As usual, more detailed recaps will be coming throughout the week, but for now I just wanted to leave a few quick thoughts, and open it up to you to let us know what you thought of the Taylor Martinez show.
First, a few positives.
- Can this performance go ahead and put an end to the "Who is the best RB in the Big XII" debate? I'm not even going to compare the stats, but what Kendall Hunter did to this defense compared to Daniel Thomas' performance versus the same team effectively ended any question anyone had about him. When I watch the replay tomorrow I am going to try to count all the guys he made miss, but I am guessing it was somewhere close to "all of them".
- Ditto the "Is Justin Blackmon for real" questions. That is not to say that Nebraska didn't do a good job on him... they did... but that good job limited him to just 5 catches for 157 yards and 2 TDs. And that catch on the flea flicker was just beautiful... 60 yards downfield at full speed and has to elevate while still in stride to make the catch. It was unreal. Also the one in first half (I think 2Q?) where he outjumped Prince Amukamara was really nice.
- Nice game also goes to Josh Cooper who was ol reliable over the middle.
- This statement may sound crazy after this kind of a shootout, but I honestly think that overall the defense played alright. There was no way that coming into this they expected Martinez to be a gunslinger, but they adjusted fairly well, filled gaps on the running plays, pursued on the outside runs, and except for the one TD over the top, didn't really allow anything deep. The defensive scheme was about as good as can be expected, and players were usually in place to make plays.
Which brings me to the negatives... after the Jump
- This was a terrible display of tackling (really by both teams). I know that Martinez is shifty, but good lord there were a lot of dudes in orange jerseys that got hands on him without bringing him down. If this would have been a game of touch football, Nebraska would have had about 100 fewer rushing yards.
- The defense absolutely does not have the depth to compete with this punishing of a team for four quarters. Watching every member of the defense in the 4th quarter just sit at their position between every play trying to catch their breath rather than getting pumped, making adjustments, talking to each other, etc, made me understand why ran that soft zone against the pass first teams. These guys were gassed.
- I don't even really need to say anything about the special teams play... but if I were to summarize their performance in one word, I think that word would be: "fuckterribleanus"
- But the main negative I have with the Cowboys performance today... they really didn't make Nebraska pay for any of their mistakes. Martinez threw 2 VERY intercept-able balls, and a couple others that could have been picked if the secondary had reacted accordingly, yet he escaped BPS with zero interceptions in the box score. The biggest missed pick being the one Markelle Martin let go right through his hands in the 4th when OSU was down 10. That ball was thrown right to him, and if he picks it there were only a couple Huskers on that side of the field.. that could have very easily been a pick-six.
- Too many solid drives early in the game ended with 3 points instead of 7, there were multiple big stops negated by penalties (and I missed all the roughing-the-passer's in person since I was looking downfield...I'm curious how legit everyone thought those calls were), and once again the 3rd and 4th down defense was average-to-terrible. In games like that, you have to punish teams when they screw up, and we continued to let them off the hook when they made mistakes.
One last thing... watching the Nebraska pom girls right next to ours was hilarious. I guess they have them some midwestern sensibilities up there because their pom girls mostly stick to the basics... wave a pom, kick a leg, keep your back stiff, run the same routines Nebraska pom was running in 51'. Then right next to them is the O-State pom girls doing their typical R-rated gyrations that make you simultaneously admire their dancing abilities, and take a mental snap shot for the fantasy file. It was like watching a Katy Perry video, with an episode of Reba on the picture in picture. So at least we won the pom girl battle (Ya us!).
So what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.