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SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION – Nebraska

Note … Previews for CU’s opponents will be posted each week leading up to the start of Fall Camp … Previously posted: Colorado State

2019 Game Two – Colorado v. Nebraska – September 7th

Related … “Nebraska takes high hopes in year No. 2 with Scott Frost”

From the Daily Camera … Coming into the 2018 season, there was so much excitement about the beginning of the Scott Frost era at Nebraska that it was almost cruel to Cornhuskers fans that they had to wait an extra week.

Fans packed Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb., for the opener against Akron and roared at the open kickoff. But, that was it. Severe weather forced the game to be halted, fans were eventually sent home and the game was never played.

A week later, 89,853 fans poured into the seats for Frost’s actual debut as Nebraska head coach, only to watch former Big 12 rival Colorado steal a 33-28 victory in the waning moments.

It took seven games for the Huskers to get their first win under Frost, a native and former Nebraska quarterback.

This year, there’s a load of hype again, but perhaps with more substance behind it. This month, Buffzone.com is previewing each of Colorado’s opponents, with this installment focusing on Nebraska, which is coming off of back-to-back 4-8 seasons and visits Boulder on Sept. 7.

Despite consecutive losing seasons for the first time since six in a row from 1956-61, Nebraska comes into this year as a legitimate contender to win the Big Ten West division. In fact, Phil Steele, Athlon and Street & Smith’s all project the Cornhuskers as the West winner.

Continue reading story here

Last game between the two schoolsSeptember 8, 2018 … Colorado 33, Nebraska 28

Steven Montez hit Laviska Shenault for a 40-yard touchdown with 1:06 to play, giving Colorado a 33-28 come-from-behind win over Nebraska in Lincoln. Montez went 33-for-50 passing, going for 351 yards and three touchdowns. Shenault collected ten of those passes for 177 yards and a touchdown … also scoring on a three-yard run in the first quarter.

The game went back and forth all afternoon. The Buffs raced out to an early 14-0 lead, only to watch the Cornhuskers dominate play for the remainder of the first half. Nebraska led 21-17 at the break, having posted 243 yards rushing to CU’s nine. The Buffs steadied themselves in the second half, overcoming two missed field goals before securing the winning points in the final minute of play.

Nebraska had 565 yards of total offense against the Colorado defense, with freshman quarterback completing 15-of-20 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown (one interception), while also leading the Cornhuskers in rushing (15 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns). For the Buffs, other than the Montez-to-Shenault combo, there was little offensive production (395 total yards of total offense). Kyle Evans and Travon McMillian each had 25 yards rushing, while no Buff other than Shenault was over 50 yards receiving (though Jay MacIntyre had eight catches for 45 yards and two touchdowns.

Continue reading game story here

Essay for the game, We Have To Beat Them. It’s The Only Thing They Understand”, can be found here

Last five games between Colorado and Nebraska

— 2007 – Colorado 65, Nebraska 51“Big win gives CU a bowl bid; sends Cornhuskers Packing”

— 2008 – Nebraska 40, Colorado 31“Coach Mac v. Coach Hawkins – The First Three Years

— 2009 – Nebraska 28, Colorado 20 – “Dan Hawkins inexplicably retained after 3-9 season

— 2010 – No. 16 Nebraska 45, Colorado 17 – “A November to Remember

— 2018 – Colorado 33, Nebraska 28 – “We have to beat them. It’s the only thing they understand

2018 Nebraska results – 4-8 (3-6 in Big Ten play)

– 2018 Nebraska National Rankings (Offense)

— Scoring – 57th … 30.0 points per game  (Colorado scoring defense – 70th … 27.3 points per game)

— Rushing – 28th … 209.0 yards per game   (Colorado rushing defense – 44th … 145.6 yards per game)

— Passing – 51st … 247.2 yards per game   (Colorado passing defense – 74th … 234.7 yards per game)

— Total – 25th … 456.2 yards per game  (Colorado total defense – 52nd … 380.3 yards per game)

– 2018 Nebraska National Rankings (Defense)

— Scoring – 88th … 31.3 points per game  (Colorado scoring offense – 79th … 27.1 points per game)

— Rushing – 96th … 195.8 yards per game (Colorado rushing offense – 99th … 143.0 yards per game)

— Passing – 78th … 237.8 yards per game (Colorado passing offense – 45th … 249.6 yards per game)

— Total – 94th … 433.5 yards per game  (Colorado total offense – 74th … 392.6 yards per game)

Nebraska storylines … 

– “Can Scott Frost Lead Nebraska to the College Football Playoff?’

