login / sign up / content filter is: on

Home > Blogs > Official Husker Locker Blog > Search

Official Husker Locker Blog

Blog (1 – 20 of 43)

  1. 2012 Mar 06

    Husker Heartbeat (3/06/12): David at No. 6, Blackshirts Bruise Combine and Early OL Look

    1,909 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Lavonte David checks in at No. 6 on the B1G's top 25 players in 2011

    - The NFL Combinefelt the sting of 2011's Blackshirt elite

    - An early look at Nebraska's big men up front reporting for spring practice

    - Want to take in a Husker baseball game? You've got plenty of opportunities to do so in the next 17 days

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: lavonte david, blackshirts, basketball, spring football

  2. 2012 Feb 20

    Husker Heartbeat 2/20: Early Signing Day Strikes, Less Burkhead and the 20 Greatest Blackshirts

    1,760 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Nebraska's Junior Day sets up for a better success rate once National Signing Day arrives

    - A little less Burkhead and a little more backup is in store for 2012's running game

    - Ranking the 20 greatest Blackshirts that ever were

    - Shatel: It's time to transform Nebrasketball

    - The Lady Huskers get back to their winning ways by knocking off Wisconsin

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: recruiting, rex burkhead, blackshirts, basketball

  3. 2011 Dec 26

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: A Splash of Citrus Circa 1991

    1,836 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By James Stevenson

    This postseason, the Huskers travel to Orlando, Florida to face the South Carolina Gamecocks. It marks the appearance No. 20 in a Sunshine State bowl game for Nebraska, with the Huskers' record standing at nine wins and ten losses in such contests.

    While the vast majority of the Floridian appearances were in Nebraska’s former perennial destination, the Orange Bowl, the Huskers began Bo Pelini’s official tenure as the Big Red’s head man with a trip to the Gator Bowl. A win over fellow new head coach Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers was the result.

    While this is Nebraska’s first trip to the “Capital One Bowl,” the Huskers have played in this game before when it was simply known by the stadium name, the Florida Citrus Bowl (Capital One began its naming sponsorship in 2001). The No. 19 Cornhuskers took on No. 2 Georgia Tech on January 1, 1991.

    The Huskers were 9-2, having lost to No. 1 Colorado, while the Yellow Jackets were 10-0-1. As the nation’s only unbeaten team, Georgia Tech was playing with a goal of coaxing pollsters into crowning them national champions. This was a remarkable climb for a team that had started the season unranked.

    The 1991 Huskers entered the Citrus Bowl after having lost two of their previous three games, including losses to Colorado, the season’s Big Eight Champion, and rival Oklahoma. Despite this, Tom Osborne's Cornhuskers were named the favorite against the Yellow Jackets.

    Osborne led the Huskers against an all-star coaching staff for Georgia Tech including head coach Bobby Ross, offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen (most recently Maryland's head coach of ten years) and defensive coordinator George O’Leary (head coach at Central Florida).

    Nebraska’s role of the superior team didn’t last long. Yellow Jacket quarterback Shawn Jones slipped out of the backfield on a play-action pass, scrambled for 46 yards and set up an easy score on the game’s opening drive.

    Even more impressive was Georgia Tech’s defense. George O’Leary brought pressure early and often, not allowing Nebraska quarterback Mike Grant any room to operate. The Huskers didn’t record a first down until late in the first quarter. Nebraska ended the quarter fortunate to be trailing only 7-0 after giving up two 40-plus yard plays.

    The Big Red’s luck didn’t last into the second quarter. On Nebraska’s first play of the period, I-Back Scott Baldwin fumbled on the Huskers’ 22-yard line. Two plays later, Georgia Tech extended the lead to 14-0. David suddenly felt like he could beat Goliath, and on the Yellow Jackets’ next drive, they scored again taking a seemingly overwhelming 21-0 lead.

    Unwilling to go down without a fight, Osborne put in backup quarterback Tom Haase, who completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Johnny Mitchell. A short time later, new I-back Derek Brown rushed for a 50-yard touchdown and closed the gap to 21-14. The Nebraska Blackshirts flexed their muscle and forced a punt, but the ball was muffed by multiple Husker players, allowing Tech to recover and close the opening half with a 37-yard field goal.

    The Huskers went to the locker room down 24-14, but stormed back onto the field with a purpose. Fate was against the Huskers though, as an eventual field goal try was blocked. Georgia Tech mounted a drive that swung momentum in their favor, converting key third downs and finally scoring to put the Huskers in a 17-point hole.

    Nebraska’s Haase didn’t concede the game, firing a 21-yard touchdown strike to his other tight end, William Washington, bringing the Huskers back within 10. Unfortunately, the Yellow Jackets dominated the fourth quarter, piling on two more touchdowns to defeat Nebraska 45-21.

    The Cornhuskers were held to 127 yards rushing, over 200 yards below their season average. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech had a record-setting day on offense, scoring the most points of any Nebraska bowl opponent.

    Yellow Jacket quarterback Shawn Jones finished 16 of 23 for 277 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 41 yards and a touchdown. Running back William Bell finished with 126 yards (one yard shy of the Huskers’ entire output for the day) and three touchdowns.

    Georgia Tech went on to split the national championship with Colorado, taking the Coaches Poll. They were the only undefeated team in college football’s 1991 season, finishing with an 11-0-1 record.

    Follow James on Twitter: @jamesstevenson
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: capital one bowl, citrus bowl, tom osborne, blackshirts

  4. 2011 Dec 19

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Eleven Blackshirts Was Enough

    2,203 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brett Baker

    One of the things that I love about college football is the history and traditions that make each program special. Among my favorites are Ohio State's Buckeye helmet decals, Michigan's winged helmets and Texas A&M’s "12th Man.”

    However, the Blackshirts are at the top. I love explaining the history and the meaning to opposing fans and what it represents, or at least what it used to represent. It used to represent excellence and exclusivity. For years, only the starting eleven were granted the honor. Those days appear to be gone.

    Under Pelini’s reign there have been some changes to the tradition that haven't set well with many fans, most noticeably the number of Blackshirts that are handed out when they eventually are. This year, the number was anywhere from 16 to 20. Nobody really knows for sure.

    I understand the argument that the defense is more specialized now than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. There may be 15 guys that start regularly depending on the game's opening package. I comprehend it, but when it comes to handing out Blackshirts, I don't buy it.

