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Husker Report Card: Arkansas State

Another week, another report card. Hard to complain about a 38-9 victory, but our job is to grade everybody individually to see where the Huskers did well, and didn't do so well.

QB: Zac Lee was almost machine-like in his efficiency, completing 77% of his passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns. He spread the field by completing passes to eleven different receivers and even showed good speed and decision making on the zone read and on some scrambles. The only negatives on his performance? Two sacks, but that might belong more on the line than on him. A-

RB: Roy Helu didn't have a lot of room to work with yesterday, but seemed to find a way to get a little extra most of the day. B-

WR: Remember those 11 receivers? Niles Paul was the star of the day, showing great speed on both his touchdown run off the reverse and the long pass that was called back due to a penalty. Also caught him ferociously blocking downfield a couple of times. Curenski Gilleylen snagged another deep pass, and Menelik Holt made a couple of great grabs on short routes. Even Chris Brooks was productive and saw some key playing time We've heard about the potential at this position for years; it's finally starting to materialize. A

OL: We know that Alex Carrington is a NFL draft prospect, but we're still talking about a defensive line that the NU offensive line outweighed by 40 or 50 pounds across the board. Yet running room was hard to find, especially up the middle. After getting stuffed on an initial 3rd and 1, Shawn Watson elected to throw the ball the rest of the game on third down. That's not good. C

DL: I think Bo Pelini will be happier with the play of Ndamukong Suh and Jared Crick; they were monsters in the middle. And did you catch Suh running down ASU quarterback Corey Leonard from behind after a 15 yard gain? Tom Shatel thinks Barry Turner's lost a step after his injury, though. A-

LB: Very quiet day from the linebackers, and may have been more noticed for their mistakes than anything. Based on some of the long gains, I wonder if they were out of position much of the time. Blake Lawrence had a particularly rough series in the third quarter. Will Compton seemed to have a better second half. D+

Secondary: Prince Amukamara is showing signs of becoming a shut-down corner, and chipped in with a sack as well. Amukamara and Larry Asante were solid in run support. In the third quarter, ASU quarterback Corey Leonard curled up in a fetal position to avoid Eric Hagg coming hard on a blitz. Hagg's reputation as a hard hitter seems to preceding him. A-

Coaching: It looks like Watson and Lee feel comfortable to open up the whole playbook on offense; that'll be a good thing as Nebraska starts playing BCS conference opposition. The Pelini brothers called up just enough blitzes and coverages to keep the Wolves out of rhythm. B+

Overall: B Another solid performance, with good things to feel good about but still a few things to work on.

Elsewhere in College Football

Colorado Defense: 0 Not an F, a zero. 624 yards and 54 points to a MAC opponent? After a while, it was obvious they stopped even trying. Can you imagine what Big XII offenses would have put against a defense with that lack of effort?

Colorado Offense: D- In the first half, Colorado unleashed Darrell Scott who looked pretty solid early, rushing 12 times for 85 yards. But as the score mounted, the Colorado brain trust decided to put the game into the capable hands of Mama Hawkins boy...with only slightly better than expected results.

Iowa State: F Well, you did score first, but my oh my. Five interceptions and a fumble?

Kansas State: F Iowa State at least had the decency to lose to an (alleged) BCS conference opponent.

Missouri (first three quarters): F Nice comeback in the fourth quarter, but it looks like the Tiggers spent all week reading their press clippings.

Oklahoma State: F See Missouri, minus the fourth quarter.

Ohio State: A I didn't think you could do it, but you kept it competitive with USC. Congratulations, you've ensured your conference is still somewhat relevant.

Florida State: D- Almost another loss for the ACC against a 1-AA opponent.

Notre Dame: C It actually wasn't a horrible performance, but at least now we can retire the inane "Notre Dame National Champion" discussion. Like Ohio State, you'll need to settle for becoming relevant.

ESPN: F After two weeks, it's obvious you haven't even bothered to look at Nebraska's roster. Last week, the normally oustanding Ron Franklin was befuddled by Zac Lee's name. Yesterday, the ESPN Bottom Line kept reporting on the outstanding game by Lee and "Niles". I'm really hoping Paul Niles has another "Bottom Line" worthy performance next week. In the meantime, everybody who's assigned to travel to Blacksburg needs to spend the week on remedial roster memorization since it's obvious that nobody at the "Worldwide Leader" has been paying any attention to the Huskers so far. (You do realize that you are televising a Husker game this week, don't you ESPN?)