's absence : Husker Extra

Take advantage of your opportunity. And wouldn't it be great to have three Rex Burkheads (Abdullah, Heard and Cross)?

Hail Varsity: Hot Reads: Burkhead’s injury

Johnson also had an interesting quote on the Huskers offense following the game:

They run a power offense with a tempo, which is unusual, and we didn’t have the ability to keep up with them a couple of times. They have some plays in that offense that, no matter what you run on defense, it will be a successful play for them. When they can do that, I can’t imagine how well they did on third down.Power offense with tempo? If that is to become the identity of the Tim Beck offense, consider me intrigued.

Me as well. What would a power offense with tempo be? Think of Alabama but sped up. Wouldn't that be dangerous?

(**) Deep rotation at receiver helps speed up NU offense : Husker Extra

"We’ve been rolling through receivers all camp like that. With a tempo like ours, you get tired, but the thing about it is, they (the defense) get tired a lot faster than we do, especially when we’re just rolling guys through."

A little bit of Alabama power, a little bit of Oregon speed and a little bit of Nebraska I-back option, all out of spread sets...This offense has potential to be great. By far the most exciting offense Nebraska has had in YEARS.

HuskerOnline.com - Husker Buzz: NU can't get too high on themselves

Sounds like Moore is gone so happy trails to him. The performance of our offensive line on Saturday tells me that this may not be as big of a loss as we thought.

TAYLOR MARTINEZ YEAR THREE - Husker Dan - HuskerMax.com

COSGROVE-ISH? The defense looked rather Cosgrove-ish at times Saturday. Once again, a mobile quarterback gave the Blackshirts problems. What's going to happen when the Huskers face Braxton Miller and Dennard Robinson? Let's hope the defense improves by conference play. And yet allowing only 3 second-half points Saturday isn't a bad day's work.


Husker N Side, Ankrah, Osborne Share Honors with Martinez

I'm not sure if the special teams unit deserved any honors this week.

I've Been (Southern) Missing You - Dave Feit - HuskerMax.com

As you know, the 40 second play clock starts when the previous play is whistled dead. On Saturday, Nebraska was consistently getting lined up and ready to go with 27 - 32 seconds to go on the play clock, which I would say is a solid five seconds faster than last year. That faster tempo creates advantages by limiting defensive substitutions, wearing out a defense, and allowing Tim Beck to exploit personnel groupings.

Very cool. Keep it up, Nebraska.

(**) Practice report: Seisay back; Burkhead still out | sports.omaha.com

If you were excited about Seisay's potential at corner, sounds like his ankle is better so we should see him get some playing time on Saturday. And it looks like defending quarterback option runs, like the zone read, is the focus of Nebraska's defensive preparations.

UCLA (1-0)

Fire near L.A. could burn for a week – USATODAY.com

It'll be interesting to see what effect this might have. Angeles National Forest is just north of the stadium.

Hail Varsity: Blackshirts brace for ‘explosive’ UCLA

Saturday should be an interesting test. I think Go Joe Bruin might be right - this should could potentially be a shoot-out. Does Nebraska have more bullets?

(**) Shatel: UCLA could see red Rose Bowl - Omaha.com

Stop using NU.

(**) Homecoming for some Huskers | sports.omaha.com

I absolutely hope that stadium is red.

(**) Red Report: Trip to California could boost recruiting : Husker Extra

Both Enunwa and Martinez seem to be trying to gather tickets. If I'm their teammates, I milk this for whatever you can.

COLUMN: Nebraska imports its Martinez-to-Enunwa connection : Gregg Patton

It's always incredible to me that Nebraska, a school in a flyover state constantly beheld as backwards, can convince 18 year olds to move there to play football like a gladiator before the Coliseum. At least we're not there to watch them be mauled by lions. (Well, except in 2007 when we went to watch Kevin Cosgrove pretend to be a defensive coordinator.)

UCLA done with Rice, eyes Cornhuskers | yards, game, ucla - Sports - The Orange County Register

At least we know UCLA is respecting Nebraska. And it's nice to be a measuring stick.

UCLA Football Depth Chart: Movement On The Offensive Line - SB Nation Los Angeles

Interesting. Perhaps we'll see Nebraska attack the left side early to test the new faces.

UCLA kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn learns from former Bruin Kai Forbath - latimes.com

Hopefully Brett Maher also has a better outing this weekend.

(**) Nebraska's Taylor passed UCLA's test - Omaha.com

Let's hope this team's Taylor also passes the test.

Big Ten (10-2)

Post Week 1 - 2012 Bowl Projections - Off Tackle Empire

OTE updates their bowl projections and continues to have an unexplainable affection for the Badgers this fall. I don't understand it.

Big Ten schedules need an upgrade - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

Still, Michigan State did something that Oregon, Virginia Tech and Georgia all failed to do the previous three seasons: take care of the Broncos in the opener.

The Big Ten aren't the only schools that need an upgrade. How about the SEC? Say what you will about the ACC or Big East, but at least they schedule good non-conference games (in general). (There's always Pitt losing to Youngstown State.)

