Husker Extra live chat: Brian Christopherson, 11.29.16 - Husker Extra

Husker Extra live chat: Brian Christopherson, 11.29.16

Chat all things Husker football with Brian Christopherson during his weekly live chat, every Tuesday.

    Outback Bowl reps keeping Huskers in mind, but watching if 3 or 4 B1G teams are gone after New Year's Six choices.…

    Be part of this. I think this chat is going to probably change our lives in significant ways. Don't have regrets you didn't.…
    Welp BC, was at the Iowa game....two comments..1. Iowa fans are not the best, worse I have experienced since Colorado fans 2. You told mne to have hope for the game because of the D....what happened on those three big plays? This team should be too experienced for those gaffes
    @BojiHusker: I thought Iowa would score about 17 points I really did. It was not an explosive offense all year against any team of matter. Even against Michigan, it was hard work for Iowa's O. The three breakdowns on defense were perplexing because it was really basic stuff. The first long TD should have been a 5-yard run. Josh Banderas took the blame for it. The second long TD should have been a 15 yard catch. The next long run -- I think two or three guys overran that one. Why did it happen? No good answer from this layman? Excusable? Not really. Iowa looked like a team that really wanted that game. Nebraska looked like a team that was just there. I don't think the Huskers quit. But I do think it exposed the work still ahead in the trenches. Everyone should have just as much focus on that O-line situation as the QB situation the next year, but of course, that probably won't happen.
    hi Brian. Again im very disappointed with the team this year. the defense is once again over rated
    Disappointed to say the least regarding friday. Does nebraska still have yet to field a team that can with stand a big ten season? They looked visibly out matched in the trenches. Which in the big ten is the most important thing imo.
    @Aaron: It is the most important thing. The skilled position recruits are great. You need them. You need Mcquittys and Keyshawns and Jamire Calvins. But as Friday showed, it doesn't matter if you've got the other team licked on the outside if you can't hold on up front. Up front is where teams get their will sucked away if they're not up for it. If you think about this full season, what Iowa's O-line did to Nebraska is not something we saw Nebraska really do at all to anyone else all year. I mean, there were some good fourth quarters put together. I don't diminish that. But is there a game NU played where you think an opponent would come out after and publicly say they just got manhandled? Probably not.
    There's seemingly a lot of disappointed people in a team that was in the top 10 at one point. Maybe they either don't know, or forgot how much work needs to be done in recruiting to get the necessary depth to compete for a full season in the Big Ten?
    @CDS: I think people can have a mixed opinion of realizing 9-3 is a record many of them would have taken before this season, while also being extremely disappointed that the Huskers lost a game by 59 and another by 30 this year. I think it just left people ... confused. I really think this fan base was fully ready for this team to go to Iowa City, pull off a gutty win and fully put their arms around this season. Even a hard-fought loss, people wouldn't have liked, but understood. But the way it went down is going to have people grumpy. Yes, you're right a lot of recruiting work is still necessary. I'd also say Nebraska wasn't lacking the guys to go to Iowa City and make that a much better fight than it was.
    I get this is not Mikes recruits but it's not like these players are bad. Special teams was terrible this year the offense and defense was terrible too. 1 win against a winning record team. With play calling being so poor and the defense playing so far off it's hard to tell how bad we really are. Are you at all concerned about our O.C. or D.C. Going forward? Please no pc response.
    @Justin: I won't give you a P.C. response. I'll give you a response you might not like because I think Danny Langsdorf is/can be a pretty good playcaller. And I know the numbers are down this year. Down a ways. They're not good, frankly. And ... it did feel like in both blowouts there was complete lack of faith to do much other than wing it deep and pray. Riley called it falling into a trap: Chasing a lead. Seeing one-on-one coverage. Thinking the next time you're going to hit on that. It seemed the definition of insanity by the end. But I want to see what Langsdorf and Riley do next year with a QB they've hand-picked. I'm not in that camp that just assumes it's going to be better, but I think you're going to at least see a Langsdorf/Riley offense closer to how they want it. And then we shall judge accordingly.
    their rank now at 34 in one poll is really what they should be. until i see their defense comes up big I don't trust them. it has been years since they have had a excellent defense, especially to compete with the top big ten teams. I'm not in favor of this coach getting it done. Their 9-3 is a phony record. They struggled against almost every team this year.
    @danp: You're fair to have lack of trust in the D in big games, because it's fallen way short too many times in the ones everyone is watching. Allowed way too many explosions. As for the record, I'm not going to bash this team for the schedule that was put in front of it. One positive step it took this year is it won ALL the games people thought it was supposed, which is not near as easy as it sounds in college football anymore. You can even ask Top 5 teams like Clemson or Pitt about that. Last year's 6-7 team was probably better than it's record and this year's 9-3 team probably stretched the most out of it's record, though. I'd go with that.
    Next time in Iowa City BC...try Panchero's...great burritos...right in the heart of downtown IC...
    @BojiHusker: I think we have those in Lincoln too.
    20 years of not being relevant. Not living in Nebraska continues to get harder and harder to want support the program. Family and friends continue to get more and more depressed about the status of our program. Any suggestions for how you keep the faith?
    @Justin: I cover the program without a red shirt in my closet. I'm not here to put anyone on a couch and tell them to keep the faith or not keep the faith. I guess if you're a fan looking for encouragement, I'd suggest asking yourself if you had just been told on Aug. 31 that Nebraska would go 9-3 in the regular season, how would you have reacted? Now, I know what happened inside those games, as do you. But the record does matter. It shouldn't just be thrown in a waste basket because people are ticked this week. If this team gets itself together, and plays well in a bowl game (Riley's teams generally do well in bowl games), that's a 10-win season and a Top 20 ranking. That's a step forward for a program ... while also having clear evidence there are certain parts that need to get a lot better or you shouldn't expect more of those records against tougher schedules ahead.
    Imagine a scenario where Bama, Clemson, and Washington all lose this weekend. Do we have three B1G teams in the playoff?
    @Scorch: I don't dismiss anything at this point, except this: Bama will get in even if it loses, which it won't. Ohio State is already in, too, I'd wager my house. If Clemson and Washington lose? There's going to be a Penn State/Wisconsin winner or Michigan argument that will be completely fascinating. (But I don't think they'd have the guts to put two Big Ten teams that didn't win the conference title in the playoff.). I could still see Oklahoma sneaking in with your scenario, or even Colorado. I just don't think. Where it gets tricky is Michigan has bragging rights over CU, PSU and Wiscy. I'll say 2 B1G teams get in and Michigan gets left out on the doorstep, even though I sort of think the Wolverine defense is the best chance for someone to beat Alabama.
