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Countdown to Husker Football Season: #5 - How Does Zac Lee Perform Under Pressure?

All Husker fans should know that five is one of the most important numbers in Nebraska football history because it stands for the five national titles we've won. However, those don't matter this season. National titles can't get on the field and make a tackle, block a kick, or run for a first down. History and tradition don't matter a darned bit to the players on the field. 

What does matter is how this year's #5, Zac Lee, plays the game. He's been around long enough to learn the offense. It's his time, his shot at being a leader. Everything sounds great, but everything sounds great in August.  what happens when he's taking snaps in front of 80,000+ people who are expecting great things out of him. 

Obviously the quarterback position is of vital importance no matter who's taking the snaps, but since this year's Husker team isn't strong enough on the offensive line and backfield to rely solely on the running game, Lee will have to perform in the passing game. He'll have to make plays with his feet. 

The pressure on Lee is enhanced due to the fact that there's no one behind him. Sure, true freshman Cody Green and converted linebacker Latravis Washington are listed at quarterback on the depth chart, but it's unrealistic to expect that they've learned the offense by now. 

Nebraska runs a pro-style offense in that the play call tells contains assignments for every position. This allows young players like Red Burkhead to get on the field quickly because Burkhead doesn't need to know what the receivers are doing, but only follow the I-backs assignment. The learning curve is greatly reduced - for everyone except quarterbacks. The quarterback has to know what everyone is doing . That's why it's so difficult for quarterbacks to learn the offense while others can pick it up with relative ease. 

Going back to that point about making plays. It's not as important that this year's offense scores 40 points a game. It is important that Lee understands that and doesn't make boneheaded mistakes that put the Blackshirt defense at a disadvantage. If Lee can avoid mistakes (turnovers), the Huskers should have a great season. If not.... well... 

The Huskers are five days away from Lee taking the field as their full-time starter. In talking about expectations, Husker fans are hoping he's better than Joe Ganz. I only hope he's smart.