Jerald Foster. Cethan Carter. Jordan Westerkamp. David Knevel. By the second play against Indiana, those preseason Husker starters, which include two of its top five offensive players, were no longer a factor. It didn’t get any better when All Everything offensive tackle Nick Gates rolled his ankle shortly thereafter.
As we discussed last week, at that point, it becomes a “by any means” necessary game. And when that happens, unless you have elite talent waiting on the sidelines, you need a defense ready to show up and slow the opponent down. Right on cue, the Blackshirts answered the bell, holding Indiana to 333 yards and a pedestrian 4.83 YPP. In case you’re still sleeping on Mark Banker’s crew in 2016, they’re now 29th in total defense, 16th in scoring defense and 13th pass efficiency defense. That’s a monster change from 2015, and it’s something we’ll look at in our next write up.
For now, though, let’s take a look at how offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf tried to ride out a hard regression to the mean from Tommy Armstrong and a MASH unit up front that made getting into a rhythm difficult.