Arteries clogged yet?
Nebraska Week marches on at Off Tackle Empire, and we’ve stuffed you full of the Cheese Frenchie (a deep-fried grilled cheese) and McRibs (the process was invented in Nebraska)...or takes on “progress” for the Huskers in 2019 and Nebraska’s offense with Adrian Martinez at the helm. Y’know, depending on your opinion.
But there’s lots of great—or heart-stopping, or maybe both—Nebraska food to go around, and we wouldn’t want you to think that what we’re highlighting is all that’s out there! In fact, our friends at Corn Nation have actually introduced an excellent series of Nebraska-themed recipes. Lots of meat and cream-based soups to go around! Check ‘em out:
I’ll be trying the Rinderrouladen, myself.
But we march on with our own potlucks, today exploring what was really Nebraska’s problem in 2018—the other side of the ball—and...well, nuts.
Question #1: A Contextual Testicle Festival
On the way from Omaha to Lincoln, stop off in Ashland, NE, and enjoy that iconic Nebraska treat: the Rocky Mountain oyster!
It’s not a uniquely Nebraska food, sure, but the preponderance of cattle in Nebraska—and restaurants’ penchant for fryin’ up a few of the best hangers-off, if you will—gives me a chance to celebrate the Testicle Festival held in Ashland just a couple weeks from now, appropriately, on Father’s Day Weekend. (Jesus—they’re not half-assing this one.)
In honor of Testicle Festival, writers, answer these two questions:
(1) Would you or have you? (2) What’s a disgusting food you have had, and...like...why?
Beez: (1) I haven’t but I’d gobble a testicle or two to see what all the fuss is about; (2) Uhhh if a food is disgusting wouldn’t I like it rather than call it disgusting? Know what’s actually a super disgusting food? Walnuts. Worst damn food on the planet.
BRT: 1)Indeed I have. In fact, my physics class in high school once had a Testicle Festival of our own. Our teacher’s brother manufactured the things, or something like that, so we had a spread of FOUR different kinds of testicles for our fry. (I don’t remember them all—I know there was cow and sheep.)
Deep fried them on the back steps of the school and ate them with cocktail sauce. That’s probably my most “growing up in rural Nebraska” story. They are fine, by the way--they taste like any other fried thing.
2) I’ve tried some kind of seaweed and found little to recommend it. Also, coconut water. It sounds like it should be delicious and refreshing. It tastes like something you’d wring out of a used washcloth.
WSR: 1) Have I? Nope. Would I? Probably. I’m all for trying whatever cuisine in strange and wonderful lands becomes available, although I probably do draw the line at cat.
2) I think it’s still probably goat at a Pakistani wedding, although with the spices and rice it was rather incredible.
Creighton: Rocky Mountain oysters? Yeah I’ve had them. They taste like chicken livers and I honestly don’t see what all the fuss is about. They are, however, way better than the absolute worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth: kale. Anyone who says they like kale is lying to you. They are your enemy, not your friend.
MNW: I have had them in a couple different forms, including the “lamb fries” at the Minnesota State Fair (turns out “fried shit” and “balls” go together well at Midwestern state fairs). They’re fine, enhanced with sauce, but a perfectly cromulent snack.
Creighton is wrong about kale—I love it in my smoothies—and BRT is absolutely correct about coconut water, though I find it a little concerning that she is just casually recounting how a dude brought a whole bunch of animal testicles to her high school and fried ‘em up on the back steps. That’s like the dude from Parks and Rec who really wanted to know about the spaying and neutering tools’ usage.
Rocky Mountain oysters: wouldja?
This poll is closed
I have, and they’re good!(50 votes)
I have, and never again!(7 votes)
I have not, but I would!(50 votes)
I have not, and I would not!(43 votes)
Question #2: Also a nut-punch? The Nebraska defense
We did it with the Nebraska offense...it only seems fair to do it with Scott Frost’s defense:
So that’s...I mean...not ideal. Turns out when you’re not trying to contain and outscore the East Carolinas and Connecticuts and Cincinnatis of the world, shit’s a lot tougher than it looks!
