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Thread: ThotDoc's Brain Droppings on the Capital One Bowl

  1. #1
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    ThotDoc's Brain Droppings on the Capital One Bowl

    Cocks Confound Charitable Cornhuskers as Carolina Capitalizes in the Capital One

    I waited until the morning after to jot down my thoughts and I'm in a much better place in my head now than I was 15 hours ago. I also watched two very good football games in the Rose and Fiesta Bowls and came away very impressed with the talent and execution displayed by those schools. Nebraska is not at their level. There is a reason we didn't go to a BCS Bowl. In addition to not earning one (even if we had beaten Michigan), we are not good enough. We are a team hanging on the fringe of the Top 25. That is not Nebraska's standard and it is not acceptable for players, coaches, or fans alike. We must improve and four straight 4 loss seasons doesn't seem like progress. Even moving to the B1G hasn't resulted in improved play and this in a conference that is 3-6 so far in the bowls. Even our competition is getting mauled. The 9 teams we played this year that went to bowls have gone 1-7 so far and it took a triple OT for Michigan State to gain the sole victory.

    We must get better. We are Nebraska and we are not upholding the proud tradition that is ours, in seasons like the past one and in games like yesterday. I like Bo and I still support him as head coach but I am getting tired of him repeating game after game, "We just didn't execute." I'm sure he's getting tired of saying it as well. This game began with such promise. The 30 yard strike to Bell was beautiful. Then the mistakes began that prevented the Huskers from dominating a team they could have beaten soundly. The quick summary of the game is as follows: a blocked extra point returned for 2 points, a fumble in the redzone, an interception nearly in the redzone, a collapse in the secondary on a Hail Mary, a drive to the 8 yard line culminated by a missed field goal, 1 more yard gained the rest of the game and enough penalties and sacks to make the collapse complete. When we could have had a 14 or even 17 point lead at half we trailed by 3 and once we failed on the first drive of the second half, the game was essentially over because we did nothing else positive in the next 28 minutes. Where was the leadership that rallies players and inspires them to greatness? Where was the optimism and drive that fueled the second half comeback against Ohio State (who by the way finished their season yesterday with 7 losses)? The cyclothymic Cornhuskers were all over the board emotionally but there was not the concentration and focus and unified spirit that makes good teams great. The Unity Council needs to figure out who is going to be the leaders and take ownership of this team. It's time for Bo to make some hard decisions to make this team better and to start acting like a head coach and not a coordinator.

    The offense moved the ball well in the first half. The line controlled the line of scrimmage and the pace and tempo was keeping Carolina on their heels. The turnovers were killers. Abdullah has to expect that he is going to get hit and secure the ball. Martinez needs to throw in the direction of his receiver or throw it away. Of the 10 receptions, six were to backs (Burkhead 5 and Legate 1) and one was to a tight end (Cotton). The other three were to Bell and that was it. Granted, Turner drew a pass interference penalty that worked like a completion, but no other receiver stepped up to make a catch. If Westercamp maintains his commitment to the Huskers and shows up next fall, who will throw to him? I'm not going to Martinez bash, but part of the problem is at quarterback. He does not have the skills to be the quarterback of a Top Ten team. He has played two full seasons without significant improvement. Sure, he is better at ball security (most of the time) but as I watched quarterbacks around the country in this bowl season, there were many I would trade for who can throw better, read better, and run better. How bad must Carnes be? Will Armstrong be an improvement? Like I said, Bo has to make some difficult decisions. As promising as the first half was, the second half was abysmal. Granted, Carolina has a good defense, but we made them look like SEC champs. How can you have four penalties in 6 snaps and followup the next series with a delay of game penalty followed by a sack? How can you get called for holding and he still beats you for the sack? Enough head cases to keep a shrink busy full-time.

    The defense played well for 3 quarters and then either wore down or gave up. The secondary kept us in the game in the first half except for the final play. Dennard got burned once by Jeffery but played him tough before those two decided to get stupid. Once Dennard left the game, the secondary let down and played without a leader. The third down busts were troubling especially when the secondary was holding up well, but the ends lost contain on the quarterback. Meredith may need to diet and work on his speed in the off-season. We don't blitz much at all and when we do it looks like we are out of practice. The timing was horrible and we are left extremely vulnerable (as in converting a 3rd and 18). The loss of David and Dennard makes me apprehensive about next year as we need playmakers to emerge and I haven't seen them on the field as yet.

