Originally Posted by LandRun89'
Well Vest, UGA finally, pulled away in the middle of the 4th quarter... I think that in time Bo will get some depth on the DL and keep it in their face on a more intense manner!... Backers and the Safties have got to try to stay on ball side better on those slant routes and be ready when they hitch-n-go!... Coverage was darn good up til that time!... just seemed the stamina was lost in the last 10-12 minutes... Bulldogs get it done by 14... I really liked that game...
Happy New Year!...
It's hard to accept that a 10 win season was a disappointment, but that's what 2012 feels like... now. A season or two from now perhaps I'll have a bit more perspective and I'll be able to appreciate this season as an overachievment... 3 come from behind 2nd half wins against league opponents, and a 7 - 1 regular season conference record.
Losing Burkhead in game 1 hurt, and probably handicapped the offense for the 1st half of the season. But in reality I think that Rex would only have made a difference in the UCLA game. The fact that Abdullah stepped up in his Soph season, and produced 1100+ yards is a sign of the talent Nebraska needs to keep developing, so there is reason to be hopeful...
One of the things that was mentioned often by Nebraska pundits during the preseason was how this class of Seniors was Pelini's first, that this roster was comprised entirely of "Bo's guys". Unfortunately nobody took into account what that actually meant. Pelini's 1st recruiting class in 2008 was ranked somewhere outside the top 25... (30 something I think?). 2008 was comprised of a significant number of JUCOs and reaches, a result of Callahan's awful exit, the uncertainty with who WOULD be the new coach, and Bo's late arrival to the team following LSU's BCS title win.
Add to that the fact that Nebraska lost DT Baker Stienkuhler, (the highest ranked player in the 2008 class), in the Iowa game... leaving a pretty big experience/talent hole in the D-Line that Wisconsin and UGA exploited to great success, and it becomes easy to see where the "talent gap" between NU and the rest of the top 25 really is.
Depth... kids who were backups this season were mostly inexperienced and getting their 1st shot on the field.
That being said, the 2009 class included 3 star Martinez who returns in in 2013 for his senior campaign... as well as 3 star OLinemen Brent Qvale and Jeremiah Sirles, 3 star DT Thad Randle, and 4 star DE Jason Ankrah... all of whom will likely be starters or playing significant snaps in backup/#2 rolls. Clearly, a major component of Pelini's recruiting strategy is to DEVELOPE slightly less regarded recruits over the space of their entire 4/5 year careers, (along with his returned emphasis to developing walk-ons), and lean heavily upon those kids as backups/depth when the time is right or a more highly touted recruit is injured, (Burkhead out, and 2011's 3 star Abdullah steps in).
I think the reality is this... Nebraska's 2012 season was haunted by ripples from the end of the Callahan affair. Nebraska's national recruiting reputation suffered a significant hit on the field in 2008, and the "wait and see" attitude it developed off the field certainly didn't help at all, (i.e. "Wait and see who they hire" "Wait and see what his credentials are" "Wait and see IF he can coach" "Wait and see if Nebraska can get it turned around" etc)
Ultimately, if Nebraska can come back out in 2013 and put together another B10 title run... Maybe a W over Ohio State in the B10 Championship and a BCS appearance... then 2012 will be looked back on as a blip on the radar, and an aberration on Pelini's miraculous recovery project.
if they come out in 2013 and continue to get blown out against the most talented rosters they face... then I suspect Pelini's time in Lincoln will come to an end.