Will the offensive talent around Martinez be better in 2021 than it was in 2018

poundth3rock

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Jul 20, 2007
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I believe the goal for this Staff and Roster should be to win the West. I also believe they can get that done and I don’t think this team has to play perfectly for that to happen either. I truly believe that is the talent/depth that has been accumulated and is now game ready relative to the rest of our Division makes this a reasonable goal and the 8-9 wins Moos noted is also a reasonable expectation for this team based on that game ready talent.

Obviously multiple things have to continue to develop for that team to exist on Saturday’s but I don’t think any of them are that far fetched.

1. Can the defense continue the marginal improvement that it has occured statistically in both PPG-YPG each of last 3 years. If we can get marginally tougher against the run again this year with the depth and experience we have in the interior by continuing to improve players and scheme I think its very likely this could be a top 4-5 in both PPG-YPG or another 2 spot improvement. Based on trends in growth of defensive staff and players over last 3 years, this is probably fairly reasonable expectation/hope for a fan.
2. Can this team be at least be Big Ten average in both special teams return and coverage units. Provide Dawson the practice time and access to players he needs and this will happen as its really not that difficult if focused on. I don’t think this will be overlooked in 2021 and will be fully addressed.
3. Lastly, can this be a top quarter of league offense which bring me to the question of do you expect the on-field talent-performance surrounding Martinez in 2021 to be better than 2018

In 2018 with what I believe was only slightly above average (By Big Standards) overall talent on offense paired with a Sieve for a defense Nebraska finished 2 in YPG and 5 in PPG in conference. PPG primarily lagging due to how much time defense was on field, TO margin being average (+1) and not having true home run threats that most high YPG offenses have which means you have to finish to many drives in red zone to get TD’s.

In 2018 excluding QB in discussion, we had 3 guys that were really good college players at that point in their careers in Farmer, Morgan and Ozigbo. We also didn’t have to play a whole lot of guys that simply weren’t very competitive that year which is equally important. Conrad was replaced early in the year at center and that really only left Warner/Wilson as players that were typically overmatched with Morgan/Spielmann thankfully staying healthy and covering up the glaring lack of game ready talent at WR outside of those two. I would also say as FR/So Stoll and Allen were not big ten ready either as blockers or receivers but were at least semi competitive at that point in their development.

So back to the question at hand and brief comparison of position group between 2021 and 2018


Oline - Its probably not a surprise that Farmer and Foster were 5.8/5.9 RR guys and anchored the last decent line we have had. We have three of those starting in 2021. Given the upside of guys like Corcoran/Jurgens/Piper (easily potential nfl players), the depth to cover injuries and the fact you won’t play an overmatched player like Wilson or go through any Freshman growing pains, I take 2021 line in a heart-beat. I am personally all in on this group and think it will be the strength of the team by end of year as Corcoran and Piper continue to develop nearer to there potential with experience.

WR – My primary focus for spring game was whether Toure and Manning would be running with 1’s and past the eyeball test. Thankfully, check and check. While I loved productivity and toughness of Morgan and think Spiellman paired well with him the drop off to Warner was basically playing a non competitive player by big ten standards. I believe Morgan is the only player that starts in 2021 and Warner simply would not play. I also believe there is at least 1 future pro between Toure, Manning, Martin and Betts. Even unknown, I would take 2021 with hesitation after the Spring “game” and it is not Kool Aid drinking to be excited about the possibilities here.

TE – Same basic players as Seniors. This is a no brainer for 2021 even with Fidone injured.

RB – No depth in 2018 after Zig but a guy like him (Good to very good Big Ten Player) would take this offense to a different level in my opinion. I would take 2018 with Zig and Washington. I do believe that all we need to have great shot at West is a couple legit Big Ten backs (see Mills) that develop enough that Frost will use them and limit the QB carries. I believe it is reasonable to expect to big ten average backs to emerge from the group we have given the numbers and recruiting ranking and the fact I believe the line will give them an opportunity to be productive.

