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Tad Stryker

The author's columns published before spring of 2016 are archived here.

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Jan 13, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Riley correct to fire Banker, but his next step is critical
    So what are we to make of Mike Riley firing his longtime sidekick and defensive coordinator, Mark Banker? I think it’s simple: Riley realizes that his window of opportunity to win a championship is closing, and he’s doing something about it.

    Can Mister Rogers really get fired up to go to war? It’s a hard concept for many of us to grasp. Is there a fierce competitor lurking beneath that “Aw, shucks” persona? Could be. If the dismissal of Bruce Read didn’t already do it, this move at least...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Dec 30, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Cavanaugh, punchless o-line dragged down Huskers with late-season swoon
    The long, slow improvement of Nebraska’s offensive line looked slightly ahead of schedule in September. But then something happened.

    Several things, actually, and almost none of them good for coach Mike Cavanaugh and his young pupils. After Terrell Newby broke a 63-yard touchdown run to clinch NU’s 31-16 win over Illinois, things started to deteriorate for the big boys up front. From that moment on, Nebraska went 4-4 and never again scored 30 points in any game.

    For a moment there, it...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Dec 4, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Husker offensive line needs positive developments during December
    The Music City Bowl in Nashville is about as good an outcome as Nebraska fans could have reasonably expected, and Tennessee probably is the best matchup they could have drawn. After losing three of their last five games, this edition of the Cornhuskers is not playing on a New Year’s Day level.

    I like this matchup better than Florida in the Outback Bowl. The Gator defense could have stifled the Husker offense, which has shrunk noticeably since the bye week. The Huskers need to take this last...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Nov 25, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Collapse in Iowa City shows how Armstrong-dependent NU has become
    The Nebraska senior class of 2016 gave the Cornhusker State a lot of golden moments this fall. But Friday’s dismal performance at Iowa City has left a dramatically different taste on this season. Thankfully, gold cannot tarnish, but Iowa’s 40-10 thrashing of the Big Red proved that great memories can be suddenly, unexpectedly — and hopefully temporarily — buried beneath a thick layer of foul-smelling sludge.

    Nebraska has locked up a nine-win season, and is back to the upper middle class of...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Nov 19, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Blackshirts shut down Maryland running game, clinch unbeaten home season
    It’s welcome back to the upper middle class for Nebraska, which made it back to the nine-win mark without Tommy Armstrong and without second-half drama.

    Breaking out of mold they’ve cast for themselves, Nebraska played three nice quarters of football and a coasted to the finish for a secure but underwhelming 28-7 victory that clinched only the second undefeated home season for the Cornhuskers since 2001.

    Getting back to this level is a tremendout improvement over Riley’s maiden voyage....

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Nov 19, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Tommy Armstrong, character and toughness draw prominent mention as well

    The improvement in the Nebraska secondary, linebackers and defensive line have not gone unnoticed this season. The Blackshirts picked up a vote of confidence from Cornhusker fans, winning a strong plurality in my pregame survey.

    I asked 100 Husker fans this question before the NU-Maryland game Saturday: “What is the main strength of this year’s Husker football team?” I gave them the following choices:

    • Offense
    • Defense
    • Kicking...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Nov 13, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Senior QB overcomes ankle injury to lead game-winning 91-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive
    You’ve complained about him on and off for four years now, but you’ll miss the Warrior when he’s gone. Thirty times, he has left the field a winner.

    No. 30 did not come easily, but when Tommy Armstrong Jr. walked slowly, painfully, off the field at Memorial Stadium field, he trailed only Eric Crouch (35 wins) and Tommie Frazier (33) for most victories by a Nebraska quarterback.

    Armstrong won’t play quarterback in the NFL, but he leaves everything on the field for the University of...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Nov 12, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Solid 70-30 margin prefers to keep Friday nights for high school sports only

    The Big Ten recently announced plans to expand its schedule to include occasional Friday night games for schools which agree to take part, but those plans are not popular among Husker fans, if my latest pregame poll is any indication.

    I asked 100 Husker fans this question Saturday afternoon, prior to the Nebraska-Minnesota game:

    “Do you favor occasional Friday night Husker games at Memorial Stadium, as announced by the Big Ten?”...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Nov 6, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Huskers need someone to succeed up front — and soon
    A Nebraska football team with a fragile, paper-thin offensive line is a sad sight to behold.

    When an offensive line can’t stand and fight, all its playmakers are nullified, and soon it puts the entire team in a no-win situation. And it’s the main reason that Mike Riley now has an ugly loss, a 59-point thrashing, second worst in Husker history, is on his Lincoln resume. That’s something Bo Pelini, with all his embarrassing collapses, never had to live down.

    This sort of thing — Nebraska...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Oct 30, 2016
    , Tad Stryker
    Talent-depth deficit, lack of precision by Armstrong prove costly
    Grit and heart can carry you a long way, but as Nebraska found out Saturday night, eventually a lack of depth and talent catches up with you.

    Whether by a little or by a lot, Wisconsin continues its advantage in the series. Its 23-17 overtime victory at Camp Randall Stadium was the fourth consecutive win for the Badgers over the Huskers.

    The Cornhuskers made it interesting. They found another burst of fourth-quarter magic, coming from 10 points behind to tie the game at 17 with less than...