Bumped. Good warmup for next game week and today's gameday. BN Eds.
So I can be safe in assuming that all of us know what Nebraska is going to be doing in their first game. It’s going to be a lot of runs and options and some occasional throwing to try and keep the defense on their toes. But ultimately it’s the over 2000 rushing yard Burkhead-Martinez show.
The talent disparity between Nebraska’s offense and USM’s Defense will be apparent throughout the whole game and when Nebraska has the ball it will be a snoozer. No shocker there, but what about USM’s offense against Nebraska’s defense? Not only do I think that the matchup will be fun to watch but I think it will make this game that much more important for the Bruins to learn from the tape.
Explanation after the jump
Now I don’t know about you guys but I watched USM utterly destroy Houston last year. I mean they beat them so hard that Case Keenum lost his draft spot because of it. Their offense was so explosive throughout the year that they wound up averaging 36.9 points a game and 461.4 yards a game. That ranked them 14th and 17th respectively in the nation. But of course that was last year and this is this year.
So here are a few reasons why I think USM has a chance to make things interesting.
- USM returns one of their most dynamic player in: Tracey Lampley- 91 carries for 463 rushing yards and 47 receptions for 574 yards. A small slot/scat back that has big play ability and a chance to be safety net to a junior qb with little experience.
- They have three running backs in Desmond Johnson(75 rushes 424 yards), Kendrick Hardy( 72 rushes 426 yards) and Jeremy Hester(59 rushes 291 yards). All three of these guys have different styles similar to what UCLA has in an all around back, scat back and bruiser. The fact that there are 3 capable guys also puts a lot less pressure on the QB.
- The Defense for USM was ranked 26th in scoring defense and Martinez has a habit of throwing inaccurate passes. If he hasn't developed a better passing game, the defense might be able to force a couple of turnovers. Also USM returns 3 of their 4 top tacklers from last year so there will be experience. One of those 3, Safety Deron Wilson is on the Jim Thorpe award watch list.
- They have a winner's mentality left behind by their old coach Fedora. He was fiery and a risk taker and it showed through his team last year. Look for the players to keep his coaching in their mind.
Now of course there a multitude of problems for USM in this game. Will their 6'4 QB with little to no experience going to fit into the system. I believe they are still running the spread offense of last year so it should help him, but he's a question mark. Will Nebraska simply just run through the smaller USM d-linemen? All I can say for sure is that we need to watch this game to get an idea of the option for next week. If USM does some things right offensively I have complete trust in Mazzone to abuse it if he see's it next week.
But if USM does get the drop on Nebraska, It will definitely be because of their offense and I'll be telling everyone I told you so. If they don't win, no one will even notice. So GO BRUINS I'll see you all at the RoseBowl.
You can catch the game on ABC/Espn2 at 3:30 EST.