    The special teams that were a strength early in the year have turned into a nightmare as we close the season. The blocked extra point for two points the other way set the tone early and the kickoff coverage has seemingly gotten worse each game. Maher is still a good kicker, but he is fallible and his field goal miss came at a crucial time. If Papuchis was running special teams, hopefully the next coach can do a better job. As I looked at other games and saw how poor other kickers are, I still feel good about the job Maher will do for us.

    It's going to be a long off-season for Husker fans. I trust it will be uncomfortably gnawing for the players and coaches as well. I hope that the sting of yesterday's defeat will motivate them to rededicate themselves to discipline and excellence, because it was sorely lacking in yesterday's contest. We have to get better and I hope that there is not only a self-examination that takes place for each player and coach, but I would also like to see a Sports Psychologist hired that can help improve the teams focus and concentration, as well as addressing their thought processes to improve self-confidence. Here's also hoping the recruiting season finishes well. We need help and we need it sooner versus later. Go Big Red!
    "According to a Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has 'impeachment insurance.' It's called 'Joe Biden.'" –Jay Leno


  2. #2
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    Nice rational analysis (except your typo - not a blocked punt). I agree with your "droppings".

    The guys left soooooo many points on the field due to a loss of composure. Not sure how to coach that, but will keep cheering them on.
    (old Gaelic saying) Chan eil h-uile facal sireadh freagairt. Not every question requires an answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MyBraska View Post
    Nice rational analysis (except your typo - not a blocked punt). I agree with your "droppings".

    The guys left soooooo many points on the field due to a loss of composure. Not sure how to coach that, but will keep cheering them on.
    Thanks for the catch. had it right in the first paragraph but not with the ST.
    "According to a Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has 'impeachment insurance.' It's called 'Joe Biden.'" –Jay Leno


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    Your comment regarding the teams we beat and their bowl performances got me thinking. The combined win percentage for the teams in our non-conference games was 47.9% That's to be expected in non-conference. The conference teams we beat had a combined win percentage of 55.4% Our average margin of victory in conference games was 14.2 points.

    Our losses are another matter. The average margin of our losses was almost 20 points (19.8) and that includes a 3 point loss to NW. The teams who beat us had a combined win percentage of 73.1%, again that includes a < .500 NW.

    I guess this just underscores your conclusion, we are not an elite team; IMO, we are not really even close. We've hit a 4 losses per season plateau with no real evidence that we're getting better. It will, indeed, be a long off-season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHusker View Post
    Your comment regarding the teams we beat and their bowl performances got me thinking. The combined win percentage for the teams in our non-conference games was 47.9% That's to be expected in non-conference. The conference teams we beat had a combined win percentage of 55.4% Our average margin of victory in conference games was 14.2 points.

    Our losses are another matter. The average margin of our losses was almost 20 points (19.8) and that includes a 3 point loss to NW. The teams who beat us had a combined win percentage of 73.1%, again that includes a < .500 NW.

    I guess this just underscores your conclusion, we are not an elite team; IMO, we are not really even close. We've hit a 4 losses per season plateau with no real evidence that we're getting better. It will, indeed, be a long off-season.
    I think Wisconsin was the best team we faced this year and their standoff with Oregon shows that they have real talent. NW, Mich, and So Carolina were all very beatable and they were not great teams. I guess I could understand losing to Wisc (especially in Madison), but not the other 3 losses. The first step we must take is to beat those teams consistently. Then we can work to competing with Top 7 or 8 competition.
    "According to a Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has 'impeachment insurance.' It's called 'Joe Biden.'" –Jay Leno


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    Quote Originally Posted by ThotDoc View Post
    I think Wisconsin was the best team we faced this year and their standoff with Oregon shows that they have real talent. NW, Mich, and So Carolina were all very beatable and they were not great teams. I guess I could understand losing to Wisc (especially in Madison), but not the other 3 losses. The first step we must take is to beat those teams consistently. Then we can work to competing with Top 7 or 8 competition.
    Agreed, making those losses even harder to bear (especially NW: in our house!)

