Could Checkdown to Abdullah Be the Key to the Season?

The Nebraska coaching staff is probably going to spend most of the season fighting the temptation to overuse running back Ameer Abdullah.  When your quarterback is interception-prone and you have an All-American caliber running back, it's got to be enormously tempting to feed him the ball play after play after play.  So the idea of making him a major target in the passing game, might seem like overdoing it.  But if moving the chains is the goal, you could do a lot worse than throwing the ball to #8. 

 

It's hard to find examples where throwing the ball to Abdullah turned out to be a bad idea.  Even when the play fails to produce big yards, it can cause defenses concern about tackling him in space.  For example, Abdullah's first catch in the opener against Wyoming went for only three yards.  The very next play went for a touchdown and gave NU its first lead.  

There were a number of drives sustained with catches by Abdullah, including the game winning drives against Northwestern and Michigan and a pretty important late game situation against Penn State.

Seldom will a pass targetted for a running back result in an interception.  Often, it will go for a first down as a back will often have just one man to beat to get to the sticks.  That's better odds than in a typical running play and Abdullah's elusiveness is ideally suited in that role.  If Abdullah would otherwise have to block a linebacker or defensive end, then it may not be much additional wear and tear to catch a ball out of the backfield.

The Husker coaches will have to exercise some restraint in the use of Abdullah, but in critical third-down situations,  he will often be the best option.  Hopefully, Tommy Armstrong (or whichever quarterback starts) won't forget about him underneath when things look covered downfield.

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This is exactly why I think we need to go to a two back system with all the talent we have back there.  If you go with AA and Imani for instance the linebackers need to hold there posistion just a little longer in the event you hand the ball off to Imani or AA, and if run a little misdirection and put one of the backs in the flat on play action would put them in that posistion of one on one in the open.

We played Rex that way quite often if I recall correctly and I see no reason that a durable and able back like AA couldn’t be utilized that way as well.  We really do need to develop a QB that can make those decisions on the fly and not be so obvious about his intentions.  Finding open receivers under pressure is difficult , but a trademark of nearly all great QBs.  It also takes time and lots of experience, talent, and skill.

The only thing is if we are going to AA all the time, then we loose a little element of surprise…they know it’s coming to him so they focus on him. If you keep opposing defenses guessing, then misdirection leads to surprise and is often successful. But it does make sense to use AA out catching balls behind the line (and elsewhere), as opposed to him blocking a linebacker or DE.

We have all kinds of weapons out there on the field and the super duper Air Beck thing.  If they have to resort to handing or throwing the ball to Dullah every play, well, thats just stupid, plus it wont work.  They have all kinds of guys they can hit in the flat and what not, like JT for one.

I also dont think TA deserves a reputation of being “INT prone”, but hey, it’s a Big Red sports blog….

Ah dang,

Realistinha and 7 must be sleepin’—P(c) of E(xcrement) too.  Well, let me help ‘em out here, go thru the daily routine—nay, ritual—the ‘how did BOP F this thing up again’ bitchfest and then maybe Johnny De Heysus and even larr can jump into the fray, as they always do, and run us thru the entire history of NE football and all the key personages thereof—Bopfather, Oz, Frankie, Pedey, Cali, Brook Berringer(‘the best NE QB EVER!”), etc—you know, for the millionth time. and how that all relates to BOP, and we’ll call this “Big Red Bloggin’”

Ahem, ok, here’s how BOP f’d this thing up again and therefore why he’ll never get more than 9 wins and most likely wont even get 8 wins this year and therefore will be out the door:

BOP obviously hasn’t coached up Tommy Armstrong, and dagnabbit, I don’t know why the f he hasn’t done that because thats his friggin J O B, right?  Looking around the nation, ah heck, let’s take it back in the whole history of NCAA football, why not, well, NO other rookie QB around the nation last year OR in the history of the game has thrown an INT or 2—or more.  No other rookie QB in the history of the sport has struggled some to ‘get the feel’ of the game—just TA.  And that’s where BOP has ttly f’d this thing up and why the Big Red football prog is pretty much goin’ down the drain because BOP, well, he hasn’t personally shown and made certain and given whiney NE fans like Realistinha, 7, P(c) E(xcrement) a 100% guarantee that INTs by TA, or ANY other rookie QB they throw to the wolves, will NOT throw an INT OR make any rookie mistakes whatsoever.  The ‘wolves’ are mostly NE Fan, of course.