What’s no doubt been most frustrating in this is that Nebraska, in Year One of Frost, had its chances to get stops on defense, but yielded a 103rd-best 43.2% conversion rate on third down. That’s a thread running through Frost’s defenses—passing defenses have often been decent (with talents like Mike Hughes at UCF), but on passing downs, his teams struggle to avoid conceding yards. With returning DBs DiCaprio Bootle and Lamar Jackson, the Huskers secondary should be better, continuing Scott Frost’s and DC Erik Chinander’s history of capable secondaries.
Most glaringly, though, is the bottoming-out of Nebraska’s run defense in 2018. Adjusting to Chinander’s 3-4 base defense, the Huskers struggled to get to the quarterback (decidedly middle-of-the-pack with 2.08 sacks/gm), struggled to stop the run (96th in yards allowed), and yielded 300+ on the ground to both wisconsin and...Illinois? Things might be rounding into form for the Huskers, though, and it boils down to a brotherly matter: Oklahoma State transfer Darrion Daniels joins his brother, Damion Daniels, both with line-clogging ability at point of attack. Carlos Davis and Khalil Davis both offer athleticism at the line, though more production in the form of sacks and TFLs would be great.
So we ask you, writers: What’s the Nebraska defense this year? Is it just a good offense, or will Chinander and Frost buck their two-year trend and turn the Huskers’ defense around?
Bonus: Weigh in on the 3-4 vs. 4-3 debate, and tell us if you think one is better suited to life in the Big Ten.
Townie: With regard to deep fried balls...I have not and probably won’t. I did have a squid ink pate in Italy that was gross but delicious. Think fresh ink sacks slow cooked with chicken livers and onions. Blended into a pate that we spread on toasted bread. It was creamy delicious and turned my tongue black as pitch.
I don’t know about Nebraska’s defense, honestly. They were 88th in scoring, giving up over 31 points per game. Defensive line looks to be okay, but linebacker is a problem. They had four inside linebackers in 2018...two are now gone. Dedrick Young graduated and Jacob Weinmaster retired from football. They had to pull Collin Miller from outside to inside linebacker toward the end of the season.
They lost Guy Thomas, a promising three star linebacker, to transfer. He was the eighth recruit from the 2017 class to transfer, and the fourth linebacker. That means Nebraska will be even thinner at that spot this year. Nebraska diehards will point out that he didn’t make an impact last year, when the team was thin at linebacker.
That’s not good.
They have four solid freshmen recruits coming in this year. Four stars JacksonHannah and Nick Henrich along with three stars Garret Nelson and Garret Snodgrass. We will see all four in games this year.
The starting four players are solid. Anybody gets hurt and this group will be a major problem. Youth will be a problem too. This team probably takes a step back at linebacker this season...which means the whole defense could be worse in 2019 than in 2018.
As for breakout players, I’m watching JoJo Domman at outside linebacker. I think he’s going to be a star for the Huskers this year.
Beez: The Nebraska defense is “existing” this year. A step up from the past two years, but still not worthy of an adjective denoting quality or even mediocrity. But given how good the offense could theoretically be, a defense that exists might be good enough to finish 2nd in the West.
Bonus answer: a 3-4 is much better in a conference where it’s pretty tough to get top flight Defensive Line recruits. Wisconsin’s defensive success coincided with the switch to the 3-4, because it’s easier for a school with Wisconsin’s recruiting profile to get speedy OLBs and run confusing schemes and stunts and such to give what’s basically a free shot at the QB than it is to recruit defensive lineman who can beat a guy and get into the backfield. Also it’s what App State ran/runs and what’s allowed them to have such a good D recently.
BRT: I mean… it literally can’t get a lot worse, right? It was truly hard to watch at times last year.
I will be pleased with “adequate” as a descriptor at the end of the season.
