In a new feature that we’re going to run out here on Sundays, we’re going to name our Most Valuable Players of each game, win or lose.
Against Fresno State, There were some folks that stood out in all three phases of the game. These are who take the opening week accolades:
Offense: Devine Ozigbo
In a friendly gameplan for both the running backs and offensive line, the Huskers got to run the ball in a 80/20 split, and no one got more yards than Oz. The second quarter was his best effort, getting him 46 yards in 6 carries with a TD. On that touchdown drive that put Nebraska up 14-0, he was the only man touching the ball, taking the ball 38 yards. He averaged almost 8 yards a carry in the quarter, which was closer due to missteps galore. He had 9 carries the rest of the game, netting him 45 yards in the second half. Nothing burning up the earth, as others came in and had success too. But, it’s not a bad followup to the Foster Farms Bowl
Honorable Mention: Alonzo Moore
Alonzo had the most total yards for the Huskers on the night, combining 92 receiving yards (and a pretty Touchdown catch from Tommy Armstrong on the first play of the 4th quarter) with 34 rushing yards for 126 total yards.
The reason we’re not putting Moore as the offensive man is due to the illegal formation penalty on 3rd and 2 on Nebraska’s last possession of the first half. It negated a Cethan Carter catch for 14 yards. I suppose it could be one of the tight ends on the right side of this formation, but it seems unlikely in this picture by Sam McKewon of the Omaha WH.
Defensive MVP: Kieron Williams
With Nate Gerry sitting out due to whatever earned him a week off, Williams showed up and helped out the youth in the secondary. Williams led the Huskers with 10 tackles, 6 solos. He also had half a tackle for loss and the first interception of the game for Nebraska.
Who knows what the backfield will look like in 8 days come Oregon game week, but it was a solid start.
Honorable Mention: Ross Dzuris
I keep wondering why Dzuris is on the field, starting even. Most people tell me that out of all the defensive ends on the team, he always seems to grade out in the top 2. Watching the game last night, it’s evident that while Dzuris won’t be someone that comes along and makes the mind numbing play ala Myles Garrett of Texas A&M, he’ll be solid and be in position. Doing his job last night got him 2 sacks & 4 tackles, 3 of those for loss.
Special Teams: Sam Foltz
No explanation needed.
We had to take a delay of game, weren't able to get all 11 guys out to punt in time.— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) September 4, 2016
Missing one of them. pic.twitter.com/o3mzXQZqlO
Honorable Mention: Caleb Lightbourn
For a true freshman that was supposed to be redshirting and taking in Foltz’s last season, Lightbourn had a pretty good opening evening. Granted, a 36 yard average won’t be a great yearly thing, but all things considered, he didn’t have a bad opening night.
I’ll give Lightbourn the benefit of the doubt on the Fresno State punt block in the middle of the 2nd quarter that led to the only Bulldog touchdown of the night. When you run that all 11 punt team, your three blockers in front have to take the bullets they’re going to get. Jalin Barnett, number 74 in the picture & in the middle of the wall, flat whiffed on the guy in front of him.
It was Barnett’s first game as well, and I don’t think he was in on punt formation the rest of the game afterwards.
Do you agree? Disagree? Give us your hot take in the comments below.