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Official Husker Locker Blog

2011 Oct 02

NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Knee-Jerk Reactions - Wisconsin


By HuskerLocker

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By Brandon Cavanaugh

- Before the season began, I predicted that Brion Carnes would take over as Nebraska’s quarterback by halftime of the Wisconsin game. Not only was I wrong, but if Carnes isn’t a frequent contributor next week, expect Martinez to remain under center barring injury for better or worse.

- Rex Burkhead deserved two more yards.

- If you're Tim Beck and you decide to throw down at least two scores in the second half, why not make your primary receiver Jamal Turner? Out of all Nebraska receivers, he’s the most dynamic and that’s saying something.

- You have to feel bad for Tyler Moore. A true freshman jumps once during his first game in a place like Camp Randall and now it feels like putting his face on a milk carton isn’t the worst idea.

- Sean Fisher doesn’t appear to have the speed he had pre-injury. At this point, it’s hard to think that it’ll return. That’s not good for a thin linebacker corps.

- Keeping Daimion Stafford at safety is a waste of both his time and the coaching staff’s.

- According to Erin Andrews, Bo accused the secondary of quitting on him during the first half. Whether this was a motivational tactic or legitimate claim seems up in the air.

- How ‘bout that Brett Maher kid?

- The head coach most sick over Nebraska’s loss to Wisconsin: North Carolina State’s Tom O’Brien

- Wisconsin gashed this Nebraska team. Ohio State will either be salve to begin the healing or salt for the wounds.

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Tags: taylor martinez, brion carnes, rex burkhead, jamal turner, tyler moore, sean fisher, daimion stafford, brett maher, tom obrien, erin andrews

Comments (43)

Profile image for bugeaters1Locker Pass member

I believe TM looks 'that good' in practice against our talent, but when facing opponents #1's, game speed changes, and TM does not do well in those situations. He still does that deer in the headlights thing that is sooooooo frustrating. Bo relied on BC's talent for a couple years. It's now his talent playing and it looks like they are way over-rated or way under-coached. We will see that this week at home against OSU. BIG talent differentiation. Wow. Our center gets his butt kicked in one on one. Another embarassing evening and BO blaming his players? You recruited 'em BO! Coach 'em up for crying' out loud! If Snyder did it at K-State, maybe Dr. TO will be forced to.

– Oct 3, 2011 at 10:39 am

Profile image for SkytownJ

I didn't like what happened Saturday night either, but some of you need to take a deep breath and climb down off the ledge. It was their night. It happens. But I did see some positives. The running game looked pretty strong at times. They probably should have stuck with it a little more. I don't know why Beck unveiled that option/pass thing in the 4th quarter, after the game was already out of hand. It looked awesome, but either do it earlier, or save it for some other game. As for our defense, I can't imagine Wilson having a better game than that, ever, for the rest of his life. Everything he did was perfect. Looked like our front four got tired of chasing him around, (with little success), after awhile. Some of the younger guys panicked and forgot their assignments. I think the problems are fixable, and we'll see them again in a couple months.

– Oct 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

Profile image for huskerspass

RobDawg1975, if you think that the Huskers, the way they played last night, could dominate anybody, you must be watching something we aren't! I don't think we could've dominated the Conference USA the way the Huskers are playing right now. Our defensive line can't get pressure on the QB, we have penalties at key times in the game, our QB throws interceptions and drops the ball way too may times, and our defensive backfield acts like they don't even know that the other team can pass! I hope they can make the necessary changes and get on the same page before this season becomes an embarrassment. Go Big Red!

– Oct 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

RobDawg1975, do you have any extra of whatever you're smoking.....

