Nebraska Cornhuskers vs South Dakota State: Grading the Game


Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska Cornhuskers Report Card:

The Quarterbacks: Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Ron Kellogg III did a great job filling in for Taylor Martinez at quarterback. Their passing was crisp, they made good decisions, and managed the game well. They weren’t asked to do too much with Nebraska rushing twice as much as they passed. All in all it was a good effort from the duo. Husker fans should feel better about the quarterback situation if Martinez ends up injured again.

Grade: B+

Running Backs: Again, a good job from the running backs. Ameer Abdullah looked like an All American at times, Imani Cross is a solid number two, and Terrell Newby looks like he could be something special in Lincoln over the next few years. The Huskers ground game d0minated on Saturday rushing for over 300 yards. That being said, there is still room for improvement out of the group.

Grade: B

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: They did a better job holding on to the football yesterday and the results showed on the field. Quincy Enunwa is a name that is going to become more common around the nation if he can continue to catch balls in space and plow through defensive backs. Kenny Bell also had a great game until an injury took him out. The only real question about this group is, where the hell has Jamal Turner gone?

Grade: B-

Offensive Line: A solid showing by the O line yesterday, but they still have a lot to prove. South Dakota State is a quality FCS team, but their defensive line is nothing compared to some of the competition the Huskers line will be facing in the coming weeks.

Grade: C

Defensive Backs: There are only two players that seem to be showing up every week from this unit Stanley Jean Baptiste and Corey Cooper are the two that stood out against the Jackrabbits. Stanley grabbed another pick and Cooper is the most solid tackler that Nebraska possesses. These two are going to help this weeks grade, but someone else needs to step up for the Huskers to have success during Big Ten Play.

Grade: B

Linebackers: Poor showing from the backers yesterday. Nate Gerry and Josh Banderas had their worst games as Huskers. It’s not cause for concern, the freshman have exceeded expectations through the first three games so the occasional struggle is expected. David Santos did reappear and make a few plays, and Zaire Anderson looked good at times. Sub par performance overall.

Grade: D

Defensive Line: This unit was a one man crew yesterday. Randy Gregory continues to impress the hell out of me. That kid flat out flies to the quarterback, and he showed that he can fly to the endzone when given the opportunity. Jason Ankrah and Thad Randle still look out of place. A change might be needed in the rotation at both defensive end and tackle.

Grade: D