    With that in mind let’s have a look at a true Blackshirt team where only the Huskers’ top eleven defenders will get the coveted garment.

    In alphabetical order:

    Defensive end Jason Ankrah - Playing opposite Cam Meredith, it has to be tough to draw attention, but Ankrah has more than held up his end (pardon the pun).

    Linebacker Will Compton - As the 2011 season wore on, the better Compton played. After recovering from an early ankle injury, he was as stout and dependable as anyone on the defensive unit.

    Defensive lineman Jared Crick - Knocked out with a season-ending injury against Ohio State, this future NFL first-rounder maintained a presence on the sidelines and remained an emotional leader.

    Linebacker Lavonte David - If it made any sense, I'd give him two or three Blackshirts. His effort was so high that it seemed like that many Davids needed to be on the field to equal his productivity.

    Defensive back Alfonzo Dennard - Out from under the sizable shadow that was cast by Prince Amukamara, Dennard was a force to be reckoned with after bouncing back from early injury.

    Defensive back Andrew Green - With Dennard out for the first three games of the season, a large amount of pressure fell on Green's shoulders. He struggled early on, but eventually got his feet under him and became a valuable member of the secondary.

    Kicking specialist Brett Maher - Breaking with tradition for this one. Alex Henery should have been a Blackshirt for his last three seasons and so should Maher for his first. He was an absolute weapon punting the ball.

    Defensive end Cameron Meredith - By any measure his motor and intensity were an integral part of this year’s defensive unit. His non-stop energy could always be counted on for a memorable play or two.

    Defensive lineman Terrance Moore - Thrust into the starting lineup due to Crick’s injury, Moore held his own and then some.

    Defensive back Daimion Stafford - With a booming hit in the season's opening game, Stafford announced to the world that he was a big hitter who was ready for the prime time.

    Defensive lineman Baker Steinkuhler - As stout as they come. The Steinkuhler name has meant a lot to Nebraska football and the junior defender has only begun to add to the family's legacy.

    Follow Brett on Twitter: @BigRedinTejas
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: blackshirts, jason ankrah, will compton, jared crick, lavonte david, alfonzo dennard, andrew green, brett maher, cameron meredith, terrence moore, damian stafford

  5. 2011 Dec 03

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Championship Saturday Game Day Thoughts

    1,480 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    The Husker Locker staff will be presented a number of questions addressing various aspects of each week's game all season long.

    This week:

    Did the 2011 regular season unfold about how you expected?

    Brian: Yes and no. Nebraska expected and should be playing in Indianapolis tonight. The fact that the Huskers aren't doing that marks, to me at least, a disappointing season. You come to Nebraska to win conference titles and compete for national championships, not finish third in the Legends division.

    Nebraska wants to be considered one of the heavy hitters in college football. To do that, you must be able to win the games you should, most of the games that can go either way, and at least keep the games you’re supposed to compete in close.

    While looking like world beaters against Michigan State and Ohio State, the Huskers looked pedestrian at best against Wisconsin, Michigan and a Northwestern team that will be ecstatic going to Yankee Stadium.

    James: Yes and no. I expected Nebraska to be around 9-3/10-2. I also expected the Huskers to win the Legends Division, which they unfortunately did not accomplish. I expected a loss at Wisconsin and at Michigan, as well as one trap game loss.

    I was also disappointed with the staff checking out on recruiting during the season. Having six recruits not named Cotton on December 3 is inexcusable. Maybe there is a silent commit or two, but it's still frustrating.

    The biggest disappointment of this season was the Blackshirts. From No. 8 in the country in 2010 to No. 58 is pretty horrific, especially when our head coach was hired for defensive acumen. With Carl Pelini taking a dead-end FAU job that barely pays more than what he makes now, you wonder if his increased responsibility as well as the defensive slide are the reasons for his departure.

    That said, there were some pleasant surprises: the offensive play-calling of Tim Beck was downright inspired at times. He was no Tom Osborne, but showed he could be creative and you could tell he had a feel for the pulse and rhythm of the game. A couple Shawn Watson moments aside (looking at Wisconsin and Northwestern here) call me optimistic for the future.

    Brandon: Honestly, I’ve yet to meet a college football season that has turned out the way I thought it would. In the age of parity, I think that’s a near-impossible feat. Even with how dominant LSU is right now, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them lose tonight or in their bowl game.

    Regarding the Huskers, I expected a far better defensive performance even without Dennard or Crick in, but the youth and inexperience showed early and often. I surely didn’t expect to have such success offensively.

    I’m pretty sure everyone and their brother could’ve called Burkhead carrying the team, especially down the stretch, but nearly every position has stepped up. Tim Beck’s got a solid playbook and I’m excited to see what he can do should he continue to grow along with the entire offensive roster.

    The Northwestern loss didn’t surprise me so much as how it was lost. Sloppy, uninspired football will cause you to lose to a Pat Fitzgerald-coached Wildcat squad every time. I was pretty worried about Wisky and certainly saw the potential for a loss at Michigan, but not a first class beatdown.

    Overall, there were more points hung on the Blackshirts than I expected and the offense impressed, but if you told me Nebraska would win nine games through the regular season, I’d have believed you.

    Right now, it appears that Nebraska will either be attending the Capital One, Outback or Gator Bowl, all versus SEC opposition. Which bowl would you like to see the Huskers play in and against what upper-tier SEC school?

    Brian: Either bowl to me is fine. The one matchup that wouldn’t be good for us is against Arkansas. Quarterback Tyler Wilson, while being the type of quarterback that a Nebraska defense feasts on, has several stud receivers to throw to. The Cornhusker secondary has improved as the season has progressed. However, this is a matchup that wouldn’t be beneficial.

    Either South Carolina or Georgia would be a favorable game. Don’t believe the SEC defense legend, either. All three teams can give up points. That doesn’t mean that Nebraska will hang 40 on any of them, but lets see them take on Rex Burkhead and Nebraska's offensive line when healthy.

    James: If you're going to be the best, you've got to beat the best. The Capital One Bowl is the premier non-BCS Bowl game, it's so well-branded it has an entire week named after it. Let's see how the Huskers compare in a one-game showdown with a top SEC team.

    I'd love to see Arkansas, especially if it gives the offense a chance to pick on former Husker commit Tevin Mitchell. On the flip side, playing South Carolina and the Old Ball Coach (Steve Spurrier) would bring back some blissful memories of 1995 (though I doubt the score would be anywhere near what it was for that Nebraska - Spurrier showdown).

