Here's Why You Should Make a Play On Nebraska

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SoonerBS

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Here's Why You Should Make a Play On Nebraska This is another thread where B.A.R. will share responsibilities in the write-up to support this play. I will handle the Louisiana Tech side of the play and Big Al will handle the Nebraska side of it (even though I am a BIG 12 guy, I don't want any of you guys claiming this as a "homer" play on the BIG 12!
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The play is on Nebraska -20.

Here's why you should not be making a play on Louisiana Tech.

The Good:

"For the better part of a decade, quarterbacks like Tim Rattay and Luke McCown ruled the air in pass-happy Ruston. The dominance of tailback Ryan Moats started to balance things out, though, and the trio of Freddie Franklin, Mark Dillard and Patrick Jackson continued Tech's return to the ground game with a combined 1,487 yards and 18 TDs last season. Dillard missed the spring because of personal reasons and will probably move to safety if he returns, but Franklin tore it up in offseason scrimmages and stud recruit William Griffin will make his highly anticipated debut in August. … Coming out of high school, WR Josh Wheeler had a chance to play football and run track at Arkansas. He chose Louisiana Tech instead and Bulldogs fans will soon be thankful for it. Wheeler has blazing speed and can go up and make plays in the air. He's a keeper. … So is LB Quin Harris, who started on the outside in the season-ending game at Fresno State. In that impressive win -- one that Tech fans felt should've warranted a bowl trip -- Harris picked off two passes and was seemingly all over the field. If the defense is going to force anywhere near the 31 turnovers it caused last season, young players like Harris have to produce." (ESPN Spring Archives)

Sometimes it is hard to shake the previous year's performance and Louisiana Tech had one of the best years in their history. They went a solid 7-4 SU but only 5-6 ATS. Many gamblers remember the success of last year's team, but overlook the total rebuilding job that lies ahead this season. Thus, one of the reasons for the good line here.

The Bad:


Who wins the four-way race at quarterback? That's anyone's guess at this point, considering there are just eight combined pass attempts between the candidates. Junior Joe Danna is improving and Zac Champion might have a slight lead because he just finished his fourth spring. But redshirt freshman Michael Mosley has a strong armand a quick release. However, not to be outdone, it’s the fourth scholarship signal caller, freshman Ross Jenkins, who has made some early positive impressions on the Tech coaches. “Since I’ve been (at Tech), he has probably picked the offense up more quickly than any freshman we’ve had,” said Tech head coach Jack Bicknell following the second of two Wednesday practices. “He throws a good ball; as he gets bigger and stronger, he’s only going to get better.” (from KTBS 3 website) Tech has still got to decide on a QB and the season is only two weeks away . . .

If the QB situation wasn't bad enough, whoever starts behind center will have a new center and 3 new faces on the line! Although only 2 of the linemen graduated off last year's team, two of the starters from last year have already been replaced in fall camp due to the fact that they were not good enough to keep their positions. Anyone who follows college football closely can tell you that it usually takes weeks for a unit of "new" linemen to gel together. This area will go through a definite learning phase the first half the season.

Only two starters return on defense. Tech lost five of its top six linemen and three of its four starters in both the linebacking corps and the secondary. In addition, at least seven starting spots will still be up for grabs in August. Yes, seven. The linebacker situation looks survivable, but there's major concern on the line and at the corner spots. Throw out all the defensive stats of a year ago, this team is starting over again.

The Ugly:

Guys, have you ever been to Lincoln, Nebraska for a college football game? In Phil Steele's magazine he gives Nebraska's "home field advantage" a 4 point rating! This is one of the loudest most hostile environments in college football! Now, you take a brand new QB who has not ever started in a Div. 1 college football game, and you start him in Nebraska against a defense who's defensive line Phil Steele ranks 5th in nation, linebackers rank 4th in the nation, and defensive backs rank 12th in the nation, and what do you think his success will be? The QB that is likely to start in this spot was 3rd string last year on this team! That's right, third string because the #1 and #2 QBs graduated.

Now, you couple these facts with three more: #1.) Nebraska will very likely be one of the top producing offenses in the country this year, #2.) This is the Big 12 conference, ranked 4th best in the nation last season, against the 11th ranked conference in the nation last season -- the WAC, #3.) Callahan, when given the opportunity, loves to run the score up on opponents.

