I could win some money on that bet. I could have made some good dough on Cory Ross being the top…
Ross says NU needs to follow USC's example
Much of the praise they get nowadays, though, is the fact that amongst offenses, theirs is the gold standard of the game.
Of the "West Coast" Variety, perfected by former San Francisco 49er head coach Bill Walsh, this offense can hit you quick, utilizes running backs that are just as good as receivers, plus enough pass routes to make a person go dizzy.
And, if the right people are at the helm, both on the field and in the booth coordinating the process during the game, well, it's one of the most sleek and deadly offenses you will behold.
Players from Nebraska see the Trojans, but not as an opponent that will be hosting the Huskers next year as Nebraska heads to USC for the first half of a home-and-home series. They see them rather as where they are trying to get. Senior running back Cory Ross is one of those that watches the seemingly unbeatable west coast team, running their close to unstoppable version of the west coast offense and says that could be us.
"They run the same offense we do, but they are running it right," Ross said of the Trojans. "Everyone is doing their job and that's all you need; guys doing their job and the offense will work."
Thus far this season, USC's offense has clearly worked while the Huskers' has clearly not. But, just to give you an idea of just how far away Nebraska could be, take a look at the current disparity:
Perhaps one of the more modest statistics for USC is in rushing, but they still rank 13th in the country, averaging over 248 yards per game. Nebraska averages just over 138 yards per game, good enough for a ranking of 62nd in the country.
In passing, Southern Cal ranks 5th in the country, averaging 367 yards per game. Nebraska averages 133 yards per game, good enough for a ranking of 108th out of 117 division 1-A teams.
And in scoring, the Huskers rank 87th in the country with an average of 13 points per game. USC ranks 2nd, the Trojans averaging each game just over 59.
To add a little more salt to the open wound, in passing efficiency, USC ranks 3rd in the country in division 1-A, while Nebraska also ranks 3rd……………………….from the bottom.
You know what they say about the bottom, though, and Ross feels that from where they started, especially with the bye-week to work on anything and everything, the Huskers might not remind anyone of USC this weekend, but they could surprise some people in the end. "Watching what we did all last week and what we are doing this week, I feel we have a great game ahead of us," Ross said.
"Hopefully, we can make the people proud and have some yards and points on the board."
There's been many reasons cited as to just why the offense isn't working. Many think that it's the offensive line, the unit already having given up seven sacks this year and struggling against teams like division 1-AA Maine and Wake Forest and Pitt, both teams sporting losing records at this time.
Probably just as many feel it's the quarterback position that's lacking, Zac Taylor throwing the ball complete less than 44% of the time.
Ross said that it isn't any one unit or even one person that's the problem and you can't look at adding a west coast savvy QB like Matt Leinhart as the fix-all to NU's current issues. "We don't need a Matt Leinhart," Ross said. "We just need everyone working together. It's a team effort. You don't need just one person."
"I feel that if everyone does their job, everything will definitely be fine."
So, Nebraska will take to the field this week to try and do just what Ross indicated was his expectation or at least, hope for their execution when Iowa State comes to town.
More sustained drives, a higher completion percentage and the running game as a compliment, rather than the only weapon this NU offense has.
That's the goal, the overriding desire, so that the Huskers can get a little closer to being almost Trojanesque. The good news is that Nebraska does have something in common with USC in that both teams are undefeated going into the weekend. And if Ross does get his way and the offense works as one, chances are, they will both be undefeated coming out.
For now, though, that's where the comparisons will probably stop.
The rest is as they say, a work in progress.
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