– Oct 2, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Profile image for LilFatHusker

Ok here are the facts as I see them. T-Magic is a mediocre QB with TONS OF ATHLETIC ABILITY. He needs a good supporting cast which he has, but needs them to execute so he can also. When you have false starts that puts your team in a 2nd and 17 or 1st and 20 then it is more than likely that they will be forced to throw the ball which is NOT Taylors strong suit. Same goes for the defense, when you stop them on 3rd and 8, but have passing interefence, or defensive holding, or something stupid like that it just SUCKS!! Bottom line is kids didnt execute nor did they play to their full potential........I think that this game will serve as a learning tool for both sides of the ball and hopefully we can see how they improve next week. Im not going to be all up in arms about it.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Profile image for robdawg1975

In my opinoion I think it was a mistake to leave the Big 12 for the simple fact that the Huskers had it made and they probably would have dominated the Big 12 this year. Big Bad decision.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Profile image for husker2389

we will start with calls. they sucked. the officals f***** us over. and taylor is ok at qb but Nebraska qbs have usually been better running backs or wide outs anyway so no real surprise he cant complete 50% of passes anyway. over all tho we just played a lousy game. but one loss doesnt end the season. heads up. lets focus on ohio state next week and not wisonsin last week. the past is the past

– Oct 2, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Profile image for 1audiofile

After reading all the comments I now understand two things. 1. I understand why Bo does not care what fans think. and 2. Why the title is Knee JERK. After watching the first quarter I was really impressed. We stopped Wisconsin's first series and scored. The long down field passing was probably not the right approach but then again at that pint Taylor was 5 for 7. Some really strange things happened on defense. Two defenders miss the ball and the Wisc. gets it. Shocking. Crick charges the QB but does not slow down as he gets closer so the QB just side steps him. The defensive end takes the wrong route to the QB and he goes around the outside. All of these problems are fixable. I hope we see them in the championship game.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Profile image for 4nufb

leave tm where he is. RUN OPTION !!!!!!!!!! NO ONE can stop it.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Profile image for PSW

Agree they should move T-Mart to wideout and put Carnes in as QB. Martinez is never going to win you games throwing the ball and Beck should be heavily criticized for trying to make him a pocket passer in the 2nd Qtr. WTF?
All in all just spectacularly awful across the board...

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

Funny how glowingly ESPN commentators talk about Ga Tech offense and how they use to bash the HUSKER offense back in the day.....

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

Telling comments about our secondary from Dennard. http://www.om...d-blackshirts

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Profile image for mac

Didn't we fire a db coach and replace him with a hs coach out of the boston area? We had a number of the same dbs last yr and it's hard to understand how they got worse all on their own.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

Its sad to say because I am a Husker through and through. But I am enjoying watching Ga Tech play because they look like we used to and look damn good doing it.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

You hit the nail on the head HuskerzRed. I thought Bo was going to take us back to Nebraska football. Its appearring he is going to let Beck try to tweak it and it isnt working so far. Ask Callahan how changing things worked for him. haha

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

Defense wise I am shocked, not because I think we are bad. Crick is good, but he isnt Suh, our front 4 cant get pressure on a QB like we used to with Suh. . Without getting pressure on a QB, ANY QB in the world can pick you apart with time, it is just too much to ask a DB to stay with a taller, faster WR for that long of time before they get open for an easy pass. And our 4 man front will also get chewed up by good hard running teams in the Big 10 because our LB's are good but a little "over-aggressive" so they overrrun plays too often instead of being patient. If you take a chance and shoot the gaps with your LB's trying to make a stop in the backfield, you better get there because there is noone left to back them up except a safety and now you have the CB's with no help. I would add another big body to the D line (like Eric Martin because he is a beast and very aggressive) put Crick with his speed and big hands over the center and then compliment LaVonte David with another speed LB. A 5-man front would also clog up the running lanes against the bigger Big 10 O-lines.

Our CB are questionable (except Dennard) so the only option is to get pressure on the QB and make him make hurried throws and take some pressure off our young secondary. Again, its all about utilizing strengths

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

Getting tired of hearing that too, use to hear that all the time during the Calla-joke era too. If the players CAN'T execute your game plan, is it really a GOOD game plan....... Wisconsin plays football the way the HUSKERS use to play football.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

Scary indeed. I sometimes wonder if it isnt more "political" than we outsiders think. I don't know to be honest with you. All I know is as a Coach myself, you have to adjust to the strengths of your personnel. If Beck and Bo wouldnt call so much on TM's weaknesses and utilize his strengths better we would probably be fine. I say that because we knew that TM was a talented runner but had some passing issues before he ever even started for us. We also have seen that Carnes came in as a better passer and adequate runner and he showed that to us in the spring game. Granted you dont know alot from the spring game, but what we do see is what style of a player they are. Martinez came here as a runner first and he is. Carnes comes as a passer first and I believe he is and that is what we are missing. If Carnes is a worse runner than TM but a better passer (which I firmly believe) than I would take that over TM who is a much better runner than passer simply because we have a stud of a backfield that doesnt need another runner, it needs a passer.

