Courtesy of Doug Law and Lisa Runco
BIG RED BREAKFAST
Corn Flakes, 2nd Edition
NU vs UCLA Bruins
Recruiting Information: Nate Faust (Sean already in LA)
Away games provides NU with great opportunity in a really good recruiting base in Southern Cal. Johnny Stanton has a big game tonight and they are expecting a few thousand Husker fans to show up to his game (he is s Husker commit). They are visiting some JUCOs and a few other high schools while they are out there. Also kind of a homecoming for a number of guys on the team: Anunwa, Martinez, etc. Last week we had Cory Clements from New Jersey, all purpose back, rushed for over 2500 yds last season, goal this year is over 3000 yds, was impressed with NU last week, facilities, the atmosphere and attitude of the coaches. Impressed by Bo – no handouts at NU, you have to work for what you get. Kyle Shortridge DT from Florida, pass rusher, pays inside/outside, rated his visit a 10, committed to Wake earlier in the summer, he has 25 offers, loves Suh. When is NEBRASKA’s high school talent going to get back to where it was, Nate thinks that cycle is coming back around – what he has seen so far has looked good. North vs Bryan game last night, saw some good players.
Today’s Speaker: Grad Asst – Joe Ganz (replacing Tim Beck)..Everyone knows Joe, QB from ’04-’08. Has worked a lot with Taylor.
Joe’s Comments: (Joe showed the motivational that will be shown at the hotel this week to our players prior to the game.)
Excited to go back to Cali, a lot of our guys got burned by UCLA, so they are ready to go back there and shove it up…….I am from outside of Chicago. Everybody on South Side is Irish Catholic, love ND, I hate them with a passion. I never had a college team growing up. My first memory was Tommy Frazier’s TD against Florida!!!! I wasn’t highly recruited. Wish Sean Callahan was here because I would like to thank him for the 2-Star rating I got – hahaha. For some reason, they don’t like short, slow white QBs. Offers didn’t’ come so I signed to play baseball at U of Illinois. I didn’t get recruited by the old staff. My parents sent me to Dominican Republic as a treat. My brother and me got into a lot of trouble while we were there. Parents not really talking to me, I am unpacking. My dad is a big guy, wanted to talk to me. There is no way the Dominican Republic police could have gotten to them that fast. Hahaha. They told me that NU called and offered me a scholarship. I didn’t believe it. Coach Callahan had just gotten fired. NU flew me out the next weekend and I was hooked. I always wanted to come here, but seeing it made it for me. Not typical college career. Redshirted as freshman. Backup to Zach Taylor for a few years. Taught me a lot about the game physically and mentally. That’s when they brought in “the other guy”, I thought I had won the battle. Was disappointed in the outcome. He got hurt, then it was me. I wish I would have played more, only played 16 games, but I wouldn’t trade that experience, had made me what I am. Many guys now are in X-Box world, want to play right away.
Most memorable games or moments – I cherish the friends I made, the atmosphere. I had a trial in high school at Western Michigan, they were good at that time, I was excited. Coach told me I did a good job, but that I wasn’t good enough to play D-1 ball. That stuck with me. My senior year at NU, we played W Michigan, I was pretty fired up, Bo told me, we will throw is 7 times this game – hahaha. I threw for almost 400 yds and 4 TDs. I am not nice on the field, very competitive. I went up to their Coach, you told me I wasn’t good enough, you didn’t recruit me to your “bad” school, how about the “F-ing” 50 pts I just put on your school……..that coach started screaming at me, Bo heard it and started screaming at THEIR coach……that was my revenge!
Gator Bowl my senior year – one of best memories I don’t remember. 3rdQ I got knocked out, was snoring out there on the lawn……I wake up to smelling salt. I said to trainer, when did we get grass at Memorial Stadium….hahaha. Back then, I knew what they would ask you, they ask you two plays, follow the pen with your eyes. I told Zach which two plays to ask me, so I rattled those off and was cleared to go back in! My eyes can’t focus, Nate Swift called the play, I walked up to the line and I didn’t know what play it was. I based my reaction on what the line was going to do. O-line takes straight drop back, so I knew it was supposed to be a pass. I took 9-step drop which we don’t even have on our offense. I completed a 7-yd pass, everyone was congratulating me. Nate ended up calling the rest of the plays on that drive. We ended up kicking a filed goal because I missed Mike McNeill in the end zone. I tell my mom this story and she gets upset with me. Concussions are to be taken seriously, but you don’t want to be that guy that comes out because you “have a little headache”. After the game I was sitting in a dark room by myself…hahaha.
Have been back for a few years now, got promoted to GA but make less money now, how does that work? It’s exciting, I go through game film, offensive cut-ups. Our offense is very exciting, reads seem complicated, but it’s pretty easy once you get general grasp of concepts. We are aggressive style of offense, trying to get plays in and off as fast as we can. We want to try and confuse defenses, we have a lot of guys who do a lot of things. Hard to call on defense when our personnel are changing all the time. Coach Beck has done great job implementing his offense, mixing it with what we do well. Not exactly the same as it was at KU. Taylor, me and Beck have really good relationship, once you gain Taylor’s trust, he opens up to you, he is a great kid, can ask him to do anything, can be as hard on him as we want to be. He has changed in his ability to not focus on HOW we say something but what we say. We do yell. We want what’s best for him. It’s not about us, about Beck’s offense. He has earned the right to go play well. He wasn’t perfect last week, I’ll show you a few plays. Before we start talking about the Heisman, let’s look and see what he did, don’t want it to go to his head. This year he is locked in, he is asking questions in meetings. Guys on team appreciate his work ethic. He went back to Cali to work with QB coach Calhoon. Was here all summer. To see him grow and mature as a leader, it’s pretty cool. Our offense as a whole in its second year, you are going to understand the concepts a lot more and the group is really close, reminds me of some of our team closeness, we did everything together. They eat out together, people talk to Taylor on sidelines.
