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What I expect going forward

LarstheRed

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
You criticized a lot of areas of the team and then said they will improve over the course of the season. I wish I shared your optimism. I would like to know why we didn’t get these bugs out of our system in spring and fall camp. Scott knows as well as anyone that this is college football and you can’t make a run at the end of the season and make the playoffs like in the pro game. Next year will be year 3. I hope we drop the get better during the season thing.
If the line is one of your concerns, how can you not see the disruption that losing Bland and Gaylord caused? Those aren’t bugs to workout, those were huge changes, and they came to a group that wasn’t brimming with depth. Wouldn’t a starting 5 of Jaimes, Big Farniok, Bland, Wilson and Gaylord be, at least on paper, much more attractive?

Give the staff time during the season. I’ve always felt good coaches continue to develop talent during the season, they continue to push people, push the right buttons to get more talent on the field.
 

anotherdumbprediction

Recruit
2 Year Member
Let me answer your question with more questions? Why do you think the NCAA limits the amount of practice time that teams can have in the spring, summer, and fall? Do you think that teams would be better if they had more time together? If so, what happens when the guy who is your best prospect at Center is only a Redshirt-Freshman, and he's missed most of the practices in his first fall on campus, some of the practices in his first spring (he wasn't an early enrollee in 2018), and he missed all of fall camp except for the last handful of practices? Do O-linemen get better when they get a lot of practice time together? What would you expect from them if they don't? What if there is no Option B that's better?

That's where the O-line is. Even if he had taken every snap in the spring and in fall camp, Jurgens would have had a steep hill to climb as a Redshirt-Freshman starting at Center after having never played the position before at any level. The fact that there was/is nobody older than he and Will Farniok to start, right now, shows the lack of depth that Frost inherited.

It's basically the same story with WR, except it's more people involved. WRs and the QB need to practice together as much as possible, and that includes 7-on-7 in the summers in addition to spring football and fall camp. Two of the WRs who were expected to hold down the X-WR position haven't been playing: Hunt got kicked off the team the week before the first game, and Woodyard has been hurt. The Swiss Army Knife guy who organized all of the practices all summer and who knows how to play every WR position--Kade Warner--has also been out with an injury. The guy who has been filling in--Kanawei Noa--is a summer transfer from Cal who had to learn the offense over the summer without the help of the coaches. Even NFL teams wouldn't look good in those situations. If the WRs aren't doing what Martinez is expecting them to do--and it doesn't even matter which one is right or wrong--you're going to end up seeing what we've been seeing: a lot of QB sacks due to the QB holding onto the ball too long because nobody came open. Even Tom Brady couldn't be successful in that scenario. In fact, that's pretty similar to the situations in the past decade or so when he's looked horrible: a veteran WR leaves the team, another is injured, and it takes awhile for the newbies to get on the same page with him.



If you're saying that you hope that the team looks better at the start of the year than they have this year or last, yeah, I'd say that Frost and everyone else is expecting that also. If you're saying that you're expecting the team to play error-free, veteran football at the start of the year, you're expecting too much. Even Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney will tell you that their teams look like crap in August as compared to what they look like in the first week of December; why? The gametime experience matters, and it can't be perfectly replicated. Some things just have to be learned by going through them in games.
I appreciate your well-though-out responses to my concerns and your ability to do it without trying to humiliate the person you are responding to. Others could learn from you. I read what you said and it is easier to come up with reasons for shortcomings once you see the shortcomings. The near-disaster we have witnessed so far must be a bit of a surprise to you also. Would probably be taking this easier had people been raising concerns about these areas before the season started. The arguably "worse than Riley" product we have seen so far scares the ___ out of me.
 

LarstheRed

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
I appreciate your well-though-out responses to my concerns and your ability to do it without trying to humiliate the person you are responding to. Others could learn from you. I read what you said and it is easier to come up with reasons for shortcomings once you see the shortcomings. The near-disaster we have witnessed so far must be a bit of a surprise to you also. Would probably be taking this easier had people been raising concerns about these areas before the season started. The arguably "worse than Riley" product we have seen so far scares the ___ out of me.
The line was being mentioned from spring on. The receivers were concerning since fall with Wandale gimping a hammy, JD nicked up, and Warner not on the field. There were plenty who mentioned concerns, though they may have been a little drowned out by the volume of those excited for the season.
 
