Four-Down Territory: Michigan State Week


Well Husker fans, it has been a hectic week for me and I’m mad at myself for not getting to you sooner because of my first down this week. Here are a few quick hits for your enjoyment before the game today.

First Down:  Denard Robinson’s injury.

Robinson fell awkwardly on his elbow during last week’s game and lumbering oaf of an announcer Brock Huard didn’t understand why Robinson didn’t come back in the game. (Apparently the Huskers caused the poor guy some brain damage in that 1997 game.) Huard never experienced an injury like this. But I have.

The way Robinson held his hand when he fell on his elbow caused me to flashback to my own experience with a tendon/nerve injury in my elbow. It’s a frustrating injury because you may rest it and feel fine – you might be able to lift and throw like you know you can – and seemingly at random something will set it off.

It could be a hit, pushing or pulling, throwing, or simply bending your arm the wrong way. It feels like a guitar string breaking. Your hand feels like it’s on fire with the worst pins and needles of your life for a moment. It feels like someone is jamming a sharpened pencil down your forearm. And then: nothing.

Most if not all of your fingers fall asleep for an unknown amount of time. If you’re lucky you can move your fingers, but even if you can your timing is off and your grip is extremely weak. I mean “you can’t get the lid off an already opened jar of peanut butter”-weak. Not a good situation for a running QB who needs to throw and has people hitting him ever three plays.

Good luck to Robinson on recovering from this. It can take a long time and might affect his draft status. He’s not playing against Minnesota today. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in future games, but don’t be shocked if he abruptly leaves.

Second Down: Defensive strategy.

Kudos to Bo Pelini for the defensive strategy at Michigan, both with and without Robinson. Don’t be surprised if that’s the defensive scheme you see the remainder of the season.

Third Down: I’d like to see more of…

-Steven Osborne. He was physical and had good hands in the Michigan game in for injured Taariq Allen.

-Braylon Heard. Nebraska could have really used him against Michigan, but the RB was injured. Let’s hope he’s back to relieve Ameer Abdullah during long drives since Abdullah is in on returns in addition to his starting duties.

-Fish and fresh. LBs Sean Fisher and David Santos we all over the place against the Big Blue. Santos especially was absolutely lighting up lead blocks.

-Imani Cross. If everyone in the stadium knows a dive play is imminent, why not put in the 6’2″ 230-plus pounder? I’m sure we can get him a lot of reps with the short-yardage offense if he’s one of two healthy RBs.

-Jamal Turner. He’s been seeing a lot more looks on offense. But rather than have our starting running back or star receiver returning punts and kicks, I’d like to see Turner back there. We saw him on kick return coverage a bit last week. He reminds me a lot of DeSean Jackson from the Philadelphia Eagles.

Fourth Down: Defensive line.

The rag-tag d-line showed some terrific lateral movement against Michigan. Sideline to sideline, there was usually a tackle or end either in the play or tailing very closely. Cameron Meredith may be a tad undersized for a tackle, but he makes up for that with athleticism and using his arms to get off blocks. It should be interesting how the line does as it gets healthier.