    Brandon: All signs point to the Capital One Bowl which isn’t too surprising considering how many times their representatives showed up to check Nebraska out. I’m a big fan of the game as it’s usually entertaining. Last year’s stomping of Michigan State by Alabama aside, of course. I’d expect the committee to go with one of three opponents for Nebraska: Georgia, Arkansas or South Carolina.

    Out of these three, the Huskers should hope for the Gamecocks and I think there’s a solid shot they get them. The teams are pretty evenly matched and the Spurrier vs. Nebraska story is almost too good to pass up. On the other hand, you’ve got a rebounding Georgia squad that would give Nebraska a run for their money.

    Arkansas’ a sexy pick thanks to Bobby Petrino and his offense vs. Bo Pelini’s defense. While seeing the Old Ball Coach on the opposite sideline would be fun, I think Nebraska draws the Razorbacks.

    There’s an offer on the table for Carl Pelini to take over as head coach at Florida Atlantic. What do you think of this move?

    Brian: Good for Carl. It’s time for him to finally get his own gig that, while not at a BCS school, is a great opportunity. FAU was ranked No. 119 in FBS offense this year, and that’s against only two defenses in the Sun Belt that were ranked above No. 50 in total defense. Carl can give it his all and finally get out of his brother's shadow. Good luck to you, Carl.

    James: Exciting as a Nebraska fan. The defense clearly needs a shake-up. Bo needs to be free to look at the big picture and not have to gameplan the defense himself. Carl probably isn't the best planner/defensive coordinator, but he knows what it takes to win and has a good opportunity to build a staff down at FAU.

    There are also some premiere defensive coordinators on the market right now. Mark Stoops, Ron Zook, and Tom Bradley would all breathe fresh blood into the coaching staff. I'm partial to Zook myself, as he can take the organizational elements off of Bo's plate, while also instantly being the best recruiter on the staff.

    Brandon: It’s a great opportunity for Carl to add to his resume. Expectations aren’t going to be extremely high, but Schnellenberger was enjoyed by many despite his reputation among many Husker fans. Boca Raton’s not a bad place to cut your teeth as a head coach and being in the heart of an area rich in talent should only help Carl especially since his last name should gain him some clout amongst recruits.

    If things become official with Carl to FAU, how should the staff situation be managed heading into 2012?

    Brian: Interesting question. There is a great defensive coordinator in Larry Johnson Sr. available from Penn State. Assuming he’s clear of anything in the Sandusky case, I couldn’t see anyone being a better addition not only coaching but in terms of recruiting.

    James: Hire the best recruiting defensive coordinator you can find. It doesn't matter how they are schematically, Bo can handle that element, but Nebraska needs someone who can break down defenses, assist with building out the gameplan, and breathe some life into a rough recruiting effort.

    Aside from that, maybe if there are some coaches not working out, Carl can bring them along to Florida for a fresh start. It might be time for Barney Cotton to step into more of an administrative role, as the emergence of John Garrison and intern Brendan Stai seems to be behind the offensive line resurgence. With any new coaches, finding organized and spirited recruiters is key. This staff is woefully behind the competition in that regard.

    Brandon: Well, it looks to be a done deal, so we’ll assume he won’t be around. I could see this going one of two ways. Bo could simply assign himself the defensive coordinator title and hire a quarterbacks coach to assist Taylor Martinez and some very inexperienced backups with rapid development or a replacement could be found.

    Mike Stoops’ name has come up as a possibility, but I don’t see him at Nebraska as I can’t help but think he heads to Oklahoma or Urban Meyer snags him. Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Ron Zook pick up the defensive coordinator mantle as he stocked the cupboards for Meyer’s title runs at Florida.

    While things didn’t work out at Illinois, he’s a fine assistant coach and already has Big Ten connections. The Huskers need more homerun hitters in recruiting and Zook brings some serious wood to the plate.

    Follow the panel on Twitter:

    Brandon: @eightlaces
    Brian: @btbowling
    James: @jamesstevenson

    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: blackshirts, carl pelini, fau, tim beck, bo pelini, rex burkhead, capital one bowl, outback bowl, gator bowl, arkansas, georgia, south carolina

  6. 2011 Dec 02

    The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 12/02: The Heavy-Hitting Championship Week Edition

    1,403 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Subscribe to the podcast

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    On the docket:

    Special guest Adam Kramer of the popular college football blog Kegs 'N Eggs joins us.

    A podcast featuring ONLY questions asked by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - Where will the Big Ten rank among all other conferences with Urban Meyer joining Ohio State and other shakeups in the league?
    - What's in store for the 2012 Blackshirts?
    - The Big Red Award Show Snub-a-thon
    - Husker Locker's Secret Santa Projections

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Follow the roundtable on Twitter:

    Adam Kramer: @KegsnEggs
    Brandon: @eightlaces
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:
    Rob Kugler's Profile

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: big ten, ohio state, urban meyer, blackshirts, big red, santa, podcast, podcasts

  7. 2011 Nov 11

    NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS: The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 11/11: Entering an Unhappy Valley

    4,122 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Subscribe to the podcast

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring ONLY questions asked by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - Was the Northwestern game an issue of a team catching on to Coach Beck's schemes or a bad day?
    - Who's running this defense?
    - The future of Carl Pelini
    - Husker Locker's pre-game music of choice
    - A story about how one of the staff may have had something to do with musical changes in Memorial Stadium

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Follow the roundtable on Twitter:

    Brandon: @eightlaces
    Brian: @btbowling
    Brett: @BigRedinTejas
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36
    James: @JamesStevenson

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:

    Rob Kugler's Profile

    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: The Official Husker Locker Facebook Page

    Tags: northwestern, tim beck, carl pelini, blackshirts, memorial stadium, podcast, podcasts

  8. 2011 Nov 11

    Husker Heartbeat 11/11: Penn State Security, Secondary Making Strides and Lavonte David Makes Seminfinals

    1,750 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - Nebraska regent Tim Clare wants a strong security force present at this weekend's Penn State game

    - The Blackshirt secondary is starting to make strides in practice

    - Bo Pelini says that the Huskers are showing good focus despite the bizarre circumstances in Happy Valley

    - Five new Cornhusker men's basketball players are announced by Doc Sadler

    - Lavonte David is one of eight semifinalists for the Lott-IMPACT trophy

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: tim flare, blackshirts, bo pelini, lavonte david, doc sadler, basketball

  9. 2011 Nov 10

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Mucho Hooch-O - Penn State Under the Microscope

    1,395 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    The eleventh edition of Mucho Hooch-O, an audio blog by Husker Locker's own Greg "Hooch" Mehochko, features a regular cornucopia of content.