WSR: I’m not sure what to think. Nebraska did enough to get a few opportune stops at times, but nowhere near enough over the course of the season to help the offense out.
What concerns me is when you have just massive defensive failures and you don’t do the sensible thing, like drop the DC out of a plane between the Champaign-Urbana International Airport and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Maybe Frost doesn’t think he had the talent in place to run the defense like they wanted last year, and maybe he just doesn’t understand how defense works in the B1G.
I just know that this combined with the offense’s potential will have me watching Nebraska games early with rapt attention.
Creighton: Nebraska’s defense has nowhere to go but up, so I guess that’s good.
Conventional wisdom says a 4-3 is better suited to life in the Big Ten, but that all depends on what kind of players you have on your roster. If you’ve got a 330 pound DT who can fill a gap but won’t be able to run stunts? Athletic OLB’s that are good tacklers but not the best in pass coverage? Go ahead and run a 3-4. If you’ve got a creative DC I think you get a lot more flexibility out of a 3-4.
MNW: As I was prepping this write-up, I was honestly convincing myself that it could be the return of the Blackshirts.
Then I waited to write my reaction.
Chinander will need to coax a lot of progress out of his front seven if the Huskers are going to challenge for the West crown—unless they plan on just outscoring everyone. I’d say the way to get around this would be a stronger pass rush; between the Averys and the Daniels, Frost might just have that. But it will require a lot of development at run-stopping to convince me that Nebraska is anything more than a middle-of-the-pack defense.
Bonus: I’m inclined to agree with Creighton and Beez that it’s a matter of looking at personnel. Northwestern makes up the difference—because Mike Hankwitz is ancient and good at his job and going nowhere—as I understand it, by basically using a safety as another linebacker, walking the Godwin Igwebuikes and JR Paces and Jared McGees of the world down into the linebacking corps when they see a tight end. And, somehow, Northwestern hasn’t been bad at finding nose tackles over the last couple years.
Basically, I wouldn’t be surprised in 10 years if the ‘Cats are running a 3-4. But in the meantime, they’re sticking with an old-school 4-3, their desire to be Purple Iowa intact.
Where will the Nebraska defense finish up?
This poll is closed
One of the best in the conference(6 votes)
Upper-half; a solid improvement(94 votes)
Decidedly mediocre(92 votes)
Hello, Illinois and Rutgers; good to see you again(28 votes)
Weigh in on the 3-4/4-3 debate:
This poll is closed
I’ll look at the personnel and tell you(83 votes)
I have no idea(28 votes)
Offensive Depth Chart
Scott Frost and the Husker coaching staff released the first depth chart of the season. There aren’t a ton of surprises but some interesting things to take away nonetheless.
2019 Offensive Depth Chart - Game 1
|WR||10 JD Spielman 5-9 180 Jr. Eden Prairie, Minn.|
|4 Jaevon McQuitty 6-0 200 So. Columbia, Mo.|
|-OR- 8 Jaron Woodyard 5-11 185 Sr. Gaithersburg, Md.|
|LT||76 Brenden Jaimes 6-6 300 Jr. Austin, Texas|
|73 Broc Bando 6-5 310 So. Lincoln, Neb.|
|LG||75 Trent Hixson 6-4 310 So. Omaha, Neb.|
|50 John Raridon 6-4 315 Jr. West Des Moines, Iowa|
|C||51 Cameron Jurgens 6-3 285 RFr. Beatrice, Neb.|
|68 Will Farniok 6-3 295 RFr. Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|RG||56 Boe Wilson 6-3 300 Jr. Lee’s Summit, Mo.|
|70 Matt Sichterman 6-4 315 So. Cincinnati, Ohio|
|RT||71 Matt Farniok 6-6 335 Jr. Sioux Falls, S.D.|
|54 Bryce Benhart 6-9 295 Fr. Lakeville, Minn.|