Yup. This is the actual headline of an article posted this week. If you would like to read the article, it can be found here.

The opening: “Once among college football’s powerhouses, the Nebraska Cornhuskers haven’t won a conference championship since the turn of the century. With no 10-win seasons since 2012, it has been a tough rebuilding effort for second-year head coach Scott Frost to inherit, but the team is showing promise. Given a big jump in quality, the Huskers could have an outside shot at returning to national glory.”

And it’s not just Cornhusker homers who are drinking the Big Red Kool-Aid. Any number of preseason magazines are ignoring Nebraska’s 0-6 start to the 2018 season, preferring to focus on the 4-2 finish and putting Nebraska into their preseason Top 25’s:

From CBS Sports No. 17 – Nebraska … How do the Cornhuskers show up in the top 25 after a 4-8 season? Nebraska responded nicely under Scott Frost after an 0-6 start. Quarterback Adrian Martinez should take a giant leap forward.

From USA TodayNo. 19 – Nebraska … The defense is going to be better, maybe even significantly so. The Cornhuskers have a Heisman contender in quarterback Adrian Martinez but need to add depth at the skill positions and are again not entirely trustworthy along the line. Overall, however, this is a team set to take the next step under Scott Frost.

From Sports IllustratedNo. 24 – Nebraska … Quarterback Adrian Martinez is back, but his leading receiver and rusher have moved on, and sophomore running back Maurice Washington is facing a trial for revenge porn charges that has left his status in doubt, so Martinez may have to shoulder a big load as a sophomore. The defense, which finished near the bottom of the conference in almost every major category, need to find someone to consistently rush the passer.

From ESPNNo. 24 – Nebraska … Scott Frost followed a big second half of his first season as coach of his alma mater with Nebraska’s highest-rated recruiting class since 2011. The Cornhuskers’ class ranked 18th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten, according to ESPN. Frost and his staff signed players from 15 states, including four from Georgia.

So … If Nebraska finished 4-8, and lost to Colorado … at home, then the 5-7 Buffs should be favored in the rematch in Boulder, right?

Don’t count on it. If the preseason prognosticators have it right, September 7th will be a Big Red steamroll through Folsom Field.

Players make plays

Sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez passed for 2,617 yards with 17 touchdowns last season, while running for 629 yards with eight scores in 2018. The storyline before the second game of the season, though, will include numerous replays of how CU “intentionally” injured Martinez in the fourth quarter of last season’s game, denying Nebraska a chance to pull out a victory.

Assuming Martinez is a full go for four quarters against the Buffs, who are his weapons of choice?

Gone are leading wide receiver Stanley Morgan and leading rusher Devine Ozigbo, as are three-fifths of the offensive line (In fact, Nebraska may be starting a freshman former tight end at center and a walk-on at guard).

Sounds like a Top 25 team, doesn’t it?

The leading candidate for running back honors is sophomore Maurice Washington, if Scott Frost can get past his “no excuses” policy to forget the fact that Washington is facing felony charges in California. If Washington can’t play, then it will be up to JC transfer (from Georgia Tech) Dedrick Mills, to be the primary ball-carrier.

At wide receiver, junior JD Spielman, the son of Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, is the name to remember.

Defensively, Nebraska will lose four of its top five tacklers, including two linebackers and two safeties.

… (remind me again how this is a Top 25 team?) …

The defensive line may be the best unit on the team. Ben Stille topped the Cornhuskers last season with five sacks last year and is joined by two pairs of brothers — Khalil and Carlos Davis, both seniors, combined for four sacks last year. Oklahoma State graduate transfer Darrion Daniels will start immediately and link up with his brother Damion (wouldn’t it be great to see CU’s Oklahoma State transfer tackle, Arlington Hambright, go up against his former teammate in Hambright’s Folsom Field debut?).

Nebraska does have talented players, but this is also a program which has gone 4-8 the past two seasons.

