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  1. 2010 Sep 10

    Podcast 9/10: NU VB Slips By Dayton

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    By HuskerLocker

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    Tags: podcasts, idaho week, volleyball, kayla banwarth

  2. 2010 Sep 10

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Five Keys to Idaho

    583 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Ah yes. The other team from the potato state. It’s fairly appropriate that Nebraska’s second opponent, the Vandals, are located in Moscow. Given all the attention heaped on Boise State, Idaho might as well be in Siberia.

    Does that irk the Vandals? You kiddin?

    Just as BSU was beginning its meteoric rise through college football, Idaho was trudging through several sudden coaching changes, including a strange one-year stint by Dennis Erickson. When Robb Akey took over - he’s entering his fourth year - the Vandals didn’t have a lick of offense in the cupboard. From 2004-2008, they never averaged more than 350 yards per game.

    Then Idaho took a dramatic, surprising leap in 2009, serving as cardiac kids with a series of wild comebacks that culminated, somewhat ironically, at Bronco Stadium, in a 43-42 win over Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl that not only preempted on television the beginning of the Holiday Bowl - oh, to see Matty O’s interception! - but served as the “one shining moment” game of last year’s bowl season.

    Because it’s been awhile since Nebraska sampled the WAC’s offerings - it was 2008 - a helpful reminder may be in order: These are not exactly the runts of the Sun Belt. The WAC is weak overall, no question, but the variety of BCS cast-offs, partial qualifiers and hidden high school gems from the Pacific Northwest shouldn’t be dismissed. Ask Oklahoma and USC, which got scares from Utah State and Hawai’i, respectively, in week one.

    On to the keys, as we warm up the bus for Washington - and really kick this season into gear with breakfast at Memorial Stadium.

    Second-game jump: Nebraska presumably put a bandage on all those warts produced by first-game jitters and communication errors. Not only did NU’s defense look confused and harried at times, it looked surprised, occasionally, by the push of the Western Kentucky line. Trust us: The Hilltoppers weren’t doing anything cute out there. The Huskers were just excited and a little out of sync. And without their proverbial defensive quarterback in Will Compton.

    Compton’s still out, but LaVonte David and Alonzo Whaley should be more rooted in the scheme and more comfortable with the calls this week.

    On offense, look for improved, cohesive play on the line - whether or not that produces more push and success remains to be seen - with better, more complete routes from the wide receivers.

    Endgame for Enderle: By sticking with Idaho, the school that wanted him first and most, North Platte product Nathan Enderle did an honorable thing when Nebraska started recruiting him after Josh Freeman decommitted from NU to attend Kansas State.

    In doing so, let’s face it: He gave up a very real chance to be the Huskers’ starting quarterback in 2009 and 2010. Enderle’s that good, folks. NFL arm. Good release. Terrific frame: 6-foot-5, 227 pounds.

    “He’s an opportune scrambler,” defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said. “You don’t think of him as a runner and yet over and over again you see him moving the chains.”

    He is a little reminiscent of Florida Atlantic’s Rusty Smith in 2009 and New Mexico State’s Chase Holbrook in 2008. And neither of those quarterbacks cracked an egg vs. the Huskers aside from a couple sharp passes.

    Enderle has a little bit more motivation and support from the North Platte enclave, but he’ll have his work cut out for him. Although take this note: Idaho racked up 514 yards at Boise last year in a 63-25 loss. It just simply lost the turnover battle by seven. Maybe the Vandals should take note of that, too.

    T-Magic’s Encore: NU quarterback Taylor Martinez is unique. His upper body is sturdy, bigger than most running quarterbacks, his shoulders almost as broad as a linebacker’s. He’s hard to pull down because of it, which is why fans saw him so effortlessly break out of tackles in the second half of the Western Kentucky game. It also allows him to run with lean that creates a snowball effect of momentum on his football speed. Tugging at his shoulder pads won’t do much good if he’s pitched at a 45-degree angle.

    Teams will adjust, but not easily. Unless a defense can consistently guess right on run blitzes, Martinez will eventually isolate himself on a linebacker or a safety. And he won those battles every time vs. Western Kentucky.

    And if there’s one advantage to Martinez’s throwing motion: He almost has to square his shoulders to the target. He’s not going to sling it submarine-style or short-arm a throw - which Zac Lee did too often last year. I’m curious to see how well Martinez’s mechanics hold up on the run and on deep balls - he wasn’t challenged much there vs. WKU - but he looks much further ahead in the passing game than he was in the spring.

    Stingy Vandals: Aside from Boise State, Idaho could have the WAC’s best, most experienced defense with ten returning starters and 26 returning lettermen. This isn’t their first rodeo in a hostile stadium, either; besides playing at Boise every other year, this crop of seniors has visited USC, Arizona, Michigan State and Washington, too. The best of the bunch is free safety Shiloh Keo, who finished 2009 with 113 tackles and three interceptions, but the strongest unit is the linebacking corps. The very folks who required to effectively stop the zone read.

    What does Idaho need from them? A couple early stops. A frustrating first quarter for Martinez. The low murmur that runs through Memorial Stadium with the slightest hiccup.

