Husker Extra live chat: Brian Christopherson, 11.1.16 - Husker Extra

Husker Extra live chat: Brian Christopherson, 11.1.16

Talk Husker football with Brian Christopherson during his weekly live chat, every Tuesday

    Time for a talk. One big game passes, another arrives. What's on your mind?
    Be a pal. Let's converse about the Saturday that was and the one set to come.…
    @GoBigRed: That one's a real coin flip. If you read Riley's quote closely yesterday, I'd lean towards no. But I'll just put the quote here and people can think of it what they will. "It might be one of those deals where he's pretty close, and it might be best to keep him out another week just for his comfort and playing," Riley said.

    Carter has been working out, hitting the practice bags and running some routes.

    "He's close and we'll see how that goes this week," Riley said. "It would be good to have him back, but I want to make sure he's really well and feels good."
    Mr. C: Whatever happens at OSU, I hope the NU can focus on the last three games, because any of the teams it faces are capable of winning, if NU doesn't bring its "A" game. The OSU game will get all the publicity, but Minnesota, Iowa, even Maryland, are not going to be easy.
    @SteveUofN1964: Absolutely right, Steve. Minnesota very well could come into Nebraska 7-2 with a chance to still win the West Division. The Gophers quietly played a very strong game against Illinois this past weekend and get Purdue on Saturday. And Iowa is going to be a fistfight because it always is no matter the records. I keep going back to the fact NU has had only one game in the Riley era where it was absolutely over heading to the fourth quarter, and that was South Alabama last year. Every game this season has been inside of 11 points going to the final frame. That tells you this group, while full of fight, also isn't in a position to take anyone for granted. They know that too.
    Whats going on in recruiting? Have not heard much of anything and haven't had a commit in a while? How do we gain some momentum back?
    @scott: I wouldn't say they've lost momentum. Not that you can't pick up a recruit right now, but this is kind of that holding pattern part of the process. Given the class size is probably around 22 or 23, having 15 in the bank is sitting in pretty good shape for that final turn around the corner. Looking at the numbers yesterday, they're currently 22nd in the 247Sports composite. Pluck one or two big-time prospects at the end, which I suspect they might, and I could see this being a class in that 15-20 range.
    What are your thoughts on Nebraska chances this weekend?
    @Heath: I think it's a tall task, but not impossible. Northwestern showed that this past Saturday. This one to me is more tricky for Nebraska than this pat game, though, due just the overall explosiveness of some of Ohio State's athletes. I'm thinking of a guy like Curtis Samuel, who has 558 yards on just 71 carries and is always a threat to take it to the house. Even though they've been scuffling a bit on offense, particularly in the vertical passing game, I think they have more playmakers that could allow them to run away with a game compared to Wisconsin. However, if it gets to the fourth quarter and it's within a one-score game, Nebraska is in prime position. Because there's a lot of pressure on that Ohio State team right now. And you know how it gets in Memorial Stadium in the fourth quarter of a game where the Huskers are expected to lay a certain score on a team. You can feel the stress grabbing players by the neck. Ohio State will have to deal with that this week the longer the game remains in the balance.
    Hated Langsdorf play-calling against UW. Why run up the gut into a brick wall so many times. Why not throw on 1st down more, to set up the run. Too predictable. I expected more from Danny, but he kind of throws Tommy under the bus. I don't like it. What's your opinion?
    @GAsser29: I didn't think it was Langsdorf's best work, and everyone probably knows I think he's a really good OC. I don't know that he throws guys under the bus. He just gives honest answers. If someone asks, "How did Tommy play?' I prefer when a coach actually tells you how they thought a guy played than dodge it by generalizing. The series that I questioned as a layman more than any other was the last one in regulation. I thought they could have run tried to pop a run in there once they got to midfield. I was half expecting a QB draw. Also, Stanley was just abusing that corner late on 10-yard routes. And then it disappeared. The OT play calls didn't bother me the more I learned about them. The first down call, in fact, dang well may have scored if Tommy pulls the ball on that read. That's a bang-bang decision for a QB to make though, and I wonder if Armstrong saw McNitt was about to cover that end up in that split second. The mind has to process a whole lot right there with everything on the ilne.
