When the season began only one Blackshirt was handed out to a linebacker. David Santos, the only linebacker with significant playing time, was expected to lead the unit. Through two games it is clear that another linebacker is leading the charge.
True Freshman Josh Banderas was all over the field last night. He played fast and led the charge. He did all of the things you expect a mike linebacker to do. Banderas led the the defense last night. His pass coverage was good, so was his ability to close in on the ball carrier. Sure, there were a few mistakes, but overall Banderas was stellar. He was a spark plug. He brought charisma to the table. Banderas grew up in his second week of college football.
Santos, on the other hand, looked lethargic once he saw the field in the fourth quarter. He was slow to react and at one point seemed to quit on a play. When asked after the game why Santos did not get more playing time Bo Pelini said that he didn’t practice very well last week. Obviously he needs to push himself harder in order to see the field.
Banderas is doing all of the right things, and seems to have a natural instinct for the game. Things come naturally, nothing is forced. He stayed cool even when there were broken coverages. Moving forward, Nebraska is better served letting Josh Banderas lead this defense.