    Hooch praises those who shined in the Northwestern/Nebraska game, takes a look at the Penn State situation, the lack of Jamal Turner on the field and the Blackshirt quandary.

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    Follow Greg a.k.a. Hooch on Twitter: @thehooch36
    Follow HuskerLocker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: northwestern, penn state, jamal turner, blackshirts

  10. 2011 Nov 07

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: The Top Five Things We Saw Against Northwestern

    2,396 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Erin Sorensen

    “Maybe we overlooked Northwestern for Penn State.”

    These brutally honest words were uttered by Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez following last Saturday’s 28-25 loss to Northwestern. For fans, the game was a shock. Just before kickoff, Nebraska controlled its Big Ten destiny.

    With a tiebreaker over Michigan State, Indianapolis didn’t seem so far away. By 6:00 PM, things had changed in Memorial Stadium. Fans saw a very different team than the one seen against Michigan State. There were five main areas Husker fans needed to keep an eye on. What did they end up seeing?

    1. Stopping Dan Persa, But Not Kain Colter

    One of the most important things Nebraska’s defense needed to do on Saturday was stop Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa. While the Wildcats use the dual-quarterback approach, it was clear Persa was going to play most of the game as backup Kain Colter watched from the sidelines.

    Things changed in the second quarter when Eric Martin delivered a big hit to Persa, injuring his left shoulder and removing him from the game. It was a very similar scenario to when Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was injured during Nebraska’s recent heroic victory over the Buckeyes.

    However, while familiar, this scenario played out much differently. Colter, a good friend of Nebraska’s Kenny Bell, stepped in and ran like the wind. He proved to be too much for the Blackshirts’ front seven as Northwestern picked up chunks of yardage play after play. It wasn’t pretty and Nebraska showed once again that its defense is a weak link.

    2. A Shaky Secondary (For Some)

    It would be unfair to call the performance of Nebraska’s secondary last Saturday a big flop. In fact, most of the secondary played well.

    The standout player was clearly Austin Cassidy, who intercepted a pass and ran it back for a huge momentum swing in the Huskers’ favor. It was a shining moment for a senior safety that has been battling adversity throughout the season.

    However, the rest of the secondary overshadowed Cassidy’s big plays, and not in a positive way. Through the struggles, Stanley Jean-Baptiste was noticeably absent, while Lance Thorell continuously got scorched.

    Even more surprising, Alfonzo Dennard played a little softer than usual. After such an emotional win against Michigan State, fans saw defensive backs that were clearly worn out. On a positive note, the heart and determination is still there.

    3. Poor Clock Management

    By the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game, quarterback Taylor Martinez was poised to make another comeback. He was throwing perfect short passes that were resulting in big gains.

    He then dug down deep and scored two fourth quarter touchdowns. If Martinez had more time left on the clock, he could have scored again, but time was a luxury that Nebraska did not have.

    Northwestern managed the clock phenomenally well on Saturday. The Wildcats knew that the more time they used on offense, the tougher it would become for Nebraska to score.

    With the way the Blackshirts were playing, it was far too easy for Northwestern to run down the clock. As for Nebraska, too much time was wasted. Whose shoulders does this massive error fall on? Unfortunately, this was an issue for the entire team, both offense and defense.



    4. Continued Pressure on Rex Burkhead

    I-Back Rex Burkhead had 15 carries by the end of the first half on Saturday. It was essentially a consensus among the Husker Locker crew's game day thoughts that Burkhead should only have had 15 carries by the end of the game.

    However, it was immediately clear in the first quarter that the game plan mirrored the one against Michigan State: Give the ball to Burkhead.

    While effective against the Spartans, this strategy was ineffective for a couple of reasons. The first being that Burkhead was still tired coming off a 35-carry game against Michigan State.

    It was imperative that Burkhead received a week to rest. Nebraska has three true freshman running backs that easily could have stepped in and taken on more responsibility. All three would watch from the sidelines for the most part.

    The second reason handing the ball to Burkhead was ineffective was due to the offensive line's struggles. With both offensive tackle Yoshi Hardrick and center Mike Caputo limited by injuries, the line often found itself allowing Northwestern big holes that forced Martinez to scramble or Burkhead to get hit.

    There was no room for Nebraska’s stud I-Back to run, who even uncharacteristically fumbled the ball for the first time since the 2010 Holiday Bowl.

    It was at this point that fans saw offensive coordinator Tim Beck’s stubbornness rear its ugly head once again. The game plan was ill-advised and Northwestern took full advantage. With a quarterback throwing a perfect game, the need to hand the ball to Burkhead was baffling.

    Many still point to the fact that it is Beck’s first season as offensive coordinator, but fans will only buy that for so long. Beck needs to stick to what works and go with it. It may not always be what was envisioned originally, but Nebraska saw an offense that can adapt when given the opportunity last Saturday. It simply wasn’t.

    5. An Active and Involved Crowd

    Regardless of last Saturday’s outcome, Nebraska fans were loud and active throughout the game. Constant “Husker Power” chants filled the walls of Memorial Stadium and fans were often on their feet. It was a positive moment for those continuously criticized for not being involved enough.

    The Big Ten is filled with stadiums full of tradition and fans that love their home-field advantage. While not quite on the same level as some, Nebraska fans are starting to find their footing.

    With the help of “Take Back Gameday,” the Cornhusker faithful are taking steps in the right direction. Given the way the crowd reacted against Northwestern, it would be hard to believe Memorial Stadium won’t be rocking against Iowa.

    However, a large criticism would be the amount of fans that chose to leave early based on the score. Those individuals missed an amazing touchdown pass from Martinez to Kenny Bell. It may not have given the Huskers a win, but it was a sight worth seeing. It is unfortunate so many missed it live.

    Nebraska fans are now the biggest Iowa Hawkeye-backers for one week. With a Michigan State loss to Iowa, it could put the Cornhuskers back in the driver’s seat for a Legends division title.

