I'm up for a good chat if you are. Let's see what's on your mind about the Huskers and such.
@ganglyGreen: I don't feel I can give the Iowa's home crowd its proper due, because I'm guessing it was quite the hostile place for Michigan two weeks ago. But the two games I've covered in Iowa City have both been on sleepy Black Fridays (I think Hawkeye fans still find playing on that day weird), and one of them was so incredibly cold the crowd was more worried about keeping their fingers working then anything else. Ohio Stadium, at night, has to be as tough as any place in the country, so certainly Kinnick is no match for that. Camp Randall probably isn't far behind the Horseshoe either. So the Huskers shouldn't come unraveled because of the environment after what they've seen. Also, in the same way a lot of black and gold gets into Memorial Stadium every year, I assume there will be a good representation of red in Kinnick.
@HuskerBill: I'll say 17. I expect a low-scoring, grinder that people in the southeast probably mock on Twitter while it's going on, quickly forgetting the game LSU-Florida played a few days earlier. I like the Husker D in this matchup a lot. But can the Blackshitrs keep Wadley from busting out two or three big runs like Canzieri did a year ago. The Husker D won way more snaps than it lost a season ago, but if you give up a couple explosives, it renders all that positive work useless by the end of the game.
@CDS: Hmmm. I'd bet no. But I'd sure sit up as tall in my seat as I could if he came in. And you know what, I wouldn't just assume he'd struggle so long as NU stuck to a package of four or five plays he felt really comfortable with. It's probably be a pretty limited offensive playbook, but that's not always the worst thing.
@TerryInIowa: It's why I am in the crowd that thinks you can call this game as a rivalry. Both fan bases dislike the other side enough to warrant the label. No, the two teams haven't both been really good at the same time. But I think deep down this is the one game on the Husker schedule most fans would be annoyed with losing. Especially for someone like you Terry. I think it's also that way in Omaha, where there's a higher number of Hawkeye fans than other parts of the state. I think this game becomes a "cubicle rivalry" of sorts for them. People want those bragging rights at work.
@BarryO: I think if you pay close attention to Riley's injury updates, he says things without always giving away much at all. For instance, last week, he gave an update on Armstrong almost every day. But he didn't just flat say it's almost assuredly Fyfe, even though players say they knew that as early as last Sunday. So he keeps stuff under his hat. I don't necessarily expect us to have a clear picture of what's happening until Nebraska's first snap on Friday.
@STLhusker: I don't think there's a great rhyme or reason to it either. I'll just say some Husker fans should be careful what they wish for. I heard people complain the last couple years, 'Where's Michigan? Where's Ohio State?' Well, now NU gets Ohio State through 2019, and gets Ohio State and Michigan in the same season at 2018. That's fun, I suppose, but also presents quite a challenge to winning a division title, which people also crave.
@Aaron: I think D-end is one of their biggest areas of need from going to good to great, yes. They need to find a few game-changers. Maybe they have in their recent recruiting -- it's always hard to say. A guy like Robert Porcher IV is putting up ridiculous sack numbers right now, and Michigan has been interested in him. Maybe a guy like that is a real player like his dad and is that person you're talking about. I wouldn't discount a guy like Quayshon Alexander, if he has the want-to, being that hybrid you speak of. The first time I saw him, his body type reminded me a little of Eric Martin. Whether he is as football crazy as the Caveman, though, I don't know. I think you also got to see if an Alex Davis or Daishon Neal can take that jump this offseason. No time to give up on those guys. They're only second-year players. Davis, in particular, has seen some quality snaps this season and his frame, rawness and basketball background reminds me a little of Avery Moss. So, back to the question, yes, it is a concern. But I think Parrella has proven to be a good hire, and it feels like they're at least in the mix now for the right kind of guys. I didn't feel that at this time a year ago.
@HuskerBuckFever: I think it was a little bit of a teaser, yes. Although I'll admit I still like when the QB has at least a enough nimbleness that you can call that QB draw like Langsdorf did with Fyfe on a fourth-and-1. That's such a little weapon to have in your pocket. The other big thing is this O-line has to really grow over the next year, because while NU's sacks allowed numbers are really low, give a lot of that to Armstrong for escaping sacks the next QB probably won't. So there are certainly pluses and minuses to both. I think some NU fans will always have that soft spot for that QB who can take off and do something wit his feet. But if he has the leadership qualities and guts of, say, a Zac Taylor, we've seen fans can sure live with that, too.
