The 2011 season got off to a successful start on Saturday for the Cornhuskers of Nebraska as they rolled Chattanooga 40 to 7. Nebraska only rolled up 364 total yards but most of those went to soph QB Taylor Martinez. Martinez threw for 116 yards and ran for 135 yards and 3 TD. With the first game out of the way Bo Pellini and the Cornhuskers now set their sights towards the WAC's Fresno State.
Fresno State took a tough assignment in week one as they traveled to Cal to take on Jeff Tedford's Golden Bears. From a total yardage standpoint the Golden Bears dominated this match-up 413 to 210. The Golden Bears also won on the scoreboard 36-21 to help Buffalo transfer Zach Maynard win his first game as starter. Fresno must face the Huskers with the fear of starting off 0-2 and Ole Miss and Boise State looming in their rear-view just a couple of weeks away. To get the Cornhuskers take on this game we chatted with our Nebraska guy, Brandon Collard, to get his take-aways from the Chattanooga game and his thoughts on what the Cornhuskers need to do to beat Fresno.
Nebraska debuted it's new offense against Chattanooga with a 40-7 win on Saturday. What did Nebraska do well offensively?
Well I can happily report that the Nebraska offense has receivers that can now, apparently, catch a football! This is a vast improvement over last year’s team which featured more drops than any other team I have ever seen in my life. Other than that? Meh. It looked like more of the same things I watched last year, with Taylor Martinez doing Taylor Martinez things (in a bad AND good way, I will give him credit where credit is due) and just an overall stagnation of the offense down in the red zone. You can get away with that when you are playing Tennessee-Chattanooga, but when you get to the Wisconsin’s and Ohio State’s of the world then those things will come back to haunt you time and time again. It is more of the same as last year, to be completely honest with you, and I know I should give it time, but I am afraid of it not changing up enough in time.
Which players pleasantly surprised you with their first game performance on offense?
There were only two players whom really surprised me with their play on the offensive end, last game, those being wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and place kicker Brett Maher, that’s all. I know that it seems kind of bad to say that your number two receiver and the kicker were your best offensive players, but this is completely true. Enunwa impressed me by catching every ball which touched his hands, and I know that sounds bad, but compared to last year it is like having Larry Fitzgerald on your team.