Nothing ticks me off more than when Bo says "We had a good gameplan we just need to execute" I really havent seen a good offensive gameplan in a long while that utilizes our strengths.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

Scary thought, to think the coaches are blinded so easily.....

– Oct 2, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

MikeHusker, all-in-all I agree with most of what you say about TM, but if TM isn't our best QB, why do you think he starts? If Carnes, Kellog or Turner are better, don't you think the coaches would start them?

– Oct 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

TM goes from great to below-average 10 times per game. We wouild be more successful with average all game long

– Oct 2, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

To answer your question about why he starts if he isnt the best? I think he starts because he has flashes of great and the coaches are blind by that. I would take steady and average over flashes of great mixed with total collapse anytime. We dont need a "great" QB we need an average one. I think the coaches see the flashes and like it and thats why we have TM at the helm

– Oct 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

HuskerzRed, I think my main problem with TM is he has a case of Ego that gets him in trouble. You are right, he needs better play calling and he could be successful. They say that TM has been given the go-ahead to check off on plays and what we are seeing is him wanting to be a hero and getting away from what Nebraska football is all about. I am not saying he isnt talented, but his ego forces bad decisions and where we are right now, that puts us in a bind. We have never relied on superstars to be a great team. Our walk-on program has shown that. We have always been a good, steady, determined team and unless we go back to that I dont care if TM can run the 40 in 1.2 seconds we wont succeed.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

To all TM haters, I share the same frustrations as you, but if TM isn't our best QB, why do you think he starts? If Carnes, Kellog or Turner are better, don't you think the coaches would start them?

– Oct 2, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

MikeHusker: Couldn't agree more, if we continue to run the ball in this game, eat clock and limit the number of touches Wisconsin has, this game is much closer.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

Bo, dont let Beck try to bring a new revamped Kansas-like offense to Nebraska. Make him bring back our time-tested, reliable Nebraska offense.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

Biggest mistake we have made is we are trying to be a "QUICK STRIKE" Offense, when we have the talent to go back to our roots and be a slow, time consuming, defense draining, smash mouth, game controlling offense. We should be throwing the 40 yard jump ball maybe once or twice a game to keep defenses honest, not every 3rd down like Martinez is doing.

Note to Bo: The best defense in the world is to keep our defense off the field by keeping our offense on the field.

Our main goal should be 4-6 yards per play, period. Every quick strike TD we have had is usually followed by a quick strike by our opponent.
Ancient chinese proverb: "Slow down and use our strengths wisely grasshopper"

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

MikeHusker, I don't disagree with your assessment of TM, so why do you think he starts? If Carnes, Kellog or Turner are better, don't you think the coaches would start them? Early in the game when we had good play calling 16 rushes, 9 passes, TM was 5/7 for 89yds and was effective. When Beck decided to make him a pocket passer, which we all know he ISN'T, he fails. So I stick to my guns, if used correctly TM is an effective QB that can win alot of games.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

All we need in a QB to succeed is one who can remain calm, make some pitches and throw short quick passes to our other talent and have ball security. Martinez does none of these. Fast doesnt help us when he fumbles. Fast doesnt help us when he throws behind our WR's on 3rd down. Fast doesnt help us when he throws a jump ball (low percentage) 40 yards downfield and we have a wide open stud of a RB in the flats. I would take the slowest QB right now who made better decisions and coaches who used our teams strengths better.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