    We all tend to put all the success or failure at the feet of Tommy Armstrong. I have a novel idea. How about somebody else step up and take some pressure off of him. Maybe we could block for the running backs for example. We tend to accuse Tommy of trying to do everything. But the production from others around him make it understandable why he feels that way.
    by PT HUSKER edited by Brian Christopherson 11/1/2016 6:23:54 PM
    @PTHUSKER: I like this take PT. Tommy could have played better. But it falls on everything: play calling, receivers separating from DBs, and mostly that O-line. If you are getting nothing on first down running, your OC and QB are already in a box. It's like playing with one hand behind your back all game. One other thing I'd point out: All week last week everyone talks about how, "It's going to be a struggle. It'll probably look ugly on offense. These defenses are really good." And then when it is a struggle, there's apparently this great surprise it was that kind of game. It was expected to be a boxing match where both teams gave each other black eyes and it was.
    BC, can you please do some investigative reporting and find out if/when the 30 for 30 Nebraska '95 editikn will be airing and then report back to your faithful followers?
    @Calihusker: I'll check into it. I don't know if people should be as excited to see that as they are. It'll be interesting, for sure, and as a journalist I'm intrigued to see what they do with it. But I'm amazed Nebraska fans were so eager for someone to dig deep into everything that surrounded that season. My guess is it will be fair, because most of them are very fair. But I get the feeling some were thinking this was going to be just a, 'Bow down to the greatest team ever' thing.
    How was the House of Pain in person? Because it seemed awfully quiet to me on TV until the very end of OT. I was kinda unimpressed.
    by Pipeline edited by Brian Christopherson 11/1/2016 6:30:19 PM
    Do you or Mr Sipple dvr games to listen to broadcasters later? How much they favor one team or another?
    @Zadi: I DVR games, though I usually end up watching them on YouTube, honestly. I don't pay much attention to the announcers. I like to forward quickly from play to play. Husker fans should like Blackledge, though. He was the one calling for the flag on the third down in OT right away, wasn't he? For what it's worth, I think Herbstreit will be plenty fair in the booth. He's pretty good during games and I'm sure he's aware people watch closely what he says when talking about his alma mater. I would think, if anything, that might shade a guy's commentary the other way sometimes to show he's unbiased.
    @Zadi: Nebraska. Go with the data. That's a lot of points for a Husker team that hasn't lost a game by more than 10 points under Riley and has a good defense.
    BC, I think Riley and Langsdorf are in an interesting position. It is probably because of their uber-conservatism on offense that we have the record we have, and did away with so many of the mental errors from last year. But, that same attitude at the end of halves and with personnel (o-line. . . Spielman) is costing us as well.

    I know they probably won't change, but just because they'll have the whole playbook next year, doesn't mean they'll have an experienced enough O-line to run the offense. It just seems like they coach the guys playing REALLY hard, and the backups don't really get a shot during the year to break-in.
    @Brit: Not a lot of opportunities for backups when every game every week is a grinder. I mean, it's kind of like the NFL in a way. You start with all these guys in the roster in camp who can make a difference. But you sort of have to choose your main 50-60 that you are going to go to battle with by the time the season starts. I think the O-line competition is going to be fascinating this offseason because true freshman behind the scenes like Boe Wilson and John Raridon are going to get a chance to push their way right into this thing. As for Spielman, I think they made the right call. It's a position of depth and once DPE got healthy, it was going to limit the young guy's snaps enough where it probably wasn't worth it.
    BC, I'm a Tommy fan. But, if the 2 minute struggles really revolve around his decision-making. . . do you think there's ever a point where Fyfe or someone else comes in for 2 minute stuff, like Ron K. did 3 years ago? Those underneath, shorter throws are there. . . we probaly win last week with them. Perhaps changing the play package there is another option?
    @Aaron: Not really. Unless the game has just gotten away completely from Nebraska. Some people need to stop playing the game that the Huskers have a better option at QB at this very moment. POB can be a good player, but when people saw him on their screen the other day, I shook my head at some my Twitter mentions about how he needed to get thrown into that game. Um, no. For multiple reasons. I don't know how Fyfe would've done in that situation. He throws a good ball when he's on, but he can be streaky too. Sorry, if I sound like a jerk store ("Seinfeld" reference) on this one, but the assumption that the next QB is always the answer doesn't connect with me. Especially if you're throwing a cold guy into a game where your O-line is struggling with a defense that is coming to hunt.
