After a first quarter that saw a near-complete meltdown of Husker Nation, our beloved team found their footing and started to do what everyone expected they should against an FCS team. The Huskers even managed to cover the spread and we got an extended look at the second string.
So, what did we learn this week?
1. The o-line is a work in progress. The front five looked pretty tentative and leaky early in the game, but they found their footing and blocked much better as the game went on. They aren’t going to have the luxury of taking a quarter to get things right any longer. They’ll need to protect Adrian much better and help out their running backs from the start. I also think it was no coincidence that Adrian started to look much more decisive and accurate with his passes as the o-line improved.
2. Nebraska’s loss to Illinois looks even worse now. UTSA? Really Bert? I believe Bielema’s greatest career achievement might be in finding so many ways to embarrass Nebraska.
3. RB1 might be emerging. Markese Stepp came out of Saturday’s game looking like the guy who should get more carries moving forward. The fact that the coaches played running back roulette on each series made me believe they were not entirely sure who that guy was going into the game. The great thing about this is that we clearly have some depth at that position. There are at least four or even five guys that I feel good about in just about any situation or against any opponent. Now, see item #1.
Bonus: Oliver Martin might be the new punt returner as soon as he is healthy. I feel terrible for Cam Taylor-Britt that a senior and captain has had such a poor showing at that position, especially since he receives rave reviews as a top notch human being. But it is clear that he isn’t in the right place mentally to do that job right now. Let him focus on picking off opposing quarterbacks instead of doing double duty on special teams too.