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Tad Stryker

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

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Apr 9, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Riley is staking a lot on the success of Cavanaugh’s offensive line
    For decades, a tough, disruptive Blackshirt defense and a physical running game was the identity of Nebraska football. Yes, 1962-2001 was a pretty good run for the Huskers. Those days disappeared, but they’re not gone for good. Conference titles can return to the Cornhusker State; the components used to build them are still available.

    If Penn State’s football program can come back from the brink of death, under the leadership of someone fighting for his coaching life, it most certainly can...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Mar 27, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    A quick look at the best ways to shorten the duration of major college football games
    As late as the the Turner Gill/Mike Rozier era, relatively few Nebraska home games were televised. Non-televised games typically started at 1:30 p.m. and usualy ended about 4:10, consuming about 2 hours, 40 minutes. Televised games ran longer, to be sure, but usually wrapped up in right about three hours.

    Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? The issue gained momentum after the latest College Football Playoff final between Clemson and Alabama lasted more than four hours.


  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Mar 5, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Diaco’s energy, healthy offensive line, launch of QB competition are highlights
    It seemed like the first day of summer vacation. It was Day One of Nebraska football spring drills, a movable feast day on the Old Cornhusker Fan Almanac calendar. With the kickoff of fall season still six months away, it was a moment in time to relish.

    In his on-field coaching debut as NU’s defensive coordinator, Bob Diaco unleashed his high-energy style on the Blackshirts. The early returns were encouraging. Diaco exuded intensity and set the tone for the day. Mike Riley certainly liked...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Feb 19, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Any scheme requires winning one-on-ones to make it work
    The arrival of Bob Diaco and his switch to a 3-4 defense has brought much anticipation to Husker Nation. It will bring many questions long before the first game this fall, but for me, one tops them all.

    Will it generate an effective pass rush? In my opinion, that’s the most important step to creating a disruptive, turnover-causing defense. The Huskers created only 19 takeaways last fall, which ranked 67th among all major-college teams. That included 16 interceptions, which were mainly due...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Feb 1, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    Parrella continues to show his worth on National Signing Day
    A rabbit ran in front of my car, the headlights casting a fleeting ghostly image on the streets of Lincoln just before 6 a.m. on National Signing Day.

    Normally, I don’t put much stock in omens, although as a Kansas City Royals fan, I took careful notice of a bluejay I saw lying dead on the street as I rode my bicycle to work on the eve of the 2015 ALCS, just before Kansas City eliminated Toronto in six games on its way to the World Series championship.

    Since so much time and energy has...

  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....