Not only is TA ‘INT prone’, but BOP, therefore, must also be ‘INT prone’, since he obviously taught the kid, AND therefore the entire NE prog under BOP and all it’s players are ‘INT prone’, ‘fumble prone’, whatever.

Was TA even * rated when we recruited him?  Was BOP rated?  Probably not.  Maybe P(c) E(screment) could reference Rivals on that one, oh wait, nobody told him about Rivals.

Clearly, BOP needs to go, the ‘sooner’ the better, as 7 would say, otherwise, it’s just ‘plain’ ‘stoopid’(thats a double pun, BTW, for the hard-of-thinking here).  BTW, where’s our boy 7 these days?  Was I too hard on him the last time?  Ah, I cant remember who the ex-cop is here, was that P(c) E(xcrement)?  Prolly.  I dunno, there are tons of ex-cops, ex-military,  on Husker boards, thats all I know.  Most likely why the fan base is so generally stupid and intolerant.

Anyway, I digress…  No, seriously we gotta amp up the “Yes WE Can, BOP” campaign here, ‘can’ used as a noun here.  So much depends upon it, heck, maybe the entire NE state economy.  BOP is INT prone, and that WILL NOT STAND!

Ok, well, I did Realistinha’s, 7’s, and P(c) E(xcrement)‘s work for ‘em today, they owe me….

Isn’t it just amazing?!  Check this out, whiners, uh, I mean NE Fan:  Tajh Boyd and Brax each threw 2 INTs in their slug fest last 1/3/‘14.  They aren’t even rookies.  And one of ‘em actually won the game, and BOP wasn’t even there.  I find that ‘amazing’!

Lemme see, A.J McCarron did NOT throw an INT in the game vs Aub last year, and they still friggin’ lost, omg, how can that be?

Our very own TA appeared in and/or started 9 games in ‘13, threw 8 ttl INTs(for the hard-of-thinking, that’s less than 1 per)  Other QBs in ‘13, INTs:

—Johnny Fuhball—13
—Jameis Winston—10
—Tajh Boyd—11
—Blake Bortles—9
—Aaron Murray—9
—Kevin Hogan—10
==Stephan Morris—12
—Nathan Scheelhaase—13
—Taylor Kelly—12
—Joel Stave—13
—Tyler Tettleton—12
—David Fales—13
—Bo Wallace—10
—Tommy Rees—13
—Christian Hackenberg—10
—Conner Halliday(a Jr.)—22
—Jake Rudock—13
—Logan Thomas—13
—Nick Montana—10
—Case McCoy—13


Frosh on Frosh action, ‘13:

—Trevor Knight, 8 games, RAT—125, Completion % 59, 5 INTs
—Tommy Armstrong, 9 games, RAT—124.3, Cmp % 54+, 8 INTs

T Dogg ~ you crack me up!!!  All I can say is wait and see how this next fall season produces the same overall result with BOP at the helm holding his pussy!!!  Pre-season polsters are too impressed.  Hell, the rank Georgia 11th.  The NU hype tends to stop at the state line in other people’s eyes.  I wonder why?  Perhaps six seasons of 4 losses each season, no conf. championships with some “we’re in a self-destruct mode” popping up every now and then tends to make realistic fans entitled to chant “Go Big Pink!”

Realistinha,

At least ya have a sense of humor, that’s what this is all about anyway.

So, I quote, “Pre-season polsters are too impressed.”

Where’s our problem, then?  We’re good, preseason pollsters say so.

For reasons within BOP’s control, and for reasons beyond his control, NU pre-season hype just has not matched actual results during regular seasons.  After so many years of not performing per expections, a program loses credibility.  If you are a top 10 program, the strength of coaching can overcome the shortlived “brain farts” teams may have from time to time.  If the coaching isn’t strong enough, brain farts will not be overcome by the likes of BOP & Company.  If I was BOP, he should have NU buy a life size tiger, feed the pussy cat to the tiger, and growl in harmony with the new feline the NU fight song.  That might work!!!