How the Buffs fit into the Cornhuskers’ 2019 schedule

The much heralded debut by Scott Frost as the new Nebraska head coach was delayed last September, when the opener against Akron was cancelled due to dangerous weather (the Zips were later replaced on the schedule by Bethune-Cookman, one of Nebraska’s four wins last season).

Without a warm-up against Akron, Colorado became the season-opener for Nebraska and their new head coach. A crowd of 89,853 was on hand to witness the coronation … but instead watched in horror as the Buffs won, 33-28.

This fall, Nebraska has another warm-up game scheduled before they take on Colorado. This fall, the Cornhuskers open with South Alabama. The Jaguars wins were over Texas State, Alabama State, and Coastal Carolina. The best measure of how South Alabama at Nebraska will turn out? Last year’s game against Oklahoma State … Oklahoma State 55, South Alabama 13.

In short, while the Buffs are fighting with a desperate CSU Ram squad in the final Denver Rocky Mountain Showdown, the Cornhuskers will be coasting in their home opener.

Bottom Line

Last summer, the 2018 preseason magazines were bullish on the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the return of Scott Frost:

Athlon (ranking Frost as the No. 1 of 21 new hires): “There are no guarantees in the world of college football, but will be a significant surprise if Frost does not return Nebraska to national prominence”.

Lindy’s: “If there are 100 rankings of college football coaching hires out there, then there are 100 with Frost and Nebraska right at the very top. This is a once-in-a-lifetime hire”.

And what did the prodigal son produce? … The first 0-6 start in school history.

Now, the Cornhuskers did finish out 4-2, falling in close games to Ohio State (36-31) and Iowa (31-28), sparking optimism for the future.

Still, the Corn Nation is glossing over the fact that their team has finished 4-8 the past two seasons (much like CU fans are glossing over the fact that CU is entering the 2019 season on a seven-game losing streak).

The Buffs beat the Cornhuskers in Memorial Stadium last season, with the players unaware that they were supposed to be intimidated by the Big Red and its history.

If the 2019 Buffs can remember that as well, they’ll do just fine on September 7th …

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8 Replies to “Scouting the Opposition – Nebraska”

  1. “……Colorado is a long way from reaching that level, but talent hasn’t been the Buffs’ issue the last few years, and Tucker doesn’t view this as a rebuild.” From Athlon.”

    Yup talent was not the issue. It started at the top.
    Buffs.

    Note: Buffs be having new blood at the top. HCMT is the difference maker. Holers beware

  2. all the rags know there are hundreds of thousand rabid fans in truck stop land. Thats the only thing that counts here.

  3. The hype for the Cornhuskers last year was delusional. Change management doesn’t happen overnight. Some of the cultural transformation took hold in the second half of the season. Some of that will spill over into this season. Some of it won’t and there will be negative impacts from
    Inexperience, mostly with Husker players. Contain Martinez and the Buffs should win this game.

  4. Ode to Stinkn Linkn DBA: Eau De Toilette

    Sittn’ in the morning sun
    I’ll be sittn’ cause linkns no fun
    watching the korn trucks roll in
    and watch em roll away again, yeah

    Sittn’ by the mountain of korn
    waiting for the noon time horn
    ooh, I’m squatting on the port-o-pot seat
    trying not to soil my feet

    I’m a loser kream fan yes I am,
    and the n for ‘nowledge’ is the scam
    ooh, I’m just sitting on a mountain of korn
    watching my life fade away in the morn.

    Looks like nothings gonna change,
    I’m a kream boy with no nowledge in my brain
    I can’t do what “Frosty” tells me to do
    so I guess I’ll just suffer the pain.

    living the big red lie
    Korn Holer academics can make one cry
    Kicked out of the AAU
    They say we are dumb and it’s true

    sittin’ in the morning smell
    I’ll be sittin’ cause linkin is hell
    watching the korn trucks roll in
    and watch em roll away again, yeah

    Up the Buffalo

    1. VK, you goin’ on a tour of music festivals this summer as a performer of your own stuff or are you gonna stay in Boulder and try to salvage your fast fleeting deteriorating golf game?

      1. Yo AZ,

        The golf game is on an uptick. Decided to practice.

        There ya go eh?

        Buffmeister

        Note: My singing is not the best. You might like it though. I am at my best singing when M.J Buds is in the house

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