Official Husker Locker Blog
2010 Oct 23
NU-OSU Report Card
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Quarterback Taylor Martinez. No brainer here. The best part about Martinez’s play was his ability to evade the rush and deliver key first downs with his arm on NU’s final touchdown drive. Not sure he grew up Saturday, but he showed he could throw big passes.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: None. NU gave up way too many yards and points for that.
QUARTERBACK: A- Martinez made a couple of head-scratching plays – and got away with them. But he played with intelligence, toughness and poise. As defenses gear up to stop the zone read game, Martinez will have to make plays with his arm. He did so Saturday. Now – can he get off the roller coaster?
RUNNING BACK: B Not much was asked of Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead – but both ran the ball with forward lean and aggression, and neither fumbled. Decent pass blocking both in the backfield and down the field.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B Martinez bailed out NU’s pass protection on a few occasions by evading the rush. The rushing lanes were decent at best. But Nebraska found its stride in the second half, plowed out some pretty big holes in the fourth quarter, and gave Martinez some nice cushion early in the third quarter to hit some throws.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: B+ Still a few drops – Mike McNeill, Brandon Kinnie and Niles Paul all had one – but several more terrific plays downfield. Kinnie and Paul both had career days. Kyler Reed just might be NU’s best deep threat, as he caught another long ball – and his third touchdown – Saturday.
DEFENSIVE LINE: D+ The scheme isn’t doing the front four any favors, but NU’s linemen have to get more pressure on the quarterback and not get shoved off the line against the run. You may see NU retool this unit over the next couple weeks to free up guys like Jared Crick and Pierre Allen. Cameron Meredith is playing the best of the front four.
LINEBACKER: C- They, too, didn’t get much help from the defensive line, which didn’t hold up very well. But LaVonte David and Will Compton missed too many tackles and seemed a step behind some of the Cowboys skill players.
SECONDARY: D Worst game in almost two years. The tackling was bad, and the coverage wasn’t much better. OSU tested NU deep and found the bank open. The Huskers did a much better job on crossing routes later in the game.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A A fake punt, a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and three field goals from Alex Henery. A banner day for John Papuchis and Co. NU dominated the third phase.
GAME MANAGEMENT/PLAYCALLING: B+ Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson called a strong game – especially in the second half. He varied the formations and playcalling to keep Oklahoma State off balance and trusted Martinez to make the right reads and calls in the passing game. Watson also didn’t waste time with bubble and tunnel screens. On defense, the staff really struggled to manage substitutions and play calls against OSU’s no-huddle offense.
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