TDOGG   “the ‘how did BOP F this thing up again’ bitchfest and then maybe Johnny De Heysus and even larr can jump into the fray, as they always do, and run us thru the entire history of NE football and all the key personages thereof” 
Sorry buddy but think you have me mixed up with someone else as far as bringing in all the history of NU football.  I may make reference to prove a point when people bash the team but if you actually read the comments you will see that I pretty much live in the current moment and the future of this team.  But as usual if someone does not agree with you out comes the name calling or bashing there thoughts.  I would imagine this is why you have been band from other sites.  I mean when you get on here look how few responses come after you.  Your insight on the subjects is way over all our heads I guess.

For the most part, I don’t think he speaks or writes in English. I don’t understand any of his gibberish.

He’s just begging for an argument, and I think he pretty much already knows ‘what’s up’.

Smoke less dope, remember mo betta.

larr,
You sure ‘bout that?  Ok, well, I’ll blame it all on JN then.  But, the next guy that brings up Brook Berringer as the best NE QB EVER is gonna get an earful.

TDogg
In what town do you live in

Admiral,

Not sure what they call the town here, but there’s a post office, an old saloon, and everybody thinks Johnny Cash is God.

I live in a Town Called Trouble…...in Backwater County, in a State of Pain, in Broke Nation, in a World O’ Hurt, in a Universe W/O Meaning…next to a Black Hole.

Any more questions?

Nobody said nothin’ ‘bout my l’il QB ‘INT-itis’ research, which kinda pisses me off, cuz that took some effort, you know, like Googlin’ the NCAA stats website, almost as tough as looking up players’ * ratings on Rivals, a task which apparently is beyond some people I know of.

The point bein’:  TA ain’t that bad.

In fairness, TA threw a lot of passes last year that were simply not caught by the receivers, that should have been caught and which would have made his numbers look a lot better.  Sometimes bad things happen to good passes, I’ll give you that, T Dogg.  I suspect that TA really needs to work more on his decision making and ball handling skills, but then, so do the people he’s handing off to.  Hopefully, TA will fare better with an improved blocking and more experienced O line to give him some time to get control of things without running for his life.

In fairness, TA threw a lot of passes last year that were simply not caught by the receivers, that should have been caught and which would have made his numbers look a lot better.  Sometimes bad things happen to good passes, I’ll give you that, T Dogg.  I suspect that TA really needs to work more on his decision making and ball handling skills, but then, so do the people he’s handing off to.  Hopefully, TA will fare better with an improved blocking and more experienced O line to give him some time to get control of things without running for his life.  I’m not necessarily down on TA, or BOP, for that matter, I’m just not necessarily up either and when best thing you can say is, “He ain’t that bad”, I don’t find that real inspiring either.

Yeah, I always blame it on the receivers, they are at least 50% part of the problem.  But, give the kid a break, he was a RS Frosh last year, didn’t even expect to get in the mix much, then Tater goes down and IT’S ON!  8 INTs in 9 games isn’t that bad, as proven by my list up yonder there.

Devin Gardner, remember that guy?  #1 dual threat QB when he was recruited:  11 INTs in ‘13, and he’s a veteran.

Blake Bortles and Kevin Hogan each exceeded TA in INTs, and they are a couple of the best pro style passers on the CFB level.  It happens.

Terrelle Pryor, he was a bad passer when he started and a bad passer when he got kicked outta tOSU.

TA, he ain’t that bad and of course he will get better, it just takes experience.  He’s got game and is a very good leader.

AND, I will take this occassion to play THIS card:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7oZnPDqtSw

I rest my case.

You know, Dogg, QE had to slow down a tad to catch that one, TA almost waited too long to throw it.  But it worked out, providing much excitement for NU fans.  Had there been any coverage, maybe a pick - not necessarily, as QE typically battles well for the ball.

Had Brook Berringer thrown that ball (just messing with you Tdogg).  I don’t mind the slow up to catch the ball at all better to have a 40 yard completion than a wide open reciever you overthrow.  The QB posistion will be just fine this year and no matter who ends up getting the job I like are backup situation a whole lot better than in previous years.  I would like to see a dedicated coach for QB’s because we all know everything goes through them.