With all due respect HuskerzRed, TM is not the best QB on our roster. Not really even close. I would take even Ron Kellogg over TM because he doesnt have to be the star when we have the other talent that we have. He just needs to be reliable. Taylor is fast, absolutely. But,he has no passing finesse, no passing vision and constantly throws behind every receiver. We have enough talented runners on the team, what we need is someone who can throw his way out of a bind, and TM isnt it. Granted the loss isnt only his fault, it was mostly a coaching problem. I agree with most of what you said except that TM is our best QB because he isnt even close. I would take an average runner who makes decent passes and good decisions over TM any day of the week. We cannot compete at a high level without at least the threat of a decent passer otherwise we become very easy to defend. You are 100% correct about Burkhead and Turner which is why I say this was a coaches loss because we are doing a lousy job of utilizing our talent

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

Seriously people, TM is head & shoulders the best QB on the team. This loss is not only his fault. If used correctly he is an effective QB, does he have his faults, absolutely. Smart play calling limits putting him into plays that expose those faults. The secondary didn't make a play the whole game. The defense as a whole looked Cosgrove-ish (YIKES). Team quit (Callahan-ish), something I didn't see happening under Pelini. Beck must get Burkhead a minimum of 25 touches & Turner 10 a game. Pelini brothers need to find a secondary that can make plays.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

Mr Beck, this is Offense 101. When you play a defense that is fast, use it against them with misdirection. When you have a defense that is big, get plays quick to the outside with screens and toss sweeps and even a reverse or 2. Beck claimed we want to attack with our offense. We have become so predictable AGAIN with Martinez at the helm. If a defense blitzes alot, make quick screen passes or QB draws or shovel passes to exploit them. Thats the name of the game, Mr Beck, EXPOIT THEIR WEAKNESSES and UTILIZE OUR TALENT. And By the way, Martinez's running isnt as much as a talent against good opponents if he cant make simple throws to get us out of a bind.

This was a coaches loss, Beck and Bo, not a players loss. We dont want to hear that it was a good gameplan and we just didnt execute. It was a lousy gameplan that EVERY opponent we face figured out a long time ago.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Profile image for Husker39211

I have been saying since week one that it appeared we were overrated and well, we were! This is not a talent issue. There is a HUGE difference between being talented enough to compete and being GOOD enough as a TEAM to compete. We have talented young players who are running around confused and undisciplined because they simply don't get the scheme or they know it but crumble under the pressure. I felt we were a year away at the beginning of the season but this performance was totally unexpected.

There is really something wrong internally to go out and perform like that and just flat out get stomped. I was having flashbacks to the freakin' BC days and that's something I thought we'd never have to worry about again with Bo as the HC. I didn't think we were a top ten team yet but I certainly didn't expect to be made to look like we were not even top 50!

Sure, the rest of the Legends division doesn't look that daunting but that having been said, we may very well still lose 2 or 3 more games. This is TERRIBLE and as good as WI looked, I think the game was more of an indictment of how below par we are as a team as opposed to how great WI is. We'll know more about WI after a few more games and as for NU, I think we know all we need to about our team. We have a long, long way to go and the players attitudes as well as the coaching have to make a dramatic 180 if NU is going to salvage anything of this season. We can't have players quitting but we dont need Bo calling them out publicly either. That's not what leaders do coach!

– Oct 2, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Profile image for MikeHusker

Martinez may be fast but hasnt produced against ANY good defense. We have the running talent we need AKA Burkhead, Ameer, Green, and we have the WR's we need, AKA, Turner, Bell, Anunwa but we dont have a QB that can get them the ball. We need a finesse passer in the mix. Toss Sweeps, Option, Triple Option, Screens, anything to get these guys out in space and we would be unstoppable, but Bo and Beck are sold out on Martinez who thinks of himself first. We constantly see open receivers running around and Martinez almost never finds them. Cmon Bo and Beck, utilize our talent correctly!! MArtinez hasnt had a good running game against any decent defense he has played against. People point to last years OK State game and say Martinez can be a good passer?? NO, Martinez has no touch, he throws jump balls and our WR's just made more plays that game.