QB – Assuming health, I would take a fourth year guy over the freshman version every day. I think we are going to see a team that has real threats and at least one go to player at WR like Morgan in 2018 and a team that can run the ball effectively without Martinez like we could in 2018. I think in that scenario, Martinez is a wholly different threat when he is in run-pass situations in 2nd and 3rd down rather than the 2nd and 3rd and long we have seen the past two seasons. His best year was 2018 the only year he truly had a competent supporting cast and go to player at WR. I think we will see a roughly 20-25 percent improvement in Martinez from 2018 based on the talent he will have again and normal development.

So, two questions

1. Will the offensive talent around Martinez be worse, equal or better than 2018
2. What are your expectations for big ten rank for YPG-PPG based on your expectations

I am obviously on the side that talent will be appreciable better overall given the high-end ceiling of some of the guys we have and the fact we won’t have to play any uncompetitive players anywhere unless a rash of injuries occur. I think with this group of players Frost will be able to call the game he wants to call. I am predicting another #2 for YPG (behind OSU again like 2018) and #3 for PPG (2 spot improvement from 2018) with turnovers causing PPG to be slightly lower than YPG but big plays and better defense will offset most of gap we saw in 2018. I will take it a step further and say I think that is only a slightly optimistic and not a best-case projection based on my perception of talent and belief I still have that Frosts offense can be highly effective in the Big Ten with the right players and he does in fact have the right players now.
 

The_Glove_Man

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The big question mark is how the WR corps gels with Martinez. They are talented but inexperienced. If that comes together, this offense might start looking like we all thought it would. But if they aren't on the same page, Martinez will tally a lot more INTs this year and/or we will revert to the swing pass.
 

rrthusker

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I still have doubts about Martinez getting the ball consistently to his receivers. He struggles with reads, progressions and consistency.
The other worry I have is the staff. So far, 12-20 doesn’t instill confidence in me they can get the job done. Sure hope I’m wrong.
 

HominidHusker

Junior
Jun 25, 2018
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I believe the goal for this Staff and Roster should be to win the West. I also believe they can get that done and I don’t think this team has to play perfectly for that to happen either. I truly believe that is the talent/depth that has been accumulated and is now game ready relative to the rest of our Division makes this a reasonable goal and the 8-9 wins Moos noted is also a reasonable expectation for this team based on that game ready talent.

Obviously multiple things have to continue to develop for that team to exist on Saturday’s but I don’t think any of them are that far fetched.

1. Can the defense continue the marginal improvement that it has occured statistically in both PPG-YPG each of last 3 years. If we can get marginally tougher against the run again this year with the depth and experience we have in the interior by continuing to improve players and scheme I think its very likely this could be a top 4-5 in both PPG-YPG or another 2 spot improvement. Based on trends in growth of defensive staff and players over last 3 years, this is probably fairly reasonable expectation/hope for a fan.
2. Can this team be at least be Big Ten average in both special teams return and coverage units. Provide Dawson the practice time and access to players he needs and this will happen as its really not that difficult if focused on. I don’t think this will be overlooked in 2021 and will be fully addressed.
3. Lastly, can this be a top quarter of league offense which bring me to the question of do you expect the on-field talent-performance surrounding Martinez in 2021 to be better than 2018

In 2018 with what I believe was only slightly above average (By Big Standards) overall talent on offense paired with a Sieve for a defense Nebraska finished 2 in YPG and 5 in PPG in conference. PPG primarily lagging due to how much time defense was on field, TO margin being average (+1) and not having true home run threats that most high YPG offenses have which means you have to finish to many drives in red zone to get TD’s.

In 2018 excluding QB in discussion, we had 3 guys that were really good college players at that point in their careers in Farmer, Morgan and Ozigbo. We also didn’t have to play a whole lot of guys that simply weren’t very competitive that year which is equally important. Conrad was replaced early in the year at center and that really only left Warner/Wilson as players that were typically overmatched with Morgan/Spielmann thankfully staying healthy and covering up the glaring lack of game ready talent at WR outside of those two. I would also say as FR/So Stoll and Allen were not big ten ready either as blockers or receivers but were at least semi competitive at that point in their development.