(Joe showed some clips of Taylor, good and some not as good – he is not the next Joe Montana – yet)
Sometimes plays the wrong side, but plays the right guy on the wrong side, which is encouraging compared to what he did last year. He has the freedom to check whenever he wants, we do give him parameters. Missed a few receivers that were wide open in end zone, he could have beat my record – hahaha! His decision-making is getting so much quicker and so much better. Sometimes he still throws the ball like a javelin, he is floating it, it hangs up there and receivers have to wait for it, he doesn’t finish with his arm/hand. Doing a lot better, but sometimes this still happens – every time it does, the ball will be short and behind the receiver. We are working with him to FINISH the throws. I feel bad for our line to play at this tempo, this pace. Those big nasties like to take their time – hahaha! Amir is not running out of bounds, I respect this about him, he is a tough little sucker, the guys really like him. We played with great effort and we were relentless all day, we weren’t perfect. Did a good job of faking.
- What happened in the Dominican Republic? My brother and I will take that to our graves. This doesn’t go outside of my blood family - hahaha.
- Is Armstrong going to redshirt – we would like him to. We aren’t going to waste him, want him to get experience only if truly needed and in meaningful games. Ronny is the backup. If Taylor were out for an extended period of time, it would have to be Ronny and Tommy. Tommy is going to be a special kid.
- Concern about giving backup QB enough play time – doing a better job this year. Backup is getting just as many reps in practices except for Thursday. There are becoming better and more experienced because of the two huddle system that we use. It is hard. As a backup, you have to be mentally prepared every day. A lot of our backup players step in and play really, really well (not just okay). Backups have to prove to us that they are ready to play.
- Are you expecting UCLA to blitz more? I don’t know. They are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. They played like two different games last week between 1st and 2nd half. Rice didn’t change their formations. We don’t really know what to expect. We have prepared our guys for everything. We will do what we’re going to do. Our guys like to play fast, react to what we see, make a guy miss, and then move on to next play. We have people who can outrun people, make people miss.
- Development of receivers – they are greatly improved over last year. Have more talent there since I’ve been around. Big physical guys, slot guys that are electrifying like Jamal. We have a lot of plays where they have to read coverage – they’ve never had to do that – never had to do that in the West Coast O. You have to understand how to use your body to get open, how to change speed, how to read routes. We have a lot of depth, guys like Steve Osborne…had a hell of a fall camp. Taylor loves throwing him the ball, he is a big target. These are the guys I am excited about, I was in their shoes once.
- How do you see the defense has changed since last year? I’m not giving a lot of that out, want it to be new for UCLA. Back end disguises things a lot better. Last week was hard, didn’t know what S Miss was going to do. Coaching changes made it hard to know. Bo is really good at understanding what opponent is trying to do and how to stop it, he thinks ahead so well. He makes adjustments quickly.
- What was philosophy of Cross playing to early? Rex went down. It’s nice to have a big back like Cross. Amani can’t play the whole game. Looks like Herschel Walked, 230 lbs of solid muscle.
- What has happened to Brion? Tommy just came in and took it from him. Esp for a true FR to pick it up that quick, he studied at home.
- What is Tommy like? He reminds me of an old QB we had here, I wont say his name. He is a vocal leader, steps up in front of team and talks. He has “IT”. Guys respect him, studies hard. Owns up to mistakes, which goes a long way with the other guys. Goes right to work, doesn’t complain, pull himself out when he is tired. Guys want to play for you, block for you, catch balls for you, dive all over for you.
- What happened last week to Maher? Don’t know what happened. Bo says he was probably trying to make All-American. He only gets a couple of ops per game. I would hate to be a kicker, you get a little glory now and then, but if you miss….oh boy. This is the least of my concerns going into to tomorrow.
- Tell us about your future professional goals – I would love to be hired here as a full time coach, hopefully soon! I love coaching for the team I played for, means a lot to me, you put in that extra effort because it means so much to you. Coach Beck is a joy to work for, keeps things light but knows when it is time to go to work. Working 17-18 hrs per day, its good if you like who you work for. I always joke with Bo that I will take his job sooner or later – he doesn’t like that – hahaha! Ultimate goal would be to be a head coach, short term goal is to be employed – hahaha!
- We have a plethora of signalers. We try to get it in as fast as we can. As soon as we see guys tap out, we are going after it as fast as we can.
- If we go 3 and out, puts a lot of pressure on the defense. Mentality for defense has to be you have to carry on. That is a risk we take with the type of quick offense we run. Last week we had drives of 8-10 plays, so D wasn’t on field that much. Bo seems fine with this. Offense was pretty well-oiled last week, we did some pretty good things. Helped a lot that it was so hot, a lot of S Miss guys didn’t want to get down in the stance.
- Are we going to run much option this year? Yeah, I think so. Beck wants to be more balanced this year. Closer to 50-50 run/pass. Maybe not more option than we did last year, but it’s still in our arsenal.
- Fun to watch the FB run the ball! I know it. He got three first downs for us! It’s nice to have a 260 lb runner, you don’t even have to block for him.
(Excellent job JOE!!!!!!!!!!!)
GO BIG RED! Beat those CALI BOYS!!!!!!