Monday, October 29, 2007
View From The Cheap Seats: Nebraska
Jamaal Charles in the 4th Quarter- You can't argue with a quarter that saw Charles come within 6 yards of the most productive quarter in NCAA runningback history. Charles ripped off TD runs of 25, 86 and 40 on his way to a 216 yard quarter. This was the running that everyone has wanted to see and expected from Charles and the Texas offense. Granted, all this happened against Nebraska (who happens to have the worst rushing defense in the nation), but Texas got the yards when they desperately needed them. Also, Charles eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the season. With as much bad publicity as the running game has received this year, its nice to see Texas with another 1,000 yard rusher only 9 games into the year.
Second-half Defense- After a first half full of wide open receivers in the middle of the field and a lack of 3rd down defense, the Longhorns stepped up and forced Nebraska to six straight 3-and-outs in the 2nd half. Perhaps the biggest stop of the day was when Colt was intercepted in Texas territory and the defense gave up no points and forced a Cornhusker punt. Sergio Kindle had his best day as a Longhorn with 8 tackles, a sack and pass break up.
First-half Play Calling- It was almost too late when Greg Davis remembered that Nebraska had one of the worst rushing defenses in the nation. I do not exaggerate when i say that Nebraska blitzed Colt EVER SINGLE PLAY. Colt was hit hard and even knocked out for a play (which is becoming too routine). But inexplicably, Davis held strong to his "pass first" philosophy until the 4th quarter when he finally just started giving Charles the ball. If Davis had been on his game in the 1st half, Jamaal may have had 400 yards on the day and Texas could have sailed in to a nice easy victory. But seemingly on cue, Davis made it a close game with his stubborn play calling.
The Secondary- I think somewhere Nate Swift is still running wide open in the middle of the field. On his 2 TD grabs, there was no defender within 20 yards of Swift. Part of that blame lies with the inexperience of freshman safety Ishie Oduegwu and linebackers Jared Norton and Sergio Kindle, but wow, Swift sure was wide open for some big plays. The secondary allowed Sam Keller to throw for almost 300 yards and 2 TDs on the day and almost cost the Horns the game with their play in the first half.
Colt's Pass Protection- Like it was mentioned before, Nebraska literally blitzed every single down on defense, but Colt is just taking too much of a pounding this year. Though Colt was only sacked 1 time on the day, he was on his back most of the afternoon and had to take a play off after getting his head slammed into the turf. At a certain point it is nice to have such a tough QB, but I am actually getting worried about his long term health. He has the distinct possibility of become college football's version of Trent Green. I would not bee too shocked if Colt's grade are dropping with each time he gets planted into the ground.