Husker Depth Chart Features Freshmen and “OR’s”

The release of the first official fall depth chart is arguably the largest milestone of meaningful information regarding the upcoming season since the last season ended.  It shows who the starters and top reserves are going to be at every position and provides clues about who's likely to redshirt and who isn't.

 

True Freshmen
Given the number of receivers on the two-deep (if we include the "OR's" which we'll return to in a moment), there doesn't seem to be a great need to burn the redshirt for wideout De'Mornay Pierson-El.  That is, until you scan down toward the return units and see his name appear among the final four as both a kick returner and punt returner.  

Defensively, we see the departure of Aaron Curry has pushed true freshman tackle Jerald Foster onto the three deep.  Since the two-deep gets used in every game, a three deep player will play.  We see three true freshmen pop up in the secondary including Chris Jones as a third cornerback, Kieron Williams as a second safety, and Josh Kalu as the second nickelback.  You also expect the Huskers to use their two-deep on a weekly basis in the secondary.  Particularly, when they go to a dime look with six defensive backs on the field.  Over the course of the season, you'd expect all of these players to get time.  Drew Brown appears to be the top place kicker, though it appears Mauro Bondi will continue to handle kickoffs.  


Ties Abound
In polling, when two candidates get very similar amounts of support from the public, the polling organization might declare a race "too close to call".  These dead heats litter the depth chart.  Mark Pelini might be the top center OR Ryne Reeves.  Mike Moudy might be the top right guard OR Chongo Kondolo.  Givens Price could be the starting right tackle OR Zach Sterup OR Matt Finnin.  With Gabe Miller out, the long snapper might be Josh Faulkenberry OR Nate Gerry.  One starter at corner could be Daniel Davie OR Jonathan Rose.  Jamal Turner might be a top receiver OR Alonzo Moore.  

The ties filter into the second-place spots as well.  Taariq Allen could be second behind Kenny Bell at receiver OR Brandon Reilly OR Sam Burtch.  De-Mornay Pierson El could be second behind Jordan Westerkamp at another wideout spot OR Brandon Reilly might be.  Imani Cross could be second behind Ameer Abdullah OR Terrell Newby might be.  A.J. Natter could be a second defensive end behind Greg McMullen OR Joe Keels might be.  Boaz Joseph might be a second corner behind Josh Mitchell OR Chris Jones might be.  That's a lot of neck and neck battles.  

Certain players may solidify their position or leapfrog other players in the next few weeks, causing some of those "OR's" to disappear.  It's fair to say you don't want to be rotating three right tackles in every game.  You also wonder if all six redshirts will get burned and how many more might be used this season (e.g. would running back Mikale Wilbon be called into action if a another rusher is lost for the season).      

With all of this indecision, it's interesting to see Tommy Armstrong as the clear #1 quarterback, Ryker Fyfe as the clear #2, and Johnny Stanton a clear third.  We now see a lot of answers to lingering questions about what the team will look like, but clearly there are a number of questions that remain.

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Comments 13 comments so far

Seems like we cant get out of this youth-ish rut.  Hopefully they can stay together for the next few yrs and make something big happen.

Lack of depth is a big concern for this team this year.  Granted, the starting lineup looks comparable to anyone in the country,  but Pelini’s teams have always lacked in some area.  Don’t know if this is recruiting deficiency or not.  If he keeps improving his recruiting and developing NFL talent, NU will break the 9 win barrier soon.

We’ll see.

GBR!!!

B1GRedFootballFan
http://www.B1GRedFootball.com

Two seasons ago, senior Rex Burkhead look about unstoppable until he was, right out the chute, that first game.
Abdullah should be in that category, minus the injury, as a top flight senior IB.
Other than that, Nebraska will win in decisive fashion.
Not much will be proven this game, or, need to be proven.

Any one out there still think that TA cant pass the ball?

Admiral, he got a little jumpy there for a bit but settled back into a nice rhythm. T.A. looked pretty good overall, but on that note, so did Ryker Fyfe.

I think Beck should have TA run more optuon and throw less, or at least dont have him throwing on 3 consecutive downd, breaks up the rhythm of the run game.

How about Ameer!  How many TD’s did he lose due to penalties?  I like his Heisman chances, even though Todd Gurley from Georgia put on a clinic, and Melvin Gordon has some issues (4 carries in the second half)...I’m liking the change in the offensive attitude.  Guys are going after it and playing inspired.  It’s only the first game, but I saw progress…I hope I’m not the only one…

Bo knows!  He knows he’s got a very good team (maybe his best) on both sides of the ball.

