Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Western Michigan Game

No link, just my thoughts.

I attended the beginning of the Pelini era, and am cautiously optimistic my prognostication skills have successfully returned along with the Husker defense. I figured 42-17, actual was 47-24. Largely a successful effort, but as Bo stated in hyis post game comments, we strive for perfection around here, and while we've got a long way to go, it was a pretty solid effort. A lot of good things to consider, along with a few negatives.

First, the offense appears to have not lost a beat, with Joe Ganz going for 20 of 36 for almost 350 and throwing four scores. The not so good was the two picks, although only the second one was his fault. He'll have to avoid that impulse to force things when facing better opponents.

Secondly, while the running game wasn't dominant, it was somewhat effective, as we ran for 7 first downs and averaged 4.5 a carry with a patchwork line missing two projected starters (Lydon Murtha and Javario Burkes) and having another ( Mike Huff) suffer a minor injury. The Broncos also often came out stacking the box and daring us to pass, which cost them.

The big concern going into the game was the defense, and while it wasn't mistake free, there was good effort and some nice penetration from the line (four sacks), and the Cody Glenn conversion appears succcessful, as he had 12 tackles (9 solo) three pass breakups and a forced fumble. The secondary had a couple of issues but we wound up missing Murillo, Colbert and Thenarse for most of the game. Young corners West, Amukamara and Hagg all had fairly solid play most of the day. The kicking game was excellent, with four FG from 44 and a good effort in the return game from Niles Paul.

Overall, I'd give it a B. Improvement will be necessary to challenge the better teams in the conference, and more consistent play out of the secondary and linebacking corps is needed, along with further development in the running game.

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