Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
After a week filled with audio clips, criticism, and plenty of speculation the Nebraska Cornhuskers are ready to take on South Dakota State. I caught up with Husker Corner staff writer Leland Johnson to talk about this week’s events and Nebraska’s upcoming game.
There has been a lot of off the field attention for Bo Pelini this week. Do you think it will have any bearing on Saturday’s game?
John Ackeren: I don’t think it will factor in to the game on Saturday. Pelini and his team have generally rallied around each other whenever criticism has come their way. If anything, these guys might come out on fire.
Leland Johnson: Wow. What a week for Nebraska football. I felt a little nostalgia this week, a trip back to 2007 and the Callahan era. I couldn’t help but stay glued to the radio to find out the latest, Husker fans are uber passionate. Did we almost lose a coach? I think it’s clear Bo Pelini is now on the hot seat and had better shore up the defense and win some games or things will get real ugly in Lincoln. I’d expect Big Red domination on Saturday.
Taylor Martinez might not be able to start for the first time since the Colorado game in 2010. If he can’t go, do you want to see Ron Kellogg or Tommy Armstrong get the start?
John Ackeren: Bo Pelini said that if Martinez doesn’t start Armstrong would likely get the start, and I am excited to see what he can do. Ron Kellogg will see the field as well, but I see this as an opportunity for Armstrong to play with a little pressure. South Dakota State might not be a giant, but people want to see how Nebraska can respond to last week and another big loss. Let’s see how the kid handles a full game of football and the pressure that comes with it. It would benefit him next year when he will likely be the man behind center.
Leland Johnson: Honestly if Taylor doesn’t go, I’d like to see both Ron Kellogg and Tommie Armstrong take some snaps. I’m not quite ready to write off the season and I think handing the reigns over to Armstrong because he might be the “future” of the program is the wrong move. Kellogg’s been around awhile, I’m assuming he has more experience than Armstrong. Let them alternate drives and then go with the hot hand.
What do you expect to see from Nebraska offensively against the Jackrabbits?
John Ackeren: Tim Beck said that he wants to simplify the offense while keeping it multiple. I have no idea what the heck he means by that, but I hope to see Nebraska do something really well. Run the football. With Armstrong a possible starter at quarterback, the option might make a return for one game. Ameer Abdullah and Armstrong seem like a great duo to shred the Jackrabbits defense and establish a power rushing attack in the process.
Leland Johnson: Tim Beck said he forgot these guys are kids out there playing. He stated he’d simplify the offense. I’d hope this means we’ll focus in and get really good at a few things, instead of mediocre at most. The Huskers will run the ball, and run the ball some more.
Prediction and MVP time. What’s the final score and who is the game MVP?
John Ackeren: The Huskers will be out for blood. 48-21 win for Big Red. Look for Ameer Abdullah to dominate this game and walk away as the MVP.
Leland Johnson: Win one for the Gipper! Nebraska 49 South Dakota State 18. MVP No.44 Randy Gregory