So back to the question at hand and brief comparison of position group between 2021 and 2018


Oline - Its probably not a surprise that Farmer and Foster were 5.8/5.9 RR guys and anchored the last decent line we have had. We have three of those starting in 2021. Given the upside of guys like Corcoran/Jurgens/Piper (easily potential nfl players), the depth to cover injuries and the fact you won’t play an overmatched player like Wilson or go through any Freshman growing pains, I take 2021 line in a heart-beat. I am personally all in on this group and think it will be the strength of the team by end of year as Corcoran and Piper continue to develop nearer to there potential with experience.

WR – My primary focus for spring game was whether Toure and Manning would be running with 1’s and past the eyeball test. Thankfully, check and check. While I loved productivity and toughness of Morgan and think Spiellman paired well with him the drop off to Warner was basically playing a non competitive player by big ten standards. I believe Morgan is the only player that starts in 2021 and Warner simply would not play. I also believe there is at least 1 future pro between Toure, Manning, Martin and Betts. Even unknown, I would take 2021 with hesitation after the Spring “game” and it is not Kool Aid drinking to be excited about the possibilities here.

TE – Same basic players as Seniors. This is a no brainer for 2021 even with Fidone injured.

RB – No depth in 2018 after Zig but a guy like him (Good to very good Big Ten Player) would take this offense to a different level in my opinion. I would take 2018 with Zig and Washington. I do believe that all we need to have great shot at West is a couple legit Big Ten backs (see Mills) that develop enough that Frost will use them and limit the QB carries. I believe it is reasonable to expect to big ten average backs to emerge from the group we have given the numbers and recruiting ranking and the fact I believe the line will give them an opportunity to be productive.

QB – Assuming health, I would take a fourth year guy over the freshman version every day. I think we are going to see a team that has real threats and at least one go to player at WR like Morgan in 2018 and a team that can run the ball effectively without Martinez like we could in 2018. I think in that scenario, Martinez is a wholly different threat when he is in run-pass situations in 2nd and 3rd down rather than the 2nd and 3rd and long we have seen the past two seasons. His best year was 2018 the only year he truly had a competent supporting cast and go to player at WR. I think we will see a roughly 20-25 percent improvement in Martinez from 2018 based on the talent he will have again and normal development.

So, two questions

1. Will the offensive talent around Martinez be worse, equal or better than 2018
2. What are your expectations for big ten rank for YPG-PPG based on your expectations

I am obviously on the side that talent will be appreciable better overall given the high-end ceiling of some of the guys we have and the fact we won’t have to play any uncompetitive players anywhere unless a rash of injuries occur. I think with this group of players Frost will be able to call the game he wants to call. I am predicting another #2 for YPG (behind OSU again like 2018) and #3 for PPG (2 spot improvement from 2018) with turnovers causing PPG to be slightly lower than YPG but big plays and better defense will offset most of gap we saw in 2018. I will take it a step further and say I think that is only a slightly optimistic and not a best-case projection based on my perception of talent and belief I still have that Frosts offense can be highly effective in the Big Ten with the right players and he does in fact have the right players now.
Interesting take and optimistic, but not out of the question.
There’s just a big hill to climb right now and it’s really up to the coaches to prove they can develop this team.

One note: Our passing game last year was simply atrocious, and it will take more than 20-25% improvement at QB to get us anywhere.
AM is averaging less than 1 TD pass per game over the last two years. That needs to double to where he can account for 2+ per game in the air.
 

NYC-Husker

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I still have doubts about Martinez getting the ball consistently to his receivers. He struggles with reads, progressions and consistency.
The other worry I have is the staff. So far, 12-20 doesn’t instill confidence in me they can get the job done. Sure hope I’m wrong.

Agreed with this, also think the B1G is better going into 2021 relative to 2018, or at least the B1G west.
 
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poundth3rock

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The big question mark is how the WR corps gels with Martinez. They are talented but inexperienced. If that comes together, this offense might start looking like we all thought it would. But if they aren't on the same page, Martinez will tally a lot more INTs this year and/or we will revert to the swing pass.

