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Hope & Concern: Nebraska

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    [​IMG]Lots of video today, so we'll hop off-screen for this post and take a look at the biggest hope and concern for Nebraska.

    Hope: Offensive line

    Nebraska's offensive struggles from 2009 have been beaten into the ground, but the five guys on the front line weren't a huge reason for the problem. The Huskers ran for over 2,000 yards last year, and allowed just 19 sacks, fourth fewest in the league -- though Nebraska only threw the ball 364 times, more than just two teams in the Big 12.

    Room for improvement, no doubt, but if the offensive line fills that void and opens holes, the running game could be one of the league's best with two great runners in Roy Helu Jr. and Rex Burkhead. If the offensive line plays well, both have chances to flirt with 1,000 yards, or surpass it like Helu did in 2009 with 1,147 yards, when he averaged more than 5.2 yards per carry.

    The Huskers return four starters from the line last year, and the only reports coming out of camp have been ones excited about the group's development, despite losing utility backup Mike Smith for the season with a broken leg.

    "You're seeing some big holes out there," Burkhead told the Lincoln Journal Star last week. "You see guys not getting touched until further on downfield. I mean, we haven't stepped on the game field yet, but hopefully it transfers over."

    If it does, it might make the team's biggest concern be less ... concerning before too long.

    Concern: Quarterback

    Obvious, yes, but the biggest question mark on a squad pegged as a preseason top-10 team in about every poll, and all the major ones.

    Zac Lee would be the heavy favorite to reprise his role as starter, but offseason surgery on his throwing arm allowed Taylor Martinez and Cody Green to close the gap. Reports out of Nebraska earlier this week had Martinez making a strong push for the job, but unseating the senior Lee would be a remarkable achievment. Martinez and the bigger Green -- at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds -- are the more exciting, mobile candidates and Martinez showed off his game-breaking speed in the spring game.

    But Lee's experience and ability to work within the offense should still give him the sizeable edge. He's got at least two reliable targets in Niles Paul and Mike McNeill, but Brandon Kinnie and Curenski Gilleylen have showed potential to be major contributors, too. Like any quarterback, Lee would be well-served with plenty of time in the pocket. He struggled for much of 2009, completing just 177 of 302 passes (58.6 percent), a completion percentage that bested just two starting quarterbacks (Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Kansas State's Grant Gregory) in the Big 12 last year.

    That number will have to rise for Nebraska's offense to be efficient enough to remain a top-10 team through December into bowl season. The offensive line can help make that happen.

    More Hope & Concern:

  2. The Guest

    The Guest Guest

    Whew. I thought that maybe Willa Cather had written another book. Close one.
  3. 96 Buff

    96 Buff Resident Commie Bastard Club Member Junta Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    **** ****braska. and **** rssbot for posting so many ****ing articles about ****braska. ****ing ****.
  4. dply

    dply Doble hoja Club Member

    Feb 14, 2008
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    **** is a term of endearment.
  5. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

    Dec 1, 2006
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    I have hope and concern for nebraska. Hope they'll lose every game, concern they'll be pretty good.

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