Chicago's Big Ten Team: The Forgotten Story Of The Chicago Maroons - Land-Grant Holy Land

One of the Big Ten's original powerhouses. Very interesting read.

Big Ten Post-Week 1 Power Rankings | AthlonSports.com

I don't think the national media is giving enough credit to Nebraska's defensive staff putting together a serviceable defensive plan based only on the local media's scouting reports from practice.

Minnesota, Indiana look to build on wins - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

Onward and upward.

Penn State seeks better balance on offense - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

May I say that Bill O'Brien's willingness to take blame for Penn State's struggles out of the gate is not what I expected from a former NFL coach. So kudos for that, BOB. I'm sorry I lumped you in with Bill Callahan and Charlie Weis. And I shouldn't have - neither of them would've taken the job at Penn State.

Big Ten picks rewind: Week 1 - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

I'm still mad at Northwestern. (And Wisconsin only had one rushing TD? I really need to see that game...was it on ESPN3 or BTN?)

Dantonio upset with tweets about Michigan - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

"Our guys need to keep their mouths shut," Dantonio added. "That blunt enough? … Especially the ones not even playing."

Pelini isn't the only coach who hates Twitter, Facebook and anything without a censor. Can't say I blame them.

Big Ten Notebook: Wisconsin's Bret Bielema won't send game film to Oregon State - CBSSports.com

Wisconsin will face Oregon State this Saturday, whose first game against Nicholls State was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac. As a result, coach Bret Bielema declined to send game film of the team's first game – a 26-21 win over Northern Iowa -- because "obviously, we didn't get one on them," Bielama said to Tom Mulhern of Madison.com. The Wisconsin athletic department even reached out to the Big Ten to ensure no other conference schools sent tape of their last game to Oregon State.

I really hope Bo Pelini, Chip Kelly and Urban Meyer lol'd and sent footage to Oregon State.

Other Stories

The Washington Huskies Brought A Tiger To Football Practice Today - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

We should get a bear.

BCS Eliminator, Week 1: Pitt, Houston Never Left The Starting Block - SBNation.com

How about Houston and Southern Miss, who last year played in the Conference USA title game for a potential BCS-busting slot, already showing up way down here?

Ouch. And I don't know about y'all, but when I look around college football, I see 2007 happening all over again. USC will drop at least one in the Pac-12, I think Alabama loses a weird one, the Big Ten champ will have at least one loss and no one is getting out of the Big 12 without a loss. Who do you put into the game?

This Week In Schadenfreude: Michigan Throws Itself In The Wood Chipper - SBNation.com

The Pitt section is quite beautiful. We warned you, Paul Chryst. We warned you.

Alabama, LSU hold top spots in Week 1 Power Rankings - Andy Staples - SI.com

13 Preseason rank: 18

Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) Taylor Martinez threw five touchdown passes? Against an Ellis Johnson defense? Maybe the Mayans were correct about 2012. If this keeps up, I'll have to bump the Cornhuskers even higher. During a week in which a ton of programs worked out some ugly kinks, Nebraska came out humming. The Blackshirts should get a bit of a test this week against UCLA and quarterback Brett Hundley, who completed 21-of-28 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 68 yards and a score against Rice.

Last game: Beat Southern Miss, 49-20

Next game: Saturday at UCLA

The potential is there.

Forde-Yard Dash: Empty seats fill college football's opening weekend - Yahoo! Sports

Nebraska had 85,425 show up, up from 84,883 in 2011. The stadium's official capacity? 81,067. (Thanks to HuskerMax for providing those numbers.)

The completion of the expansion project will push capacity to 87,000-plus, suggesting Nebraska will be able to pack 90,000-plus, making it still larger than the cities of Grand Island and Kearney combined. (h/t to Hail Varsity for that tidbit.)

Tulsa loses top receiver Bryan Burnham to knee injury - NCAA Football - SI.com

That'll make Cody Green's job a little bit tougher.

Missouri DE Sheldon Richardson has some choice words about Georgia’s style of play | Dr. Saturday - Yahoo! Sports

"I watched that game. I turned it off, too," Richardson told the Columbia Tribune on Saturday night. "It's like watching Big Ten football. It's old-man football."

An uninformed Mizzou partisan? COLOR ME SHOCKED.

[Public Service Announcement: As a reminder, the Big Ten sports at least five teams running the spread, one team running what has been described as a "power tempo" offense, one team running true power, four teams running pro offenses (unless Michigan has some other definition for Dennard staying in the pocket.) and Purdue. The Big 12 is running two offenses, the spread and Charlie Weis. Old man football my ass.]

Texas A&M Billboard Invasion Reaches Florida - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Billboards: always a bad idea.

The Week 1 Coaches' Poll, As Represented By 90s Sitcoms - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

14. Nebraska - Just like Mad About You, you get sick of it pretty much the instant you start watching.

I was going to get confused and then I saw that basically there's a high level of spite for pretty much every school. I mean, wow.

Florida Atlantic University Doesn't Know Where Owls Come From - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Carl Pelini might not know what a rip-tide is.


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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