Before this weekend, people could look at Nebraska's schedule and ask "well, who have they beaten?" San Jose State? New Mexico State? Western Michigan? Baylor? Iowa State? All the victories are against teams that Nebraska should have beaten. (Well, ask Missouri about Baylor and Illinois about Western Michigan...but I digress...) This weekend, Nebraska faced off with a team coming off an Orange Bowl victory last season, and beat them handily. Nobody is going to say Nebraska's back after this week's game, but you can say that Nebraska is definitely an improved football team this season.
Offensive Line: B- Protected Joe Ganz well, though I would have liked to have seen some better push up front. I don't think Nebraska missed Lydon Murtha much yesterday.
Running Backs: A- In our Q&A with KU blog "It's Business Time", Corn Blight and I disagreed about Marlon Lucky, but I think Saturday's game really confirmed my opinion of Marlon Lucky and Roy Helu. Roy Helu is our best, and most complete I-back. That doesn't mean Lucky isn't a very important cog in the offense, but it's because he's so versatile. Lucky's really a "slash" player: running back/quarterback/wide receiver. He's dinged up right now, but we saw a little bit of what might be possible in his limited time yesterday. But Helu proves week in and week out he's the better I-back when he's got the ball. Quentin Castille also had a nice game in his limited time as well. And Shawn Watson is right: all three guys should continue to get playing time. But let's try to get Helu 20 or 25 carries next week.
Wide Receivers: A- We have a Chris Brooks' sighting! What can I say about these guys: all Nate Swift and Todd Peterson keep doing is making the catch.
Defensive Line: A I almost gave these guys an A+, because it's hard to give and defensive group an A+ when they give up 35 points.Ndamakong Suh and Zac Potter dominated the Jayhawk line yesterday. Potter posted up nicely to pick off that Todd Reesing pass in the fourth quarter, and Suh showed nice hands on his touchdown catch.
Linebackers: B Decent game, but one play that hasn't been mentioned much is Tyler Wortman's quick read of a Kerry Meier reverse in the fourth quarter, turning a 2nd & 1 into 3rd & 8. Pass incomplete, KU punts, and then Roy Helu goes 52 yards and a 10 point Husker lead. Doesn't happen without Wortman.
Secondary: C- Armando Murillo had some good coverage, but Anthony West got burned by Dezmon Briscoe several times. Eric Hagg went for the big hit instead of the sack of Reesing early on, and Reesing just bounced off of Hagg and fired a touchdown pass to Kerry Meier instead.
Special Teams: B+ On a windy day, Adi Kunalic did a great job pinning the Jayhawks deep, even with a couple of coffin corner kickoffs. Alex Henery did a fine job on the fake field goal borrowed from LSU. But Nate Swift fumbled a punt which helped keep the Jayhawks in the game.
Coaching: A Love the "joker" formation, though I felt that Jammal Lord ran those plays better than Marlon Lucky did. A lot of possibilities with that formation.
Overall: B+ It's a win against a quality opponent.
Elsewhere in College Football
Iowa A OK, sentiment for JoePa is fine, but thank you very much for sparing us the agony of another undeserving Big MAC team in the BCS championship game.
Texas Tech A Did Nebraska wake you guys up?
Florida A Anybody else playing better right now?
Versus F WTF are you thinking about by televising Iowa State/Colorado?