Nebraska wins 40-7. I went through the entire game without having a beer for the first time in a while, so this isn't as deranged as it normally is. Unless it is, of course, maybe it's just me and not the alcohol.
The game started about as badly as it could - with a muffed kickoff return resulting in Nebraska falling on the ball deep in their own territory. The first play of the game was a fullback dive with Tyler Legate that gained a yard. From my perspective it was called so that Husker fans all over the world who have a fullback fetish would shut up about the fullback never getting a carry. The next two plays were poorly executed debacles and the Huskers went three and out.
It wouldn't matter much, of course, because Nebraska has a pretty good defense, despite losing great players from last season and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard for the game. Once it got to 10 points Nebraska, did you really think the Huskers would lose, or were you just worried about style?
Brett Maher - I could say that Alex Henery's spirit clearly infected Brett Maher, but that wouldn't be fair to Maher. Who knew that Maher was going to be that good? So much for getting excited about Mauro Bondi (who may be good himself, but didn't win the job) and ignoring a guy who'd been around all the time. (Maybe you should look around at the women in your life, eh?)
Could we win the Big Ten with a good kicker? Yes. We can. Do not doubt that.
Ameer Abdullah consistently made the first man miss and then reeled off an impressive return. Consider this - do you think there's a more difficult play to pull off than being a punt returner? I don't think so. A true freshman did it, and in doing so, beat out a guy that thrilled everyone at the spring game. That's pretty damned impressive right there, that's what that is.
Cameron Meredith and the defensive ends - Meredith had his first multi-sack game in his career and had a great interception that got the scoring moving for Nebraska. Jason Ankrah had some plays in which he ran over the opposing tackle. I like these guys.
Daimion Stafford - KABOOM! and then again KABOOM!
Maybe bad is a bit harsh. (See, that's the lack of alcohol talking. I'm already taking it easy.)
The offensive line looked out of sync the entire game. This is not surprising, given a true freshman is starting (a season opener for the first time in school history which will be written in every article about the game or not because people really don't give a shit about offensive linemen) at tackle, and sophomores at the guard positions. (and now I'm making excuses for them. Who am I, Barney Cotton?)
Sean Fisher - honestly, I didn't think Fisher had a good game. He had some problems tackling, and got sucked inside on some runs because he appeared to be a little too eager.
Wide receivers not named Quincy Enunwa - STOP DROPPING BALLS THAT HIT YOU IN THE HANDS. That is all.
Taylor Martinez - I don't really think Martinez was that bad. He does, however, still look at his receiver a little too much, and his passing motion is like my brain - inconsistent, all over the place, and possible irreparable.
I really don't think there was much ugly about this game, but I have to come up with something. Maybe the ugliest thing was something I've discussed before - that offseason coverage of a football team that includes glowing reports about how they're all faster, stronger, more mature and better overall just leads to unhappy fans when the team gets on the field for the first game and they're suddenly human. We know better as fans, but we convince ourselves to believe the bulllshit we're fed. We need to stop doing that. If nothing else, look around the nation.
Brion Carnes being repeatedly forced to run the option. It's not that he wasn't that good at it, it's that they kept making him run it over and over and over as if he was supposed to pay for the sins of not running the option or the I formation and they wanted to make some booster somewhere happy that gave them money to see plays that looked more like what Tom Osborne would run and Carnes was the sacrificial lamb of greed and envy.
Johnny Rodgers - It's not that I don't like Rodgers, but is there anyone else on the '71 team that can talk to the media? Is no one else allowed? Are they all happy with letting Rodgers talk every time the team is mentioned? I'd really like to know because I would love to see a sideline interview with Jeff Kinney sometime. Rich Glover? Larry Jacobson? Jerry Tagge? John Dutton? Willie Harper? Bueller? Bueller?
It's the first week of the season. We won handily, we didn't look stylish, that's okay. Next week the team will work on sustaining a drive, which will consistent run blocking. The week after that, we'll work on revenge, which is odd, because we don't need it the rest of the season.
Seriously, it wasn't that bad. Or it wasn't that good. Which side are you on, anyway?