NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 20 Nebraska Practice

Fall Camp Rewind: Offense

What we saw:

Tommy Armstrong improving before our very eyes. The redshirt sophomore looks more poised and comfortable, not to mention less rushed and more apt to make it through a full set of progressions before getting the ball out or running. Terrell Newby will round out the best running back stable in the conference, possibly the country. Newby looks smoother running and you can tell he’s letting the game come to him with how aggressively he hits holes and makes cuts while anticipating moves of the defense. Nebraska ran lots of sweep plays during fall camp; be it fakes, fly sweeps, jet sweeps, you’ll probably see it from multiple positions. Players from Newby to Westerkamp to De’Mornay Pierson-El took sweep plays plenty during fall camp — did Nebraska learn something after getting gashed by sweep plays in the 2012 Big Ten championship game?

What we heard:

“(Armstrong) just really seemed to step his game up. Much more crisp in the passing game, much more decisive in the running game, read game, option game, all those types of things. He really just saw things well, made good decisions, and was very consistent. Ball placement was good. I just saw a little extra gear in him separating himself a little bit.” – Tim Beck on Tommy Armstrong’s camp.

“He knows how to get the edge and attack the edge. He’s not a big back, he’s not a bruiser, but he’s the type of back that for the college level, he can basically overwhelm a defense with the way he can run the ball up the middle and the way he can hit the edges with his feet.” – former Husker Ahman Green on Ameer Abdullah.

“He’s a shifty runner. He’s a lot quicker and elusive than people than people might give him credit for because he’s so gangly-looking. He doesn’t look like it but he is.” – Tim Beck on Ryker Fyfe.

What we think:

Alonzo Moore will be the starting wide receiver opposite Kenny Bell, and might be the fastest guy on the team. Moore got thrown in the pool halfway through last season as a freshman, but played almost all of the second half of fall camp with the top offense at perimeter receiver. If Nebraska keeps on “schedule” based on the data gleaned from more efficient practices and GPS devices, November attrition won’t decimate the Huskers. Similarly, if the Huskers can run this new “pared down” offense with better play-calling options from fewer offensive sets with conviction, their offensive pace could be a game-changer.

What we know:

Newcomer Alex Lewis will be your day one starter at the endlessly important left tackle spot. Nastiness jokes aside, he’s had the benefit of training all offseason against one of the game’s best in Randy Gregory. De’Mornay Pierson-El is going to play as a true freshman. How much remains to be seen with Jordan Westerkamp and Jamal Turner also working the slot, but he’ll see his minutes. There’s a lot of proving to be done behind Kenny Bell at the wide receiver position. The combination of Alonzo Moore, Sam Burtch, Brandon Reilly, Jamal Turner, Jordan Westerkamp and Taariq Allen can start by trying to replacing Quincy Enunwa’s impressive output from last season.

What we’re wondering:

What will the distribution of running back carries look like? Do the GPS devices tracking workloads mean fewer carries for Abdullah and more for Imani Cross and Terrell Newby? How much cycling will we see at the wide receiver spot on the other side of Kenny Bell? Coaches have raved about the depth at receiver, but can Taariq Allen, Alonzo Moore, Sam Burtch or Brandon Reilly step up and replace some of the lost production from Quincy Enunwa? Can the coaches commit to an up-tempo offense, or pick and choose their spots like the last two years?