Re: The Blackshirts are a joke
The Blackshirts are a joke? Can I have some of that whacky-tobaccy you're smokin', pal.
Obviously you can't take them back, but if you eliminate the fake punt run of 20 yards by Brandtner and the 47-yard pass play that followed, Iowa State gained a total of 172 yards in total offense. I don't care how you slice it, that was a very good defensive performance.
No, Nebraska's 2009 defense isn't in the same league as some of it's better defenses over the past 40-some years, especially those monster defenses in the early 1970s and the mid 1990s. But they still are very good.
The biggest problem with the Husker defense this year has been it's inability to force turnovers (Saturday was another classic example), and their "willingness" to give up a big play at the most inopportune time (again, the 47-yard pass play on Saturday is an example).
With that type of defense, Nebraska should not be 4-3. That's the bottom line. I've been following Nebraska football since the late 1950s (that's pre-Devaney), and in my more than humble opinion, this offense may rank as the worst I have seen in Lincoln. If you pull out the three games against "shouldn't have been on the schedule teams," and forget about the fourth quarter outburst in the monsoon in Columbia a few weeks ago, Nebraska's inept offense has scored the sum total of two touchdowns in 11 quarters against BCS level opponents. Zac Lee is a mediocre quarterback at best (and that may be giving him the benefit of the doubt), the receivers are some of the worst I have seen, and the play calling by Shawn Watson (mostly 5-yard "dump" passes and handoffs to an alone-by-himself runningback) is totally unimaginative.
Having said that, I will tell you that Iowa State won on Saturday for one simple reason. In my mind, it had nothing to do with eight turnovers. It was because Paul Rhoads came in with a solid plan (be conservative on offense and shorten the game), they were aggressive on defense (Lee and the Nebraska receivers stunk up the joint, but at least some of those turnovers were caused by defensive aggression), and they played with purpose and desire. Nebraska did not.