|TE||86 Jack Stoll 6-4 260 Jr. Lone Tree, Colo.|
|-OR- 11 Austin Allen 6-8 250 So. Aurora, Neb.|
|82 Kurt Rafdal 6-7 245 So. Carmel, Ind.|
|WR||9 Kanawai Noa 6-0 200 Sr. Honolulu, Hawaii|
|-OR- 19 Mike Williams 5-10 180 Sr. Lake City, Fla.|
|13 Darien Chase 6-1 200 Fr. Vancouver, Wash.|
|WR||1 Wan'Dale Robinson 5-10 190 Fr. Frankfort, Ky.|
|22 Miles Jones 5-8 175 RFr. Miramar, Fla.|
|-OR- 81 Kade Warner 6-1 210 So. Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|QB||2 Adrian Martinez 6-2 225 So. Fresno, Calif.|
|16 Noah Vedral 6-1 200 So. Wahoo, Neb.|
|7 Luke McCaffrey 6-2 200 Fr. Highlands Ranch, Colo.|
|RB||26 Dedrick Mills 5-11 220 Jr. Waycross, Ga.|
|-OR- 28 Maurice Washington 6-1 190 So. Stockton, Calif.|
|37 Wyatt Mazour 5-9 200 Sr. Albion, Neb.|
|-OR- 6 Rahmir Johnson 5-10 180 Fr. Oradell, N.J.|
Battle for QB2
Noah Vedral is listed as the backup QB to Adrian Martinez with Luke McCaffrey as QB3. I think most of us expected the coaching staff to do this as Vedral has their trust and a redshirt year for McCaffrey makes a lot of sense looking toward the future. Luke is the presumptive QBOTF (quarterback of the future) when Husker Nation reaches “Life after Adrian”.
Of course, with all the high-profile quarterback transfers we’ve seen recently, guessing who your team’s quarterback will be two or three seasons from now can be a futile exercise. Fortunately for us, McCaffrey showed up on campus knowing he was likely to sit behind the freshman All-AmericanMartinez. That seems to bode well for some continuity in Mario Verduzco’s room.
Dedrick Mills and Maurice Washington are separated by an “OR”. This seems to indicate that Washington will be available this weekend. It could be a precaution in case he isn’t. Regardless, this is a classic thunder and lightning combination and both will get plenty of touches. Wyatt Mazour and Rahmir Johnson sharing the RB3, to me, appears to be your second team thunder and lightning combo.
No surprises here either. Broc Bando appears to have slid into the backup left tackle spot after Christian Gaylord’s season-ending knee injury. In reality, I wonder if Matt Farniok would slide over to the left if Brenden Jaimes suffered some kind of injury. Then again, it isn’t as easy as it sounds to switch sides. True freshman Bryce Benhart is listed as the backup at right tackle.
Cameron Jurgens and Will Farniok are the #1 and #2 centers. Jurgens’ foot injuries that limited him through spring and until the very end of fall camp are still a concern for me, but we’ve heard enough good things about Farniok for me to feel okay about the talent - just unsure of experience and durability at this spot.
The recent news that walk-on Trent Hixson was given a scholarship foretold his ascension to the starting LG spot with the RG spot seemingly locked down by Boe Wilson early.
Jack Stoll and Austin Allen are separated by an “OR”. I expect Stoll to start, but coaches have mentioned multiple times that Allen and Kurt Rafdal have closed the gap on him. After a spring with a lot of shoutouts, Katerian Legrone wasn’t able to make a move onto the depth chart but he seems like the likely TE4 and may see time if he is on special teams or if the game plan calls for a lot of two tight end sets.
JD Spielman and Wan’Dale Robinson seemed likely to snag starting spots with grad transfer Kanawai Noa getting constant praise from the coaches. Noa and Mike Williams being separated by and “OR” indicates Williams really did step up in practice like we’ve been hearing. Javeon McQuitty or Jaron Woodyard are listed behind Spielman with freshman Darien Chase behind Noa/Williams. Redshirt freshman Miles Jones is separated from Kade Warner by an “OR” behind Wan’Dale.