    Saw where Herbie is doing commentary of the game. Let's see how "neutral" a guy can be who went to tOSU and lives in Columbus. Betcha we're throwing something at the tv before halftime.
    @Zadi: I'm sure fans here will say he's not neutral even if he is. That's the way it always is with announcers. I thought his GameDay skit with the guys about NU a couple weeks bac was dumb, but I think he'll be plenty fair Saturday. Nebraska has to play well enough to give you the chance to really be a judge of it though.
    It seemed like the one play that killed us all night was that outside zone run play. It seems like OSU likes to run that kind of stretch zone read play to the outside. Do you think the coaches have a plan in place to stop that or was it something I missed from last game I.e. Missed tackle or assignments?
    @Tweedychris: Comes down to better angles and then finishing. The final touchdown could have been a no gain. Newby missed that one. He was there. Pretty much right where you want to be. In fact, when I saw the play developing, I thought it was a stupid call because it's so slow developing when everyone is that compact down by the goal line. I don't know what you preach other than taking the right angles, though. If you look at most of Wisconsin's big runs, you can usually trace it to some guy overrunning a spot and taking himself out of the play.
    What do you think is the main reason for the NFL TV ratings decline? Down 10-15% compared to last year, and lost to the MLB World Series game on Sunday night by over 30% - the first time an MLB playoff game beat the NFL since 2011.
    @NewportRed: I think there's about 10 reasons, but a few main ones: riveting baseball playoffs from a national perspective, bizarre election year, lacking great QB play, over saturation and, as I expressed last night, the environments at a lot of these games just stink. Like last night's Vikings-Bears game. It was a boring game. And the crowd was basically just there to be there. Think about all the passion of some of the games you saw Saturday (like the ending of Nebraska-Wisconsin), and then you wake up Sunday at noon and you're watching the Lions-Texans where the crowd is blah and there's a timeout after every kickoff..... It just doesn't pop. I'm actually an NFL guy, too. But if you really watch the product from 12-2:40 on a Sunday, before crunch time when it gets pretty interesting, there's just a lot of mediocre play going on. I think they should expand the rosters too. More injuries than ever and we're expecting these teams to play with 53.
    How big would it be for recruiting if Nebraska wins at Ohio State?
    @Justin: Monstrous, I'd say. Think about that sales pitch. "Yeah, you could go there. Of course we did win in their stadium in November...."
    Who recruited Tommy? Tim Beck??
    @AlaskanNebraskan: Yes. Compared to a lot of QBs that come and go without ever producing a noise, it should be called a success too.
    Mr. C: The 2nd string QB is ALWAYS the most popular player on the team if the 1st stringer isn't great. AND if the 2nd stringer gets in and screws up, then the 3rd string QB is most popular and so on.
    @SteveUofN1964: True as taxes and death and fights about politics.
    BC, can you tell me the last time Nebraska won a night game that was broadcast on ABC?
    @SomeGuy: Oooooooooh. Good question to tax my brain. I'll say Wisconsin in 2012 in Lincoln? Everyone think about that and tell me if I'm wrong while we move along.
    The offense is worrisome with OSU on deck but how bout them blackshirts?! Best showing in quite some time. If it wasn't for that running back not named clement I would say it was about a total shutdown.
    @Tweedychris: Got gashed a little more on the ground than you'd like but overall very sound game. You hold a team to 17 in regulation in a big game and you did your work. What they'd probably like back most: The OT series obviously, but also that third-and-10 before the half when Wisconsin was at its own 3. Thought a Husker safety ran himself right out of the play.
    Assuming NU loses to OSU and Wisconsin ends up winning the B1G West (certainly not guaranteed), if NU then wins their final three games (also not guaranteed), what is the most likely bowl game NU would go to?
    by Newport Red edited by Brian Christopherson 11/1/2016 6:59:25 PM
    @NewportRed: I've always thought a real solid 9 or 10 win season that's not quite a "New Year's Six" kind of season ends up with Nebraska in the Outback Bowl in Tampa or Citrus in Orlando. Huskers haven't been to Tampa. Penn State is also in this discussion now because the Nittany Lions could very well end up 10-2 with a win over Ohio State to toot about. You'll see some projections that have NU in a New Year's 6, which is accurate right now. But under your scenario, Wisconsin (or Penn State) could also be that third B1G team that gets a big bowl, next to one team in the playoff and another in the Rose.
