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Issues Abound for Nebraska but Adrian Martinez’s Leadership is Not One of Them

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...and The Morning After

NCAA Football: South Alabama at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

There you have it.

The Blackshirts won a game for the Huskers.

They created four turnovers and scored two touchdowns. This was during a day in which the Nebraska “high-powered” offense struggled to sustain drives. In fact, the Nebraska “high-powered” offense was out gained 38 yards.

Unfortunately, however, is that the defense should not have had to do this against a team like South Alabama.

Nebraska was not alone in that regard across the college football landscape. Iowa State (ranked 21st) needed three overtimes to beat Northern Iowa. Minnesota pulled out a squeaker against South Dakota State. Purdue lost to Nevada on a last second field goal from a true freshman kicker. West Virginia beat James Madison by seven. Florida State lost to Boise State (maybe that isn’t a surprise). Ole Miss blew it against Memphis. Likely the worst of them all is that Tennessee lost to Georgia State.

However, unlike all of those teams who lost or struggled against “lesser” opponents, Nebraska has Scott Frost calling plays with a preseason Heisman contender in Adrian Martinez running the offense.

We expect better and rightly so.

There is too much talent on the offensive side of the ball for the Huskers to struggle against a team like South Alabama. Scott Frost would agree and said so after the game. “That’s as anemic of an offensive effort that I’ve been a part of for a long time. That’s not the offense that I’ve seen all of fall camp, so we need to go back to the drawing board and figure out what happened today, but I give a ton of credit to them (South Alabama) and their coaching staff.”

Adrian Martinez expects better and he was extremely honest about it after the game as well. “It’s no secret, as an offense we played very poor. It’s probably the worst we’ve played in a long time and it’s not acceptable. We’re not happy with it. We’re happy that we got the win, our defense played great, special teams made some plays. But offensively, we need to be a lot better. Pretty simple.”

The first thing to focus on is where it all starts — with the center position. Redshirt-freshman Cam Jurgens did not play well. He had trouble getting the ball to the quarterback where Martinez expects to have it. When addressing issues this following week, I assume it will start with the snap.

It would not be fair if we did not remind ourselves that Cam Jurgens is a converted tight end who has actually never played center in an actual game until yesterday. The coaches consider Jurgens to be a game-changer at that position, which is why they gave him the starting job after spending a significant amount of time out with an injury.

Martinez was asked about the snaps and how it affected his play. Instead of deflecting blame he accepted it all. “I just need to step up as a leader and football player out there on the field and do a better job. This falls on me. I think a lot of guys did their job well on offense today and I didn’t.”

He then finished his answer with the following, “It’s what it comes down to and we’ll get it fixed.”

This coming week is going to be huge when it comes to correcting mistakes because Colorado is waiting in the wings.

There are multiple concerns that Nebraska fans should have about this team. Luckily the leadership of Adrian Martinez is not one of them.


The Morning After

Taylor-Britt, Husker secondary help Nebraska overcome 'anemic' offense in season-opening win | Football | journalstar.com
Cam Taylor-Britt's first collegiate snap at safety came not by design, but rather by necessity.

The Nebraska sophomore defensive back thought he was coming off the field at the end of the third quarter, but secondary coach Travis Fisher signaled to him to stay and told him to play safety.

Steven M. Sipple: Reality-check win may be what's best for Nebraska before trip to Boulder | Football | journalstar.com
Bring on the Buffs.

Or maybe a Nebraska football fan would say, "Bring on the Buffs?"

Yes, it depends on whom you ask. Nebraska sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez and his offensive mates might be a bit more subdued in the discussion following their uneven performance in a 35-21 season-opening victory against South Alabama on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Lee’s patience pays off with pick 6, and an emotional phone call follows | Football | journalstar.com
The Eric Lee Story in three words.

Patience. Perseverance

Success.

There's Always a Choice When It Comes to Week 1 | Hail Varsity
The song of the day at Memorial Stadium, as selected by Husker fans and played during the second quarter while Nebraska was surprisingly tied 7-7 with South Alabama, was Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer.”

Maybe that’s all it was, the song Nebraska fans wanted to hear the most, and nothing more. But, man, was it well timed.

Blackshirts Carry NU to 35-21 Season-Opening Win, Let the Tour Begin | Hail Varsity
Yeah, Eric Lee Jr. thought about getting off the bus.

For a fifth-year senior on his second coaching staff playing a new position, at times over the last few years the idea of packing up and restarting somewhere else has come and gone. Lee played at corner — he started the first half of 2017 and played nine more in 2018 — but the success hasn’t come. While he’s been around the team, the Blackshirts haven’t been what they’re supposed to be. The secondary has been a punching bag. But Lee stuck it out, a rarity in today’s game, and in the first game of his senior year, he grabbed his first two career interceptions.

Bloodied but not beaten, Stoll confident offense will respond - Husker 24/7
You could say Jack Stoll was the face of the Husker offense on Saturday.

And we're not just talking about him being that unit's statistical standout. Amid Nebraska's struggles, Stoll was also dealing with an issue of his own on the sideline: His nose was gushing blood as the result of a chinstrap with a mind of its own.

Blackshirts save the day, with a special phone call included - Husker 24/7
Eric Lee Jr. didn't wait long to talk to the man who had always stood by him. That's the guy always telling him to keep trucking ahead, to keep working and working some more because .... hey, believe it, a day like this would eventually arrive.

Martinez, Frost talk off-day for offense - Husker 24/7
After an offseason where his name was frequently mentioned among the Heisman favorites, Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez struggled in the first start of his sophomore season against South Alabama.

Martinez struggled to find rhythm or make plays with his feet as the Husker offense revved, but never got out of neutral against the Jaguars.




A Little Fun from This Weekend


Now on to Colorado my friends...