Unconcerned with convention the Holiday Bowl decided to match Washington and Nebraska again despite having played in September. This could be a much different game as the two teams have gone through significant changes since Nebraska’s earlier blowout victory. This will officially be the Cornhuskers last game as a member of the Big 12, a marriage that always seemed rocky.
3 Keys from the scouts
1. Can Jake Locker improve upon his performance earlier in the season? In short, yes. Locker will need to improve a great deal though as he was horrid against Nebraska earlier in the year. The key to Locker’s play will be the play of Washington’s offensive line. The Blackshirt defense is talented, and they have previously established an effective template on how to stop Locker.
2. Which Taylor Martinez will show up? Martinez has, at times, looked like a first team All American caliber player. At other times he has looked very ordinary. Reports of his fragile ego have been surfacing all season and one imagines that Nebraska head honcho Bo Pelini is tiring of spending so much time massaging one player’s ego. When Martinez is on, the Cornhuskers are one of the best 6-7 teams in the country. When he’s not, they might not be one of the best 20.
3. How many rushing yards will Nebraska have? It’s not out of the question that the Cornhuskers could finish the season with 3 running backs each rushing for 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Nebraska remains a running team, and Washington has struggled defending against ground attacks all season. If the Huskies are to win they simply must stack the line against the run and force Martinez to beat them through the air.
Bold Prediction: This game just doesn’t look much more competitive than the 56-21 game earlier in the year. Washington will be better offensively, but it won’t prove enough. Nebraska 48 Washington 24
|1st||Prince Amukamara||CB||21||4Sr||Nice sized defensive back with the ball skills and confidence to be a number one cornerback in the NFL.|
|2-3||Lavonte David||OLB||94||3Jr||Junior college transfer that made a major impact this season. Aggressive run defender that shows skill in pursuit. Petitioned the advisory committee for a grade.|
|2-3||Niles Paul||WR||24||4Sr||Sure handed pass catcher that draws a variety of opinion. Not a blazer but very quick and a terrific downfield blocker. Has been recently downgraded by NFL scouts into the middle rounds.|
|2-3||Jared Crick||DT||94||4Jr||Explosive player with great first step quickness. Not a large lineman and easily neutralized by blocks.|
|4-5||Alfonzo Dennard||CB||15||3Jr||Developing corner that’s shown a lot of flashes yet needs more consistency.|
|4th||Roy Helu||RB||10||4Sr||Strong, downhill runner that flashes the ability to take over games.|
|5th||Pierre Allen||DE||95||5Sr||Long, lengthy defensive end who moves well about the field yet shows minimal explosion and strength. Offers and upside and must be watched.|
|5th||Mike McNeill||TE||44||5Sr||Good looking prospect that gets downfield and catches the ball well.|
|5-6||Eric Hagg||S||28||4Sr||Underrated defensive back with terrific instincts. Always puts himself in a position to make plays on the ball.|
|7-FA||Dejon Gomes||CB||7||4Sr||Smallish cornerback with good ball skills. Would start on 99% of the teams in the NCAA and a legit dime back for the next level.|
|FA||Rickey Thenarse||S||3||5Sr||Aggressive safety who lays it on the line and sacrifices his body to make the play. Marginal ball skills and limited to a strong safety position or a zone system.|
|1st||Jake Locker||QB||10||5Sr||Athletic signal caller with a huge upside. Needs a lot of work on his overall game and not a sure thing. Dropping down boards and needs to finish strong.|
|3rd||Alameda Ta’amu||DT||74||3Jr||Powerful, interior nose tackle/defensive tackle prospect coming off a disappointing season.|
|3-4||Mason Foster||OLB||40||4Sr||Fast rising weak side prospect who makes a lot of plays sideline-to-sideline.|
|4-5||Chris Polk||RB||1||3Jr||Strong and explosive interior runner.|
|4-5||Nate Williams||S||8||4Sr||Solid safety with a nice feel for the position. Works well with cornerbacks, displays a sense of timing and has a physical nature to his game.|
|FA||Cody Habben||T||71||5Sr||Strong, small area blocker that makes great use of body positioning and attacks assignments.|
|FA||Quinton Richardson||CB||28||4Jr||Nice sized corner with a lot of potential.|
|4-5||D’Andre Goodwin||WR||11||5Sr||Adequately sized receiver who makes the difficult reception then picks up yardage running after the catch.|
Game Preview: Brent Foshee
Prospect Preview: Tony Pauline