I think the geling part will be fine with Toure (a guy like Toure can juts play) and Martin. I am honestly most concerned about Manning having setbacks in classroom or other off the field stuff that would prevent him from being on the field or practicing for extended periods. It is a great sign he has gotten this far, but I am definitely wait and see with him and obviously a target with that size and athleticism is vitally important.
 

Cornicator

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Agreed with this, also think the B1G is better going into 2021 relative to 2018, or at least the B1G west.


Not sure I agree:

Minnesota and Nebraska are the only two teams that you can say will definitively have deeper and better teams.

Wisconsin might have a better record because their schedule is easier in 2021, but I believe they will have a very similar team.

Iowa will be worse

Northwestern will be much worse. For instance they finished 8-1 vs. the Big Ten that season. I think they lose 5 games just vs. the West alone in 2021.

Ilinois might be better coached, but will still finish the season with 3 or 4 wins.

Purdue will be MUCH worse.
 
Not sure I agree:

Minnesota and Nebraska are the only two teams that you can say will definitively have deeper and better teams.

Wisconsin might have a better record because their schedule is easier in 2021, but I believe they will have a very similar team.

Iowa will be worse

Northwestern will be much worse. For instance they finished 8-1 vs. the Big Ten that season. I think they lose 5 games just vs. the West alone in 2021.

Ilinois might be better coached, but will still finish the season with 3 or 4 wins.

Purdue will be MUCH worse.

QB play is very important.

Wisconsin returns plenty of players, but the running back room, edge or pass rush in 2020 and overall play may not be as strong as Badgers teams that won 4 of first 7 B1G West titles.

Key player for Badgers 2021 O-Line

JACK NELSON, OG, WISCONSIN​

(Photo: 247Sports)
9604446.jpg

Nelson has put on nearly 25 pounds since arriving in Madison, checking in this spring at 6-foot-7, 297 pounds. He’s got a new position, too. Nelson slid inside to guard this spring as Wisconsin attempted to get its five best linemen on the field. Now, Nelson is a redshirt freshman in what projects as otherwise an all-senior starting offensive line. Nelson won't likely be a guard long term. There’s a reason why 247Sports rated the Stoughton, Wisconsin native a five-star recruit. But for now, he projects as a rare underclassman lineman to crack the Badgers’ starting five.

Still Badgers are the clear team to beat based on body of work year in and year out. One lone loss to Gophers, so hard to get too high on PJ Fleck's team.

Northwestern may have the best QB again in 2021 in the B1G West compared to Wisconsin. Ryan Hilinski was rated higher than Graham Mertz by some, when they were coming out of high school.

Nebraska will likely face the best player in that QB class with their trip to Norman in 2021.

Minnesota was awful against the run in 2020. QB Tanner Morgan wasn't good either. WR room has changed from 7-2 crew in 2019, as is top playmakers on defense.

Minnesota

"Tanner Morgan looked like the next great Big Ten quarterback in 2019. In 2020, he looked like merely another Big Ten quarterback."

We shall see with Iowa. If they reload in the trenches, the Hawkeyes should be capable. Back 7 is strong on defense and they should be competitive, if O-Line gels. Special teams should be good to very good.

Key player for Iowa in 2021:

YAHYA BLACK, DT, IOWA​

(Photo: Joseph Cress, USA TODAY Sports)
10384895.jpg

Black has put on 29 pounds since arriving on campus. Now a 6-foot-5, 279-pound defensive tackle – he spent most of his true freshman campaign at defensive end – with the athletic ability of someone who played basketball and track in high school, Black projects as a starter for the Hawkeyes as a replacement for Daviyon Nixon.

“Very impressed,” Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker said when asked about Black's play, per Hawkeye Insider.

“Black is going to play. He could probably play outside and inside. Right now, we’ve put him inside as a tackle. I think he’s done a really good job, really mature. It was nice to have him in there last year. He was a little bit young, but it gave him a chance to get out there. Now I think it’s really good for him during the spring. He’s lined up as a No. 1 right now, and we’re very happy with what direction he’s going into.”