    While a challenge, it is far from impossible. If there is anything Nebraska fans have learned about the Big Ten so far, it is that there are no guarantees. Any given week, a new team could be at the top. Will Nebraska find its way back? As always, time will only tell.

    Join Erin and the other Husker Locker writers on the new and improved forums: Husker Locker Forums

    Follow Erin on Twitter: @helloerinmarie
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: taylor martinez, kenny bell, dan persa, kain colter, northwestern, eric martin, blackshirts, austin cassidy, alfonzo dennard, lance thorell, stanley jeanbaptiste, rex burkhead, yoshi hardrick, mike caputo

  11. 2011 Nov 07

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: The Evolution of The Nebraska Way

    3,721 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Fans toss the term around like crumpled pieces of paper that eventually find their way to the bottom of a wastebasket. A constant reminder that how things are done at the University of Nebraska are carried out differently or are unique to our state and school.

    Included are: How to treat players, the media, those who to cheer for and how to adhere to it. This is “The Nebraska Way.”

    Somewhere along the line, one very important aspect was lost: How to win using The Nebraska Way. Saturday’s 28-25 loss to a Northwestern team that had far inferior talent than the Big Red (at least on paper) was a glaring example of the issues this team has. The more maddening, almost incomprehensible, other issue is the acceptance of performances like this.

    Some Nebraska fans say that a national championship wasn’t a realistic goal with this team, which is fair. However, with the loss to Northwestern, we made sure that two years are still relevant to Cornhusker football history:

    1999: The last time Nebraska fans bought conference championship shirts. In San Antonio, the Huskers took care of the Texas Longhorns and earned a Fiesta Bowl appearance.

    2002: The last time Husker fans paid for tickets to a BCS bowl game. Even though that team was arguably undeserving of appearing in the national championship game, Nebraska was in the national spotlight.

    The Nebraska Way includes excellence in player recruitment and development. Where has this gone? Ask yourself that as you see Ciante Evans whiff on defending a slant route resulting in an 81-yard touchdown scamper by the visiting team.

    Ask this again as Lance Thorell is torched time after time, and wonder why players such as Corey Cooper, Courtney Osborne, or Stanley Jean-Baptiste sit on the sidelines. Using your depth to maximize your attack on offense, this is The Nebraska Way.

    Where has this commitment gone? It seems a fair question to ponder as Ameer Abdullah, Jamal Turner, Braylon Heard and Aaron Green sit on the sideline as an obviously hurting Rex Burkhead gets bulldozed into a line that provided no daylight. Why is Tyler Moore not logging minutes as Yoshi Hardrick plays on a busted wheel?

    The Nebraska Way also includes taking every game seriously and to strategize accordingly. To be out-schemed, out-coached, and embarrassed on your home turf by a team that quite honestly had no business being on the same field with Nebraska is simply appalling.

    Don’t discredit Northwestern entirely, though. Pat Fitzgerald realized that Nebraska was to be had, kept his foot on the gas pedal and did what Mike Krzyzewski‘s Duke basketball teams are famous for: Running plays that work until the other team proves they can stop them.

    There were bright spots for Nebraska, of course. Taylor Martinez’s passing was a pleasant surprise, as was the play of defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler. However, there are no truly great performances in losses.

    That’s a shame, because the quarterback that several call a liability (author included) was an asset last Saturday, and his performance will be nothing but a random statistic as time rolls on.



    There should be rage over this loss. The defeat in Madison brought screaming, berating, and other rants to sports talk radio, message boards, and social media outlets. However, the tepid, melancholy response to this past weekend’s results is wide-spread.

    This, my friends and enemies, is the scariest thing of all. A sign that after years of expecting conference titles, bowl games played in January and double-digit win totals every season, the Nebraska Cornhusker fan base has come to a point where we’re alright with it.

    Much like we’re alright with a Blackshirt “tradition” that has gone from 11 black practice jerseys hanging in lockers two weeks before the season opener to 20 being handed out come Halloween.

    There was much talk about a Big Ten title in July and early August. That has changed to hoping the Capital One Bowl still is interested in a team that may get one more loss in the next three weeks. However, the feel good crowd will point out that if 2011 ends with nine wins, that result was good enough for Tom Osborne.

    Tom Osborne would have made this 2011 squad realize that there cannot be a single game taken lightly. Even against a team with their sights set on the Pinstripe or TicketCity Bowl. Coach Osborne would have also taken ownership of what happened in front of 85,000-plus first and foremost.

    Then there’s the matter of several students demanding better or even more seating from Osborne that couldn’t make a 2:30 PM kickoff or be bothered to stay around with ten minutes to go as their team needed them.

    How will the Take Back Game Day movement address that little matter? Can’t be beat? Won’t be beat? Do they know if their team was beat in the first place?

    Finally, Osborne would have realized the issues with this team over the last two years. The inability to stop dual-threat quarterbacks, an offensive line and play calling that can easily be liabilities, and the steadfast refusal to start playmakers who, while young, still give Nebraska the best chance of winning.

    There’s no reason to hold anything back in November. Teams that win constantly put the best 11 out on the field. Does anyone think the 1995 national championship season happens if Ahman Green is held back at all?

    Imagine that happening now and you see the frustration some have with Turner, Ameer, Braylon and SJB among others riding the pine.

    Welcome to the new Nebraska Way where losing games that should be afterthoughts are tolerable. Where handing out 20 Blackshirts eight games into a season, three or four losses, and a late December bowl game is considered a successful campaign. Where wins are a team effort, but losses are under-addressed, excuses are made and promptly accepted.

    For the foreseeable future, get used to your surroundings, Husker fans. Take in the atmosphere, and accept it for better or worse.

    Do you feel that The Nebraska Way has been watered down? Discuss it in the new and improved forums: Husker Locker Forums

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: the nebraska way, bcs, ciante evans, lance thorell, corey cooper, courtney osborne, blackshirts, capital one bowl, tom osborne, ahman green, stanley jeanbaptiste, ameer abdullah, jamal turner, braylon heard, aaron green, rex burkhead, tyler moore, yoshi hardrick, northwestern, pat fitzgerald, taylor martinez, baker steinkuhler

  12. 2011 Nov 06

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Knee-Jerk Reactions - Northwestern

    2,852 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - Can’t quite put my finger on it, but something was off yesterday. The Huskers looked a few steps slower than they did against Sparty.