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I appreciate your well-though-out responses to my concerns and your ability to do it without trying to humiliate the person you are responding to.
Thanks, I genuinely appreciate your complimentary words. It's nice to know that people value what I have written.

The near-disaster we have witnessed so far must be a bit of a surprise to you also.
Would probably be taking this easier had people been raising concerns about these areas before the season started.
It's definitely fair to say that I didn't expect Martinez to be struggling this much at this point, but I was worried about the O-line, WRs, and our LBs (mainly because of a lack of depth). I'm still more concerned about a key injury or two than I am worried about AM and Frost and the offense as a whole getting things back on track. I've been pleased with the defense, for the most part. Because I've coached some really awful teams in my life, I understand how difficult it is to change a losing culture into something positive. I also see the tell-tale signs of a team that doesn't know how to finish off an opponent when they have them down. We're making progress though. I was even very worried about a potential injury to Deontai Williams, which in June seemed potentially as debilitating as losing Mo Barry or AM. While I obviously wish he was healthy, I'm now a believer in Fisher as a world-class secondary coach, and I'm confident that we'll be fine there.

I don't know how much you've read some of the threads from late June through August that talked about our opponents and projected our record, etc., but I've been pretty consistent in saying that--apart from a key injury (i.e., Martinez or Barry)--I thought that we'd likely finish with 8 or 9 wins. I've also said repeatedly that a young team that hasn't learned how to win will likely lose some games it shouldn't, and we'll probably win one or two that we shouldn't. I expect a lot of thrilling, close games, whether the fans and prognosticators think that it should be close or not. I think that we still have a 50/50 shot against Ohio State, and that's in large part because we will match up very well against both their offensive and defensive schemes. I also have been saying since June that I think that it's very likely that we lose at least one game to the teams that everybody thought we'd beat for certain in the conference: Illinois, Indiana, and Maryland. I've been accused of being a closet Fleck lover because I think that it's going to be very difficult to win at Minnesota. What I said was mostly not very popular at the time. I did think that we'd beat Colorado, fwiw.
 

anotherdumbprediction

Recruit
2 Year Member
Thanks, I genuinely appreciate your complimentary words. It's nice to know that people value what I have written.




It's definitely fair to say that I didn't expect Martinez to be struggling this much at this point, but I was worried about the O-line, WRs, and our LBs (mainly because of a lack of depth). I'm still more concerned about a key injury or two than I am worried about AM and Frost and the offense as a whole getting things back on track. I've been pleased with the defense, for the most part. Because I've coached some really awful teams in my life, I understand how difficult it is to change a losing culture into something positive. I also see the tell-tale signs of a team that doesn't know how to finish off an opponent when they have them down. We're making progress though. I was even very worried about a potential injury to Deontai Williams, which in June seemed potentially as debilitating as losing Mo Barry or AM. While I obviously wish he was healthy, I'm now a believer in Fisher as a world-class secondary coach, and I'm confident that we'll be fine there.

I don't know how much you've read some of the threads from late June through August that talked about our opponents and projected our record, etc., but I've been pretty consistent in saying that--apart from a key injury (i.e., Martinez or Barry)--I thought that we'd likely finish with 8 or 9 wins. I've also said repeatedly that a young team that hasn't learned how to win will likely lose some games it shouldn't, and we'll probably win one or two that we shouldn't. I expect a lot of thrilling, close games, whether the fans and prognosticators think that it should be close or not. I think that we still have a 50/50 shot against Ohio State, and that's in large part because we will match up very well against both their offensive and defensive schemes. I also have been saying since June that I think that it's very likely that we lose at least one game to the teams that everybody thought we'd beat for certain in the conference: Illinois, Indiana, and Maryland. I've been accused of being a closet Fleck lover because I think that it's going to be very difficult to win at Minnesota. What I said was mostly not very popular at the time. I did think that we'd beat Colorado, fwiw.
It turns out most of us didn’t know as much about our Cornhuskers as we thought we did going into the season. What really is only anecdotal evidence had us thinking HCSF would turn things around more quickly.
I did look through most of this summer’s threads regarding record predictions with amusement. Personally, I find them pretty ridiculous, as it is hard enough to know our own team well enough, but who does enough homework to know our opponents well enough to predict whether we will beat them. You won’t find any predictions from me in them. I think they are to help people keep their sanity in dealing with the uncertainty of the approaching season. Even if we are a better team, any given Saturday.........

