Is Defensive Performance More Important Than Winning?

Bowl games can set the tone for an offseason.  The practices leading up to the bowl game serve as almost an additional spring training camp.  A win can be savored for the nine long months before the next outing.  A loss can hurt about that long as well.  Fans often look for clues as to what the team will look like in the coming year.  Given the strong offensive performances in 2012 and the return of most key personnel on that side of the ball for 2013, the defense seems like the major question mark for next year.  Does that make the team's defensive performance more important than the overall team performance on Tuesday?


A win over Georgia by any score would feel good.  Even if it was a 49-48 type outing like the New Mexico Bowl, seeing Bo Pelini finally win eleven games would be pretty nice.  Allowing 48 points would leave fans questioning the defense for nine long months though.  

By contrast, what if NU ended up on the wrong side of 7-6 game?  Especially one where most of the defensive plays were made by returning players.  Sure, fans would hate to see the Huskers lose and would be sick of another four-loss season.  But it would be hard to ignore the progress the team made defensively after such a horrible outing against Wisconsin.  A single bad outing wouldn't doom the offense either.  

In 2013, the schedule lines up for some pretty special things.  There are eight home games.  The road games are at Purdue, at Minnesota, at Michigan, and at Penn State.  NU might only be an underdog in Ann Arbor and you wouldn't write off that game after winning by two touchdowns in Lincoln in 2012.  The offense will score points.  If we see a strong defensive outing on Monday (regardless of who wins and loses), you have to have some optimism for Nebraska to put together their best season yet under Pelini.  Eleven or twelve wins is on the table.

The defense we saw by NU in the Big Ten championship game would prevent that.  You'd feel a lot better about avoiding blowouts next year if the Blackshirts show well against an outstanding Georgia offense.           

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Comments 14 comments so far

A point not yet touched on is the fact that Wisconsin didn’t have to win all of their last few games to get to the championship game.  It appears they spent more time getting ready for Nebraska than some of their last few opponents!  Be assured that Georgia has done their homework too.

Hope Big Red has a few new wrinkles ready for Georgia.

Honestly, I’d be happy if we can just stay in the game with Georgia. I’m not expecting a win, but can’t bare another blow out loss.

If we can reduce penalties and eliminate turnovers, I like our chances to make this a competitive game!  If there are some reasonably creative solutions for our thin DL situation too, I think we could end up with a very reasonable chance to pull a W from this game.  Problem is, these 3 things have not yet come together in a single game this year!  Just give me a solid, complete game!!!

Im assuming the nd stands for North Dakota, and if so just forget about the capital one bowl and look forward to jan 5 when ndsu is playn for the repeat

Very hard for me to envision a win here with the d-line so thin and extremely undersized compared to ga’s o-line.  Just hoping the blackshirts can keep it from getting out of hand.  The O needs to help them out by not giving the ball away.

Gentlemen, speaking of defense, kudos to Frank Solich and his crew…did you see the tackling and swarming to the ball by that bunch?  I for one am very happy for Solich…I fondly remember his contributions to the big red for so many good years.  Hope he gets a nice raise next year… Kind of makes you wonder doesn’t it?  I gotta have a bud…

How about Craig Bohl. FCS coach of the year and on his way to another national champ game.

How about solich. And how he knowinhly jeopodized his coacjimg at nebeaska because of his lack of moral temptations.

I know my spelling isnt the best, but what the H was that

Was just watching Game Day before the game…they were laughing at us. They said our defense against Wisconsin was like the JV against the varsity.
If we had a better O and D line, we’d be in this. Their D line is going to dominate us. Anything can happen though, that’s why we play the game, but I think we’re all praying for a miracle.
If we do get blown out I wonder how it’s going to effect Nebraskas head coaches job security. I hope he’s been saving his money.

I watched that too. (how sad) Good 1st quarter, just hope the safety doesnt come back to bite us. PICK 6

Wow going into half time with the lead, but why with 50 seconds left would you go out throwing instead of just keeping the ball on the ground and run it out

With 4 min left in the game, it has looked like a sandpit football game.

Look for Pelini to throw his name around for some pro job. He will be trying to beat the new AD to the punch.

There are lots of pro jobs open…head coaching as well as assistants.


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