And, as if it couldn't get any uglier, we have this trend: LT is 2-10 SU & ATS against BCS schools the last 4 years!


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Pags11 like La Tech, esp if it hits 24; would like to see a rebuttal from either him or Nick Fazekas.

I personally could not agree more; I had this 'capped at about 27-28, and I hit it first thing. Thanks for the writeup Sooner.
 
If you say it's a play, I'm not going to argue with ya:wacka wacka:

Gotta agree with the "Ugly" part of the write-up...New QB...Husker D....

I'm on it, BROTHA:cheers:
 
I'd love to make a big case for La Tech for you guys, but about the only reason I can come up with so far is the line looks low (fishy) lol. Going on the road like that week 1 with all the issues you guys have mentioned would be a no play for me. I guess if you put a gun to my head I'd take the points and pray, but I see no way you can make a serious case for La Tech other than a nebraska fade and it doesn't look like you guys think thats very wise this year. I'll keep digging, but like you guys said, about all thats certain about La Tech is they will be able to run the ball.
 
La Tech always gives honest efforts on the road though, I have definitly noticed that over the years. Almost doesnt even matter what sport it is either. You would think a WAC team stuck out in louisiana would be crap on the road like hawaii is but they are the opposite.
 
OK here's my rebuttle horses (with all due respect to soonerbs),

let's go back a year ago, when we were all saying Callahan's not a good coach...I still don't think he's a good coach, he just has better players...he beats an underachieving Michigan team in a bowl game and all is forgotten?...he's still the same guy that called out Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice and got ran out of Oakland...and he's still the same guy who started Joe Dailey for an entire season...also, name one other really significant victory Nebraska had last year...plus look at some of the games they didn't show up at last year...plus, they are breaking in a new RB and Corey Ross was a vital part to what they did on offense...

say what you want about who La. Tech returns, but they were 7-4 last year and most of those guys are still pissed that they didn't make a bowl...they are well-coached and Freddy Franklin is as good of a playmaker as anyone Nebraska has...

yes, Nebraska is better, yes Lincoln is a tough place to play, but I just don't see how everyone is so high on laying 3 TD's (or more by kickoff I hope) against this La. Tech team...
 
pags, I appreciate your response.
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Callahan isn't a great coach, but he has stuck with his system and it was the system and lack of players to fit the system that caused a lot of the dismal performances his first two years. Their success at beating Michigan in the bowl game last year is a sign they are turning the corner.
 
Thanks for the good responses Pags and Nick...can't disagree too much with what you stated, but even mediocre coaches lay it on overmatched teams...I will take my chances. GL.
 
soonerbs,

I wouldn't call the bowl game a huge success, since Callahan was already at midfield and the game wasn't over with (what a jackass!)...I do agree that the players are getting used to the system and QB Taylor is talented...

horses,

GL buddy...
 
Coach turns up the heat at Camp Callahan
Sunday, Aug 20, 2006 - 12:43:57 am CDT Team has more scrimmages and higher expectations in third year under Bill Callahan.

BY STEVEN M. SIPPLE / Lincoln Journal Star

Welcome to Camp Callahan.

If you’re a Nebraska football player, prepare to strap your helmet on tightly, because Camp Callahan this summer has featured considerably more game-like scrimmaging than Bill Callahan’s previous two preseason training camps as Husker head coach. In fact, years one and two included minimal game-like scrimmaging, Callahan said.

Intense scrimmages aside, this preseason camp might seem as fun as a day at a carnival for Nebraska players who were on hand for the 2004 and 2005 camps (for a look back at those camps, click here).

“There was a lot of standing around, griping and moaning (two years ago),” NU redshirt sophomore Nate Swift said. “Everyone was getting ticked off in practice and asking, ‘Why are we here so long?’ Even the older guys were asking it. This year, practice is basically the same length of time, but guys look at it way differently now.”

Perhaps you’ve heard the buzz words being tossed around regarding Nebraska’s 2006 outlook: Momentum. Comfort. Confidence. Revival.

The Huskers generated momentum with three straight triumphs to end last season. In year three of Callahan’s tenure, several players have said they feel more comfortable with their coaches, and vice versa. As corny as it might sound, virtually everyone in preseason camp seems upbeat and confident that NU is climbing back toward the nation’s elite.

