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Tad Stryker

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

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Jul 26, 2017 at 8:22 PM
    , 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...

  1. Posted By Tad Stryker
    Apr 28, 2017
    , Tad Stryker
    A minimum of five first-team All-Big Ten selections is starting point for 2017 season
    If it seems like Nebraska football has lacked difference-makers on the field lately, that’s because it has. It’s the single biggest reason Nebraska has been a mid-level team ever since it joined the Big Ten.

    Bo Pelini inherited a respectable amount of talent, but couldn’t keep the pantry stocked. Mike Riley seems to be making progress in that department, but the jury is still out. For two years in a row, only one Nebraska football player has been selected as a first-team All-Big Ten player....

  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...