A confident Taylor Martinez has made his claims for the upcoming Nebraska Cornhuskers season. It is clearly very early, as we are only in March and have only completed a few spring practices, but a new confidence has arisen at Husker camp.
T-Magic has already stated claims the Huskers are out for revenge versus Wisconsin and Michigan, both who thumped the Huskers pretty well last season. Against Wisconsin, it was a top 10 matchup, both undefeated, and the Huskers opening for the B1G 10 season. Probably could not have been a tougher game for the Huskers, but it is what it is.
The game vesus Michigan was poor execution and poor leadership by the Huskers. They could not control their emotions and little mistakes compounded until they self destructed. Nebraska was humbled, as they bought too much into the hype. They did not bring their best by a mile.
T-Magic also came out and made this claim,
“If we don’t go to the national championship game, I’ll be disappointed. I think we’re all dreaming that big. We definitely can be that good.”
Cocky? Perhaps, but head coach Bo Pelini also had this to say,
“Actually, I’m OK with it—absolutely. I want them to have expectations to be the best.”
Coach Pelini is just backing up his quarterback, but is Taylor’s statement just too far out there?
Nebraska’s offense is returning almost everyone from a solid, but inconsistent unit. I do believe Nebraska is going to better offensively, not just passing but also running the ball. We did not get to see Taylor run the ball as much as he did pre-ankle injury two years ago. Look for that to change. This is also the second year with Tim Beck at the helm. They no longer have to learn everything, but will be focusing on the finer points of the offense and working on being more consistent.
Defensively, I doubt Nebraska can be worse than last season. Sure, they lost Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard (no offense to Crick but he did not play enough), but even Pelini has come out saying how much more prepared this unit is too, even saying this unit can be “quite salty.” The defense has been getting back to basics, learning who should cover who and why, which were little mistakes that led to huge plays for opposing offenses last season.
Let’s not forget either that Nebraska was well on the way to blowing the game against South Carolina open until an ill timed fumble by freshmen Ameer Abdullah took the Huskers from two scores up to tied. Then came the Alshon Jeffery hail mary touchdown reception, which is just one of those once-in-a-million plays that went against the Huskers.
After that, Nebraska just could not get anything going, frustrated both offensively and defensively, instead losing a fourth game for the fourth consecutive year under Pelini. The Huskers are light years ahead of where they were when Pelini took over, but the same amount of losses have piled up each season.
Look for that to also change this year. A BCS title? I do not think so. A Rose Bowl appearance is not out of the question, but this unit will have to be a heck of a lot better and consisten than last season.
Follow Paul Troupe on Twitter @gamin4HIM