In the past week we have already talked about Nebraska’s chances at winning the Big Ten, Taylor Martinez, Bo Pelini, and what you can do to occupy your time until the 2013 season kicks offf. Today we are going to look at what needs to change for Nebraska for a successful run.
When I read the article on Huskers.com last week about burying a time capsule that will remain underground for the next 50 years, it got me thinking. If we could bury 5 things that happened frequently from last season what would they be?
1) Coaching Getting In The Way of Player Development:
All too often Husker Nation would be asking the same question time and again in 2012. Why isn’t (Insert the player of your choice) on the field? Bo Pelini and his staff trust the upperclassmen, there is no doubt about that. They are reluctant to let the young guys to really prove themselves. If Nebraska hopes to achieve their goals this season, some of those unproven talents will have to shine.
As I wrote last week, Pelini seems to finally be maturing as a head coach, which leads me to believe that he might be ready to let the best athletes on the field, or so I hope.
2) Holding on to the football:
How many times did we witness a costly turnover in critical moments last season? Too many to count. If The Cornhuskers want to be king of the hill, they are going to have to do everything in their power to hold on to the football. Interceptions will happen as will fumbles. The number of them, however, have to be reduced.
3) Being More Disciplined:
I swear sometimes I wake up in the middle of a deep sleep to the sound of, “False start, number (insert offensive lineman here) of the offense. Five yard penalty, repeat third down.” That is not the only call I can sometimes hear in my head. It’s hard to forget, “Personal foul, defense number (you know the routine) 15 yards from the spot of the foul, automatic first down.
The 2013 Nebraska Cornhuskers have to be smarter this year. They have to stop killing drives and giving second opportunities to the opposition. At most, Nebraska can afford one Big Ten loss in the regular season if they want to play in Indianapolis.
4) Playing a full four quarters on both sides of the ball:
Both the Husker offense and Blackshirts both had great moments last year. They also never seemed to have them for a solid four quarters while working together. Don’t get me wrong, the Cardiac Cornhuskers were entertaining, but sales of blood pressure medication was probably at a 20 year high in the state of Nebraska. This team learned how to come from behind, now they need to learn to play a complete game. While this years schedule is much easier than the last, they still cannot take a quarter off against teams like UCLA, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State, or Penn State.
5) Embracing public criticism:
Criticism can be a driving force for anyone. Bo Pelini has already installed the “Us against the world” mentality with his team. The focus should shift to “Let’s shut them up with our play.” No need to point fingers or make excuses. This team needs to perform on the field, and when they don’t. they need to own it. That goes for Bo Pelini all the way down to the fourth string long snapper. It’s ok to be criticized, some actually use it and improve. Granted, everyone in Husker Nation believes that they know what is best for the team and program, but often we share the same thoughts.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are in complete control of their 2013 season, if they can bury mistakes from the past, they will be just fine.