At the beginning of the season Husker Corner.com predicted the Nebraska Cornhuskers to finish the season 9-3 with losses to Wisconsin, Northwestern, and Michigan. With Bo Pelini’s struggles against mobile quarterbacks, we thought the Huskers may struggle against the Big 10s best running signal callers.
Is this to say that Pelini will always struggle with mobile quarterbacks? Not necessarily. In 2007 as the defensive coordinator at LSU, the Tigers lost two games. They lost to Darren McFadden and Arkansas. The Razorbacks put up 50 points on Pelini’s defense. McFadden completed 3 of 6 passes, and ran out of the quarterback position 8 times. They also lost to Andre Woodson and Kentucky. The Wildcats put up 47 points, Woodson only rushed 3 times for 16 yards, but did score on the ground.
In the pass happy Big 12 conference Pelini’s defenses flourished. With mobile quarterbacks like Russel Wilson from Wisconsin , Denard Robinson of Michigan, and the combination of Dan Persa and Kain Colter at Northwestern in the Big 10, Nebraska has struggled mightily. In their 3 losses this season Nebraska has been out scored 121 to 59. They have gave up 249 yards total to the mentioned quarterbacks. That’s an average of 74 yards per loss. In the Wisconsin and Michigan games, Nebraska gave up over a 100 yards rushing to a running back. Northwestern had a combination of backs go over 50 yards.
This years defense, features a second string defensive tackle with Jared Crick lost for the season. The secondary lost Alfonzo Dennard for the first four games of the season and had three first year starters in, and a walk on safety. Will Compton seemed to struggle at the beginning of the year at linebacker, but has seemed to turn the corner as the season has gone on. It seems like the only non question mark on defense the whole season is senior linebacker Lavonte David.
I am not trying to make excuses for the defense, but it just seems that talent just hasn’t been there for the Blackshirts. David is obviously the best player on the defense, and arguably the team. He is a junior college transfer and in his second year. The 2011 Huskers have also featured first year JUCO transfers, Damion Stafford at safety, and Joseph Carter at defensive end. It is a young defense that is still filling in holes with injuries and inexperience . The defense will miss David next year, who will be a first round draft pick along with Dennard. The best thing the Huskers could have done was getting their young players playing time, and they have. The 2012 Blackshirts should be much improved, and faster.
Here is the predicted depth chart for 2012.
By Jimmie Allen