    Mr. C: i'm out in the wilds of Herndon, VA, so really don't have a "feel" for the NU fan base. Are they happy NU is at least somewhat "relevant" or more dissatisfied that NU hasn't yet won a "big" one under the new regime?
    @SteveUofN1964: Always hard to summarize the thoughts of that many people. I'd say mostly disappointed at the missed opportunities, but also reasonable in appreciating the effort of this team and seeing a clear contrast to a year ago. And while I don't think a lot of people will admit this out loud, because they hate that term 'moral victories,' I think a lot of people feel it was a forward step that the program played toe-to-toe with someone in a primetime showdown like that. Is that a fair evaluation, everyone?
    Do you think NU fans (and team to a certain extent) got distracted with the whole College GameDay disrespect thing? Objectively, we had not beaten anybody...Oregon has turned out to be way worse than expected. I've always said keep winning and the rankings and recognition will come. I love NU and our state but I think we all could be a little less sensitive when it comes to national perception. We were given the benefit of the doubt for decades because of our sustained performance. And now after nearly 2 decades of sub par performance, we have to earn back that respect.
    @Pipeline: I do think Husker fans get too worked up sometimes at the smallest dig. National guys know it works, too. It gets web clicks and traffic for Colin Cowherd when he delivers a snarky one-liner about the Huskers not being worthy.
    Third string Termanator out of necessity played.....and didn't screw up anything.
    @Zadi: Well, they won that day. It helped they had one of the great Husker O-lines and Lawrence Phillips to carry the ball 31 times with one hand. Also, Berringer came in during the second half of that game at K-State.
    Hey BC. was at the game Saturday night. What a game. Have read and reread many articles comments and blogs. The one thing I have not seen and I am being critical here when I should not be, however, what seemed extremely strange to me is a reverse using#1 as the runner. I think he is one of the best receivers to play at NU. As great as he is a runner he is not. I watched that play develop and anyone else but him would have turned the corner and probably scored. Instead lost 8 yards. I just do not understand him running reverses, jet sweeps, etc. Just my observation.
    @71husker: Fair question. Perhaps it was viewed as an art of deception. It's the same play Westerkamp scored on against Northwestern, remember. That one just didn't fool anyone though. It wouldn't have mattered if it was Moore, Reilly or DPE on that one. Honestly, I thought it was one of those calls where if I was on the headset, I'd be thinking, yeah, this might get them. And then it totally blows up.
    Personally, I won't give a click for Cowherd. Falls into the Jim Rome category of "you can fill a three hour show with one hour of material if you just repeat it 3 times, slightly differently." Occasionally decent, frequently tedious and a bit self absorbed. Maybe Cowherd will click me now. :)
    Something mentioned earlier in today's session was term "predictability" concerning play calling. Good point. How did first series of the game compare to our first two plays of overtime? Both were running plays into the middle with very little gain. This was right into the teeth of a very strong defense. Nevertheless, am pleased with our overall effort.
    @casualobserver: The first-down play in OT was a read for the QB that didn't have to go up the middle. Watch that play again and you'll find yourself wondering if Tommy would have scored if he keeps it and goes outside the block of McNitt. McNitt had sealed the D-end, and the safety had come up too far, and Alonzo Moore was manhandling a corner 10 to 15 yards down the field. I get what you're saying. The second down run was an interesting choice. But the play on first down could have turned out so differently. Could have. It didn't. Fast game. QB is the toughest position in sports to play.
    BC, is this a disappointing season if we win less than 11 games?
    @Sam: Not at all. Plenty were saying 9 would be good before it started as I recall. I do think, where they stand right now, there will be some disappointment if they don't get to at least 10. But you always have to go back and review what you thought about this team in August and compare it to your feelings in January to make sure you're being fair to what the beginning expectations were.
    Greatest game of my childhood. With one of the great calls by Jack Buck. "And we'll see you (perfect pause for one……
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