Purdue and Illinois will seek to be spoilers. QB play will determine how effective.


* 8-6 in 2012

Nebraska is an unknown.

So much hype over Scott Frost hire. He will give Iowa a very good game again, after two ended on winning FGs for Iowa.

Iowa has third FG kicker, so maybe a third one in 2021?

Game of inches, but enough has been shared in plenty of threads about how Scott Frost's first three seasons have unfolded.

QB play is a huge key in B1G West and throughout the Big Ten, College Football. Look at Iowa State and Purdy. 7-6 in 2019 and 9-3 in 2020, but the Louisiana game is a reminder of any given Saturday ....

Week 0 will kick off 2021 Big Ten West. QB play will be a key dynamic.

 
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poundth3rock

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Interesting take and optimistic, but not out of the question.
There’s just a big hill to climb right now and it’s really up to the coaches to prove they can develop this team.

One note: Our passing game last year was simply atrocious, and it will take more than 20-25% improvement at QB to get us anywhere.
AM is averaging less than 1 TD pass per game over the last two years. That needs to double to where he can account for 2+ per game in the air.

Agree 100% with improvement we will need to see from last year and possible even higher percentages that that.

I would add that I believe we have already seen this staff and QB field an offense and passing game that was good enough to win the West. That 2018 offense when paired with a top half of the league defense which we will likely have and adequate special team is every bit as good if not better than Northwestern, Wisconsin or Iowa were last year and could win the West some years.

In addition to the impact we have seen directly with Martinez the one year he had legit WR talent a another strong example of the impact significant change in WR talent can have at QB is Tanner Morgan. 170 passer rating in 2019 with a really effective running game and two 1000 yard receivers in Johnson and Bateman. Following year running game only slightly less effective but is without Johnson and Batemen much of year and rating drops to 128 (lower than any Martinez rating).

That was not regression, but 100 result of significant drop off in players around him, particularly at WR. We won't have a combination at WR like that but I believe improvement from Warner/Faulk and 1/2 of Robinson to Manning, Toure and Martin (and possibly Betts) will be every bit as impactful to Martinez as the loss of those players was to Morgan and I believe he is also going to benefit from a much better running game putting him in better 2nd /3rd down situations.

We absolutely should improve 20-30 percent from 2020 in passing game without any direct improvement from coaching or Martinez simply by replacing walkons with high level scholarship athletes at WR. Hopefully we see improvement from supporting cast, Martinez and Frost all at same time and we get that 20-30% jump from the 2018 numbers (2600, 17 td and 8 int) to (3000+, 22+ and 6 or less). If we could get in that range with a top half of league defense 2021 will see fun Husker football again.
 

Husker.Wed.

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The Spring Game showed me that for the first time since Riley took over the team is talented and fairly deep at every position with no alarming deficiencies except QB proficiency and depth. The jury is still out on being able to kickoff into the endzone and punting, and an effective pass rush remains to be seen.

If 2AM can make good decisions, not throw picks, throw accurately, stay healthy, and hang onto the ball; and if Frost lets go of being offensive coordinator and assumes a CEO role; and if special teams aren't a disaster again, then we might be surprised. Unfortunately, those are big "ifs".
 

scarletred

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I still have doubts about Martinez getting the ball consistently to his receivers. He struggles with reads, progressions and consistency.
The other worry I have is the staff. So far, 12-20 doesn’t instill confidence in me they can get the job done. Sure hope I’m wrong.
Two of the biggest disappointments with SF and staff has been very poor special teams regardless if of if the kickers screwed up while play golf and very poor discipline on the offensive line with illegal procedure penalties and personal fouls in the defensive backfield..
 

John_J_Rambo

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How much of our 2018 ‘offense’ came in garbage time?

We make very few winning plays, and I think simply pairing that total offense, which was mostly hollow, with a better defense is a fool’s errand.

Ball control and defense is our only way forward. AM has proven he is incapable of overpowering anyone, save for perhaps the dregs of this already poor league of ours.
 

poundth3rock

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How much of our 2018 ‘offense’ came in garbage time?