  7. #7
    Agree.

    1. I don't get why Bo has to be a jerk to the media all the time. Even when he was in his presser, he was aloof. Statements like "You watched the game." don't help anyone.

    2. It is, unfortunately, blatantly obvious when our offense's script runs out about 3/4 of the way through the first quarter. That is when the mistakes begin. To me, that is glaring in a very bad way for our coaching staff; our players cannot execute when they do not have a scripted play set.

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    The Huskers continue to beat themselves, or at least they help lose games under Bo. I have always been very supportive of Bo and co. He must address these meltdowns and learn how to stop them from happening. That was a very winable football game.
    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by gypsyhusker View Post
    The Huskers continue to beat themselves, or at least they help lose games under Bo. I have always been very supportive of Bo and co. He must address these meltdowns and learn how to stop them from happening. That was a very winable football game.
    I think you are distinquishing the team's meltdown from Bo's losing it a bit in the second half. I am not one that relates Bo's emotional turbulence with the mood of the team. The team's errors and miscues happened well before Bo's tantrum in the 2nd half. We knew what we were getting when we hired Bo and having someone fiery on the sideline is not necessarily a detriment. That shouldn't directly disrupt the team's focus.
    "According to a Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has 'impeachment insurance.' It's called 'Joe Biden.'" –Jay Leno


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    Quote Originally Posted by ThotDoc View Post
    I think you are distinquishing the team's meltdown from Bo's losing it a bit in the second half. I am not one that relates Bo's emotional turbulence with the mood of the team. The team's errors and miscues happened well before Bo's tantrum in the 2nd half. We knew what we were getting when we hired Bo and having someone fiery on the sideline is not necessarily a detriment. That shouldn't directly disrupt the team's focus.
    I'm getting the feeling that when Bo blows so does the team. Meaning that as long as there is an even keel maintained by the coach our team plays the same way. As things started going south yesterday Bo became more off kilter and the more off he was so was the team. I realize Bo is Bo and he will always be that way but if that's the case then maybe we should expect this type of season most years and I don't think that is what Nebraska is all about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHusker View Post
    Your comment regarding the teams we beat and their bowl performances got me thinking. The combined win percentage for the teams in our non-conference games was 47.9% That's to be expected in non-conference. The conference teams we beat had a combined win percentage of 55.4% Our average margin of victory in conference games was 14.2 points.

    Our losses are another matter. The average margin of our losses was almost 20 points (19.8) and that includes a 3 point loss to NW. The teams who beat us had a combined win percentage of 73.1%, again that includes a < .500 NW.

    I guess this just underscores your conclusion, we are not an elite team; IMO, we are not really even close. We've hit a 4 losses per season plateau with no real evidence that we're getting better. It will, indeed, be a long off-season.
    I disagree in that you are not close to being an elite team. Maybe it's just my perspective of being a fan of a team that's the furthest from being an elite team.. but there are only a few things that may need to be tweaked with the Huskers. Not sure if that corner will be taken this next season, but it's certainly possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blkshrts View Post
    I'm getting the feeling that when Bo blows so does the team. Meaning that as long as there is an even keel maintained by the coach our team plays the same way. As things started going south yesterday Bo became more off kilter and the more off he was so was the team. I realize Bo is Bo and he will always be that way but if that's the case then maybe we should expect this type of season most years and I don't think that is what Nebraska is all about.
    There have been many fiery coaches through the years that had very successful programs. Woody Hayes at Ohio State (although given how his career ended he may not be the best example). If the team loses its composure because the coach gets upset, then they are not very stable emotionally. This team loses it's focus and then mistakes happen and then it loses it's composure (and so may Bo). However, in the other losses this year, Bo was relatively calm and it still didn't stop us from playing like crap. The whole notion that the team mirrors the temperament of the coach just sounds like an excuse to me. At least Bo appears focused. Perhaps the team could mirror that.
    "According to a Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has 'impeachment insurance.' It's called 'Joe Biden.'" –Jay Leno


