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Tad Stryker

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


  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Sep 23, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Blackshirts gain momentum, Pierson-El delivers big play as beat-up Huskers edge Rutgers
    It was not a jubilant crowd that filed out of Memorial Stadium in the Saturday evening twilight. It was more like a big, collective exhale. There was friendly banter here and there, but lots of furrowed foreheads and much quiet, purposeful walking.

    Don’t read too much into that. Nebraskans, after all, are a fairly stoic bunch. But they’re smart football fans, and they know just how much work their team has ahead of it just to reach the middle of the Big Ten West, let alone to contend for...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Sep 23, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Although some question timing, nearly 90 percent back president and chancellor in decision


    The Husker Nation has been profoundly divided on various issues lately, but the firing of Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst by President Hank Bounds and Chancellor Ronnie Green does not seem to be one of those issues.

    For this week’s pregame survey, I went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus to get 100 people to respond to this question:

    “Do you agree or disagree that the University’s president and chancellor made the right...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Sep 16, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Lack of o-line development continues to hold back Riley and Cornhuskers
    Endless Summer. That sounds like carefree days indeed. Were the Beach Boys thinking of Mike Riley’s Nebraska football program when they recorded that album?

    Unfortunately for Riley and his coaching staff, it’s September now and they have to play real football games. After a brutally disappointing 21-17 loss to Northern Illinois, the Huskers are 1-2 and reeling.

    A coach who knows how to make a fan base feel good in the offseason now has to deal with a Husker Nation deflated by his inability...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Sep 16, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    ’Skill positions’ generally have Husker fans’ confidence; o-line … not so much
    My Pregame Perspective question this week centered on the Husker offense. On a rainy morning before the Nebraska-Northern Illinois kickoff, I asked, “Which offensive position group has the most potential?” My intent was to find out what part of the offense has the highest ceiling.

    The answers were quite balanced, which perhaps is appropriate for the sort of pro-style offense that Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf envision.

    The wide receiver group barely edged out the quarterback group for top...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Sep 9, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Blackshirts find their footing in second half, but Lee’s four interceptions devastate NU in loss to
    Weeks from now, we may look back to halftime of Nebraska-Oregon as the moment the Cornhuskers refused to give in to the darkness.

    And weeks from now, we’ll have a better idea of just how much that silver lining of a second half was worth.

    Nebraska won the second half, 21-0 and quite likely salvaged its confidence in the process. Shutting out Oregon after halftime seemed inconceivable after the speedy Ducks scored at will in the first half.

    No doubt, that was one brutal half of defensive...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Sep 3, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Bryant, Lee, Spielman offset a rough night for the Blackshirts as Huskers hold off Arkansas State
    Did you ever have one of those dreams where you’re almost safely home, but out of nowhere, a pursuing monster comes closer and closer, and the harder you run, the slower you move?

    Yeah, a real B-film climax. That’s what Nebraska-Arkansas State degenerated into. Luckily for Nebraska fans – at least the ones who stayed to the final play – it was a happy ending, thanks mainly to sophomore I-back Tre Bryant, quarterback Tanner Lee and redshirt freshman slotback J.D. Spielman.

    Backpedaling...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Sep 2, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    60 percent of Husker fans surveyed expect nine wins or better this fall


    How have the expectations of Cornhusker fans changed as they anticipate Mike Riley’s third season as head coach?

    My survey indicates no dramatic shift from last year, although expectations are slightly higher. A majority (54 percent) set the bar at nine to 10 wins, and six more want a West Division title or a Big Ten title. That’s 60 percent. Last season, 57 percent expected nine wins or better.

    However, only 6 percent said they...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Jul 26, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Is a breakthrough season for Mohamed Barry on the horizon?
    Bo Pelini did some excellent work as a Nebraska defensive coordinator during his one-year run in 2003.

    Pelini, formerly a linebacker coach for the Green Bay Packers, took a suspect defense that was embarrassed in Ames and Manhattan the previous year, and made it a lot better right away.

    Can Bob Diaco, the former Connecticut head coach and Notre Dame defensive coordinator, do as well out of the starting gate in Lincoln as did Pelini? Can he do as much for a defense that was embarrassed last...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Jun 30, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    In third season, clear progress by NU coach would bring healing to the Heartland
    How long will Husker Nation continue to be a house divided?

    When will the clamor about Mike Riley finally die down? At times, Nebraska fans seem like two nations at war. Can we reach a consensus on the nice guy from Corvallis who makes brilliant off-the-field decisions and proved that you can indeed persuade four- and five-star high school prospects to take a serious recruiting trip to Lincoln – but who already has a losing season at NU, and whose winning percentage as coach of the Big Red...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    May 26, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    With highly-touted recruits, will Riley, football team follow suit over next three seasons?
    Patience, the old saying goes, is a virtue. It’s one that Nebraska sports fans possess in abundance, and it finally was rewarded.

    Coach Darin Erstad and a baseball team that seems created in his image have broken the long Cornhusker men’s team sports drought. The Huskers can finally call themselves Big Ten champs in something besides volleyball, track and field, or women’s basketball. Is it an omen of better things ahead, both in baseball and other sports?

    It’s been a long, tough dry...

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