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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Sep 05

NU-WKU Report Card


By HuskerLocker

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OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Quarterback Taylor Martinez. The SoCal kid was as advertised. Incredible runner. Good enough passer.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: We could pick “none” if we asked Bo Pelini, but junior college linebacker LaVonte David sure looked active for his first game. He filled up the hole pretty darn quick at times, stuffing the ball carrier back into the scrum of red.


QUARTERBACK: A- Martinez was virtually unstoppable on the zone read, and his passing was good enough. Cody Green actually looked quite good in a backup role - as strong as Martinez, really, and he threw the ball better. Zac Lee entered the game late and played well. The grade falls short of an ‘A’ because of the competition

RUNNING BACK: B The backs weren’t used too often in this game - just 16 touches overall - with Rex Burkhead getting the most work. Burkhead looked like he was in midseason form on a 20-yard touchdown and two receptions over the middle. Tray Robinson never got untracked after he was twice tackled in the backfield by WKY defenders. Roy Helu nearly broke a run for a big gain before falling down for an 11-yard gain.

OFFENSIVE LINE: B- Kept the quarterbacks dry, for the most part, but that wasn’t too hard. Martinez did most of the dirty work on his runs. When NU tried to line up and run power, it often couldn’t do so. We’ll watch more closely in game two.

WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: B Niles Paul had a drop and a fumble, but made up for it with a nice grab for a touchdown. Brandon Kinnie absolutely looked the part with five catches for 59 yards. Will Henry and Quincy Enunwa made a few grabs. Since most of Nebraska’s runs were to the edge of the field, the wide receivers were asked to block effectively, and did so.

DEFENSIVE LINE: C At times, the Huskers got pushed around up front. Losing Cameron Meredith midway through the first half didn’t help. NU notched only one sack and seemed a little nonplussed. This wasn’t their best performance.

LINEBACKER: B- LaVonte David and Alonzo Whaley are completely green as players, and it would have been a stretch for either one of them to completely take over calling the defense with the recognition and efficiency that Will Compton would have had. Still - Nebraska’s defense often was lining up late, in confusion. This will be cleaned up by next week.

SECONDARY: C Not the best night for this great unit, either. WKU wasn’t much of a threat to throw effectively - and that’s a good thing. Because some of the Hilltopper receivers were floating behind the defense. Nice play by Dejon Gomes to create a fumble at the goal line and save a touchdown, but the secondary’s run support was often average at best. On more than one occasion, a defensive back overplayed the ball carrier and got stung on a cutback.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A Solid. Nebraska was strong on kick coverage, Alex Henery had a 42.7-yard punt average and Tim Marlowe and Paul did a nice job on returns. Nebraska should often excel in this area.

GAME MANAGEMENT/PLAYCALLING: C+ Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and his crew had a better night than Bo and Carl Pelini did. Watson kept the offense suited to Martinez’s strengths, called smart passes and didn’t overplay the zone read after it became clear Martinez could run it however he wanted.

Tags: wku game, report card, lavonte david, taylor martinez

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