Still Red All Over

By Adam Caparell - September 19, 2007

A few days after their exposing loss to USC, Bill Callahan was quite frank about his team. The Nebraska coach acknowledged Saturday's game wasn't pretty, that it looked even worse on film and that there could be a few personnel changes if the Cornhuskers aren't careful.

"Film was shown to the players as an entire team," Callahan said. "We watched every side of the ball. I think, by and large, the team comes away with a clear understanding of what has to be improved and what we have to do on the practice field to alleviate what occurred on Saturday night. But there were some really good efforts. I'm not trying to sugarcoat it in any way. We're not pleased with the performance."

Predictably, the Cornhuskers were blown up through the middle by USC and that porous defensive line. Nebraska gave up 457 yards of total offense and surrendered 313 yards on the ground alone. The Trojans averaged 8.2 yards per carry and rushed for 5 TDs on the ground.

Callahan was so distraught about the loss that he had his players practice in pads earlier this week, something they hadn't done since camp broke in August. How that will help the Cornhuskers stop the run remains to be seen, but if things don't start changing soon Callahan might look to alter some playing time.

"We're going to compete this week for a lot of spots across the board, offensively and defensively," Callahan said. "It's too premature to make any statement relative to a change in personnel. We're going to let these guys go out."

Nebraska gets a Ball State team this weekend that's actually not a bad rushing team so we'll see if the Cornhuskers front four, that's entirely new for 2007, has any sort of pride. Nebraska is giving up an average of 208 yards per game on the ground and Ball State has had some early success running the ball so if things don't shape up soon...

"We'll let the week unfold, and then we'll evaluate, measure and assess everything at the end of the week," Callahan said. "If there are changes to be made, there will be changes made. But that's competition. That's life. I think we can all accept that."

One position to keep a close eye on is left guard. With Andy Christensen done for the season, Callahan is looking for a new starter and it should come down between Mike Huff, Matt Slauson, Jacob Hickman and Jordan Picou. The position was abused against the Trojans. Then again, Sedrick Ellis makes a lot of offenses look ridiculous.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:52 PM on September 19, 2007

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