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Nebraska vs Michigan State: A Rambling Game Requires Rambling Thoughts

The Nebraska vs Michigan State game seemed like a marathon in which the Huskers came out on top... barely. Brian Towle has a few rambling thoughts to share.

Gregory Shamus

So, after this.... game, this seemingly long marathon Saturday afternoon where Nebraska once again made up for 50+ mediocre minutes with a late game flurry, there are several things that come to mind and while it's rough to make a whole piece on these things, several things come to mind. Bear with me, I think I make some points...

- For those that wanna bash Taylor Martinez for the way he put Nebraska behind the eight ball (he did), you also have to give him props for what he did running the ball and for how he lead this team to another come from behind win. While Mike is correct in that it's time to believe in him, it honestly doesn't come without some sort of going 'WHYYYYYYY YAY" at your TV sometimes. Take for instance the interception by DarQueze Dennard in the third quarter. I get both sides of the interception (in both what he saw and what Dennard did), but what sold me is that Taylor didn't give up on the play. He actually hauled it down field and had two chances to make the tackle. A guy who isn't the leader TM has become probably sulks and doesn't at least make the play interesting.

- Mike's grades that he had also yesterday were fairly spot on. The only thing I would have maybe said was that for the offensive line, in that for the run blocking it was an A grade, while pass blocking wasn't that good in all honesty. Gradewise, I would say a B- to C for that, but again that's just me, some may agree or disagree with that one.

- What do you call this offense? That's the question Jon had for us and I honestly don't know. I do know this is about as good as it was when Bill Callahan left Lincoln, and the skill positions could be much better than what was here in the mid 2000's. The line...they are better than they were vs. UCLA if that helps, but it's easy to see that the biggest opponent Nebraska's offense has is.... well, Nebraska.

- Defensively, there were definitely some issues yesterday. Michigan St. OC Dan Roushar did a great job scouting Nebraska early in the game with running Le'Veon Bell out of spread sets. What seemed to be disheartening at first was the lack of pass rush, especially on Andrew Maxwell's 46 yard TD to Tony Lippett. On that play, Stanley Jean Baptiste has the perfect interception, but that's what you get when he doesn't have the polish yet of a guy who has been corner more than basically over one season. That being said, he's been picked on a lot these last two games, and had more than held his own. Who knew?

- The penalties... ah yes. Penalties. Both sides suffered from those mistakes, some very iffy but most of those flags fall on the side of deserved. Nine penalties on each side, and a few questionable PI calls by the two most aggressive pass defenses in the B1G. Now, could this be just been a bad day by this crew? Possible, I guess. But by the fourth quarter, you should know what you can and can't do. It's fair to say that the timing of the penalties is what gave the Huskers the opportunities at the end of the game. Do you trust Brett Maher with that game tying kick?

- On recruiting... I've seen a lot of people bash on Christian LaCouture for his decomittment while loving all over Randy Gregory. Well, I have a novel idea... how about having them both? I guess I look at it from the fact that depth wise, Nebraska is REALLYYYYY shallow when it comes to defensive ends. And about that whole recruiting thing and the 200-250 mile radius, wouldn't you think that Nebraska could go into Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Colorado and start owning some of these recruiting battles? Mitchell Parsons with Beau Sandland would not suck right about now. The only school you have to fight with is Kansas State, and well they can get some folks while Nebraska can beat the Iowa schools and Mizzou and such...

- Man, y'all think Dirk Chatelain is rough? Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press done went shots fired with no survivors on the Spartans. And he's not wrong by any means. However, I do take exception with saying Penn State is in the top 2 of the conference. If Nebraska wins out and win the CCG, there's a fair statement to say that, while the space between Ohio St and Nebraska could be a chasm wide, Nebraska is still the best the conference can give you.

- LaVonte David went straight up HAM yesterday in Tampa Bay's 42-32 win over Oakland. How many teams are wishing they hadn't ignored him in the first round and such of the NFL Draft last spring? Just goes to show you that sometimes the NFL scouts are wrong more times than not. Remember this when they "evaluate" Rex Burkhead.

- Lot of jobs gonna come open here in the next month, especially in the SEC where there will probably be four schools looking for jobs. It wouldn't be dumb for Nebraska to look for some people that may want to join up. Granted, I'm sure that many would volunteer Barney Cotton and John Garrison for their jobs, but hey, a QB coach like Jim Chaney, the OC at Tennessee that made Tyler Bray look pretty good, or Chris Klenakis, the OL coach at Arkansas (I dunno if I'd try for Paul Petrino, too much baggage and he goes where Bobby is going, cause Bobby is getting another job).

- Can The Big Ten fill their bowl spots? I doubt it... I mean, Purdue has to win out, Indiana could win the division and need the B1G title game win to make it? Minnesota needs a win, Michigan St needs one... OY VEY.

- Finally, don't forget to check out Black Shoe Diaries, the SBNation Penn State community. They do well over there, and we'll be working with them this week.

Enjoy your Monday, and don't forget about submitting your question for the Detasseling the Huskers podcast as Greg and I will answer the best ones.