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Clock Is Ticking For Norvell (and Dorrell)

I am going to try and not be too critical of the latest uninspiring hire by Karl Dorrell. First, let's acknowledge some of the good points about this hire. FWIW Nebraska did run a WCO offense in Lincoln. So, in that regard, there should be a complete match in the philosophies of Dorrell and Norvell next year. KD will not be able use the same excuses he used to fire Axman and Svoboda. He is billing Norvell as a disciple of the WCO, and Norvell contributed (it was Callahan who, for all intent and purpose, managed it) to Nebraska offense's productive output last season. Dohn on Husker's O last season:

Nebraska and Louisville were the only schools to rank in the top 25 in rushing offense, passing offense, total offense and scoring offense. The Cornhuskers were 23rd in rushing (1,705ypg) and passing (244.1ypg), 14th in total offense (414.6 ypg) and 17th in scoring (30.6 ppg).

Cornhuskers quarterback Zac Taylor was the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year after establishing school records for passing yards (3,197) and touchdowns (26) while completing 59.6 percent of his passes.
That sounds nice and all. But here are some concerns:

Dorrell is at it again, BSing the media that Nebraska was able to "quickly" establish a WCO offense in Lincoln. Not sure what the heck he means by that. It took the Huskers three years to come up with a statistically significant season like last years.

Moreover, if you look into Nebraska's 9-5 record from last season, it looks just as hollow and meaningless as UCLA's "10 win" season from two years ago. Nebraska's 5 loses came in their 5 most significant games of 2006 season. A lot of folks here remember their pathetic 10 point performance against the Trojans. They then went on to lose against Texas at home (scoring 20 points), Oklahoma State on the road (29 points), losing to arch rival OU in the Big-12 championship game (scoring 7 points), and then laying an egg against Auburn in the Cotton Bowl (14 points). So, in the 5 biggest games of the season, the Husker's offense averaged a pathetic 16 points a game. That's worse than the 23 points per game average the Dorrell/Svoboda combination produced last season.

If you read the Nebraska message boards, you will see Nebraska fans not terribly upset about Norvell's departure. In fact, currently, the legion of Huskers fans are split on the Callahan regime, as many of them are actually nostalgic about the Solich era.

So Norvell is by no means some kind of home run hire by Karl Dorrell. However, all that said, I think it is pretty clear that Norvell (and more importantly Dorrell) will be under immense pressure next season. Dohn hints at it:
A lot is at stake for Norvell and Dorrell, who is expected to deliver a big season with 20returning starters on offense and defense.
Norvell is not going to get 3 seasons to put together a statistically insignificant 5 loss offense featuring losses in the 5 biggest games of season.

He will need to deliver an offense that will bring the Pac-10 championship back to Westwood next season. The clock is now ticking.

Pac-10 championship or bust.