Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.
A lot of eyes were on Nebraska’s season opening game against Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday. The ratings show that the Big Noon game was among the highest-rated games of the day. Nebraska recruits and commits were among those checking out the 2020 version of the Huskers. Council Bluffs 4-star tight end commit Thomas Fidone was closely watching the game.
Before the game began, Fidone said via text message that he was excited for the game and that it seemed like it was a long time coming. Fidone was thrilled that the first catch of the game went to a tight end, joking that it was a great way to start the game. After the game was over, he gave more thoughts on the tight end involvement.
“It was good that there was some kind of involvement,” Fidone said. “Jack Stoll and Austin Allen had two catches. Austin had a nice catch. It was kind of a little arrow route really. Then he broke free for like 20 or 30 yards. They both had two catches for like 50 yards. That’s not bad.
“Obviously, it’d be nice to see them get more balls but that’s just me being a tight end and wanting the ball in your hands. Jack Stoll got hurt which probably hurt us a little bit. I’m not sure how much more he would have been used if he didn’t get hurt. It’s kind of hard to say. It’s definitely good to see some tight end involvement for sure.”
One of the top storylines coming out of the game was the lack of downfield passing by the Huskers on Saturday. While that might have been part of the game plan, the Huskers relied heavily on the run without trying to loosen up the Buckeyes’ defense. As a player that averages 22 yards per catch this season, Fidone understands the importance of stretching the defense vertically.
“From my point of view, it’s a lot easier to beat a team that’s one dimensional,” Fidone said. “If you only run the ball and you don’t take too many shots downfield, it’s easier to stop the quick game but if you have a lot of versatility being able to take shots downfield, have some crossing routes, intermediate routes and run the ball it’s a lot harder to stop because you don’t really know what’s going to come at you.”
Fidone was excited by the Huskers start. He saw a sense of urgency from the team. Overall, he thought the team did some good things in the game but also made too many mistakes. Fidone echoed what Scott Frost said after that game and said that the Huskers just shot themselves in the foot too often. Since he’s been watching Nebraska for years, he had thoughts on the improvements he and everyone saw in Nebraska play on the line of scrimmage.
“Yeah, I definitely saw that improvement,” Fidone said. “Our offensive line played really well. Our defensive line didn’t do too bad. I would have liked to seen more pressure on the quarterback from our defensive ends but that’ll come with some experience. I do think the line blocked well for the running game for sure.”
There are no moral victories at this point in the Frost Era. In Year 3 of his time in Lincoln, the team needs to start winning more games. Still, a lot of people observing the game came away mostly encouraged by what he saw on Saturday.
“I mean, it’s definitely encouraging. We competed,” Fidone said. “If we could play the way we did the first half for all four quarters we can definitely compete with anybody. I mean, I’m encouraged for sure. There’re some discouraging things, obviously. But this is just the first game but I’m encouraged to think I see some improvement.
“I definitely think we can win these next few games. We just have to put together better drives and not shoot ourselves in the foot with our own mistakes. It’s going to be hard too without our secondary with those stupid calls.”
Like the rest of Husker Nation, Fidone wasn’t thrilled with the targeting calls that will leave Nebraska shorthanded next week. The Husker commit is still excited to watch his team the rest of the season. He knows the season will be a ride week-to-week.
Nothing else should be expected as we close out this year.
>> Huskers outside linebacker commit Patrick Payton had a nice scoop and score this weekend.
— The Last Backyardigan🏕 (@PatPayton6) October 24, 2020
>> Huskers wide receiver commit Kamonté Grimes had a pair of touchdown catches this weekend.
After being outshined by the defense so far this season, @PalmettoRidgeHS offense put on a show against @BarronCollier. With 4 TDs from @smileybooker32 and 2 from @KG3life_ the Bears set a school record for points in a gamehttps://t.co/3OY9VtE72J
— Adam Fisher (@NDN_Adam) October 24, 2020
>> Gavin Wimsatt, a quarterback target for 2022, showed off a cool edit that the Huskers did for him.
— Gavin Wimsatt (@GavinWimsatt) October 23, 2020
>> Brandon Vogel has notes from his time in Columbus for Nebraska’s first game of the season.
>> As Derek Peterson wrote, Bryce Benhart showed comfort and confidence in his first career start.
>> Jacob Padilla has your Play of the Game and it was Ohip State’s 55-yad scoop and score.
>> After Nebraska’s loss on Saturday the Huskers need to figure out who they are going to be, writes Derek Peterson.
>> Nebraska’s offense impressed but the details disappointed for the Huskers in their season opener according to Brandon Vogel.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.