Missing - Redshirt freshman Andre Hunt had gotten a lot of shoutouts in spring ball but isn’t on depth chart. True freshman Demariyon Houston and Jamie Nance also appear to be buried behind the more experienced players for now.
Defensive Depth Chart 2019 Week 1
|DE||96 Carlos Davis 6-2 320 Sr. Blue Springs, Mo.|
|97 Deontre Thomas 6-3 295 So. Mustang, Okla.|
|NG||79 Darrion Daniels 6-4 340 Sr. Dallas, Texas|
|93 Damion Daniels 6-3 340 So. Dallas, Texas|
|DE||94 Khalil Davis 6-2 315 Sr. Blue Springs, Mo.|
|95 Ben Stille 6-5 295 Jr. Ashland, Neb.|
|OLB||22 Alex Davis 6-5 250 Sr. Riviera Beach, Fla.|
|43 Tyrin Ferguson 6-2 230 Sr. New Orleans, La.|
|-OR- 44 Garrett Nelson 6-3 260 Fr. Scottsbluff, Neb.|
|ILB||31 Collin Miller 6-3 245 Jr. Fishers, Ind.|
|-OR- 3 Will Honas 6-1 225 Jr. Wichita, Kan.|
|ILB||7 Mohamed Barry 6-1 245 Sr. Grayson, Ga.|
|53 Joseph Johnson 6-3 240 RFr. Gretna, Neb.|
|OLB||1 Caleb Tannor 6-2 220 So. Stone Mountain, Ga.|
|-OR- 13 JoJo Domann 6-1 235 Jr. Colorado Springs, Colo.|
|CB||21 Lamar Jackson 6-3 215 Sr. Elk Grove, Calif.|
|-OR- 5 Cam Taylor 6-0 215 So. Montgomery, Ala.|
|2 Tony Butler 6-2 220 Jr. Lakewood, Ohio|
|S||19 Marquel Dismuke 6-2 215 Jr. Compton, Calif.|
|49 Isaiah Stalbird 6-0 210 RFr. Kearney, Neb.|
|30 Eli Sullivan 6-2 215 Jr. Longmont, Colo.|
|S||8 Deontai Williams 6-1 205 Jr. Jacksonville, Fla.|
|6 Eric Lee Jr. 6-0 215 Sr. Milton, Mass.|
|36 Reid Karel 6-3 215 Sr. Seward, Neb.|
|CB||23 Dicaprio Bootle 5-10 195 Jr. Miami, Fla.|
|11 Braxton Clark 6-4 210 RFr. Orlando, Fla.|
|-OR- 12 Quinton Newsome 6-2 180 Fr. Suwanee, Ga.|
The Davis twins are the starting bookends around the Daniels brothers with Darrion (as expected) the #1 nose guard and Damion backing him up. Deontre Thomas and Ben Stille are the reserve ends. Juco transfer Jahkeem Green made it to fall camp in the final week, so he isn’t on the depth chart...yet.
We’ve been hearing about the rise of Alex Davis on the outside and that is backed up by his presence on the chart as one of the starting OLB. Caleb Tannor OR JoJo Domann will be starting at the other spot. JoJo has been dealing with injuries which delayed his arrival to fall camp. Tyrin Ferguson OR true freshman (and Nebraska native) Garrett Nelson will back up Davis. Those are all the names we’ve been hearing through fall camp, so no surprises there.
At inside linebacker Mohamed Barry will be running with Collin Miller OR Will Honas. In other words, still no clarity on that second spot. What is surprising is that Joseph Johnson (a redshirt freshman from Nebraska) is listed as Barry’s backup. Fellow Nebraskan Luke Reimer had been getting a lot of attention in fall camp, so that is a bit of a surprise.
There are 11 safeties listed on the Huskers roster and six of them are on the depth chart. The big surprise is that true freshmen Myles Farmer and Noa Pola-Gates are not among those names. Instead juniors Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams will start redshirt freshman and Nebraska native Isaiah Stalbird and Eric Lee, Jr. listed as the backups. Eli Sullivan and Reid Karl (a senior from Seward, NE) are on the third team.