    - It’s a shame that Taylor Martinez’s best game of the year (and one of his career) had to end in a loss. His play is encouraging for the remainder of the season, however.

    - Jamal Turner’s absence is inexcusable. While Coach Fisher clearly has his methods, it’s hard not to question getting a playmaker of Turner’s caliber on the field.

    - Was very happy to see Brandon Kinnie in sync with his quarterback.

    - Wishing Kenny Bell would’ve snagged those drops. Not only for the sake Martinez and his team, but it would’ve made his performance even bigger. Regardless, when Taylor sees the 'fro, he has to throw.

    - If Nebraska could keep Bell back with Abdullah on kick returns, that’d be just grand.

    - When Lavonte David is missing tackles in the backfield, that’s a bad omen.

    - While Lance Thorell’s interception against Michigan State was huge, getting scorched like a marshmallow pre-Smore is, too.

    - While Nebraska may not have the overall talent of Alabama, the Crimson Tide would’ve killed for Brett Maher last night.

    - Have to think the Capital One, Outback and Gator Bowls are all smiling on the inside. Their reps keep showing up to Husker games.

    - Controversial thought alert: Taking away the Blackshirts following this loss would be an absolutely horrible decision.

    After nearly a day to reflect, what are your reactions about yesterday's game? Chime in on the new forums: Husker Locker Forums

    Follow Brandon on Twitter: @eightlaces
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: taylor martinez, jamal turner, brandon kinnie, kenny bell, ameer abdullah, lavonte david, lance thorell, brett maher, capital one bowl, outback bowl, gator bowl, blackshirts

  13. 2011 Nov 06

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Most Valuable Huskers vs. Northwestern

    2,297 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By James Stevenson

    Offensive MVP: Sophomore quarterback Taylor Martinez was the only reason Nebraska was in this game. His completed 28 of 37 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns.

    He also accounted for nearly half of Nebraska’s rushing yards, carrying the ball 12 times for 53 yards. Martinez was on fire and throwing exceptionally well despite the windy conditions.

    Defensive MVP: Junior defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler has attracted more attention with the lack of injured defensive tackles Jared Crick, Thad Randle, and Chase Rome next to him.

    Despite walk-on (and offensive lineman according on Huskers.com) junior Justin Jackson seeing significant playing time next to him, Steinkuhler turned in one of his best games of the year. He recorded nine tackles, including one sack and two tackles for loss, the only such tackles recorded by the “Blackshirts”.

    Northwestern MVP: Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck called his worst game of the season. Knowing he had a banged up I-Back in Rex Burkhead, and two offensive linemen working their way through nicks and cuts (Hardrick and Caputo), Beck’s play calling in short-yardage conversion situations was baffling and often ineffective.

    In the first three quarters of play, the Cornhuskers only converted two of six third or fourth downs situations requiring four yards or less (converting 25 percent on third and fourth down with only two yards to go).

    Nebraska didn’t even pretend the ball was going to someone else than Burkhead or Martinez, with 33 of 34 carries going to the duo. Where was the Diamond formation? Where were the young and healthy running backs? Why do Husker fans have to wait until late in the fourth Quarter to see Kyler Reed catch a pass?

    Missing in Action: Freshman wide receiver Jamal Turner is one of Nebraska’s most dynamic athletes, so where was he? On a day where Nebraska ended up flinging the ball around 37 times, the fact that it’s most shifty and elusive wide receiver wasn’t on the field is inexcusable.

    Burn Notice: Senior defensive back Lance Thorell led the team in tackles with 15. This was in large part because the receivers he was covering kept catching the ball. What happened to the emergence of Stanley Jean-Baptiste?

    Even a converted safety like Corey Cooper might be a better option than watching Thorell get burned all day. (Dis)Honorable mention goes to Ciante Evans for getting torched on an 81-yard touchdown (though the lack of safety support was baffling).

    No Take Backs!: Hope the Blackshirts enjoyed their new jerseys for a week. After giving up 468 yards, averaging six yards gained per play and 28 points, the defense should be back in white this week (all 20 of the individuals in question).

    Going into this game, I would’ve argued that the offense certainly would’ve needed to score 30-plus points to assure victory. The 81-yard touchdown pass hauled in by Northwestern wide receiver Jeremy Ebert was the back-breaker for the Blackshirts. It was absolutely inexcusable for a defense that is designed to prevent the big play.

    Triple Threat: Sophomore quarterback Kain Colter lead Northwestern with 115 passing yards on four completions. He also paced the Wildcats on the ground, rushing 17 times for 58 yards and two touchdowns. He even showed off his receiving skills, lining up in the slot frequently, and catching another 3 passes for 57 yards. He accounted for 21 of Northwestern’s 28 points.

    Will the Real Nebraska Please Stand Up?: Who is this team? Are they the unit that lost to a 3-5 Northwestern team at home, the one that dominated a (once again) division-leading Michigan State, the one who got exposed in the first half versus Ohio State or the one that dominated the Buckeyes in the second half?

    It’s baffling how inconsistent Nebraska has been this season. It certainly speaks volumes about the lack of depth at key positions with defensive tackle, defensive back, offensive line, and I-back all looking very thin right now. More accurately, the inconsistency sums up and defines the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska. It’ll be fascinating to see which Cornhusker team shows up during every half-game over the next three weeks.

    How Does the Hawkeye Fight Song Go?: Nebraska fans will be the biggest Iowa Hawkeye fans this side of Carter Lake for the rest of the season. Legends Division leader Michigan State visits Iowa City next week.

    A Hawkeye victory would return Nebraska’s destiny to its own hands: win out, and the Huskers could still make the improbable trip to Indianapolis, due to holding the tiebreaker over the Spartans. Michigan State also still has to take a trip to Evanston to face this very Northwestern team on the last weekend of the regular season.