    after the class b championship game, how does moses bryant of 2018 not have a scholarship offer when guys like jurgens and mapieu have them. IMO bryant is the most dominant player in all of high school football, only as a junior.
    @huskerfan10: He's a very, very good player. As is Jaylin Bradley. I don't want to get all into it, because these are just kids, but both still have some business to handle off the field. Trust me, this staff is very aware of both.
    Do you think the staff will go with a recruiting class entirely of wide receivers? We could at that point have maybe half the roster made up of them and stop messing with those uncool linemen types?
    While I am not pleased with the way the team lost two games, I honestly thought we would be a 7-5 or 8-4 team. So I will take 9-3 and smile. The reality is that Armstrong, while a good player, was never going to be the game changer. Nebraska will never out recruit Alabama or Ohio State. Just look at what Marcus Marriota did for Oregon. His brilliance covered up the flaws of a good but not great team. That is what it will take a first round draft pick at QB. From everything I hear, Tanner Lee could be hands down fantastic and would make up for most of Armstrong's weaknesses.
    @Steve: As I wrote this weekend, the next quarterback is always popular until he's *the* quarterback. That was Tommy once, too. But I do think they are really optimistic about Lee. Whether you'll see a world of difference in how he reads the field as to how Armstrong did it this year, well, that's the hope, but I'm not going to commit to the hype train about the next starting QB until we see some of the goods in the games. That's my pledge. Hold me to it.
    Shatel things that Frost might end up in Oregon if Hellfrich is fired, what do you think?
    @Regg: No idea. Don't think anyone has a good idea. I'd bet no. Also, I'm not saying Frost wouldn't take a job like that if offered. It's a lot of money and it's Nike U, but I think Frost is quite aware of something that doesn't get brought up enough: Oregon isn't necessarily as easy to recruit to as some people imagine it to be. A good run of QBs, specifically Mariota, helped cover some significant flaws. Vernon Adams did the same last year when he was healthy. Without that guy, that team probably wins about 5 last year.
    One bright spot ...according to the sources I looked up...NU is now #2 in All Time wins....with Mich. being 31.....(and NU passed ND even without the 21 losses ND has for cheating) :)
    The OSU and the Iowa games were tough ones to swallow. But I can accept those outcomes with the one dimensional team that we were because of our key injuries. But the "biggie" was the Wisconsin game. In overtime, WI scored the first touchdown and missed the extra point. Wow! What an incentive for us. But in the end, it just never came together. Having a good performance in the bowl game, like last year, may help to heal the wounds,,,,and, and, recruiting.
    The Hawkeye game was terrible but glad we have it out of the way and still have a disgusting taste in our mouth. ST coach being punted is great. Riley and Shawn have my support. Let's move on to next year and start with Riley's players.
    Last Friday's debacle gave me a bad bad memory of a embarrassing performance by the defense in Boulder 15 years ago. I was thinking that our seniors leadership wouldn't let this happen? Do you see this as a trend? Or just two games where we weren't ready to play for some reason. If it's a trend then it's no different than the Pelini regime.
    @Regg: Occasionally, you get rolled. Even a good team has it happen sometimes. But I do think it's alarming how much it's happened to Nebraska. I guess, as I tweeted at the end of the game on Friday, what stands out to me is how the Huskers so often have managed to make scores of games like those as unsightly as possible. I mean, that game was 26-10 heading to the fourth. It was perfectly in reason for Nebraska, even if it didn't win, to have that defeat come off as quite the eyesore. But what happens? A senior runs into a kicker and gives Iowa a first down and eventually four more points. The defense gives up a fourth-and-5 when there was a chance to keep the Hawkeyes off the board late. I could run through seven or eight games in recent memory where NU seemed to do everything possibly wrong to turn the thing into an embarrassing score on the ticker. Why is that exactly is really hard to answer. Friday, though, was to me about the trenches. The Huskers got bullied. And that's why I think fans are so discouraged about it. To me, Iowa was worse than Ohio State.
    What's your best guess as to what HCMR does with the newly empty coaching position? Different ST Coach or a promotion for Tavita? Elsewhere? And do you think there is any other staff "adjustments" before next season?
    @Ike: I think Tavita is definitely an option but would not say he's THE option. I don't know where Riley wants to go. The first question is: Does he want the new guy to have the same role or does he want him to coach something else and spread the special team responsibilities out more amongst everybody? I know he's hopeful a 10th assistant, which is up for a vote, also passes. That would allow him, at some point, to get both a ST coach and someone else to help in whatever area he sees needs it the most. That vote has to pass first, though.
    BC...the OL needs some help for sure. Some were recruited last year. But the QB is every bit of the focus. Unless you're going the general mold of WI (important to note that an unbelievable D helped them the last 2 years)...or recruiting studs everywhere like Bama, you need a stellar QB to get NU where it would like to be. See PSU with McSorley's recent play. USC's season changing with Darnold. Then the other top playoff teams. Clemson/Watson, tOSU/Barrett, WA/Browning. This is fairly consistent year after year. There's lots of formulas for success in football, but usually one main ingredient. It's why fans focus on it so much and every NFL team treasures drafting the right one. They hide mistakes, faults, cover for others, make plays and consistently help put the team on their back and get them in proper positions to win. With all that said....Lee was hot talk in the fall. I think POB pushes hard for it and has much more mobility, which the staff may like now. What is your early take?
    @Trashman: Absolutely the right QB is crucial. I'm not downplaying that. I was just saying that guy better have a solid O-line in front of him, or the skilled guys are just going to get canceled out against good competition. My early take is Tanner Lee is the favorite, based off his experience and the way I hear people talk about him. But I say you roll those footballs out there and let them go to battle. And NU needs both of them to have the goods, because as we saw this year, you have to go to the bullpen at QB sometimes. And if the O-line doesn't take some steps, there will be be a lot more sacks next year because neither of these guys will avoid some that Armstrong did.
    I've seen a number of people calling for Cavanagh's head, but I don't think he did a horrible job. Every time you turned around it seemed another lineman got hurt. There appears to be a lot more talent coming up & it sounds like they are recruiting pretty well. But I also think that OL & DL are where the biggest improvement needs to happen for the team to take the next step.

