Once again each week, we'll look back at the Huskers performance and grade the squad on their performance for the previous week. These are my personal grades; your comments are always encouraged. You may have had a different perspective than I did, and together, we'll improve our insight into how the Huskers performed.
QB: First thing to remember is that this was Zac Lee's first meaniningful snaps in a division 1 football game, and the first real game action for him since 2006. Lee did a fine job of managing the game, but misfired on a few passes. A good start, but I'll give him a B-. A decent grade, considering his lack of experience. (If you want to grade him on a curve based on that, you could give him an A.) Cody Green looked impressive in garbage time. Any doubts about throwing his redshirt away were erased when I saw what happened to the Sooners after Sam Bradford got hurt. If he's going to be the backup, he needs some game action.
IB: Roy Helu, if he plays like he did in the second half all season, will easily be an all-conference back. Rex Burkhead, while not exactly Clark Kent, sure provided quite a spark when he entered the game in the second quarter. A solid A-.
WR: Curenski Gilleylen excited fans with his three catches, but what excited me was his block on Menelik Holt's touchdown catch. Opposing defenses will stack the box like Florida Atlantic did at their own risk...and chances are that Shawn Watson won't take it as easy on them as he did this week. B+
OL: Yes, I know that Florida Atlantic loaded up the box. But with the lack of returning experience and injuries on the FAU defensive line, I really though the offensive line should have been able to clear more room in the running game than they did. I'm contrarian here, but I'm only giving the line a C+.
DL: The game plan was pretty vanilla, with minimal blitzes and only a little nickel and dime. No sacks from the line, but they did force a few hurries on Rusty Smith. Anybody else catch Suh running down the FAU back from behind? I also like the depth which gave everybody a breather at times. B+
LB: Will Compton sure had some big hits out there. Blake Lawrence showed great speed recovering from the blown coverage on the FAU fullback which led to the Owls lone field goal. B-
Secondary: Did you see that? TWO interceptions by the secondary, and some decent coverage out there. Again, if I was grading on the curve, I'd give these guys an A+ after where they once were. But I'm not using a curve, so they got a solid B.
Coaching: On one hand, the coaching staff kept things pretty vanilla on both sides of the ball. But on the other hand, you can't ignore Howard Schnellenberger's comments about this staff being the best he's seen recently. Solid A.
Overall: B. Dominated on the scoreboard, but not so much on the stat sheets. (Both teams had 22 first downs, for example.) Good first game with so many first time starters.
Elsewhere in College Football:
Oklahoma: C- Not only did the Sooners offensive line fail to generate any offense, they allowed Sam Bradford to get his shoulder hurt. That's going to leave a mark on the Sooners.
Missouri: A+ Tiger fans couldn't ask for anything more from their team in the post Chase Daniel(s) era. Blaines Gabberts had his best game since prior to his junior prom.
Big Ten: F From here on out, you are now officially the Big MAC. Where do I start: if it wasn't for the Weasels and Lions playing their little sisters from the MAC, the Big Ten might have had their automatic BCS bid revoked. Iowa nearly lost to 1-AA Northern Iowa, Ohio State nearly got sunk by the Navy, and Minnesota nearly lost to Duke's starting point guard.
Baylor: A There's that signature win that Robert Griffin critics were looking for.
Colorado. F I tried to warn you about the iimpending disaster that was going to be your offense. You just laughed. Now look at what you've got. An offense where Cody Hawkins tries to throw the ball 40 times in a game, your offensive line can't generate a push, and the Buffs only attempted 21 rushes. OK, so they didn't try to keep Hawkins in the pocket, but rather had him rollout all game long. Now the Buffs have only five days to find an offense before they head to Toledo on Friday. The Dan Hawkins death watch is on.
Arkansas State: A Mississippi Valley State probably isn't going to be very good...but 61-0 gets your attention. I said it before, and I'll say it again. Arkansas State is going to be the best Sun Belt team Nebraska faces; this team is MUCH better than Florida Atlantic.