I’m not sure what to make of that, but it appears the highly touted freshman recruits have some work to do.
Dicaprio Bootle will start at one spot with Lamar Jackson OR sophomore Cam Taylor at the other side. Tony Butler is listed behind Jackson/Taylor.
Bootle’s backups will be either redshirt freshman Braxton Clark or true freshman Quiton Newsome. The freshman, Javin Wright (tallest corner on the team at 6’3”) received a lot of media interest through fall camp but isn’t on the depth chart for now. Ethan Cox was another player (sophomore from Blair, NE) that received some mentions in spring ball and was part of the fall camp roster, so he might be one to watch for special teams time?
Senior Isaac Armstrong appears to have held onto his position as starting punter after a battle in fall camp with Will Przystup (redshirt freshman). If the coaching staff has two more scholarships to give, Armstrong seems to be a likely candidate for one of those after he took over mid-season for Caleb Lightbourn in 2018 and went on to have an excellent season (ranking in the top 10 in school history for net average).
No surprise that sophomore Barret Pickering will still be doing the kickering.
Senior Chase Urbach is listed as the starting long snapper with former Navy SEAL (cue the camera shots and patriotic music) and redshirt freshman Damian Jackson as the backup.
Returning kicks will be Maurice Washington OR Wan’Dale Robinson with Rahmir Johnson and Miles Jones listed at 3 and 4 respectively.
Punt returner is JD Spielman (not sure I want to see him back there taking those hits) with Cam Taylor his backup and Wan’Dale Robsinson or Kanaway Noa as the third option.
Scott Frost spoke to the media and the Blackshirts were handed out. There are conflicting tweets about how many were given out, but here’s what I could piece together. It looks like the starters (and the “OR”s) all received them along with Ben Stille.
Each position group is separated by an extra space.
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Two freshman will start in Nebraska's season opener against South Alabama. Wan'Dale Robinson will start at wide receiver and Cameron Jurgens will start at center.
The quarterback position will have Adrian Martinez at starter, Noah Vedral as the backup and freshman Luke McCaffrey as third on the depth chart.
The starter at running back will be Dedrick Mills or Maurice Washington.
The offensive line will start Brenden Jaimes, Trent Hixson, Boe Wilson, Matt Farniok, and Jurgens.
The wide receivers are J.D. Spielman, Kanawai Noa or Mike Williams, and Robinson. The tight end position will be Jack Stoll or Austin Allen.
The starters in defensive line will be Carlos Davis, Darrion Daniels, and Khalil Davis. The linebackers will be Alex Davis, Collin Miller or Will Honas, Mohamed Barry, Caleb Tannor or JoJo Domann.
The defesive backs will be Lamar Jackson and Dicaprio Bootle. Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke will start at safety.
The placekicker is Barret Pickering. The punter is Isaac Armstrong. The kickoff returners are Maurice Washington or Wan'Dale Robinson.The punt returner is J.D. Spielman.
2019 Nebraska Cornhuskers football team
- Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
- In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.
Depth 2019 husker chart
But I had to go. Arriving with my parents for a wedding to relatives in the village, I suffered all day, not knowing what to do with myself. Although then a little pleasantly distracted. Mom calls me, the folder is already with my uncles relishingly tasting fragrant Belarusian moonshine, the so-called "bimber".
Well, it kind of smells good.Nebraska Huskers football would still be a national power if this happened
From my hands. Her naked boobs were right next to my hands. My heart was pounding all over my body, my ears were ringing. Aunt Tanya put her hands behind her head, stretched, looked into my face, at my hands, which were still covered in sour.
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I -Yes-ah, she screamed through tears, it seems that she understood everything, and did not say a word more. A few weeks later, we began to meet with Anya again, but I often went to see Anna Andreevna. our train, gradually slowing down, approached. Her station.