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  • Outcome Unknown

    I live in Kansas City, Mo., so whenever I am blowing up my eight foot inflatable Lilí Red (living in the Show-Me state and I show a lot of red) in my front yard or wearing a Nebraska polo at work these Missourians ask me, ďHow are your Huskers going to end up this season?Ē

    Well to be completely truthful I have no idea.

    I know coming into this season I thought we have a young and talented defense. I still think that. The secondary is pretty stellar in my opinion -- we are fifth in the country for most interceptions. The defensive line is getting better every week. Avery Moss and Randy Gregory are making quarterbacks at least know they are around. Iím hoping as the season progresses those quarterback hurries will turn into sacks. The biggest glare on the defense to me is just the missed tackling, which seems like it is the biggest fault every year. I donít see how this never seems to get fixed. Honestly, some of the best tackles I have seen all season have been by Kenny Bell on special teams. That shouldnít be the case on a team led by a defensive minded coach, but Iím holding my breath that with each week that passes this defense grows a little more.

    I also came into the season thinking I was going to see touchdown, after touchdown, after touchdown. I figured with Ameer Abdullah and Taylor Martinez running around combined with Jamal Turner, Bell, and Quincy Enunwa in the receiving corps. that scoring wouldnít be an issue. Since Taylorís running has been limited (averaging 34 yards a game), teams have been able to force Taylor to beat them with his arm, and against UCLA he just couldnít keep pace.

    Now we are entering October coming off a bye week and we arenít even sure who our starting quarterback is. Ron Kellogg III and Tommy Armstrong Jr. both looked great in a game against an FCS team whose defense isnít anything to brag about.

    Nebraska is entering conference play against Illinois and people are beginning to talk of a possible upset. The Illini have put up some impressive offensive numbers to start the season and took No. 15 Washington to the wire, losing by 10. Now they come into Lincoln only a 10-point underdog.

    I know when I first looked at the schedule I didnít think any game in October would be in question. The Illini have lost their last 14 conference games. Now itís October 1st and we are little nervous about challenge number one.

    I think the biggest reason it is so hard to predict how this team will do week-to-week, let alone for the remainder of the season, is because there is a lack of an identity. Are the Huskers a ground and pound team with Abdullah and Cross? If a team takes away the ground game can they keep up consistently throwing the ball? (Depends on who our quarterback is, if you ask me). On defense are you going to continue to challenge teams in the passing game? If Nebraska keeps up the pick parade, they have to be able to stop the run.

    For what itís worth, I think Nebraska takes this game in strong fashion. They are facing one of the conferenceís top passers, but I do think the secondary shuts him down and I donít think the Illini have the rushers to keep up with Nebraska's offense no matter who the quarterback is. I do think if Armstrong gets to run the show this week and performs well, Bo Pelini will have to really think about what he does at the position going forward.

    So if I get stopped in the elevator with my Nebraska shirt on this week. Iíll call for the win, but that is as far as Iím going. There will be no looking ahead for this team. Itís one week at a time because who knows what will happen next.

    I am curious what the rest of you think. Do you have a clear picture of how Nebraska will do in the coming weeks? Has your outlook on the season changed from preseason? Or are you in wait and see mode like me, just taking it week-by-week?

    Brian Bosiljevac is a freelance writer and Omaha native now living in Kansas City, Mo. You can contact him at New to Twitter. Follow him at @brianbosiljevac. Thanks for reading.

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. tdarnall's Avatar
      tdarnall -
      I agree, Pelini teams are so schizophrenic! That is one reason why, I think we need a change. We have so wonderful talented freshmen, but it looks like players at NU now underachieve. So, things at NU don't get fixed anymore. I'm not a pessimist just a realist.
    1. tdarnall's Avatar
      tdarnall -
      I have lost faith in Pelini's ability to coach. He is in over his head. His assistant coaches are very novice except for Brown and Fisher. We need a change.
    1. Unregistered's Avatar
      Unregistered -
      I think our defense is on the verge of true goodness (Maybe greatness next year). Hopefully, that will be good enough for our offense to out pace our opponents. I can only anticipate our team playing well because I don't have the capacity to expect the worse. This would explain my many frustrations through some of the games as of late but I am sticking with it. I think we will improve on defense enough through the off week to make it through the next 2 games. With another off week after that, I think the motor will start humming. 11-1 going into the B1G game. Who knows what team will show up at that point. GBR!!
    1. OneBigRedN's Avatar
      OneBigRedN -
      That Illini vs Washington game wasn't quite as close as it appeared. I mean it was a 7 point ballgame in the fourth, but Washington blew a 21 point lead in the third and stopped two apparent scoring drives with fumbles. Illini was outgained 615 to 327.

      With that said, Illinois is a much better team than they have been in quite some time. Talking about a possible upset to them is more of a cause of their improvement than it is Nebraska's troubles.

      I do agree with you that we win vs. Illinois convincingly. The only way they keep it close is if they find success on the ground (which isn't out of the realm of possibility).

      My expectations are the same as they were before the season. We have a veteran offense that can and already has outlasted opponents. They will need to win shootouts as this young but talented D gets their feet wet. I'm a little surprised at how bad the D has looked even though we all knew it was mostly filled with rookies, but not surprised they are taking their lumps. They will improve and we are seeing the beginning of a stout blackshirt D coming back to Lincoln.
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