Nebraska Preview

What to watch on offense

Bo Pelini is in his 7th year at Nebraska and the natives are growing restless. Despite bringing a level of stability to the Huskers, Pelini has lost at least 4 games in each of his 6 seasons at the helm. Off Coor. Tim Beck enters his 3rd year after serving as the RB coach at Nebraska the period 3 years. Thanks to the presence of Taylor Martinez, Nebraska has mainly employed pistol based spread attacBPelini - ES k offensively. Injuries to Martinez have allowed the Huskers to experiment with pro-style schemes and plays that were previously unavailable.

Taylor Martinez has been the face of the Nebraska offense for going on 4 seasons. By virtue of sheer number of starts Martinez was already Nebraska’s career leader in passing yards heading into the season. Martinez has experienced an injury plagued season, missing 4 of the team’s 9 games so far. Redshirt freshmen Tommy Armstrong has done an admirable job filling in, going 4-0 as a starter but does have more interceptions than TDs.

Ameer Abdullah rushed for 1,100 yards a year ago and returns to lead a rushing attacked that is ranked in the top 15 in the country. The Huskers lost longtime stud Rex Burkhead but haven’t lost a beat with Abdullah and the powerful Imani Cross. At 6’1 225 cross brings an added power dimension to an offense that is built on moving the pile and between the tackle runs.

The Huskers return their top two receivers in Kenny Bell and Quincy Enuwa, both of whom are now upperclassmen. Bell led the team in receptions, yards, and TDs a year ago though Enunwa has emerged as the go to WR so far this season. Redshirt freshmen Jordan Westerkamp is average 13yds per reception this season, though he only has 14 catches on the year.

Nebraska has made its reputation based on the play of its offensive line and takes great pride in the unit. The Huskers lose LG Seung Hoon Choi and center Justin Jackson but return as many as 8 players with game experience. Tackle Jeremiah Sirles was 2nd time All-Big 10 a year ago and returns to lead a unit that is while plagued with injuries, has been very effective so far this season.

Best Offensive Player

Ameer Abdullah- Abdullah is the player that makes the Husker offense go. While not the biggest player at 5’9 190, Abdullah is adept at finding holes and has surprising inside running power to go along with his outside and break away speed. Abdullah has already gone over the 1,000yd mark and is on pace to finish with well over 1,500yds.

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2012 Game Preview – Nebraska

What to watch on offense

Like many defensive minded coaches Bo Pelini puts complete trust in his OC to manage most, if not all aspects of the offense. Pelini has allowed veteran OC Tim Beck to run the Nebraska offense as he sees fit. Beck has traditionally employed a pro-style offense, but with the ascension of Taylor Martinez to tTaylor Martinez - Bleacher Reporthe starting QB role, Beck has been forced to adjust. Elements of Beck’s pro-style offense still exist within Nebraska’s offensive attack but the spread option makes up a large portion of what Nebraska likes to do offensively. Nebraska runs a ton option plays, many from spread looks but also from under center and in the pistol.

Martinez is not a new commodity. Most who follow college football are aware of him and his skill-set. For much of the last two years Martinez has frustrated Nebraska’s fan base and coaching staff in the passing game. Poor footwork, mechanics, and decision making all led to a QB who was more a liability as a passer than an asset. Martinez put in a lot of work on his passing abilities in the offseason and that work has paid dividends this season. Martinez has the highest completion percentage of his career and a gaudy 14-4 TD to INT ratio. Kenny Bell leads a Nebraska WR core that has been largely unheralded this season. A former track star, Bell has the ability to get vertical and make explosive plays in the passing game.

Nebraska was expected to have one of the most potent rushing attacks in the country. Injuries to Rex Burkhead have impacted the Nebraska offense, but not close to the level that many expected when he went down. Ameer Abdullah, who posted just 172 yds on the ground a year ago, has filled in admirably for Burkhead but he doesn’t bring the same level of physicality, Abdullah is has more pop and wiggle. Burkhead is expected to miss Saturday’s game meaning the full load will fall to Abdullah.

Nebraska lost 3 starters off of the offensive line including 2nd team All-Big 10 Center Mike Caputo.

Best Offensive Player

QB Taylor Martinez- Burkhead would be the choice if he was healthy but he has be ruled out of Saturday’s game. Martinez is an electric running in the open field and a playmaker on the option. Improved passing ability has turned Martinez into a true duel threat this season.

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An Early Look at the 2012 B1G Legends Division (Pre-Spring)

1. Michigan 10-2 (7-1)

michigan logo

2012 Forecast

IF the Wolverines can find somewhat productive replacements for Mike Martin and Ryan Van Bergen and find consistency on offense, they should have another very good season.

Key Returnees

Offense: Denard Robinson (QB-SR) 142-258 (55%) 2173 Yds. 20 TD 15 INT – 221 Carries 1176 Yds (5.3) 16 TD. B1G Football Honorable mention.Denard Robinson - OSU

Fitzgerald Toussaint (RB-JR) 187 Carries 1091 Yds (5.6) 9 TD – 6 Rec 1 TD. B1G Football Honorable mention.

Jeremy Gallon (WR-JR) 31 Rec. 453 (14.6) 3 TD.

Taylor Lewan (OT-JR) B1G Football Second Team.

Defense: Jordan Kovacs (SS-SR) 75 Tackles 8 Tfl 4 Sacks 1 Int.

Kenny Demens (MLB-SR) 94 tackles 5 Tfl 3 Sacks. B1G Football Honorable mention.

Jake Ryan (SAM-SO) 37 Tackles 11 Tfl 3 Sacks.

Craig Roh (DE-SR) 32 Tackles 8 Tfl 4 Sacks.

Key Departures

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The Third Edition of the End Around

Bloomberg reports that Michigan will be crashing the Northeast private party that has been Division 1 Lacrosse for the better part of the sports history.

Denard Robinson clocked in on the third team of Phil Steele’s All-Big Ten Teams. Not remotely offended in the slightest bit due to Steele being a lone member of the media that predicted success for last year’s squad.

A great article on BTPowerhouse highlighting the essential differences between Beilein’s squads at West Virginia and last year’s Wolverines.

Tennessee Vols blog Rocky Top Talk has an entertaining bracket on their program’s biggest villains. In the Final Four, none other than Charles Woodson, lol.

Desmond Howard tweeted for ideas before his speech this at the Black Coaches and Administration convention in Florida this past week.  I highly doubt that his speech wasn’t already written and being looked over by his publicist for errors.  Nonetheless, Desmond made a statement using Denard Robinson as an example that no player is bigger than his program that he plays for.  To which I agree and I don’t believe he crossed any lines.  The only action against etiquette was tweeting an article supporting himself afterwards.  Then again, to make this entire paragraph moot I can guarantee you that 90% of his tweets are done by his publicist.

In an ESPN Insider article, Bruce Feldman listed the top possibilities to replace Tre$$el as: 1) Urban Meyer 2) Bo Pelini 3) Gary Patterson 4) Jon Gruden 5) Mark Dantonio 6) Mark Stoops 7) Gary Pinkel

The Free Press reports that Darius Morris is confident after working out with the Indiana Pacers.

Twitter Update: We’ve added Michigan Football Players Terrence Talbott (@T_Talbott) & Jeremy Gallon (@Jgal_10) to our Athletes List to bring the total to 93. To Follow our list of Michigan Athletes: List

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