    Follow James on Twitter: @jamesstevenson
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: taylor martinez, baker steinkuhler, jared crick, thad randle, chase rome, justin jackson, blackshirts, tim beck, rex burkhead, yoshi hardrick, mike caputo, kyler reed, jamal turner, lance thorell, corey cooper, cinate evans, kain colter, northwestern, jeremy ebert, iowa

  14. 2011 Nov 04

    The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 11/4: Blackshirts Aplenty

    1,618 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Subscribe to the podcast

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring ONLY questions asked by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - The defense's performance against Michigan State
    - Who was actually calling the defense
    - Brion Carnes' ability to lead the offense should Martinez be injured
    - Could we see a QB transfer?
    - The handing out of 20 Blackshirts
    - What it will take for Rex Burkhead to garner Heisman consideration

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Follow the roundtable on Twitter:

    Brandon: @HuskerLocker
    Brian: @btbowling
    Brett: @BigRedinTejas
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36
    James: @JamesStevenson

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:

    Rob Kugler's Profile

    Like us on Facebook: The Official Husker Locker Facebook Page

    Tags: michigan state, bo pelini, carl pelini, brion carnes, blackshirts, rex burkhead, heisman trophy, podcast, podcasts

  15. 2011 Nov 04

    Husker Heartbeat 11/04: Blackshirt Evolution, The No. 2 Cornerback and Iowa-Neb Trophy Chosen

    2,973 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    A daily dose of what's new in Husker Nation from Monday through Friday:

    - The Blackshirts have evolved as a motivational tool thanks to Bo Pelini

    - The starting cornerback spot opposite Alfonzo Dennard is still up in the air

    - Northwestern cornerback (and Omaha, Nebraska native) Tim Weak is looking forward to his homecoming

    - The "Corn Bowl" has been voted as the student exchange trophy for the Nebraska-Iowa series

    - Lance Thorell continues the tradition of eight-man football players who've earned Blackshirts

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: blackshirts, alfonzo dennard, northwestern, tim weak, corn bowl, iowa, lance thorell

  16. 2011 Nov 02

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Blackshirts Aided By Beatdowns and a Break From Stiff Competition

    2,007 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By James Stevenson

    Last Monday, 20 (that’s twenty, not a typo) Nebraska defenders found black practice jerseys in their lockers. Eight defensive linemen and nine defensive backs were among those honored in Bo Pelini’s tweaked version of the Blackshirt tradition.

    While the Huskers certainly earned the right to their black practice jerseys after dominating Michigan State, the resurgence on defense may have as much to do with the competition as with the Blackshirts actually improving.

    There’s no question that Nebraska’s defense has statistically improved since the non-conference schedule. After the debacle at Wisconsin, Nebraska’s was ranked No. 68 in pass defense, No. 58 in pass effeciency defense, No. 64 in total defense and No. 73 in scoring defense.

    Heading into the game against Northwestern this week, those rankings have improved to No 12 in pass defense, No. 23 in pass efficiency defense, No. 29 in total defense and No. 33 in scoring defense.

    That’s some massive improvement. Bo Pelini’s defenses are known for gelling over the course of the season, as players learn to trust each other and the system in his Zone Pattern Match defense.

    For example, the 2010 defense had improved from No. 35 to No. 12 in total defense from the third to the tenth week of the season. The 2009 team improved from No. 50 to No. 9 in the same category.

    The last two seasons prove that Bo Pelini defenses improve during the middle of the season, evolving into the fearsome units he is known for coordinating. The 2011 Nebraska squad seems to be following this pattern, but the competition faced during October is decidedly different than what was seen in the Big 12.

    In 2009 and 2010, Nebraska faced two teams ranked No. 2 in total scoring (Texas Tech in 2009, Oklahoma State in 2010). They usually had another date with a Top 25 scoring outfit (Missouri in 2009 and 2010).

    Unlike those seasons, the 2011 Blackshirts have padded their stats since the Wisconsin game, playing against the Nos. 108, 110, and 66 scoring offenses in Ohio State, Minnesota and Michigan State, respectively.

    Neither Ohio State (No. 111 passing offense) nor Minnesota (No. 108 passing offense) featured any sort of significant threat against the Huskers’ secondary. Even Michigan State, despite star quarterback Kirk Cousins, was merely average in both total offense (No. 66) and scoring offense (No. 58).

    Aside from the first half against Ohio State, Nebraska did what it should have done against the offenses it faced: shut them down. Over the last ten quarters of play, Nebraska has only given up 24 points. That’s good defense no matter how you slice it.



    The big question that remains going into the November contests is if the Blackshirts can contain a mobile quarterback. Nebraska was exploited early in the season by slippery signal-callers.

    Ohio State’s Braxton Miller gashed the Huskers for big gains before his second half injury. Wisconsin, Washington and Fresno State used rollouts and plays designed to get their quarterbacks on the move and into space effectively.

    Much like Michigan State, two of Nebraska’s upcoming opponents, Penn State and Iowa, don’t feature much mobility at the quarterback position. The real test for the improved Blackshirts will be Northwestern and Michigan.

    The first mobile quarterback will be Northwestern’s Dan Persa. Hampered by an injured Achilles’ tendon, he hasn’t quite returned to his 2010 form. Last week against Indiana, he still rushed for 41 yards on four attempts with his longest gain being 22 yards.

    The Wildcats’ change-up option at quarterback, Kain Colter, is more of a runner than a thrower, and accounted for 38 yards on five attempts gaining 20 yards on his longest run. Northwestern doesn’t sport much of a defense though, which should reduce pressure on the Blackshirts.

    The biggest test will be in two weeks in Ann Arbor. Nebraska will face one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the country in Michigan junior Denard Robinson. “Shoelace” leads the Wolverines in passing and rushing, and is averaging over 100 yards on the ground in his last seven games. If Nebraska can contain Robinson and limit his running ability, they have a chance to win at the Big House.

    For the Cornhusker defense, being able to defend a mobile quarterback will be paramount during the November stretch if they want to win the Legends Division. Given that dual-threat quarterbacks Braxton Miller and Russell Wilson lead two of the three teams that could hypothetically oppose the Huskers in the conference championship game, a conference title may rely on that improvement, as well.

    The Blackshirts have come a long way since that fateful night in Madison, but to win the inaugural Big Ten Championship, they’ll have to step up and prove they can to shut down the conference’s highest-octane signal callers and offenses.