As for GM/Wham, I must have been misinformed. Personally, when I want to get in touch with my feminine side, although you won’t find either on any of my playlists, I will blare Careless Whisper or True by Spandau Ballet through the Alexa and sing along. It’s cathartic.
 
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The_CornTorch

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
During the recent low points like this with Husker football, I always wonder if the best help might be for the faithful to care a little bit less. Give the team and the coaches time to do the work without the huddled masses breathing down their neck (always with the best of intentions, of course).

To say it another way, how do you think Osborne dealt with all the negative backlash on social media after the loss at Iowa State in 1992?

What's that? Oh... they didn't? Well how did Coach Tom know if the fans were satisfied with his job performance?
 
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HuskerJ

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
Let me answer your question with more questions? Why do you think the NCAA limits the amount of practice time that teams can have in the spring, summer, and fall? Do you think that teams would be better if they had more time together? If so, what happens when the guy who is your best prospect at Center is only a Redshirt-Freshman, and he's missed most of the practices in his first fall on campus, some of the practices in his first spring (he wasn't an early enrollee in 2018), and he missed all of fall camp except for the last handful of practices? Do O-linemen get better when they get a lot of practice time together? What would you expect from them if they don't? What if there is no Option B that's better?

That's where the O-line is. Even if he had taken every snap in the spring and in fall camp, Jurgens would have had a steep hill to climb as a Redshirt-Freshman starting at Center after having never played the position before at any level. The fact that there was/is nobody older than he and Will Farniok to start, right now, shows the lack of depth that Frost inherited.

It's basically the same story with WR, except it's more people involved. WRs and the QB need to practice together as much as possible, and that includes 7-on-7 in the summers in addition to spring football and fall camp. Two of the WRs who were expected to hold down the X-WR position haven't been playing: Hunt got kicked off the team the week before the first game, and Woodyard has been hurt. The Swiss Army Knife guy who organized all of the practices all summer and who knows how to play every WR position--Kade Warner--has also been out with an injury. The guy who has been filling in--Kanawei Noa--is a summer transfer from Cal who had to learn the offense over the summer without the help of the coaches. Even NFL teams wouldn't look good in those situations. If the WRs aren't doing what Martinez is expecting them to do--and it doesn't even matter which one is right or wrong--you're going to end up seeing what we've been seeing: a lot of QB sacks due to the QB holding onto the ball too long because nobody came open. Even Tom Brady couldn't be successful in that scenario. In fact, that's pretty similar to the situations in the past decade or so when he's looked horrible: a veteran WR leaves the team, another is injured, and it takes awhile for the newbies to get on the same page with him.



If you're saying that you hope that the team looks better at the start of the year than they have this year or last, yeah, I'd say that Frost and everyone else is expecting that also. If you're saying that you're expecting the team to play error-free, veteran football at the start of the year, you're expecting too much. Even Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney will tell you that their teams look like crap in August as compared to what they look like in the first week of December; why? The gametime experience matters, and it can't be perfectly replicated. Some things just have to be learned by going through them in games.
Great points. But I have to disagree with the "nobody came open" part. There are people open, just not the one AM has been locked into, for the most part. The part that is shocking to me is it would seem that Frost and AM would relish the opportunity to take advantage of blitzes. Seems like (over simplification) that the Colorado first half was us being better than them with what it is that we do. Then Colorado has to throw blitzes at us to get AM's rhythm off. Standard response to a guy who's 9 for 9.

So, we should anticipate that. We should then have even more options open as they are having to use defenders differently. i.e less of them. The short Brady esq game plan of get it to the guy they aren't covering cause they're blitzing is now plan A.

I didn't see that simple adjustment against Colorado. SSO's thread where he illustrated where the open guy was had little to do with wide receivers not getting open. Now, there could be underlying issues of trusting the backs based on practice scenarios or whatever we aren't privy to. But something is wrong.

AM starting trying to throw scripted plays to them. Give credit to Frost and someone in the sky box for seeing how open they were. So Frost seemingly called designed plays to them to take the read away from AM. At this point Colorado had already seen the same thing and was schematically one step ahead of us.

We had a lot of 2nd and 5's where we wasted the whole play. Then became predictable on 3rd. We don't show that we have any short designed pass plays that are effective against a team bringing pressure.

We will find out tomorrow if such a thing exists cause N. ILL. will test that heavily.
 
