Remember just two weeks ago when we were worried about the offense and pleased with the defense? Now we've got the opposite concerns. The Husker offense looked dominant, but the defense had some issues against Washington...mostly in the fourth quarter. Let's give credit where credit is due: Washington has talent on offense and frankly, I think they are better this year than last, if only because I think that Keith Price is a better quarterback than Jake Locker. (Of course, when I've seen Locker play, he reminds me more of Jammal Lord or Mickey Joseph than a first round NFL draft pick.)
But it's a win...and against a BCS conference opponent who went to a bowl game last year. So we'll take it. As always, your feedback and comments are always welcome below!QB: There was a lot out of Martinez to like on Saturday. He avoided contact, and judiciously selected his runs. Several times, he made sure he had two hands on the football to make sure he wouldn't fumble. While his footwork in the passing game leaves a lot to be desired, he's becoming more accurate as a passer. Sometimes he still makes bad decisions (like his third quarter pass into the endzone that hit the ground before it could be intercepted), but week by week, he keeps improving. Grade: B+
RB: Rex Burkhead picked up where he left off at the end of the Fresno State game: grinding out tough yards and finding a few extra at the end of each one. And the three freshmen backs all were impressive: Braylon Heard had a nice 25 yard run, Aaron Green with two touchdowns, and Ameer Abdullah with another beautiful long return. Oh, and a FULLBACK TRAP busted out for a 37 yard gain! Grade: A-
WR: Kenny Bell opened the game right by beating the coverage to gain 50 yards...but later in the game, he ran the wrong route and watched as a pass landed on the Washington sideline. Kyler Reed made another miraculous catch, and Jamal Turner caught a couple of short passes and turned them into good gains. All told, a nice afternoon: Grade: A-
OL: The line was bad in week one, and a little better last week. This week, a whole lot better...in fact, pretty good. Nice holes opened up, and Barney Cotton kept them fresh by rotating players in and out. Grade: B+
DL: Want this year's defensive struggles in a nutshell? Jared Crick finally got his first sack of the season, and Keith Price paid big-time for it. (Ouch!) But I really would have liked to have seen more consistent pressure in the first half. Grade: C+
LB: Lavonte David had a quiet eight tackles, though a nice interception of an underthrown pass by Price. But listening to Pelini's postgame comments, I get the feeling that Pelini would have liked the linebackers to have made better reads out there...especially with the number of defensive timeouts he called. Grade: C+
Secondary: I liked bringing in freshman Josh Mitchell in nickel situations to allow Ciante Evans to play as a nickel back instead of Justin Blatchford. That helped out tremendously. However, I still see Andrew Green getting toasted several times a game. Hopefully Alfonzo Dennard is ready to play soon, because I get the feeling that his presence will markedly improve this defense. Grade: C-
Overall: B- Truth be told, at the end of the third quarter, this grade was probably looking at a B+ or even higher, but those defensive lapses can't be excused. But a solid win.
Elsewhere in College Football
Iowa State: B+ Just win, baby. Cyclones are 3-0.
Indiana: D+ 21 points for South Carolina State and 20 penalties? Really?
Kansas: F Oh dear, Turner. 768 yards allowed?
Pac-12: F Now that Texas has destroyed two conferences, how can you seriously be thinking about letting the Bovines join?
Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham: F C'mon man. You can't start a college football game at 12:20 am...especially when the two schools are only about an hour drive apart. Send the kids back, and bring everyone back the next afternoon after a good night's sleep.
Ohio Bobcats: A+ A 44-7 victory over Marshall was the type of game Frank Solich had while he was at Nebraska. Except he's now at Ohio U.