Saturday, September 8, 2007

Nebraska Scouting Report

Actually, we'll call this a Sam Keller and Marlon Lucky scouting report.

Sam "Jesus" Keller


* Physically impressive. There's no doubting that. A blitzing LB got his arms around Keller in the 2nd quarter, and Keller was still able to shot put the ball to the RB.

* When he has time, he makes a good throw. If he has the opportunity to assess the defense and make a decision, he delivers.


* The slightest bit of pressure, and he seems to panic. Either he freezes (as he did with the interception/fumble/weird play in the fourth quarter that could easily have cost them the game if Wake had an experienced/good QB), or he rushes the pass and throws off-target.

* He's not a quick thinker. When he makes a decision, he makes a good throw...but it seems to take him a while to make a decision.


He's no Jesus. He might not be Zac Taylor either. He's physically gifted, but I'm not sure about his mental strength. Wake does some weird things on D--they confuse you on both sides of the ball to make up for the gap in talent--so maybe it was a unique situation, but he didn't handle it too terribly well, averaging just 6.1 yards per pass and throwing two picks (not to mention going 3-for-15 on 3rd downs). You can win with him as your QB, but only if the running game is clicking, I think. And speaking of which...

Marlon Lucky


* Follows blocking as good as anybody I've ever seen. Along with that, he's got very strong vision. He sees the holes as they're about to form.

* Good straight-ahead speed. If he spots a hole forming, it takes him just a couple steps to get to full-speed.


* Definitely isn't a shake-and-bake guy. Has decent moves, but comes to a complete stop to make them.

* Can't create on his own. If the blocking's there, he's fantastic, but as he showed on the short yardage plays that could have clinched the game late for NU, he follows his blockers...even straight into the ground.


Really good speed, but is only as good as the linemen ahead of him.

Both Keller and Lucky can be cornerstones of a good offense as long as the 300-pounders up front are shouldering a good portion of the load. So far NU's O-line has done enough to take the offense to good places, but they couldn't make the plays to clinch the game against Wake--they had to rely on their defense to win the game in the fourth quarter. A team with a good D-line (something Nevada isn't, and Wake Forest isn't really) might be able to create havoc, making Keller rush his throws and forcing Lucky to make a couple moves to get his yards, and I don't think that will end well for Nebraska. Is Mizzou's D-line good enough for that? Not yet. They can develop pressure on the interior, but the DE's will have to produce, and they didn't do much of that against Illinois. We'll see. USC, however...pretty sure they'll be able to handle the NU say the least...