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    Quote Originally Posted by Formo View Post
    I disagree in that you are not close to being an elite team. Maybe it's just my perspective of being a fan of a team that's the furthest from being an elite team.. but there are only a few things that may need to be tweaked with the Huskers. Not sure if that corner will be taken this next season, but it's certainly possible.
    We're in the middle tier in the B1G. We finished 3rd in our division. The furthest I see us getting (on a consistent basis) is the top of the middle tier. Not a bad place to be necessarily but not where we want to be either. And certainly not next year. Shoot, I worry about the Gophers when they come to town next season. Kill's got those guys playing with lots of heart.

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    Is it, or is it not the coaches job to get the players prepared so they execute as planned? Is it or is it not the coaches job to make sure the team is disciplined? I have seen this all too often the last 4 years. I love the off the field discipline the team displays, but when they are in the heat of battle, the discipline is not controlled like it needs to be. I know this discipline can be taught, because I saw it when TO was at the helm. If the players are forced to do what is right on the field, they will not only execute better, but will know how to handle the situation.

    I see plenty of college football teams that do execute and the are disciplined, so I know it can be done. Let's just hope Bo can figure it out.





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    Quote Originally Posted by KC Husker View Post
    Is it, or is it not the coaches job to get the players prepared so they execute as planned? Is it or is it not the coaches job to make sure the team is disciplined? I have seen this all too often the last 4 years. I love the off the field discipline the team displays, but when they are in the heat of battle, the discipline is not controlled like it needs to be. I know this discipline can be taught, because I saw it when TO was at the helm. If the players are forced to do what is right on the field, they will not only execute better, but will know how to handle the situation.

    I see plenty of college football teams that do execute and the are disciplined, so I know it can be done. Let's just hope Bo can figure it out.

    I agree that this is part of the coaching responsibility and they set the tone for this happening, but on good teams, players also take this on themselves and make each other accountable for their actions and behavior. When there is a problem with both of those things occurring, it's time to seek help.
    "According to a Gallup poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped to 45 percent. Luckily for Obama, he has 'impeachment insurance.' It's called 'Joe Biden.'" –Jay Leno


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    I also don't think Bo's explosion (the first big one, I think, since aTm) was a bad thing, or adversely impacted the players. It was in defense of his players (facemask). I applaud it.
    (old Gaelic saying) Chan eil h-uile facal sireadh freagairt. Not every question requires an answer.

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    You are right about the players, the players do need to step up and be leaders and hold those around them accountable. But this needs to be ingrained in the upper classmen to be leaders. It has to be passed on from class to class. The coaches need to be able to recruit kids not olny with talent, but with leadership abilities. I would think that a coach or assistant with the ability to recuit leaders is a valuable trait.





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    Quote Originally Posted by OmaHusker View Post
    ... Our losses are another matter. The average margin of our losses was almost 20 points (19.8) and that includes a 3 point loss to NW. The teams who beat us had a combined win percentage of 73.1%, again that includes a < .500 NW.
    So if we take out NW, our opponents to whom we lost are 11-3, 11-2, and 10-2, for a winning percentage of 82%. (Percentage will go up if Michigan beats Va Tech.)

    So you're saying we did pretty well this year

  19. #19
    As someone who grew up in Nebraska and am also a graduate, I was very disappointed yesterday. Not so much for the loss but for the conduct of the team. We had a player ejected, we had a helmet to helmet personal foul on a sliding quarterback and also the series that went from bad to worse with penalty after penalty.

    This is not the type of team I grew up with. We were usually a class act, we were anything but yesterday. The constant penalties on the offense for delay and procedure drive me nuts. I'm sure they drive the coaches that too, but why, after four years, are they still occurring on a regular basis?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MilesBFree View Post
    So if we take out NW, our opponents to whom we lost are 11-3, 11-2, and 10-2, for a winning percentage of 82%. (Percentage will go up if Michigan beats Va Tech.)

    So you're saying we did pretty well this year
    I'm saying we didn't even compete with those teams which translates to "we're not in their class." Had we been an elite team, we would have won 2 of those 3 games.




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