TDAWWG,
Can you hook me up with the drugs that make you and others live in a fantasy land with shooting stars, blue birds, and bunny rabbits. This team will struggle to win 8 games this year. There are going to use AA to the point that he will be injured before November. The QB, who ever that’s going to be will have half a second to throw the ball, and they don’t even have a kicker. How in the world does that happen? Bo is a ticking time bomb. Which will go off this season. 2014 is going to be Division III Part 2.

@admiral (ou7turdsbitch), Drew Brown, brother of Kris. Kris Brown, yeah a pretty damn good kicker for BIGRED a few years ago. Drew ranked top 10 or so. Bob, how did you let this get by.

“This team will struggle to win 8 games this year.”
True, but the other 5 should be pretty easy.

“There are going to use AA to the point that he will be injured before November.”  But IC will leave the other guys injured.

“The QB, who ever that’s going to be will have half a second to throw the ball.”  Which will of course help our secondary to intercept that QB.

“they don’t even have a kicker.”  He’ll be here in the fall.

“Bo is a ticking time bomb.”  So I don’t expect you’ll be at any games, surprise.

Ball78,

Yeah, like I said, NE Fan is never satisfied.  A 99.9999 yd TD pass to seal the game isn’t good enough for NE Fan, he/she is concerned more about style points than real points.  Not happy with beating GA, should’ve been Bama.  Then if we beat Bama, well, it shoulda been by more points, style points.  I mean, NE Fan is th3e model of perfection in his/her personal life and ocuupation, so why settle for less for his/her team, right?

larr,

haha, that made me laff, nice.

Admirala,

I hope yer not losing sleep over the kicker thing, at least not at this time of year—that would be ‘premature’.  Your local drug dealer, er, I mean, doctor is well equipped to help calm your bad self down should the anxiety get outta hand.

Remember the days when NU was ranked in the top 5 pre season year after year. Every year you could count on these programs in the big bowl games (NU, Miami, Alabama, OU, Ohio State, Noles, USC) Now which one of those teams are out of the picture. Yes some have had some down years but have battled back. Except for one, NU. NU hasn’t won a conference since 1999. BallField if you think that this team will win there first 5 games then keep lighting up that bowl, pass it on, and keep partying like its 1999.

“Except for one, NU”

The second one in your list, don’t trip over it, is ... Miami.  Yeah, their top 10 now, right?  Well, we’ll see about them this fall won’t we?  And USC?  Really?  The second best team in L.A.?  Man, you can’t even argue your own point very well.

oops, “They’re” not “their”.  I’m getting sloppy.

BallField,
USC is in the top 15 in most polls. NU 35. Nebraska’s recruiting class is ranked 35th. 2 year projected class they are ranked in the 60"s. Don’t trip over that.

Admiral, try and pay attention so you don’t shipwreck.

Again, your point was “Remember the days when NU was ranked in the top 5 pre season year after year.”  Followed by “Every year you could count on these programs in the big bowl games (NU, Miami, Alabama, OU, Ohio State, Noles, USC) Now which one of those teams are out of the picture. “

AP:  USC 19, NU 26, Miami absent.
Coaches: USC 19, NU 25, Miami absent.
Preseason tends to somewhat follow previous year’s post season.
19 not so good as “top 1-5”
Not being mentioned, not so good either.
Yet you included USC and Miami in a list that, in your view, excludes NU.

Then you switch from preseason rank to current recruiting rank.  If you’re going to make a point, at least try to stay on topic.  And by the way the 2015 NU recruiting class is currently ranked between 8 and 12.  Most teams on the field reflect a composite of 4 to 5 recruiting classes.

You might have a talk with your first mate, or at least your navigator.

I’d get the ball in Abdullah’s hands as much as practical in as many ways as possible.  I’d think 20-25 carries and 5 or so receptions a game - and hope he can withstand the punishment.  He’s a special horse.  You have to ride him.

Yes, opposing defenses will know this, and they will key on him, but that’s why it is absolutely essential that the threat of getting the ball to Kenny Bell and the TE’s be real.  Abdullah is a known commodity. Whether Armstrong (or whoever) can get the ball consistently to Bell, et.al isn’t.

