Grading the Huskers After Week 6

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After 6 weeks into the 2011 season the Huskers are 5-1 (1-1), and this is how Husker Corner.com has graded out the positions.

Quarterback

C

Redshirt sophomore Taylor Martinez has had some struggles this season. His coming out party had to be the 2nd half of the Ohio State game. Martinez went 6 0f 9 for 101 yards with 2 touchdowns.  He had 5  rushes for 17 yards in the first half. In the 2nd half  Martinez got more involved in the running game. Hecarried the ball 12 times for 93 yards and 1 touchdown. Martinez is 70 for 129 passing and 6 touchdowns on the season.

Running Back 

A- 

When Nebraska has gone to the run game it has worked handily. Senior Rex Burkhead, has rushed the ball for 635 yards on 107 carries, and 9 touchdowns. Freshman Bryalon Heard has 79 yards on 17 attempts, and 1 touchdown. Martinez has rushed for 584 yards on 100 carries, with 9 touchdowns.

Receiver 

C+ 

With Nebraska’s biggest question mark coming into this season was wide receiver, freshmen Jamal Turner and Kenny Bell have answered those questions pretty loudly. Turner Has 13 catches for 223 yards, and Bell with 9 catches for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Biggest surprise has been sophomore Quincy Enunwa who has turned into the most physical receiver on the team. Enunwa might have had the biggest hit of the season on a Tennessee Chattanooga defensive back that caused a fumble. Enunwa has 9 catches for 163 yards and 1 touchdown this year.

Tight End 

A

Nebraska’s tight ends are averaging 20.5 and 17.5 yards per catch with juniors Kyler Reed and Ben Cotton respectively. Neither has a receiving touchdown,  but the Huskers have not had to many red zone opportunities. In first year offensive coordinator Tim Becks offense the red zone is where the tight end is most useful.

Offensive Line 

B

Nebraska has one of the youngest offensive lines in the country, and still rank 8th nationally in rushing. Having a set of skill players rushing the ball doesn’t hurt . But the Huskers have had a consistent push up front all year.  Nebraska has a freshman and two seniors starting this season. That freshman is Clear Water, Florida native Tyler Moore, and the 6-foot-6 tackle looks like a star in the making. The biggest story on the line this season is the emergence of redshirt junior walk on Seung Hoon Choi. He plays right guard and has been quoted by a handful of players as being “the strongest guy on the team.” Nebraska has a lot of young talent in a group of linemen that can only get better.

Defensive End 

C- 

Nebraska ranks 59th in total defense, that is far from where most people thought the Huskers would be 6 weeks into the season. Junior Cameron Meredith had a break out game against Tennessee Chattanooga, but hasn’t really had similar performance. Meredith has 26 tackles, 3 for a loss, 3 sacks, and an interception. Two of the sacks, and the interception came against the Mocs.

Sophomore Jason Ankrah and juniors Eric Martin and Joseph Carter have been filling in opposite of  Meredith, and we are still waiting on break out game from any of those guys.

Defensive Tackle 

D

Defenses have ran the ball 224 times on Nebraska, and they are averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Husker opponents have scored 9 touchdowns on the ground. There was a lot of expectations with senior, preseason All-American Jared Crick and junior Baker Steinkuler returning to school.  Crick will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle, and the question has been, how long has Crick been hurt? He has not looked like the same player from a year ago. Crick and Steinkuler rank 6th and 7th respectivly on the team in tackles.  With the loss of Crick, Meredith and Steinkuler will need to step up their games if Nebraska has any hopes of making it to the Big 10 Championship Game.

Linebacker

B –

If this were a grade just for senior linebacker Lavonte David it would be an A+. But it is a grade for the whole group, and aside from David who leads the team in tackles for the second straight year, the group has struggled. Against Wisconsin juniors Sean Fisher and Will Compton seemingly were just over matched and out sized. Compton is 3rd on the team in tackles, and seems to get better each game. Fisher however was replaced early for junior Alonzo Whaley. That will be something to keep an eye on for the rest of the season.

Corner 

D- 

Nebraska ranks 37 nationally and that is in large part due to the return of  senior All-American Alfonzo Dennard for the last two games. Other than Dennard Nebraska’s other corners have struggled early and often. Late in the 3rd quarter against Ohio State, redshirt sophomore, and junior college transfer Stanley Jean-Baptiste came in and helped lead the comeback against the Buckeyes with an interception. Baptiste is 6-foot-3, 205 lbs and has very long arms. Look for him to start next Saturday against Minnesota.

Safety

F

Yes junior Damion Stafford is 2nd in tackles on the team, but when a safety is in the top 2 in tackles on your team, it’s been a rough year. Stafford has shown flashes of brilliance, but has also been caught out of place often, and the same goes for whoever the Blackshirts line up opposite of him. Senior Austin Cassidy has been criticized a lot lately, but it’s not unearned criticism. Cassidy was seen early and often chasing a Wisconsin Badger into the end zone. In Bo Pelini’s defense safety is a very important position, and they will need better improvement in the passing game from their safety’s’.

By Jimmie Allen