The Hail Varsity staff is back to answer another football-filled mailbag. Brandon Vogel, Erin Sorensen, Greg Smith, Jacob Padilla and Derek Peterson answer your questions about last weekend's canceled game, alternate uniforms, Colorado's quarterback and more.
Last season UCF led the nation with 0.638 points per play. The Huskers ranked all the way down at 79th with 0.363 points per play. Right in the middle is .501 points per play. Do you think Nebraska will be above or below .501 Points Per Play this season? (@Corn_Huskers)
DP: I would say slightly above. The number of plays between this offense and last season’s UCF offense will look the same but the efficiency likely won’t be anywhere close.
What was the reason for guys not suiting up last Saturday? (@CoryHonold)
JP: Injury and an expected redshirt season would be the most common reasons for a player not suiting up. Regarding the redshirt point, even with the new rule, I doubt the coaches are going to have every kid be on notice in every single game. If there are guys they know they want to redshirt this season but still want to take advantage of those four games, they’re going to plan it out ahead of time.
DP: Jaylin Bradley and Justin McGriff were two guys I noticed who weren’t dressed. Both appear buried on the depth chart at their respective positions, I would say that's more likely than an injury. Expect a redshirt season for both. I have also heard several coaches mention freshman safety Cam Jones has battled some stuff this fall as well, he wasn't in pads after Wednesday's practice. His case might honestly be a little of both.
Any interesting stories about other canceled/postponed sporting events you were supposed to attend? (@falcongirl5)
ES: When I coached high school cheerleading, I had a couple of games postponed but never canceled. There were some I wish had been canceled because our C-1 school didn’t have a track and it made me crazy putting cheerleaders in white shoes on wet grass. Those shoes were always green by the end of the day. Aside from that, I remember going to a Kansas City Chiefs game once that I thought should have been canceled due to a snow storm. It wasn’t. I spent half of it in the bathroom where there were heaters.
DP: Bedlam two years ago was absolutely brutal. I spent rain and freezing temperatures. It might not have been close to being delayed but I wish it would have been. I was supposed to be taking pictures that game and ended up sitting in the photographer workroom for about three-quarters of it.
Who’s the next recruit to commit to the Cornhuskers? (@md_schmidt)
GS: I’ll go with Brant Banks. He had a great time on his visit, wants to secure a spot in the class and doesn’t currently have any other visits lined up.
What are the chances the Nebraska-Liberty game happens on Oct. 27? (@btran0524)
DP: Getting that game on the schedule would require a lot of work and a lot of moving parts. In talking with Moos Wednesday, he noted that they’re primarily looking at FCS schools for that Oct. 27 game. Not to mention there’s the added piece of getting Turner Gill to come back.
BV: While it makes a lot of sense on paper, the papers that actually have to be exchanged (i.e. contracts) to make that happen seem like a higher barrier to entry. Based on Moos’s comments today, it feels much less likely than it does at first glance on Twitter. I’d say 20-1 odds against that happening.
Moos stated that there are one or two home games with alternate uniforms this season. What are the odds of finally getting a true scarlet and cream uniform and/or a Bugeaters throwback? Which do you think is more likely? (@JEREIH)
ES: Don’t ask any follow-ups because I can tell you nothing, but the odds are not good for the one guaranteed alternate this season. If there’s another? I have no idea, but I’d also guess not that good there either. Maybe one day.
DP: Of the two, I would say the scarlet and cream alternate would be more likely given every other major team has one already. Just don’t expect it to come this season. I am, however, firmly in the camp that it should be coming eventually.
BV: Ask Erin about how much I bothered her about this two seasons ago. An actual scarlet-and-cream alternate feels like a no-brainer alternate to me, and I truly hoped it was going to happen in 2016. It didn’t then and feels less likely now.
Where would you rate the Colorado quarterback in the Pac-12? (@CoryHonold)
JP: Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Arizona’s Khalil Tate, Washington’s Jake Browning and Arizona State’s Manny Wilkins all probably rate ahead of Montez based on their bodies of work, but Montez was certainly impressive in the season opener (granted it was against what appears to be a garbage Colorado State team, but he still made the throws).
DP: Wrote this in my team preview over the summer: Montez is a quarterback with good individual numbers but not a ton of team success. So how do you feel about that? Personally, he’s a top-half-of-the-conference quarterback to me but nowhere close to Oregon’s Justin Herbert, who I have at the top.
What are your top 10 places to see a CFB game? … Or maybe a more timely question would be: what are your personal favorite CFB entrances and/or which ones have you seen in person?
