As Harvey Sees It: O-line has a ways to go

Posted Sep 3, 2011

Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead combined for 234 yards on the ground. The offense racked up 40 points – so what.

Let’s face it; this offensive line wasn’t that impressive against a team that featured defensive lineman around 240 pounds and UTC would off the record probably agree.

“When we came in, we didn’t know if we could get off of blocks. Could we even stop the power play? Can we defend the belly option? And we did. For the most part, I thought we defended a lot of plays pretty well,” said Tennessee at Chattanooga head coach Russ Huesman. “Martinez, how many third downs did we have, and he scrambles up the middle and gets a first down? He needs 10 yards, he gets 12. That is what good players do. We can’t let that happen, but when you play good players and teams, it happens. I thought we put them in a lot of third and longs. There had to be 12 or 15. That’s playing pretty good defense.”

So the good news is Nebraska showed the ability to convert on 3rd and long. Something they struggled with and didn’t accomplish very often last year.

The bad news – it was a FCS opponent.

"Very inconsistent. Really, across the front, it just wasn't up to our standard,” said Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini. “There were some good things, I saw some good things out there, I saw some guys perform well. Up front, you've got to be clicking on all cylinders and you've got to be playing good across the whole front, and we weren't always doing that. And some of those things were communication errors. There's a lot of reasons why, but we've got to get that fixed. We've got to get better in that area next week."

The good news is Fresno State has given up 19 points and 310 yards in the first half against California tonight. Nebraska has time to find that consistency up front.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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