Two heartbreaking losses in three outings. Lots of questions are floating around about our beloved Huskers. What will we learn about this team and their ability to bounce back (again) against a Southern Miss team that we should beat, but is good enough to keep Nebraska honest in their effort?
Will there be a let-down by this team or coaches?
The Huskers are licking wounds and reeling from a start that has them below .500 for the first time in many years. Southern Miss is a team on an upward trajectory and has enough talent and coaching to take advantage of a Husker team that is still trying to find its identity under a new coach. The Huskers came out flat against Miami. They need to be sharp from the start to make sure this Southern Miss team does no get rolling or detect any blood in the water.
Will we see more of Mikale Wilbon?
The young running back showed some nice moves and vision in the BYU game. Most expect that Nebraska should be able to run the ball against Southern Miss. The hope is that we can get the backs going and dip into the depth chart and find a few reps for the exciting freshman. Of course, I thought we might see him against South Alabama, and that was pretty much the Newby show.
Who will bounce back more - the O-line or the secondary?
The two units that probably took the most heat after the Miami game are the o-line and the secondary. Both of these groups need to clean up their play. The secondary needs to eliminate the big play problem and the o-line needs to quit getting penalized so much. I would like to see a complete game from these units and not just a solid series or solid quarter here and there. I suppose I am being a bit optimistic in phrasing the question with the assumption that there will be a rise in the level of play, but given the opponent, there better be.
A couple of bonus questions...
How soon will we see DPE?
Pierson-El has been hinting that he is not far away from a return. When his injury was first announced, I expected Wisconsin to be the earliest game back. It would be nice to see him sooner- assuming the injury is truly healed.
How about those backup LB's?
Before the season started most Husker fans would say that LB and DE were the two positions where we could not afford any injuries. LB especially has had to weather injuries and the coaches have needed some young guys and walk-ons to step up more than most of us would have liked - given our evaluation of the depth chart pre-season. I do not think anyone would classify the play as stellar, but it has been not-consistently-bad. Perhaps I am judging on a curve because of the amount of angst generated by the secondary. Regardless, the optimist in me thinks this playing time for the backups and young ‘uns will help in the long run.
What are your thoughts? Did I miss something? Did you have different questions? Tell me in the comments!