Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are finished with their non conference schedule and sitting at 3-1 in 2013. While there have been some highlights through four games, several Huskers need to improve their play before conference play begins on October 5th against Illinois.
Five Huskers That Need To Improve
1) QB Taylor Martinez: Martinez has not performed to the standards expected of a fifth year senior at quarterback. It’s not that he has played that poorly, but something hasn’t been right with him physically and mentally. He looks confused at times and is hesitant to run the football. To complicate things for Taylor, Tommy Armstrong showcased the ability to run and throw the football in his absence against South Dakota State. Martinez has to step his game up to a brand new level if the Huskers are going to make a return trip to Indianapolis for The Big Ten Championship Game.
2) CB Ciante Evans: Evans was seen as the leader of the Husker defense before the season started, but Stanley Jean Baptiste has taken the role. Evans, just like Martinez, has not been a detriment to his team, but the fact is he has not led the way on the field. Evans is a great corner, he just needs to help lead the charge for a struggling defense. If he and Jean Baptiste can take complete control of the secondary it would go a long way in getting the defense on track.
3) LB David Santos: To be fair, Santos is not a natural Mike linebacker. He has struggled in 2013 and lost the starting job after Nebraska’s near loss in week one to Wyoming. Santos has looked slow and often times lost on the field. He was handed out a Blackshirt before the season started, but has done nothing on the field to validate it.
4) WR Jamal Turner: Turner was supposed to be the “X Factor” for Nebraska’s offense. We knew that Kenny Bell would be the home run guy, Quincy Enunwa would be the solid hands, and then there was Turner. He has completely disappeared from the offense, not being a factor at all. In the past it has been a mental issue with Jamal, so he likely needs to get his head straight and contribute to the offense. This team needs Turner to be the play-maker that he can be going down the stretch.
5) DE Randy Gregory: Gregory has been a stud on the defensive side of the football. The only reason he is on this list is because he is the only defensive lineman that seems capable of being a game changer. Gregory is lean, fast, and ferocious. He has to dominate the line and force teams to double team him. That is the only way the other d lineman have a chance at getting to the quarterback.