“That first year, we were like stepparents,” said assistant coach Phil Elmassian, part of Callahan’s original Nebraska staff. “Let me tell you, coaching changes are hard. Change is not easy.”

The rocky coaching transition seems a distant memory as Nebraska pushes toward its Sept. 2 opener in Lincoln against Louisiana Tech.

“This year, we have all of these high expectations,” said Swift, a starting wide receiver. “I think guys are pumped. They want to stay here at the stadium and do the extra work to get ready for the season.”

Said offensive tackle Matt Slauson: “It’s a lot more intense this year. The coaches are really cracking down and demanding perfection. That’s what we need. We can’t settle for second-rate performance. We have the talent, we have the athleticism.”

Yet it’s not all arduous practices and hard-core seriousness. Callahan went so far as to allow comedian Dan Whitney (Larry the Cable Guy) to indulge the players following a scrimmage last week. The Cable Guy’s appearance took some edge off a camp thus far defined by at least four scrimmage-dominated practice sessions.

The Huskers began preseason drills Aug. 3.

Callahan said Nebraska’s tendency toward scrimmaging probably is somewhat unique compared to other teams. He said he’s simply trying to establish a “tempo” — a high-energy, game-like pace.

“I want game-like speed in every situation,” he said.

Using a scale of one to 10 — with 10 being game-like tempo — Nebraska has tried to practice in the level-nine range, Callahan said. It has become easier to reach that range this year because NU now has plenty of players with experience in Callahan’s system.

“We know what we’re doing now,” said quarterback Zac Taylor, one of Nebraska’s 15 returning starters. “We know what drill we’re going to next, we know which plays to run. Last year maybe we were slower and sluggish in practice. This year everybody knows what to expect.”

Of course, Callahan hopes faster tempo in practice manifests itself as sharper play on game days.

“To practice at a five or six level, and then try to elevate to 10 on game day, I think that can be difficult,” he said. “I think you have to practice at levels eight to nine to get to 10 on game day. That’s what we’re striving for philosophically.

“Not that we’re any better than anybody else,” he added. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to win more games because of it. But I do believe if you have an opportunity to practice in a game-like atmosphere, your kids will be more prepared on game day.”

What’s more, Callahan said, frequent scrimmaging helps build continuity along the offensive line. Many believe Nebraska’s hopes this season hinge on improvement in that area.

Nebraska is determined to improve its rushing production — yet another reason for the increase in scrimmage action. Indeed, it might be the best way to determine the Huskers’ top I-back. An intense battle features junior college transfer Kenny Wilson, junior Brandon Jackson and sophomores Cody Glenn and Marlon Lucky.

“I wanted to see Kenny Wilson under duress, in crunch-time situations, with the ball in his hand against the first-team defense running him down,” Callahan said.

Same goes for Jackson, who missed spring practice because of a shoulder injury.

“I wanted to get B.J. back in the mix this month and get him thumped around to see how he’d hold up,” Callahan said. “I wanted to test some guys. I wanted to see how our tight ends are going to block in critical situations like goal-line and short-yardage. I wanted to see Matt Herian and Josh Mueller and J.B. Phillips, because there’s still some great competition there.”

Bottom line, Callahan wanted to see “competition elevate.” At the same time, he said, coaches have to guard against wearing down players, thus leaving them susceptible to injury.

“Every time you go out there and scrimmage, you cross your fingers as a coach,” Callahan said. “You don’t want to lose anybody. There’s a very fine line between toughening up your team and making sure they have their legs in the opener. We’ve been very conscious of that. We try to be intelligent about it.”

Nebraska now will back off on game-like scrimmaging as the opener nears, Callahan said. He praised his team’s overall work ethic to this point.

Swift said the players’ improved attitude this year has been refreshing.

“My first year here (2004), there were guys fighting, guys always yelling at each other,” Swift said. “The offensive line was holding all the time. People were getting mad at each other. But this year, guys are just shrugging it off because they all know we’re coming together as a team. Team unity is high.

“I think everyone’s definitely a lot more comfortable with their positions. Everyone’s knowing their roles on offense and defense, so there’s not much griping and moaning.”

The 55-year-old Elmassian wants the Huskers to avoid becoming too comfortable.

“Sometimes that can be bad,” he said with a smile, recalling advice from a former coach of his. “Coach (Lou) Holtz always said, ‘If there’s not a crisis, create one.’ All of a sudden you think you have it made? Come on. There are always challenges.”

