Well, I'm back online at home, which means that I can procrastinate and write sparingly from the comfort of my basement, whereas before I was doing it on company time. For those of you who have been aching for an update, at ease. What's that? Nobody has been aching.....Oh.......Well, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I've been less than active on here, as I usually am slower when the Huskers are off. However, with the bye week gone and three consecutive big games coming up, those days are over. Tonight I'm going to take a look at Virginia Tech and break down why I believe NU will win this week's game, as well as why despite my admiration for Frank Beamer as a coach, I've always kinda hated the Hokies.
First off, let's look at the basics. The thing that the Huskers have struggled with the past few years (meaning: the Cosgrove era) is spread offenses who take our run support out of the box, allowing running lanes the size of a truck to develop. Anyone care to remember this? I didn't think so. The Hokies, however, run a more traditional two-back offense, meaning that Pelini can finally get a break from trotting out 5 to 6 defensive backs this weekend. This, along with Ricky Thenarse coming back, hopefully will give us Husker fans a few breaks from having to watch Larry Asante attempt to tackle people.
The question is, with the lack of depth we have at linebacker and now defensive line, can we hold up against the Hokie rushing attack, one bolstered by Tyrod Taylor's abilities? Will Beamer, having scouted our limitations, implement a few wrinkles that get Taylor in open space, perhaps some zone-read packages? I wouldn't be surprised in the least bit. Particularly with them starting kids a year removed from high school at wide receiver, one would think that the running game is going to be their sticking point. However, my concern is that they'll beat the run into the ground, counting on our safeties to creep up, and that's when they'll get us with a gadget play or play-action. I think they'll get one touchdown because they're lucky, one because they're good, and then a field goal because our defense always seem to be extremely flat at least one drive before pulling their heads out of their ass inside the 20 yard line.
I think the offensive line is starting to mesh at the right time here. Will we get over 300 for the second game in a row? No, but I expect us to get a solid rushing game going against the 72nd-ranked rushing defense, one that thus far hasn't been as effective as units of seasons past. I think Watson will call this game and nail it, and with the Sea of Red in night-game mode, it's going to turn out pretty good for us.
Now, the thing I don't like about Tech is that for the past five or six years (and maybe longer), it's seemed that the Va Tech defense were among the least classy players I have seen in some time. Every seemingly ordinary play was celebrated, it got to the point that I changed the channel during a couple of their games, I was getting so irritated with it. Now, to be honest, I haven't seen much of Tech's games this year, so I can't say if there has been any of it thus far this season. But I'm not too worried about it in our game, I don't think they'll have much to celebrate against our offense.
-Does anyone else who plays NCAA '09 get pissed off with how many plays somehow end at the one yard line or closer? How is it that I've had dozens of long plays go 60+ yards yet they can't go the last 12 inches? Is it a glitch? Some cruel joke by the programmers? This happens multiple times a game......I'm not saying that some plays don't end at the one yard line, but I can't believe the frequency with which it happens. I haven't gotten this frustrated at a video game since my dad discovered the Bills had a secret audible on Madden '92 that was a direct snap to Jim Kelly 25 yards down field.
- So last week in fantasy, I lost by 5 points. You know who was on my bench? Ronnie Brown, who accounted for 5 TD's and 117 yards rushing in the Dolphin's shredding of the Patriots. I'm now 1-2 in the league, but I'm confident that my lineup of AP and Matt Forte will help my rushing game pick up the slack.
- Va Tech and NU play in a split telecast, with Illinois and Penn State being the other game. Naturally, being in Minnesota, I'll be stuck with the Big 10 game, even if it is a mildly decent one. At least the Gophers will finally lose so I can stop hearing about them from my friends. No state has as many bandwagon jumpers as Minnesota.