    I was chatting w/ a friend about this & TA's up & down performances. If it had been Fyfe or another less mobile QB I think we are looking at the wrong end of the giving up sacks list if not leading the conference in QB sacks given up. Are you seeing something similar or am I a bit off base?
    @Robin: Cavanaugh did have a rough go with injuries. But most everyone in the country gets a couple guys dinged up front over the course of the season, especially in this conference. I really think you need about 8 guys you feel really good about anymore. I'm not even talking about the rotation discussion. I'm talking about the inevitable injuries that are going to hit you at some point every fall up there. Those guys get their ankles rolled up on every week. I'm sure Gates wasn't close to 100 percent most of this year. But that's why you better have some guys on the bench you feel you can go to.
    I fully endorse the concept of establishing the run. But lets hold off on that idea until we see how well the offensive line jells in Spring training.
    @casualobserver: I don't know that the idea of wanting to establish the run is something you can ever hold off on any year. I don't care if you have Brady back there. You got to give him something to play off of. Especially in this part of the country, where you're going to be playing games in 38 degree weather with 20 mph winds. NU even got a break with the weather this year, all things considered.
    Does NU have something under wraps as far as a stud RB, since we dont see them actively recruiting RBs..?? Maybe a Benjamin?
    @TO: I'd like to see them add one more RB to the class, but I don't know who that guy is at this point. He still might be there. Maybe he's even just down the road if he gets everything taken care of away from the field.
    Okay, BC, 9-3, even though we didn't look the best in the process, is a good record. But in your impartial opinion, why was this 9-3 good enough and 9-3 in 2014 wasn't? I'm guessing you are going to say something about year 2 vs year 7, but I'd counter that the record in year 2 was only 1 of a few statistics that improved over year 1, showing a lack of progress, and 2 years ago we beat a 7-4 Iowa team that the A,D, said wasn't good enough because they were 7-4. How did we go from making a change for not winning the games that mattered to we should be satisfied with winning the games we should?
    @JimNE: We know Pelini was fired for more than the record. So there's a big slice of the answer. Trust me, I am not one of those media members who mocked Nebraska when it went 9-4 or 10-4 under Pelini. And this staff has never made light of that accomplishment either. I think you know my take on this: I'm not really all that interested in the comparisons between what Riley is doing and what Pelini did, because I saw that marriage up close and it was done. Both sides were ready to move on. Frankly, they were both ready a year before that. So, it's not as simple as saying, 'Why'd you fire a 9-3 guy for another 9-3 guy?' Also, again, I was never one who thought 9-3 was the worst thing in the world for Husker football back then, and don't now. But you would like to see this staff turn the corner and get away from those meltdowns that followed Pelini. It's something they have to prove they can do. Otherwise, you know how it goes around here. People will want something new at some point down the road, too. That's how it is in college football now. Probably has been that way for a long time, honestly. We were just so used to seeing one guy in place for so long, it seems odd now.
    When do the bowl bids come out, Sunday?
    @TO: Sunday, yes. I still think it will be Outback, but if only three B1G teams get within those New Year's 6 spots, it's possible a Wisconsin or Penn State loser could take Nebraska's place there.
    On the Bruce Read exit, was he a liability in recruiting? If he wasn't an effective recruiter, that may have been a key reason to part ways.
    @GrandpaJim: I think he contributed as a talent evaluator in recruiting. He did make calls on certain special teams guys. I don't know his full role, but yes, the Huskers could stand to get a more dynamic recruiter taking up a spot.
    Patrick Runge, 11/4/15