We make very few winning plays, and I think simply pairing that total offense, which was mostly hollow, with a better defense is a fool’s errand.

Ball control and defense is our only way forward. AM has proven he is incapable of overpowering anyone, save for perhaps the dregs of this already poor league of ours.
I dont believe any.

Only real blowout was Michigan and we lost by a bit to Wisconsin but didn't score a bunch late in either

The improvement in competitiveness from 2017 to 2018 was significant.
 
How Martinez does=how NU does

Certainly very important, but special teams and health/depth on defense will be important in end too.

Ultimately, Scott Frost needs all three phases playing well, including:

 

scarletred

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Certainly very important, but special teams and health/depth on defense will be important in end too.

Ultimately, Scott Frost needs all three phases playing well, including:



Two of the biggest disappointments with SF and staff has been very poor special teams regardless if of if the kickers screwed up while play golf and very poor discipline on the offensive line with illegal procedure penalties and personal fouls in the defensive backfield..

I’ve covered the subject!
 

huskerfan66

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Certainly very important, but special teams and health/depth on defense will be important in end too.

Ultimately, Scott Frost needs all three phases playing well, including:

Won't disagree. Improved special teams would be welcome and Yuge. I'm just going to say all things being the same, Martinez play will determine how we do. Coach Frost is going to ride with him the whole season imo
 
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scarletred

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Been to old Memorial Stadium, the old MetroDome and Bloomington over the years.

Remember watching the 1983 game against those Gophers.


I was there that night also.. Had a family reunion in Minneapolis, Grandparents moved from Fullerton Nebraska to Minnesota to farm back decades ago and majority of the family’s are from either Nebraska or Minnesota..

Grandparents had 11 children..Been to Three Nebraska/ Gopher games at the Metro dome..
 
Won't disagree. Improved special teams would be welcome and Yuge. I'm just going to say all things being the same, Martinez play will determine how we do. Coach Frost is going to ride with him the whole season imo

QB play determines a lot of programs success no question.

Wisconsin needs a solid running back room.

Minnesota's run defense and defense in 2020 was awful.

Iowa and Northwestern lost key players to NFL draft and free agency.

Jeff Brohm has a revolving door at defensive coordinator.

Bret Bielema is back in the Big Ten.

It should be fun.

Does Ryan Day stay undefeated and do the Buckeyes and Big Ten have a CFP candidate(s) for 2021?

Oklahoma in 2020 could be OSU in 2021?
 

SOHusker11

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I was there that night also.. Had a family reunion in Minneapolis, Grandparents moved from Fullerton Nebraska to Minnesota to farm back decades ago and majority of the family’s are from either Nebraska or Minnesota..

Grandparents had 11 children..Been to Three Nebraska/ Gopher games at the Metro dome..
Fullerton eh. Live about an hour away.
 
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John_J_Rambo

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I dont believe any.

Only real blowout was Michigan and we lost by a bit to Wisconsin but didn't score a bunch late in either

The improvement in competitiveness from 2017 to 2018 was significant.
I'm not talking about 'scoring a bunch' (remember the ppg stuff?)

I'd be willing to bet at least 30% of our 2018 total offense came while down by multiple scores
 

poundth3rock

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I'm not talking about 'scoring a bunch' (remember the ppg stuff?)

I'd be willing to bet at least 30% of our 2018 total offense came while down by multiple scores
Fair enough.

Last seven games were one score games

There was a stretch early with Wiscy, Michigan and Perdue where about 45 points were scored in your scenario or about 12.5%.

I still believe it is a valid point and not driven at all by garbage points
 

JaySker402

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I HOPE that the biggest issue with AM is that he has felt he has had to do it himself. Hopefully with a better supporting cast, he won’t feel he has to and force things. When he starts trying to do it all, it can go south quickly
 
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John_J_Rambo

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Fair enough.

Last seven games were one score games

There was a stretch early with Wiscy, Michigan and Perdue where about 45 points were scored in your scenario or about 12.5%.

I still believe it is a valid point and not driven at all by garbage points
Again, I’m not talking about points, but yards.

