The Nebraska Cornhuskers have quietly been impressing college football followers for the majority of the 2013 football season. Coach Bo Pelini’s Huskers have silently remained in BCS conversations, mostly from the outside looking in. If coach Pelini and his Huskers have intentions of breaking through the barrier between mediocrity and relevance, the time to do so is rapidly approaching.
With the exception of one lackluster half of football played in Lincoln on September 14, the Huskers have performed admirably this season. Upon further review, it has been brought to the attention of college football fans that Huskers star signal caller senior Taylor Martinez was suffering from a nagging turf toe injury that has sidelined the one-time Heisman hopeful since that fateful afternoon.
The Huskers dominated the first half of that contest against the UCLA Bruins, but spiraled out of control and were pounded in the second half by the team from Los Angeles.
So what have the Huskers fans done since that day which saw a star quarterback’s season put on hold, a former star quarterback call out the team and coach, and the coach be nationally embarrassed with the revelation of a rant that he spewed about Huskers fans from years ago? The Huskers plugged in two quarterbacks, Tommy Armstrong and Ron Kellogg, who have performed admirably and provided fans a glimmer of hope for the future. But what is next?
If the Huskers plan on earning that national attention that comes with being a BCS team, they need to continue to plug along with their same methodical pace. The Huskers are in the Legends Division of the Big Ten, and are most likely an odds-on favorite to win the division over the Michigan State Spartans, who will have trouble winning unless they can find some relevant offensive scheme in spite of their dominant defense.
The Huskers have senior quarterback Martinez returning to play against the Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend, most likely in a limited role. The continued methodical pace of the Huskers will be vital to the success of Martinez and ultimately the future of the Huskers program this season.
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck should not, and most likely will not rush the return of Martinez. He will likely split quarterbacking duties with either Armstrong, or the combination of Armstrong and Kellogg this week as the Huskers will lean heavy on their strong and productive running game.
The Huskers’ rushing attack is led by Ameer Ahbdullah and Imani Cross. These two will continue to carry the load for the Huskers as they stay under the radar while their quarterback returns to full strength. Coach Pelini and his dedicated staff may be proving themselves to be the ultimate tacticians by holding back the reins on their explosive offense.
While Martinez recovered, the serviceable backups played well enough to win and the running game was established as a key tool for the Huskers’ offense. The Huskers are primed for an offensive explosion — which Big Ten defense will feel its wrath?