For a first game, this was one of NU’s better games.  TA completion % was 51%.  35 passes/57 runs.  That means 38% of offensive plays were pass attempts.  Despite the fact NU was running the ball with dominance, Beck felt the need to have more pass plays than necessary.  If this is NU’s M.O. for the season, fans beware of this play mix backfiring with a number of interceptions and lack of ball control resulting.  NU should be running then doing play action passes.  Let’s hope Beck and BOP, after the first two games, realize scrimmages are now over and the real season has started.

unrealish, you’re an asshole

Ma-NU R,
The day the Huskers hire you as a coach is the day I start paying attention to your currently unwanted drivel. Until that day will continue to view you as a clueless blowhard who doesn’t know his a$$ from a hole in the ground. Anyone with the least bit of football knowledge knows that, as a general rule, for a team to be successful in the long run, it must be two-dimensional. Later in the season the Huskers are going to face a defense that will be able to slow down the run game. At that time the Huskers better have a functional passing game to force the opposing defense to stop loading the box to stuff the run. Pelini and Beck are doing absolutely the right thing having Armstrong and the receivers working on getting out any kinks in their passing game while playing these relatively weak opponents early on, because it is going to get much more difficult soon enough.

Gentlemen, your venom runs afoul!  Ref, would you please throw a flag on these guys!!!  With the kind of running game NU is capable of fielding, the need to throw nearly 4 out of every 10 plays is an unnecessary risk, coupled with the fact ball control with minimal turnovers will be crucial for NU’s success this season.  Grinding it out to rest our D will also be important.  FA was like a scrimmage game.  Let’s hope Beck and BOP play to the team’s strengths, which is dominated by the running game.  A 51% completion rate against an outmatched team like FA is not that impressive.
North Korea, let’s hope you are correct that throwing the ball 4 out of every 10 plays will NOT be the game strategy when NU play Fresno State, Miami, and MS.

Now, let’s hear you hiss and spit some more venom!!!

Ma-NU R,
You asked for it, so am happy to oblige. You may recall your following less than flattering comments regarding Pelini and the Huskers:
NU Realista
8/14/2014
Dear North Korean ~ those who believe in government propaganda also believe BOP is a great coach.  That is fine.  Living in a fantasy world and denying reality is expected from NU devotees.  Let’s see what you and others have to say when NU loses 4 more games this season.  Hopefully, BOP will get another salary increase for finishing third in the division this fall.  Go Big Pink!!!

Now, as to my response:
- OK you miserable SFB, as you claim to have a degree from UNL, one can only assume it was in a really rigorous non-academic discipline like basket weaving, insomuch as you apparently don’t have a clue about much of anything – especially Nebraska football.  And, because you have been so completely WRONG about Pelini and the Huskers in the past (and will undoubtedly continue to be this season), one can only hope you will realize you have had NOTHING meaningful to contribute – ever, and like MacArthur, just fade away. Your constant negativity and caviling about Pelini and the Huskers has been so overwhelmingly monotonous / soporific / tedious / wearisome / pedestrian / banal, (or just plain banausic), that it most certainly would NOT be missed, should you completely disappear from this site.
Spent my undergraduate years at UNL supporting Husker teams that had only ONE winning season (Glassford, 6-5, 1954, Lost Orange Bowl), so was pleased to see what Devaney and Osborne were able to accomplish. Also believe Solich might have been able to get things back on track if Peterson had not been the AD at the time. Firmly believe Pelini IS the right fit for the Huskers and probably one of the better coaches willing to take on such a stressful pressure cooker of a job (in no small part because of the constant captious carping of the few hypercritical a-hole pseudo-fans like yourself).
It certainly is NOT living in a fantasy world to support a coach who has always won at least nine games each and every year of his head coaching career. However, as you are so firmly entrenched in the HUA fraternity, you undoubtedly will never understand what it means to be a loyal and supportive Husker fan.
Mr. T might say about you: ‘I PITY THE FOOL!’ prior to a well-deserved beat-down. (You are probably much too young to have even heard of Mr. T or the A-Team - a popular but rather vacuous TV action series back in the mid-1980’s.) In any case, am relegating you to that insignificant little cesspool of Nattering Nabob bottom feeders on this board, and will not be reading any more of your irrelevant posts. Take your ‘Go Big Pink!’ and ‘stick it where the sun don’t shine’.
2014 Season, so far:
Game 01 – set modern-era B1G record 784 yds of offense; scored 55 points in rout of FAU; 29th consecutive home-opener win - the best in college football. Pelini’s 59th win also puts him ahead of Solich and 3rd behind Osborne and Devaney.

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