Slauson insists Nebraska players are far from satisfied.

“We want to have fun and all of that, but there still has to be an intensity there,” he said. “You have to get it done before you have fun.”
 
My side to be coming soon...in process of moving...no interet at new place till morrow or Tuessday(unreal prollems with the chotches)..

I took all my stuff over there on Saturday thinkuing I would be in there...but alas...not yet
 
pags11 said:
can you guys please push this thing up to +22 please?...

Why? La Tech is still liable to get their asses kicked by 28 points!
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Here is my NU side

SoonerFolks did a great job on the La Tech end and I will now provide a bit into the NU end.

Nebraska fits into a mold that I am using a lot for plays this year it seems. They finally started adjusting to the system late last season and should take off to even newer heights this year.

Anytime a new coach is implemeted into a program thre will be a period of adjustments. Its obvious that the Husker faithful were non too pleased with the 'west-coast' offense after the familiar offense that NU has run for years was implemeted. Things take time, and I think you will see the rewards this season for Nebraska.

Zac Tayor should have a tremendous season. He had a nice season stat wise last year and I expect those numbers to be even higher this season. Over 3000 yards should be a given if he stays injury free. Three games from late last season stick out to myself. Despite 9 times being sacked at OU he passed for almost 270 and nearly led them to a comeback win. The K-State game was one where he was pretty efficient. They got a late iwn and he had almost 250. The breakout game, to me, was the huge win at Coloroado in the season finale. Almost 400 yards passing in a game that was essentially over by the half. His stats were not too good in UM game but he did lead them to late victory. One of those games where the stats didn't reflect how much he did for the team to win.

Obviously, there was way to many QB sacks last season. Thirty-eight sacks allowed is way to many. Injuried and departures were a significant reason. Also, Taylor's developement in the WC offense(with all the reads..etc) caused some of those. This year NU has 6 of top 10 back and a handul of them have starting experience.

The running game sans Ross should improve a bit with the young guys. Better line play never hurts as well. The Recievers are the bst that Coach Cally has had. They should make the system look damn good this season.

This is gonna be one hell of a NU defense as well. I can tell you the loss of Bullocks hurts(looks great here as a DET Lion), but there is plenty of talent around.

The linebackers are back intact and the DL has some great youth that will only improve each week. In the defensive backfield, 5 of the top 8 from last year return and Corner Bowman has the makings of a star. He's got size and strength and could be a lock down guy this season.

Special teams always need to be factored into the equation. The NU team is very solid and doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. The new punter just needs to be solid. He was a AA in high school. Very solid placekicker who just needs to add a bit of leg. He is accurate though.


Now, what I like in this game between La Tech and Nebraska

-On offense, La Tech should have no answer for Nebraska. I see Zac getting plenty of time to read the defense. This great crop of recievers will have a field day IMO. This will open up running lanes and NU will have Lousy Tech on their toes.

-LT has to find the QB...and outta the choices none has experience. This NU defense is gonna be one of the tops in the Big Twelve. I expect them to feast on this and get good field position for Taylor and his compadres.

Nebraska 41-10
 
So, is this a play or is this a play?

Sooner, I know this will make your top 44 plays of the week. How about your top 10?
 
rjurewitz said:
So, is this a play or is this a play?

Sooner, I know this will make your top 44 plays of the week. How about your top 10?

If you'll notice in my "play" thread, I've already laid money on Nebraska. It is a DEFINITE play!

And, since I'm practicing "money management" this season, I'm laying the same amount on each game. So, that means they are all #1 -- all 44 of them! :smiley_acbe:
 
pags11 said:
it's me against the world...but I'm cool with it...

pags- that's sometimes the ones you win.

I joined horses on this one some weeks back. In fact I gave 21 points when Pinnacle's juice started squirting upward and I finally found it at 107 at Mansion.
Big Al and den have said all that needs to be said here. It just looks like a possible break out year for NU after two years in a new system. One of my early season rules is to fade teams with new QBs or pass the game.

As an aside, 5Dimes had 'lost'y pending $50 play on this one, but they have since found it. :cheers:
 
pags11 said:
soonerbs and crew,

what's taking you guys so long to push this thing up to 22?...