Bo, Beck.....Build your offense around Carnes or Turner, utilizing the run with a few short controlled but accurate passes to get our talent into space. We already have enough runners in the backfield, we dont have a passer.

And Beck...Try a screen every now and then to these playmakers who are absolutely DYING to make plays but never get the chance.

Simple gameplan for Nebraska success:
Option, Toss Sweep, Screens, WR Screens, Slants.
Pounding running attack and quick, short, high percentage passes. 5-10 yards at a time. We used to have a team that would score alot in the first half but have the ball for a very long time and in the second half, the opponents defense would wear out and we would roll on to big victory. Long sustained drives are the key, not jump balls from Martinez because he thinks he can be an instant hero by throwing a 50 yard TD pass. We cant ride our Defense to victory as much this year, we need some time-killing tough running drives with a few play-action finesse passes that Martinez is incapable of if we are going to survive

– Oct 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Profile image for HuskerzRed

PATHETIC play calling doom HUSKERS:
16 Runs, 9 Passes (1st quarter and a half)
Result: 14-13 NE leads
16 Passes, 2 Runs
RESULT: 3 INTs, 21 Unanswered points GAME OVER

– Oct 2, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Profile image for dotbo

There were some decent plays made by the team. Nebraska took advantage of Wisconsin's fumble in the kicking game, and punched it in.

Martinez did make some decent throws. It does seem as if he locks in on receivers and does not really determine if they are open or not.

Burkhead was open a lot when Martinez had locked in on a downfield receiver. Checking down to Rex would have been preferable to those INTs and incompletions. It's easy to sit back and complain, but what else are we to do about it?

There is a lot of focus on Martinez here (including myself) but I'm not sure if the team has a viable alternative. Carnes hasn't shown too much, and Turner hasn't been practicing at QB (that we know of).

I'm sure a win against Ohio State would be nice for the team, but with their five tatoo-gate players coming back, OSU should be better this weekend.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Profile image for NCBoy

I think Taylor was getting beat up so much by the coached that he didn't know whether to throw or go.

– Oct 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Profile image for csking52

i would have to agree and i am finally glad that someone else is with me at why is stafford still playing safety? The kid gets beat all the time and it is time to put another kid back there. I would love to see courtney osbourne back there again. the kid played that spot pretty good last year and now you dont even see him at all. What is the deal. Also it is time for taylor to see the bench or maybe the slot but qb is not for him. how many times did he have a chance to hit rex on a dump but instead took a sack? to many times this happened and he is not going to lead neb to anything. I do not see anything different from last year taylor to this year other than a slide here and there. Safe!

– Oct 2, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Profile image for rlk4404

I'm afraid Bo has the Callahan mentality whenit comes to quarterbacks. T-Magic needs to take a rest as it is apparant he cannot handle pressure. Maybe we don't have any qb's that can but it is time to give them a chance. Anyone for Turner getting a chance?

– Oct 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

Profile image for papamike

Post game interview with Taylor, "who cares about this lose, just move forward". How about every Husker fan out there that's who. The thing we need most is a QB that can get the ball to our young talent, with Taylor as our QB expect more of last night's outcome. It's time for Bo to make the tough decision and sit Taylor. Bring on the Buckeyes. GOOOOO BIGGGGG REDDDDD........

– Oct 2, 2011 at 11:14 am

Profile image for keeshusker

we just totally self destructed last night, we need to start playing another q-back, don't know why in the easier games they didn't play one for game time experience?? agree Taylor doesn't have the confidence he had last year early in the season and just falls apart under pressure, didn't expect the "W" last night but did expect to compete, OK lets put this game behind us and kick Ohio St butt GBR!

– Oct 2, 2011 at 10:33 am

Profile image for laxdan

I love Taylor Martinez, but it seems time to try someone else at QB. Sadly, Taylor seems to fall apart under pressure. Also, his throwing mechanics are terrible. Rex Burkhead is our best offensive weapon, so why don't we use him more often?

– Oct 2, 2011 at 9:41 am

Profile image for inclan

Humiliating. Honestly, I.didn't think wed win, but.I at least.expected.it to be competitive

– Oct 2, 2011 at 9:35 am

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