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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Sep 26

NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: NU-SDSU Report Card

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By HuskerLocker

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Here's our report card after the Nebraska-South Dakota State game!

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: None. The NU offense had a rough night.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard. Another pick for the dude, his third of the year. He deflected another straight to P.J. Smith. He’s inside receivers’ shirts right now.

GRADES:

QUARTERBACK: D Not entirely bereft - after all, Taylor Martinez made a few big plays in the second quarter - but the inconsistency in the passing game was alarming. Martinez was cold, and Cody Green missed two open receivers, as well. Four turnovers on this position in the last two games. Not good.

RUNNING BACK: C Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead ran plenty hard, but they weren’t always very decisive. They tried too often to run around guys, to no avail. There weren’t a ton of holes, and some of the best ones they never got a crack at, because Martinez kept the ball on the zone read.

OFFENSIVE LINE: D Penalties, missed blocks, inconsistencies. I didn’t see a lot to like here. The pass blocking, for the number of guys SDSU often brought, was pretty good. The run blocking wasn’t terrific. NU seemed a step slow. Almost waiting for Martinez to break a big one.

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: C Mike McNeill made a terrific catch-and-run for a 64-yard gain. Their blocking was so-so. The Huskers didn’t do as well on the perimeter as they should have. NU clearly thought it could outrun SDSU to the corner, but the blocking kept falling apart.

DEFENSIVE LINE: C The front four got pushed around a little, but, remember their role: to create tackling lanes for the linebackers. They often did that. The pass rush was hard to gauge, as SDSU often bailed out quickly into check downs or throwaways. NU will not make a living on sacks. Quarterbacks, as you can see, are leery of it, and thus throwing far more interceptions to NU’s secondary this year.

LINEBACKER: B- Better than Bo Pelini wants to admit. LaVonte David plays very hard, as his 19 tackles and two pass break-ups will attest to. Yes, he gets sucked in a little by counter action and playaction, but such is a life for a guy four games into his major college career. He’s not the finished product, but you’ll notice he never leaves the field, either. There’s a reason. Plus - he can really defend that short crossing route. Alonzo Whaley made the play of the game on the fourth down.

SECONDARY: A Not a lot of holes. SDSU completed one pass of import for the entire game, and averaged, for the night, a little more than three yards per attempt. That’s a laughable number. The Husker back end did its job.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C Niles Paul and Tim Marlowe both bobbled punts. Alex Henery punted the ball OK, but the punt coverage wasn’t always there.

GAME MANAGEMENT/PLAYCALLING: D Nebraska’s offense didn’t really adjust as the game went on, and the Huskers’ defense had to waste a couple timeouts on third-down plays. Bo Pelini made a point of saying NU got outcoached, and we won’t argue.

What's Your Take on the Game? Click here!

Tags: sdsu game, report card, alfonzo dennard

Comments (1)

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huskerhemi

It was a win but nothing like I thought it would be. As much as the coaches tried to keep the focus on SDSU, I think it was obvious by the play on the field that many players were thinking about KState. Coming off a big win last week and looking ahead. I think the looking ahead got Texas as well. I agree with what Bo said after the game "embarassing". I give credit to SDSU, they came in a played a great game. As bad as it was, I have faith in Bo and the other coaches that this will not happen again and KState had better be ready because this team will have a huge chip on thier shoulders when they take on KState on Oct 7. GO BIG RED!

– Sep 26, 2010 at 1:36 am

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