    But, ultimately, programs don’t fade into the history books because of failures on the field. They fade into history because those on-the-field failures break the will of the fanbase to demand better.

    So for all of you calling for Riley’s firing at the end of this season or tomorrow afternoon – as unreasonable and irrational as that might be – keep it up. Well, maybe with a touch of reality sprinkled in. But as long as the man in charge of the program is setting the expectation at “championship-caliber football” – and the fanbase is holding the program accountable to that expectation – then the program will survive a lean year like this.
    @JimNE: It's great to be a fan base with high expectations. But there's a lot of them out there with big hopes these days, all elbowing for the same prize. The room is more crowded than ever. It's going to take more than, 'We will not let this fail because we're Nebraska' talk, as good as all that sounds. It's going to take a real vision, which is why, you know, I think you should let a coach you hire carry it out several years to see if he has it or not.
    On another sport with heavy Nebraska influence. I read Ken Hambleton's volleyball article and am curious what you think on how many Nebraska teams will make it to their respective Final Fours at least? As a Loper alumni it would sure be nice to finally lift the trophy & bring it home after so many near misses.
    @Robin: I am out of my element making that prediction, but good luck to your Lopers. Volleyball in this state is incredible. Great seeing girls across this state have a lot of good programs that they can set as a goal to reach and play for.
    What happened to the wildcat O...thought it may be in play for the Iowa game with TA, not at top speed??
    @TO: I wouldn't mind seeing it myself a little. Just a little here and there. I think it's effective when used in limited doses.
    Haiku Tuesday....

    Hawkeyes thump Huskers
    Special teams not so special
    Relevance fleeting

    BC....odds that PSU is left out of the playoff and OSU and UM are both in? I see little chance that the B1G champion makes it. And I think both OSU and UM are more deserving. Unless Wisky could make a case for them ahead of UM.
    @SiliconValleyHusker: I think Michigan is better than both teams (just slightly than Wisconsin). But if the Badgers win, I honestly think it's hard to leave them out when you look at their resume.
    OK, everyone. Good chat as always. Until next week. We'll see what bowl and opponent these Huskers draw.
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