@Badgas: No idea, but I'd advise them to keep from running the old fake punt on their own 25 that gets stuffed by five Hawkeyes play. That one didn't go over too well in 2013. It does seem that sometimes coaches love to unload some trick the last week that they've been hanging onto. So I bet at least one team does something really weird.
@TO: I believe he did participate in some track last year, but I don't think he's one of those guys who loves it or anything. Not sure on his 40 time, but he sure had the whole "fast as I need to be" quality going last night. I know Nebraska is definitely interested in him. He's got a couple academic hurdles to bang out, but if he does, I think he's an in-state kid worthy of an offer in a class where NU doesn't currently have a RB.
@Dano: I'm sure they chart it but don't make it public. I don't keep track, because it'd be really difficult with everything else that's going on. But we do try to slip into reports specific snap counts that are interesting. I remember that used to be a really think with Vincent Valentine because people questioned his conditioning, so we were always monitoring that. I agree, it's definitely useful information at times and it would be a nice thing to have on my fingertips.
@JimNE: Haha. I don't know if I'm your man Jim. Sounds to me like the powers-that-be don't want to keep it going. I think Bo's face might have been on the trophy, too. That might be part of the reason it's being discouraged.
@Aaron: I never say never, but I'd say no. It sure wouldn't hurt him to get an eval and see what the draft people are saying about him. But I think he could jump to even another level with one more year of college football. One of the good ones, Chris. I've always enjoyed talking to him, occasionally about some difficult subject matters. I think he really loves being a Husker and don't get the sense he is some guy just itching to get out of here. That's just my view from a bit of a distance.
@BojiHusker: Because of the defense. Take away the Ohio State debacle and that group has been really solid for pretty much the entirety of the Big Ten season. If NU can take Wadley out, I like Nebraska's DBs against Iowa's guys on the perimeter. People are wondering how Nebraska is going to put up points, which is fair, but I think the same goes for Iowa in this one.
@HuskerBuckFever: Riley gets bonuses for winning the division, bowl game appearances, conference titles, etc. Standard for most coaches. But there's no extra $$$ for a certain win total. I agree. NU fans wouldn't be pleased at all by a contract that gave any extra notice to 7 wins as a sort of mile marker.
@BojiHusker: That's like being in Cancun compared to 2012.
@BojiHusker: Knevel is available, I think. It seems to me Cole Conrad has edged ahead there, though perhaps I'm reading that wrong. I need to clarify that for sure. Drew Brown is a big one. NU needs him this week. I think they'll have him. He's going through the protocol and practiced on Monday, which is a good sign.
@Dick: I see your other question, Dick, but don't want to give an answer to that one publicly just yet. I'd like to hit on that topic in December or January, though. As for this question, it's always hard to be sure of the next big thing, but the young guns I like the most are Herman and Frost. Herman is cliche now. But I've been a fan of his since he was the OC at Iowa State. And I think the Buckeyes miss him in the booth a bit too. I think Texas should go after Herman, which I suspect they will, and I think Herman should think long and hard about it even though that is one tough job to pass up. If you look at the track record of Texas football over the last 30-35 yards, winning there hasn't been near as easy as some suggest. I also think the boosters at that school would make that job a bear unless you have a special politician's touch like Mack Brown did. My wild guess is that LSU ends up with Larry Fedora, which wouldn't knock me over but I can see why some there might *think* he'd fit. Maybe the Tigers should poke James Franklin, too, though I don't think he's as good an in-game coach as he is recruiter.
If I were Baylor, I'd kick the tires on Les Miles. People don't like Baylor, but they like Les, so maybe he could help them move on, even though I hope people don't let Baylor just move on from some of the stuff that has gone on.
@Brit: There's a few guys over there who could probably run it decent, although it does take a steady hand, and it's not the easiest thing to just bust out all of a sudden in the final week, especially if you don't have a guy like Rex Burkhead doing it. (Burkhead was quite good at the wildcat. DPE would be an candidate, I suppose, although I like when it's more of a running back type. Sort of like the Vikings do it with Jerick McKinnon. If Tommy can play but can't really run (and I'm just throwing stuff against a wall now), I don't mind the idea of having a few zone read plays for someone like Darlington just to keep the defense a little off balance. Again, though, you're asking a guy who hasn't played QB in a college game to make key split-second decisions in one of the biggest games of the year on the road. So you can see why some of these ideas that sound wonderful over coffee on Tuesday aren't exactly what a coach wants to bust out all of a sudden now.