By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Director
Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska. It would appear that the Cornhuskers are members of the Big 10, but not obviously a member of the elite group of the league in football. The Badgers from Wisconsin started slowly, but improved their effort and turned the game into a rout. Wisconsin did finish at the top of the Big 10 last year, losing a number of players, but gained Russell Wilson, a quarterback who was the difference in the game Saturday night in Madison.
The Huskers’ coaching staff seems to think that Taylor Martinez is going to turn into some All-American passer anytime soon but after five games, soon is turning to way later.
I am just an old retired high school basketball coach, but I know that sometimes even though you would like to attack offensively in one way, you just can’t make it the main attraction because your talent level will not allow it.
It is my opinion that anytime the Huskers are content just to have Martinez drop back and try to find receivers, especially against good teams, it will turn into a tough game for them.
The Huskers had pretty good results with a running attack, but for some reason I get the idea that they want to be a passing team first. Martinez, again in my opinion, does a better job of play action than a drop back style.
Rex Burkhead can run the ball, and the last time I checked, you do not have to pass the ball at all if you don’t want to, and moving the ball down the field by rushing it will also lead to scoring. I also think that number 22 should get the ball anytime the Huskers are inside the five yard line. I might be wrong, but then again I might not.
The Badgers looked like the 1990s Husker teams. Their offensive line averaged about 6-5 and 315 lbs. Their defense that had appeared a little weak in their first four games was pretty tough and had the Huskers pretty well scouted. Their uniforms even looked like Nebraska. The former coach and now AD Barry Alvarez wanted to make a program based on Nebraska fundamentals and he has done that.
As the former well-loved Husker football coach Billy Callahan used to say, it was only one game, but it will be remembered all season long. If the Huskers can regroup and get another shot at the Badgers in the Big 10 championship game, and win that game without losing any others, they probably still won’t get a BCS championship game. The Big 10 conference isn’t held in the same esteem as the SEC and maybe the Big 12 and that will hurt come BCS time.
There isn’t much time to feel sorry for themselves as far as the Huskers are concerned because Ohio State will be in town this weekend and they struggled this past weekend and only scored one touchdown in a 10-7 loss to Michigan State.
Meanwhile, we can only hope that Taylor Martinez gets an opportunity to show his skills along with the rest of the rushing crew of the offensive team.