Ok BallField, so I over did it a bit, but Phill Steele does have them at 35. Also out of the top 300 recruits how many did NU get. 2, number 139 and 280.

Buh, the vid sez itz ‘our time’, so it must b ‘our time’:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXQHauJb7dk

Good vid DAWWG.

No Pelini or hardware in that video, but I did see 2 or 3 wing and a prayer plays.

Gentlemen ~ it is more likely than not NU will fail to capture division or B10 title.  If that becomes the fact, many are going to wonder how many more years BOP should be given to take the team to relevancy in the national picture.  7 year itch???  Lots of couples get divorced after the 7th year of marriage.  Does BOP holding his kitty during the Spring pretend game make him a pussy cat or a lion?

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

NU Realista,

You are ‘half’ right!Haa haa.

Bo Pelini has just become too comfortable with his position. That cat thing was stooopid. First the cell phone gag last year now the pussie.

It very obvious that he is more worried about being popular than being a great coach.

I see a real possible 5-6 loss season this year for Pelini and Co.

I say start throwing ‘Hail Mary’ passes earlier in the 1st quarter of games this year to improve the chances of winning.

Last year was a warning from above that it took ‘devine intervention’ to win 9 games.

You just didn’t see TO doing those types of antics during the spring game. Although NU helping out Jack is one of the best things that NU has accomplished IMOP. When you see things like that, there really is no place like Nebraska, but yes the Huskers will more then likely see a 5-6 loss season.

Haha, 7 is goin’ all ‘Nostradumbass’ on us:  Fortunes told, call 1-900-7.

OU and Admiral ~ it appears the “realistah” range of final season W-Ls is from 6-6 to 10-2.  There are 12 regular games with two Saturdays off for NU.  Even with a 10-2 record, NU might still not play in the B10 title game.  Winning 6 games should almost be a “given” for NU.  Don’t be surprised if BOP ends up losing 4 games again this 2014 season.  4 losses per season is BOP’s proverbial “yoke” around his pussy cat neck.  He does not appear to have the coaching ability to pull together essential player development and performance needed on both sides of the ball in a single season.  I hope we will be surprised this fall.  Simply playing disciplined football (example being the Georgia game!) throughout the season will produce at least 8-9 wins even with some injuries to key players.  NU’s problem is that BOP has not proven himself capable of elevating his team’s performance to a level of consistency throughout the season needed to be a 10 game winner.

My prediction for regular season outcome: 9-3 with losses to MS, Wisc. and Iowa—- all away games.  BOP keeps his job for another year and next Spring carries a box full of newborn kitties onto the field.  Meow!!!

I don’t think NU would’ve done any better last year if TMart stayed healthy. He looked like he took two steps back in the WYO game. Two games last year that should’ve been for sure wins, Minn and Iowa. NU had way more talent, but Bo and Beck don’t know how to utilize there players, and for some reason cant teach them basic ball handling skills. I predict a break down at the QB spot, more injury’s, and to many 3 and outs. Best case 9-3, but I think 7-5 is the out come for 2014.

Admiral ~ don’t discount the two bye weeks NU has during the season.  I believe first Saturdays in October and November.  Wins likely against: Florida Atlantic, McNeese State, Illinois, Rutgers, Minnesota and Purdue.  More likely than not against Fresno State and slight edge for NU over Miami.  That is 8 wins.  On paper, NU should have slight edge over NW but that is historically a tough game to win.  Always close game, however.  You are then left with advantages by MS, Iowa, Wisc (all away games) over NU.

Hate to think it will be another 4 loss season; however, that appears to be one of the most likely outcomes.  If I was a betting person, 8-4 is the odds-on-favorite outcome for regular season. 

So Admiral, 7-5 is possible outcome, but 8-4 most likely.  Wisconsin and MS in the Big 10 Title game.  NU will play in the “Wannabee Relevant” bowl, folks will be rationalizing BOP’s results wondering if TA or Stanton will emerge for season 2015 as the next best hope. Bill Murray and the movie Groundhog’s Day!!!

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