    Follow James on Twitter: @JamesStevenson
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: bo pelini, blackshirts, northwestern, dan persa, denard robinson, kirk cousins, kain coulter, ohio state, wisconsin, penn state, iowa, washington, braxton miller, fresno state

  17. 2011 Oct 28

    The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 10/28: Ghostbusting the Spooky Spartans

    2,657 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Subscribe to the podcast

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring ONLY questions asked by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - Will the Blackshirts be handed out this week?
    - How can Nebraska stop/defeat Michigan State?
    - What's next for the defense during Thad Randle's absence?
    - The panel talks about more treats than tricks and gives a hint about Erin's Halloween costume

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Follow the roundtable on Twitter:

    Brandon: @HuskerLocker
    Brian: @btbowling
    Brett: @BigRedinTejas
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36
    James: @JamesStevenson

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:

    Rob Kugler's Profile

    Like us on Facebook: The Official Husker Locker Facebook Page

    Tags: blackshirts, thad randle, podcast, podcasts

  18. 2011 Oct 25

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Top Five Things the Huskers Must Do To Be Big Ten Champs - No. 5

    3,591 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Ryan Donohue

    - Improve By Leaps and Bounds on Defense

    If Nebraska fans are staked out on the road to the Big Ten Championship Game, they’re watching for the Blackshirts to roll by. I’m not sure we’ve seen them yet. Fans would like to see this team improve on both sides of the ball, of course. Let's assume for a moment that Nebraska's mercurial offense will find uncanny ways to score at least 21 points in its remaining games.

    The Huskers needs some defense. It's maddening to try and understand why Nebraska has fallen like a rock in almost every defensive category this year. These players aren’t unfamiliar to the system. Reasons given have been talent, coaching or schemes, but the decline appears to be driven by all three factors.

    Let’s face facts: This is a young secondary that won’t rank more than "average" by season's end. The talent isn’t going to change much. Nebraska also just enjoyed a well-placed week off and a pushover opponent, perfect for coaches to reset and re-connect with their players. Given the secondary’s struggles, defensive improvement rests in the hands of the front seven with special emphasis on the front four.

    Can they generate significant pressure, which doubles as a release valve for the secondary? Can they contain dual-threat quarterbacks as well as they did MarQueis Gray? The Ohio State game showed flashes of pressure, but that came against Joe Bauserman, a guy that makes defensive tackles look swift.

    Championship-caliber teams find a way to bottle up quarterbacks of all kinds, or at least contain them. If the pressure falls entirely on the defensive line, losing Jared Crick was a cruel blow, but can new blood revitalize this group? Will the Huskers get back to camping out in the pocket and causing mayhem? If the defense is to take any steps forward, that progress will start up front.

    Follow Ryan on Twitter: @DigitalRyan
    Follow Husker Locker on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: big ten, blackshirts, marqueis gray, joe bauserman

  19. 2011 Oct 14

    The OFFICIAL Husker Locker Podcast 10/14: Beating Down the Bye Week Blues

    2,240 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Subscribe to the podcast

    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    On the docket:

    A podcast featuring ONLY questions asked by you, the Husker Locker fan base:

    - When should the Blackshirts be handed out?
    - What has caused the offense to solidify during the first half of the season
    - When fans should make the most noise and how to interact with those who prefer that others sit down
    - How will the team respond with the absence of Jared Crick?

    Have a topic or question that you'd like to hear discussed? Send us an e-mail or a message to any of us on Twitter.

    Follow the roundtable on Twitter:

    Brandon: @HuskerLocker
    Brian: @btbowling
    Brett: @BigRedinTejas
    Erin: @helloerinmarie
    Greg: @thehooch36

    More info on the Husker Locker intro voice:

    Rob Kugler's Profile

    Like us on Facebook: The Official Husker Locker Facebook Page

    Tags: blackshirts, jared crick, podcast, podcasts

  20. 2011 Oct 05

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Pelini Needs to Put Cornhuskers Back in Black

    9,317 views

    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    Since Bo Pelini arrived at Nebraska, he’s taken a different approach to the tradition of handing out the dark practice jerseys affectionately known as the “Blackshirts.” For decades, these garments have been worn by the starting 11 on the defensive side of the ball, but under Pelini’s watch, even the best of the bunch have to earn the right to wear them. This year, that strategy needs to be tweaked.

    Using Pelini’s current method, it’s easy to see why no Cornhusker defender has worn black in practice yet. A unit that gives up 351 yards and over 27 points per game doesn’t strike fear into the heart of any opposing offense. While the head coach’s strategy has been effective and admired by many up to this point, the current handling of the Blackshirts’ presentation is doing more harm than good.

    Every Nebraska defender knows what those jerseys represent. In years past, players admitted having held back tears of pride and joy upon seeing them hang in their locker. At this point, given the struggles that the Cornhuskers have faced five games into the season, players under the watchful eyes of the Pelini brothers and their assistants have to be wondering if any defender will dress in black this year.

    This might not be at the forefront of their minds, but to suggest that ownership of the coveted Blackshirts isn’t at least on a subconscious level is absurd. Coming off a disappointing start to Nebraska’s Big Ten conference debut and a return to fall camp levels of preparation, the black jerseys need to make an appearance before the Cornhuskers take the field on Saturday to face Ohio State.

    While some players may feel undeserving, the original reasoning behind the tradition is simple - if you started Nebraska’s first game at a defensive position, you wore black in practice. If you couldn’t hold onto your starting spot due to poor performance or another player stepping up, then you would have to work even harder to regain what you’d lost. The offense that Pelini’s team employs in 2011 employs a throwback style. It’s time to go back to the Blackshirts’ traditional method of distribution.

    It’s easy for fans to point to the secondary’s struggles and claim that they certainly don’t deserve to wear the renowned attire of defenses past. However, with the loss of players like Eric Hagg, DeJon Gomes and Prince Amukamara, expecting the 2011 secondary to not skip a beat is simply unreasonable. If Pelini is going to start from scratch and open competition for all starting roles, taking a page from his predecessors may be the morale boost his currently-maligned defensive unit needs to regain lost confidence.

    Nebraska’s head coach has made it quite clear that no one player is bigger than the team. Not Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead, Jared Crick, Lavonte David or even Alfonzo Dennard. By the same token, no coach on Nebraska’s staff is bigger than what has been a Cornhusker tradition since 1964.

    Follow us on Twitter: @huskerlocker
    Like us on Facebook: Official Husker Locker Page

    Tags: blackshirts, bo pelini, taylor martinez, red burkhead, jared crick, lavonte david, alfonzo dennard, eric hagg, dejon gomes, prince amukamara

twitter
Facebook
Click here for our FREE daily podcast.

Advertisement

Great Husker Merchandise and Video. Best of Big Red. Osborne Family Enterprises
Husker Locker - Blogged Paperblog Web Directory
 

Home > Blogs > Official Husker Locker Blog > Search