The Huskers weren’t the only ones who took it on the chin during the Big Red-Ohio State challenge. Keep in mind that I had to pick five guys that were supposed to have good days and… well… you tell me who stood out as someone who had a quality performance. Regardless, let’s review my picks and see who I had high hopes for.
First Round Pick: Safety Nate Gerry – I felt No. 25 could be in the right place at the right time, perhaps during a fourth quarter rally and snag a pick or two. At the end of the night, he did lead the team in tackles with nine solo, so I’ll steal a half-point for him getting some quality exercise.
Second Round Pick: Running back Terrell Newby – Newby, no… Honestly, considering the Nebraska offensive line he had to run behind, he didn’t do that badly on the stat sheet, totaling 54 yards on 13 carries. I might give myself a point if he found the end zone, but since nobody wearing scarlet and cream did…
Third Round Pick: Wide Receiver Jordan Westerkamp – Once Tommy Armstrong Jr. got knocked loopy, I knew the Roommate Connection® and Westerkamp’s chances for significant yardage went kaput. He did lead receivers in catches with four, but that’s not enough to garner a point with all of the chances Nebraska’s offense had.
Fourth Round Pick: Safety Kieron Williams – Aaron Williams actually had a better day, and that’s not saying much.
Fifth Round Pick: Wide Receiver Stanley Morgan – Despite the Nebraska wideouts not having a good day, I did accurately pick which two would actually get some yardage. Morgan led all receivers with 56 yards on three catches. Considering I nailed the Westerkamp and Morgan picks and that they did manage to top 100 yards versus the Buckeyes, I’ll squeeze a half point out of this one.
Wow, that actually went better than I thought it did. As the season starts to wind down, I have 24.5 proper pick points thanks to 45 players selected. Nebraska goes into the Minnesota game with no quarterback named as a starter (and I doubt they actually do name one for strategy’s sake). With that in mind, it’s time to get out the darts.
First Round Pick: Running Back Terrell Newby – I’ve been bullish on defensive picks when making my first selections as of late, but I’m going to buck that trend with Newby. While Minnesota does boast the 18th-ranked rushing defense in the country, I feel that offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf is going to put Newby in position to lead this team to victory with the quarterback spot being so unstable.
Second Round Pick: Tight End Cethan Carter – Regardless of who is taking snaps, I like Carter as a safety valve. He’ll be good for picking up yardage to make second and third down yardage more manageable from the get-go, if anything.
Third Round Pick: Safety Nate Gerry – My first defensive pick of the day goes to Defense Rex. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner has been a pain on the ground against Blackshirts of the past, but he’s thrown five touchdowns to six picks. If Nebraska’s front seven can keep him contained and force him to throw, I like Gerry’s chances of putting the Huskers’ defense at the top of the interception charts.
Fourth Round Pick: Wide Receiver Stanley Morgan – As the year has gone on, Morgan has been Mr. Reliable, especially when Jordan Westerkamp was nursing his wounds (more so than he is now, that is). Morgan’s developing into a clutch receiver, and I feel Nebraska will take advantage of that versus the 71st-ranked secondary in the country.
Fifth Round Pick: Linebacker Josh Banderas – Remember how I mentioned that Leinder’s been an annoyance for the Big Red? I feel this is a game where Banderas has the opportunity to stop him in his tracks. He did pretty well during the Wisconsin game when it came to filling the void. I expect better versus lesser competition.
Quarterback <Insert Name Here> – I have no idea who will start. I don’t know what Langsdorf is going to do in terms of offense. What I do know is that the person who starts at quarterback (or at least takes snaps) has the potential to set the tone for a Nebraska win early on. At this point, Minnesota has to prepare for anyone.
Defensive Tackle Carlos Davis – No. 96 has only been improving down the stretch and Minnesota is tied for No. 8 in sacks given up per game. Someone’s hungry…
Wide Receiver Jordan Westerkamp – At this point, I expect both Westy and Morgan to flourish at wide receiver each game, if anyone does. I decided to go with Morgan because I feel he’ll get more opportunities closer to the line of scrimmage if Ryker Fyfe starts. I assume he will as of this writing, and again nothing personal against Fyfe, but I hope I’m wrong. If we see someone different under center, it’s a tossup.