There's a bunch of crazy WACketeers that think La Tech has a chance to cover.
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just because I follow the WAC closely, by no means makes me a WACster...I know you're just messing with me, but this is an independently capped game good ol' soonerbs...
 
pags11 said:
just because I follow the WAC closely, by no means makes me a WACster...I know you're just messing with me, but this is an independently capped game good ol' soonerbs...

I know, pags. Good health to you on this one!
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so I just watched the Nebraska vs. CU replay on my tivo...here's my analysis:

Taylor is a good QB, scrambles well, doesn't make very bad decisions...I don't know how strong his arm really is, as most of his throws are from the 5-15 yard range...

the big thing that I noticed is that RB Cory Ross was involved in picking up at least half (and I'm not exagerating) the first downs in the game (whether it be catching the ball out of the backfield or running)...I really think everyone is discounting his importance in this offense last year...if you look at when they really struggled (the middle of the year), Ross was fighting injuries...when he got back health (vs. CU and vs. Michigan in the bowl game), the offense really started to click...

the two WR's are good players and run good routes...having TE Herrian back should help too, but he hasn't played in a college game in almost two years...there's got to be a little rust there...

lastly, if you're going to bet on a team to run up the score, you need good back-up RB's and a good back-up QB...I'm not sure Nebraska has the experience in these departments (although some young pup could just end up playing his ass off)...

just my thoughts that I wanted to share...
 
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so far out of 4422 bets 99% is on Nebraska -21 and 1% on La Tech lol. That sure must be a brave 1% to keep this line from getting jacked up more than a half point. I might have to take La Tech just for shits.
 
that means 44.22 people out there are on La Tech, alarmingly close number to either teams roster size lol. Definitly a shave candidate.
 
Hi there Den! Magic32 here... Like the pick quite a bit. Biggest reason is that NU has 4 RBs - or, as NU fans prefer, I-Backs - that all could start. Hence, one of them will be in the game during mop up time (as all us Husker fans will agree - there'd better be mop up time!) and looking to score. Adding to the RB conversation around Omaha today, Callahan released the depth chart today but didnt name a starting RB. I'm saying 38-14 NU.

Good to find you guys.... Good luck with the site and good luck this season!
 
Hey Magic32

welcome to the site. Thanks for your analysis from the hometeam perspective.

Look forward to further thoughts.
 
Magic32 said:
Hi there Den! Magic32 here... Like the pick quite a bit. Biggest reason is that NU has 4 RBs - or, as NU fans prefer, I-Backs - that all could start. Hence, one of them will be in the game during mop up time (as all us Husker fans will agree - there'd better be mop up time!) and looking to score. Adding to the RB conversation around Omaha today, Callahan released the depth chart today but didnt name a starting RB. I'm saying 38-14 NU.

Good to find you guys.... Good luck with the site and good luck this season!

MAGIC!!!
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Good to see you here, dude, glad you found the site! Now we'll have a Nebraska expert on the forum! Good luck to us this weekend, and, . . . . GO BIG RED!!!
 
Never seen a number like that at SI for a side..ML..yes..not a side...me thinks its an error...I dunno.
 
all they way!!

let me tell you one thing...
nebraska i-backs are one of the most talented on nation!!! Juco transfer Kenny Wilson is a stud!!
Marlon Lucky the most elusive of the stable!!
Cody Glenn about 235 lbs with 4.4 on the forty!!
B. Jackson sub 4.4 entering his junior season!!
It will depend on the performance of the o-line. but I see at least + 2500 yards on this season (comittee)
La tech. has 2 returning players on defense and 1 new qb.
not a good sign for this team playing in lincoln!!
lay the points.
rest assured:drinking:
 
B.A.R. said:
Hey Magic32

welcome to the site. Thanks for your analysis from the hometeam perspective.

Look forward to further thoughts.

Thanks BAR. Looks like a great site! GL this season Sir.
 
SoonerBS said:
MAGIC!!!
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Good to see you here, dude, glad you found the site! Now we'll have a Nebraska expert on the forum! Good luck to us this weekend, and, . . . . GO BIG RED!!!

Sooner red or Husker red Den?! Husker red for this weekend anyway huh!

Like I said, glad I found the site and looking forward to a great season. I'll be sure to put in my two cents whenever I can.

GL to us indeed!

:shake:
 
My Sooners were lucky to scrape out a win last season in Lincoln. I'm glad we don't play them this season. I was on Nebraska that game -- they cost me $1,000
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