Husker Spring Game Takeaway’s


The much-anticipated first Huskers spring for new Head Coach Mike Riley is now officially in the books. In front of 76, 881 fans the Red team defeated the white team 24-15. There were many story lines coming out of this spring and many positives to take a way from it.  POSITIVE #1:  fourth largest crowd to attend a spring game at Nebraska.

Heading into the spring, Husker fans were wondering what Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf’s offense would look like. Well, if you’ve watched the Oregon State teams of the past, you probably saw some familiar looking play calls. From what has become a Beavers staple, the fly sweep to their patented high to low pass scheme, mixed in with some screen passes.

No one is going to confuse Tommy Armstrong, AJ Bush,  Zack Darlington or any other quarterback for the Big Red with the likes of Derek Anderson, Matt Moore or Sean Mannion. However, what we have seen over the past 14 practices and a spring game is just how much better the quarterbacks have looked with an actual quarterback coach working with them.

Armstrong seems to have set himself apart as the clear-cut favorite for the starting job this fall. His mechanics look cleaner, his passes crisper and he definitely looks like the team’s unquestioned leader. AJ Bush was a little up and down, but in his defense he was tasked with going against the Nebraska 1st team defense. The one that showed me the most was redshirt freshman, Zack Darlington. To me Zack appeared to have the best day out of all the quarterbacks on the roster.

It was nice to see Husker Michael Rose-Ivey come back from last season’s ACL injury and get back out on the field. The move to SAM linebacker was a little bit of a surprise for me, mainly because he seemed like a natural fit as a MIKE linebacker. Banderas also was a nice surprise to see out there taking charge as the new MIKE linebacker. Josh seemed to be all over the field, as was freshman, Dedrick Young. Dedrick had 6 tackles, trailing only Banderas in tackles made by linebackers.

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The linebackers were in attack mode, which is more of what most Nebraska fans remember from the glory days of the mid 90’s. The defensive backs were active and redshirt freshman Trai Mosley was a thorn in the side of AJ Bush, picking off a pass for 25 yards. Kieron Williams looked good as well and led the White team in tackles with 7. Mosley could be a name to watch this fall.

All of the running backs had pretty good games in their own right. Terrell Newby looked good, showed some wiggle and appears to be ready for a full time role. Imani Cross was much more punishing of a runner than we’ve seen from him in the past. That’s a good sign and one that we all hope continues. Mikale Wilbon had a nice scamper of 36 yards and it’s easy to see why he was named the Huskers MVP of the scout team for offense. Adam Taylor has a nice lean to him with low pad level and is always moving forward. Jordan Nelson was a nice surprise and could throw a monkey wrench into the I-Back race this fall.

All in all, it was a great day for fans to take in some Husker football.  Up next will be some summer conditioning and some 7 on 7 drills before fall camp opens and then soon we will be back at it again. GO BIG RED!