Breaking Down Washington

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Another week of the scoreboard not telling the whole story. After a week two win over Fresno State, where the Huskers were loosing at half time, the Huskers took on a game Washington team. Nebraska struck early with a two play drive that included a 5o-yard-pass to Kenny Bell, and a 3-yard-pass to fullback Tyler Legate.

With the defensive struggles in the past two weeks, all eyes were on the Blackshirts. It was the same story different day.  The Huskies first drive was 8 plays and 80 yards. With the secondary giving up 60 of the 80 yards. 38 of which Nebraska gave up after a time out.

After back to back 3 and outs, the Huskers offense did what every Husker fans has been asking for. They strung together a 7 play, 43 yard drive. It ended with a field goal giving the Huskers a 10 to 7 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Nebraska had given up 51 rushing yards, and 90 yards passing at the end of the first.

The Huskers started the 2nd quarter by giving up a 5 play, touchdown-drive to the Huskies, after an Ameer Abdulah fumble on the kick off. Nebraska answered, by sustaining a drive, this time for a touchdown. The Huskers went 44 yards on 8 plays. The drive was topped off by quarterback Taylor Martinez hitting, freshman running back Aaron Green for a 25 yard touchdown pass on a wheel route.

After adding a field goals a piece the Huskers took a 20 to 17 lead into the locker room at half time. The defense gave up 73 yards in the first half, and 138 yards passing and gave up two receiving touchdowns. The Blackshirts did force one turn over. Lavonte David had an interception in the 2nd quarter.

Both the offense and the Blackshirts started strong in the second half. The Huskies first drive was 3 plays for four yards, and a punt. The following Husker drive went 9 plays for 56 yards, and caped off by a Rex Burkhead 1-yard-run for a touchdown.

The special teams wouldn’t be left out of the equation, Washingtons kick off return team, fumbled the ball on the one yard line, and Nebraska recovered. Which lead to another 1-yard-run by Burkhead.

The 3rd quarter stats looked a lot like half time, the only difference was the score. After adding a field goal the Huskers lead 37 to 17 at the start of the final period.

Nebraska started the 4th quarter with a 9 play 86 yard touchdown drive that lasted 5:04 minutes.  But the Huskies were not going to go away quietly. Washington put the ball in the end zone on 3 of the last four drives of the game by the Huskies. Giving up 88 passing yards in the 4th quarter. Including a 52 yard touchdown pass from Kieth Price to James Johnson.

Thankfully the Huskers offense next sputtered. Nebraska put up 14 fourth quarter points. Including two 6-yard-runs for touchdowns from Green and Martinez.

The Blackshirts finished the game giving up, 420 total yards on Saturday. They gave up 146 yards on the ground, and 274 through the air. The did force two interceptions, and one fumble.

The offense put up 464 yards, 309 rushing yards on 55 attempts. Taylor Martinez finished the game 10 for 21, with two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He did rush the ball 17 times, for 94 yards. Rex Burkhead carried the load in the run game with 22 rushes for 121 yards. 6 players had a rushing attempt for the Huskers on Saturday. Kenny Bell led the Huskers receiving with two catches for 58 yards. Senior Brandon Kinnie, who was benched earlier in the week, did not have a catch for the 2nd straight week.

What I Took Away From Saturday

Good for the young guys. All three true freshman running backs, Aaron Green, Braylon Heard, Ameer Abdulah all got carries on Saturday. Abudulah did leaving the game hurt, but all talks out of practice this week is Abdulah is fine and will be ready to go for Saturdays game against Wyoming. If Nebraska wants to take the work load off Taylor Martinez, they have to get these three guys involved in the running game.

The secondary struggles my be over. Senior corner back, and potential first round draft pick, Alfonzo Dennard will more than likely be ready to play on Saturday. The thing to keep in mind is that Nebraska is starting a corner, and a safety that have not played a down of football at Nebraska in Andrew Green, and Damion Stafford. Ciante Evans only saw limited play in the 2010 Missouri game when Dennard got hurt. With the Dennards return, it will take away a whole side of the field for passing attacks and let the safety’s be able to play more freely. Look for Nebraska’s pass rush improve with better pass coverage.

-By Jimmie Allen