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Shooting Pointe Blank: New Mexico State

As stated in the “Keys to Victory” article this past Friday, I mentioned that NMSU would be the last opportunity that Nebraska would be able to solidify and find an identity let alone a running game. Boy howdy, that was a pretty fine exhibition last night and, guess what? It was supposed to be. I believe a great man once said, “I always love it when a plan comes together.”

Hand me the keys!

Establish a running game:

Marlon Lucky: 15 rushes for 103 yards, 2 TDs, a career-record long run of 58 yards and a 6.9 YPC average

Quentin Castille: 10 rushes for 75 yards and a 7.5 YPC average.

Joe Frickin’ Ganz: five rushes for 69 yards, a TD and a 13.8 YPC average.

Yeah. We ran the ball well. 345 of total rushing well. I not only heap praise on the backs, but also the offensive line (Yes, that includes you, Mike). This was a good game for the line, but again, it should’ve been. Talk to me again in two weeks and we’ll see what’s what regarding Nebraska’s rock-pounding attack.

Super Ganz:

Joe Ganz was definitely super, but as mentioned in the previous article he did it on his own terms. The deceptively fast #12 burned linebackers, he made a nice connection with Marlon Lucky and became the first Husker since Eric Crouch to throw for, run for and catch a touchdown. Joe showed a lot of versatility against New Mexico State and he showed that he’s dangerous in a number of areas. The game did wonders for Joe just as much as the OL and the RBs.

Defensive Line:

Pierre Allen definitely stepped up and it was good seeing him on the bike at the end of the game. I’m hopeful that his wheel stays on for a while, but we did get a look at true frosh Cameron Meredith and as I pointed out in Sea of Red 2008, Cameron wasn’t exactly all-world from the get go, but he showed fantastic speed, play recognition and I greatly look forward to seeing what Pelini will use Meredith for should Allen or another DE step up into Turner’s place.

Cody Glenn:

Cody wasn’t really the defensive story, but rather…the secondary? Prince “Lake Minnetonka” Amukamara, Eric Hagg and Armando Murrillo, heck even Mr. Asante and Lance Thorell got in on the act and looked pretty good against an attack that wasn’t afraid to throw directly at them. That Suh guy continues to dominate at the point of attack and Zach Potter may go down as one of the best kick-blockers in
Nebraska history.

This was a game Nebraska needed. They needed to establish themselves, their identity and they needed to turn New Mexico State into mush. Barring a fumbled snap by Pat Witt, that scoreless streak of NMSU versus Nebraska still stands. It was a good outing, a lot of guys got reps and Nebraska is 3-0. Right now? That feels pretty good regardless of the competition. The Cornhuskers take a week off before facing Beamerball and this is truly something to look forward to. I’m curious to see what Shawn Watson and Bo Pelini can do with two weeks. Tip of the cap all around, mates. You done good.