How appropriate that we’re enjoying the time of year when ghouls and goblins roam our streets to touch on the topic about blood in Nebraska’s football program. Young blood that is, specifically on-the-field talent.
I’m not coach Mike Cavanaugh, who handles the Big Red offensive line (only when I play "NCAA Football" on my PlayStation). However, one has to wonder if it would do the Huskers good to get some younger players opportunities to best their upperclassman counterparts.
It’s become a question of talent or apathy as to why Nebraska is losing. Maybe it’s a little of both. The numbers suggest the talent margin’s closer than many Husker fans care to believe, but more importantly, do the veterans care?
Let’s go to the video tape!
See the offensive lineman towards the top of the screen, the one whose face ends up in the turf? That’s senior offensive tackle Alex Lewis, a captain.
Notice the center who has enough time to be the victim of a pancake block and have Aunt Jemima pay a visit with some syrup? Senior Ryne Reeves.
How about the opposite tackle, the one that looks like he’s dancing on hot coals while being escorted back five yards? Senior Zach Sterup.
Is this what 100 percent effort looks like from these players? If so, what does it look like from guys on the opposite end of the eligibility hourglass?
I understand that if Nick Gates were healthy, he’d be starting over Sterup and rightfully so. Gates is a redshirt freshman, by the way and he has every tool in the box necessary to be a good one.
At this point, why not get under the kitchen sink and throw some new piping at the Big Ten? Heck, throw the sink.
Could Tanner Farmer or Gerald Foster not benefit from some snaps along the offensive line on game day? Both have already used their redshirts and were high-priority targets. See if they can do what Chongo Kondolo and Dylan Utter can’t.
On defense, sophomore walk-on Chris Weber looks a step faster and is tackling in true form, a stark contrast from last week’s starting MIKE linebacker Josh Banderas (No. 52 below).
Nebraska already lets a number of young guns loose on a weekly basis. De’Mornay Pierson-El, Freedom Akinmoladun, Chris Jones and Josh Kalu are all underclassmen.
What happens this week at Purdue will tell us even more about where this team is (or is not) heading for the holidays. However, it also may dictate whether or not it’s time to press the big red button on a youth movement.