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Great points. But I have to disagree with the "nobody came open" part. There are people open, just not the one AM has been locked into, for the most part. The part that is shocking to me is it would seem that Frost and AM would relish the opportunity to take advantage of blitzes. Seems like (over simplification) that the Colorado first half was us being better than them with what it is that we do. Then Colorado has to throw blitzes at us to get AM's rhythm off. Standard response to a guy who's 9 for 9.

So, we should anticipate that. We should then have even more options open as they are having to use defenders differently. i.e less of them. The short Brady esq game plan of get it to the guy they aren't covering cause they're blitzing is now plan A.

I didn't see that simple adjustment against Colorado. SSO's thread where he illustrated where the open guy was had little to do with wide receivers not getting open. Now, there could be underlying issues of trusting the backs based on practice scenarios or whatever we aren't privy to. But something is wrong.

AM starting trying to throw scripted plays to them. Give credit to Frost and someone in the sky box for seeing how open they were. So Frost seemingly called designed plays to them to take the read away from AM. At this point Colorado had already seen the same thing and was schematically one step ahead of us.

We had a lot of 2nd and 5's where we wasted the whole play. Then became predictable on 3rd. We don't show that we have any short designed pass plays that are effective against a team bringing pressure.

We will find out tomorrow if such a thing exists cause N. ILL. will test that heavily.
I think that a lot of people are giving WAY too much credit to the Colorado coaching staff for "defensive adjustments," which really don't appear to be anything significant. The one blitz package that Colorado ran a lot in the second half that was more effective than it should have been was the Green Dog Blitz, which is discussed here in decent detail. (Fwiw, the D-line twist and the 7-on-the-line stunt that he mentions are literally jr. high level stunts that usually don't work by the end of the jr. high season.) The Colorado staff was smart enough to keep doing what worked, but this isn't genius level stuff that we're talking about, and I see ZERO evidence that they made any true, major adjustments at halftime beyond rushing only the front 3 consistently while bringing the fourth on the Green Dog Blitz on key plays.

As for the wide-open WRs that seem to be a popular topic for Monday Morning Quarterbacks, Inc., a WR that comes wide open but is NOT a prime target based on the play call represents someone that the defense is rotating away from, and it is NOT necessarily a fault of the QB to NOT see him. If it happens, and it's clearly a gamble that the defense is making, it's the responsibility of the OC (Walters) up in the booth to tell Frost that they're leaving the backside fade route uncovered (or whatever the WR is that is being left uncovered) and to attack it the next time. No QB truly sees the whole field at the same time. It's their job to read what the defense is doing pre-snap, then attack the weakness based on one defender being placed in a bind where whatever he chooses is wrong. If a QB is distracted by looking to the other side of the field while that play is happening, nothing works. It's of no value to point out that someone came open late if it was/is outside of the window where the QB should be looking. It's the OC's responsibility to attack that the next time. Sometimes a DB gambles and is right, and then doesn't do it again, and never has to pay for it. That's just football. In the end, taking crazy risks kills you, but it can work on one play, here or there.

What I saw was a Nebraska team where the QB and the WRs were not on the same page. If the WRs see a 2-high Safety look, for example, then they run specific routes to get into the seams. If the QB sees 2-high Safeties, but the WRs think that it's a Single-Safety (and think that the other Safety is in man-to-man coverage on a WR, for example), then the WRs will run a route that doesn't get open, and the QB will be locked in on a guy who doesn't go where expected, and if it takes too long, the QB gets sacked. That's what happened ... several times.
 

HuskerJ

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
That's going to happen. There are a fair amount of reads required all over the place. I'm not buying that guys can't read basics and get open. I saw AM watch receivers run right to left and he followed them the whole play, then threw it into coverage. SSO has a thread that outlines how poorly AM read the defense at times. If the cerebral part of the game is losing out to junior high defenses as you put it then we are in worse shape than I thought.

I realize if a QB thinks a WR should stop or go or slant of whatever, and they don't, they aren't on the same page. But for 4 guys out on routes, 1 of them should be open with high level players.

If Colorado's defensive adjustments were junior high level, and we can't get on the same page, is our offense also at that level, or are we making things too difficult on ourselves with unnecessary complexity?

And how does this affect our speed? Frost promoted fast fast fast...yet we are really just slow in getting to the line, stressing the defense with quick play call, quick passes, high percentage stuff. Not seeing any of that. None.
 
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