    Sack Attack: A hidden statistic from the Vandals’ 45-0 win over North Dakota last week: Idaho’s massive offensive live gave up four sacks despite a pretty, basic vanilla game plan. With Western Kentucky often running max protection schemes to ward off the Huskers’ pass rush last week, it only looked like NU’s front four had a rough game.

    If Idaho has designs on competing this Saturday - not just picking up a paycheck - it’ll have to spread out its skill players and throw the ball. And not just the quick stuff, either. Nebraska eats those plays for lunch. Enderle will have to chuck it. And to do that, the Vandals will have to expose him to a pass rush. No other way around it.

    Tags: five keys, nathan enderle, idaho week, taylor martinez, alonzo whaley, carl pelini, bo pelini

  3. 2010 Sep 09

    Guess the Score! NU-Idaho!

    1,537 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Here's Samuel McKewon's prediction for the Nebraska-Idaho game! Enjoy!

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    Now - make your guess - along with an explanation, perhaps, in the comments area below. Anybody who hits the score (and the winner) right on the nose goes into a drawing for two free tickets to Nebraska's last Big 12 game ever vs. Colorado!

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    Tags: guess the score, idaho week

  4. 2010 Sep 09

    Husker Heartbeat 9/9: Gill Feeling the Heat Already

    577 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.


    *Former Husker assistant Craig Bohl, who now coaches North Dakota State, bags on Turner Gill's Kansas team.

    KU is changing its quarterback already from Kale Pick to Jordan Webb.

    *Here's Saturday's college football TV map.

    *BRN: Requiem for the sleeve on Nebraska's uniform.

    *An outbreak of staph infections forced Tennessee coach to promote proper shower discipline to his team. I wish we could make this up.

    *Could 5-7 teams play in bowls this year?

    *Cody Green is growing into his role as a QB.

    *LJS breaks down Idaho.

    *Nebraska looks for a more potent pass rush.

    *Future schedules at Nebraska won't look much like Steve Pederson's parting gift.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, turner gill, blackshirts, cody green, idaho week

  5. 2010 Sep 08

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Practice Report 9/8

    1,811 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    As Bo Pelini was not talking to the media Wednesday night, it fell to Nebraska offensive line coach Barney Cotton, the last Husker assistant off the field, to opine on the subject he knows best: A budding crop of young studs mixed with veterans on Nebraska’s pipeline.

    His grade for their performance in the Western Kentucky game?

    “At least it gives us benchmark,” he said. “I think we did a pretty decent job inside. We’ve got to get a little better in our pass sets in our offensive tackle positions but for a first game, we did a pretty good job in the running game.”

    Redshirt freshman Jeremiah Sirles swung at both tackle spots as junior Marcel Jones missed the game with an injury; it’s hard for most tackles to swing from spot to spot, period, much less a guy playing his first career game as a Husker.

    But Sirles, who looks and acts older than his age, pulled it off.

    “He’s pretty intelligent guy,” Cotton said. “…For a guy at his age to play both tackle spots and to keep it all straight? That’s a pretty good feat in itself.”

    Cotton had similar compliments for freshman left guard Andrew Rodriguez, whom Cotton played better in the game than he did in the practice week preceding it.

    “He's a physical young guy who likes to play football,” Cotton said.

    On with the report:

    Particulars: Nebraska practiced for two hours inside and outside the Hawks Championship Center Wednesday. Assistant coaches spoke afterward.

    What’s New: Defensive end Cameron Meredith practiced for a second straight day. Wide receiver Curenski Gilleylen appeared to be out again from practice.

    Coach Quote: “We’ve got 15 spring practices plus 29 spring practices plus a game, we ought to be well past the getting-to-know-each-other part. “ - Cotton on the offensive line’s chemistry

    Player Quote: “As far as the defensive front, we played high. We weren't as aggressive as we should be. It was the first game so we were just getting our feet wet, getting our feel, but going into this week this has to be the biggest jump that we make to improve, and I think we will.”
    - Defensive tackle Jared Crick

    Next Practice: Thuirsday in half-pads.

    Tags: practice report, idaho week, barney cotton, jeremiah sirles, andrew rodirguez, jared crick

  6. 2010 Sep 08

    Husker Heartbeat 9/8: Perfection only option for Blackshirts

    533 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.


    *Bob Devaney will now get a makeover for volleyball - a $27 million makeover.

    *All of North Platte may turn out to watch Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle, a North Platte native.

    *Looks like the Heisman trust will strip Reggie Bush of his Heisman for taking cash in college.

    *LJS Sipple says Taylor Martinez deserves time to get used to the spotlight.

    *The defense strives for perfection.

    * An interview with Quincy Enunwa.

    *Notre Dame-Michigan - not as relevant as it used to be, but still full of hype.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, big ten, michigan, blackshirts, steve sipple, idaho week, nathan enderle

  7. 2010 Sep 07

    Podcast 9/7: NU Stays at No. 7 in Volleyball Poll

    463 views

    By HuskerLocker

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    Please enable Javascript, or download the podcast here.



    Join Husker Locker today - it's free!

    Tags: podcasts, bo pelini, idaho week, volleyball, soccer

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