ES: My top 10 are Memorial Stadium (Nebraska), Rose Bowl (UCLA), Ohio Stadium (Ohio State), The Swamp (Florida), Cotton Bowl for Red River Showdown (Texas and Oklahoma), Bryant-Denny Stadium (Alabama), Autzen Stadium (Oregon), Yale Bowl (Yale), Tiger Stadium (LSU) and Folsom Field (Colorado).
I’ve been to every one of those places except Bryant-Denny, Tiger Stadium and the Cotton Bowl for the Red River Showdown, but those are on my list. Otherwise, I think I could have picked a dozen more to add to that list.
My favorite college football entrance is Purdue’s, because of the train. Don’t @ me.
DP: I can’t say I have a top-10 just because I’m relatively new to all this, but I can for sure do a top-five of places I’ve been: Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Memorial Stadium (duh), Autzen Stadium in Oregon (maybe the best facilities I've seen anywhere), the Cotton Bowl (a religious experience if there ever was one) and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans (highly recommend a Sugar Bowl on New Year's Eve). I'd put them in that order, too. To answer the second part — I'm being totally honest and not pandering here — I have never experienced an environment like the one I saw Saturday during Nebraska's Tunnel Walk. That was truly special.
GS: I too will take liberty with the question like Derek and give you a favorite. The Rose Bowl should be on every sports fans’ bucket list. You must see a game there.
BV: I haven’t been to all of these places, but top 10 places to see a game (in theory in some cases, in no particular order): Nebraska, LSU, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Army, Texas A&M, Oregon, Washington, Ole Miss.
Prediction for Nebraska-Colorado score? (@LynettePeavey)
JP: This is so tough not having seen them play at all before diving in against another Power 5 team, but I’ll go with Nebraska 34, Colorado 24.
DP: Nebraska 37, Colorado 17. I don’t think the “first game is against a Power Five team” thing matters as much as others are making it out to. And I don't buy Colorado has some major advantage over the Huskers because they played last week. Colorado State played the week before last and still got smacked around. I’m also not convinced Colorado is as good as last week’s game against those same Rams suggests they are.
GS: Nebraska 42, Colorado 21. I think Nebraska runs for close to 300 yards in the game as well.
BV: Nebraska 34, Colorado 31.
How many touches for Washington and Jones? (@mgrich)
JP: I’ve compared Washington to Adrian Killins and Jones to Otis Anderson as freshmen, so I’ll continue with that. Killins got six touches (four rushes, two receptions) in his first game as a freshman while Anderson caught three passes in his first game last year. I’ll take the over on both of those, but not by much. Give me six carries and a catch for Washington and five touches for Jones.
DP: Maurice Washington will get anywhere from eight to 12 touches. Miles Jones will be in that five to eight range.
GS: Give me nine carries for Maurice Washington and four carries and two catches for Miles Jones.
How big of a hit was Saturday's game being canceled to the Huskers’ bowl chances? (@tklim2430)
ES: Considering I’d projected a 6-6 season with Akron being one of those six wins? A pretty big hit.
DP: If Nebraska reschedules against Akron or puts an FCS team on the docket, they’ll be fine. If it’s Iowa State they end up playing in December, I’d be more worried. But they have to reschedule that 12th game otherwise the bowl game won’t even be an option, regardless of how many wins they have.
BV: It was a projected win on my slate, too, and it will almost certainly be the biggest spread in Nebraska’s favor this season, but I think the Huskers will be OK. Put it this way, I’ll be surprised if Nebraska is in a spot where it needs to reschedule that Akron game as a must-win for bowl eligibility.
Game week questions: How physical will practice get this week due to the missed game? Also, how do you think our speed in the secondary matches up with Colorado’s receivers? (@JIPeterson86)
JP: I talked to tight ends coach Sean Beckton after practice on Wednesday and he said the game getting canceled didn’t change the way they approached practice this week at all; it was business as usual. It sounds like that means they were pretty physical Monday through Wednesday and then they back off a bit the rest of the week leading up to the game. Speed in the secondary was a serious problem for the Huskers last year, but the additions of a guy like Deontai Williams and an increased role for Dicaprio Bootle should help in that area. I didn’t get a chance to watch Colorado’s game last weekend, so I can’t really speculate too much how they match up with Nebraska at this point.
DP: Just something to add to what Jacob said: outside linebacker coach Jovan Dewitt said they would introduce a few more live reps into practice this week to “get those guys moving at game speed as opposed to a thud or a tag-off mentality” and simulate more game-like scenarios.