Prairie Band Casino

Hot Reads: Keeping it simple

SIMPLE >>> Coverage breakdowns and talent-level are two of the big questions facing the Nebraska defense after allowing 653 yards to UCLA last Saturday. The Huskers defense was slightly better in the second half, but the Bruins defense was significantly better after halftime. Defensive back Andrew Abbott had an interesting quote regarding the Bruins’ scheme for ESPN LA:

We have a good enough defense where we can just play base coverage and get after teams. We just have to believe that. We can bring the pressures later, but I feel like early on we should establish a base, get our feet wet and get to going playing fast and get rocking.

In the same story, UCLA coach Jim Mora said the staff “boiled down” the defense in the second half. “We didn’t pressure, I don’t believe, one time in the second half,” he said. “When we pressured in the first half we gave up some plays.”

The Bruins held Nebraska to two field goals in the second half after giving up 24 points in the first half. UCLA also gave up 24 points to Rice in the first half, then shut the Owls out in the second.

FAST AND FURIOUS >>> Arkansas State piled up 619 yards on 97 plays in its win over Memphis last week, but the 33 points the Red Wolves scored aren’t nearly enough for coach Gus Malzahn.

“We’ve got to get the ball in the end zone,” Malzahn said in his Monday press conference. “We didn’t do a very good job of that. We really need to focus on that area. When you’ve got that many yards and only 33 points, that doesn’t equate. Something went wrong. … We’ve got to score touchdowns when we get the ball that close.”

Offense is nearly science for Malzahn, making this game plenty interesting for Nebraska and its humbled defense. The Red Wolves currently rank seventh nationally, averaging 574.5 yards per game.

WELCOME TO THE ‘ZOU >>> Missouri nearly won its SEC opener last week against Georgia, drawing plenty of praise from the old-time fans and media members of “God’s conference.” Well, except for one, that is.

Jeremy Dailey, a Georgia law student writing for the student paper, didn’t enjoy his visit to Columbia quite as much.

At first I thought the country’s best conference would be a good fit for Mizzou. But I soon realized what a far-fetched fit the Tigers are for the SEC.

Never mind the fact that their spread offense is going to be pounded week after week by some of the biggest and best defenses in the nation. I’m more concerned with their fan atmosphere, which doesn’t quite match our own.

Dailey goes on to rip everything about Missouri, from how the fans dressed to how they behaved to how they left the game. You always have to exercise a degree of caution with these “terrible experience” stories. Perception rules the day and there are probably plenty of Georgia fans who are singing the praises of their trip too. But this was a perspective we didn’t see much coming out of Missouri’s otherwise successful debut.