Football season must be close because the notebook page of potential Hot Reads items filled up quickly this week. Quickly enough that I'm going to have to employ the rarely used "Friday Five" format.
Consider this the Hot Reads version of two-minute offense. Here are five things you should know about as we all mark off eight more days until Nebraska football.
1. The Nebraska Lectures featuring Mike Babcock
This year is the 150th anniversary of the first college football game as well as the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University of Nebraska. No, the university wasn't founded simply so it could have a football team. That wouldn't come along until 1890.
But Hail Varsity editor Mike Babcock is going to cover all of those football-playing years this Saturday at Nebraska State Park as part of the Nebraska Lectures. Babcock's talk, the History of Football at Nebraska, is part of the Chancellor's Distinguished Speaker Series and kicks of a special 12-month run of the lecture series to celebrate the university's 150th anniversary.
There are few things better than talking football with Mike. I highly recommend it. Details below.
Aug. 24, 2019
1 p.m. ● Free Public Lecture ● Ice Cream Social Following
Nebraska State Fair, Raising Nebraska Pavilion
501 E. Fonner Park Road, Suite 100, Grand Island, Nebraska
2. Proof that Hail Varsity Wants You to be Happy
What started as a simple idea a year ago––"It would be cool if there was a Hail Varsity beer"––is now a reality thanks to our friends at Kinkaider Brewing.
You can join us in Lincoln next Friday, Aug. 30, to welcome Ale Varsity to the world.
BECAUSE WE DID JUST THAT. AND you are invited to come welcome it to the world next Friday, Aug. 30 from 12-6pm! 🎉
— Hail Varsity (@HailVarsity) August 21, 2019
See you there.
3. Breaking Recruiting News, Breaking Down the NU Offense
There's a really solid one-two punch on this week's Varsity Club podcast as 2020 Nebraska commit Turner Corcoran joins Derek Peterson and Greg Smith to talk about the Huskers' new alternate uniform, Zach Duval's strength-and-conditioning pitch to prospects and more. (He might also tell you on this podcast when he's planning to take his official visit.)
After that, Derek chats with Oliver Connelly, a former football scout who now writes for the Guardian (among others), to take a close look at Nebraska's offense. An excerpt:
DP: Why does this offense work?
OC: . . . What makes his so different is the rhythm of the passing game being pure, ripped-off Bill Walsh West Coast Offense. Chip [Kelly] had a lot of that, too, but it wasn't quite as mirrored as Frost's is, which makes it a lot easier on quarterbacks in this day and age. And then [Frost's] week-to-week tweaks. A lot of what [spread coaches] do is "we have 20 stables of plays, we'll do three options of that. We basically then have 60 plays and 40 of them are based off of reading the defense and we work off that." What Frost does is he'll say "they have this very specific weakness this week, let's use our overall philosophy of pace-and-space and install this one thing that can attack this one weakness this week." That is just very different to this idea of strip down the playbook, strip down the playbook. Frost's thing is more let's build an overall cultural philosophy and then as we need to tweak it let's trust in our players that we can tweak it week to week.
4. Even More Up-Tempo for your Ears
After you listen to the Varsity Club, there's one more quick thing for you to listen to. Ed Feng of The Power Rank has been doing something cool this week on his Football Analytics Show––10-minute previews of the season ahead, both NFL and college.
One of those episodes is on Nebraska and Feng explains a little bit about what his numbers showed for the Huskers last season and what it could mean for 2019.
#2: Nebraska. Better than their 4-8 record in 2018, upside for 2019. https://t.co/bH19ixe7M6
— Ed Feng (@thepowerrank) August 20, 2019
I like a simple, felt pennant. Oxide Design in Omaha, in collaboration with Oxford Pennant, unveiled a sharp, simple felt
pennant banner this week.
The Grab Bag
- “To Be Continued . . .” is the theme of this Nebraska volleyball season, which begins in earnest on Saturday with the annual Red-White scrimmage. Staff writer Jacob Padilla also shared some observations from Thursday’s practice. (Premium)
- This is quarterback Noah Vedral’s first season in the same place and the clarity that provides is showing on the field. (Premium)
- After a pair of injuries at the start of his Nebraska career, wide receiver Jaevon McQuitty finally feels like himself again as he enters his third season. (Premium)
- Nebraska was about to enter another half, a second half not only of blocked punts and penalties but fumbles. A journey of pure frustration. Next stop, the 1986 Fiesta Bowl.
Today’s Song of Today