You know, what you were basing your entire argument on.

We racked up a lot of yards while behind by 10+ points in 2018. Hence, the hollow totals, hence, the hollow strawman you’ve put forth.

Whether the talent around Martinez is (marginally) better really means very little when Martinez is the crux of the offense.

Putting a Ferrari body on a vw rabbit doesn’t make the car any more powerful.
 

Oldie but goodie

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Agreed with this, also think the B1G is better going into 2021 relative to 2018, or at least the B1G west.
I actually was kind of thinking the opposite as it relates to BIG 10 West. I think IA and Wiscy will be down a bit (forget Wisky last year), Norhwestern way down, Purdue maybe the same or worse, Ilini new coaching first game. Minnesota who knows. There is no reason to think that if we really have the talent most of us think we might, why we would lose more than a game or two in the division. Throw in a shaky MI team and I could see 8-9 wins regular season.
Let's hope!
 

poundth3rock

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I HOPE that the biggest issue with AM is that he has felt he has had to do it himself. Hopefully with a better supporting cast, he won’t feel he has to and force things. When he starts trying
Again, I’m not talking about points, but yards.

You know, what you were basing your entire argument on.

We racked up a lot of yards while behind by 10+ points in 2018. Hence, the hollow totals, hence, the hollow strawman you’ve put forth.

Whether the talent around Martinez is (marginally) better really means very little when Martinez is the crux of the offense.

Putting a Ferrari body on a vw rabbit doesn’t make the car any more powerful.

My arguement was actually yards and points which where 2nd and 5th in 2018. I indicated that I thought talent would be even better in 2021 and that yards would stay and 2 and points would move to 3 as a result of better defense (offense on field more) and more big plays with wide reciever resulting in PPG closing the gap from 2018. Its long but you can re-read if you need too.

I have looked at it. We simply did not wrack up our PPG and YPG yard because the Michigan, Wisconson and Purdue stretch that was uncompetitive. In fact the PPG and YPG were 450 and 30 overall but 478 and 37 (that would be 2nd) in the last 7 games when team went 4-3 and every game was 1 score and only had one non con to boost those numbers. That was driving the overall PPG-YPG in 2018 not some my mythical garbage time yardage and scoring crap you keep bringing up. We could easily adjust the yardage and points in those games based on what you think they would have been had the game been close but you and I both know that would not have changed the answer based on the impact the last 7 games had once they got the guys playing after the Martinez injury

I think you have a narrative that this goes against a potential conclusion that could be drawn from this and are simply unwilling to even consider anything else. Frost has multiple top 10 offenses as a coordinator. He had the number one scoring offense and won coach of the year honors as a HC at UFC. He statistically had a Top 2 and 5 YPG-PPG offense the one year he had roughly average game ready big ten talent with Martinez. Its perfectly reasonable for an optimistic person to take those things and be very hopeful about offense in 2021 based on talent both will have to work with. I would personally be very suprised if PPG and YPG are not in top 4 in 2021


So forget all your arguments for a second and answer the question I did

1. is the talent in 2018 worse, equal or better
2. what do you expect NU YPG and PPG rank to be for 2021.
 
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Tuco Salamanca

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"we" need to stop including Jurgens star rating when discussing the OL. He was rated as a TE. When he came to Nebraska absolutely no one, who deals with ratings. thought he was moving to the OL.

So Nebraska has two 4 star OL and a 4 star TE playing Center. Thanks.
 
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red scowl

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I believe the goal for this Staff and Roster should be to win the West. I also believe they can get that done and I don’t think this team has to play perfectly for that to happen either. I truly believe that is the talent/depth that has been accumulated and is now game ready relative to the rest of our Division makes this a reasonable goal and the 8-9 wins Moos noted is also a reasonable expectation for this team based on that game ready talent.

Obviously multiple things have to continue to develop for that team to exist on Saturday’s but I don’t think any of them are that far fetched.

1. Can the defense continue the marginal improvement that it has occured statistically in both PPG-YPG each of last 3 years. If we can get marginally tougher against the run again this year with the depth and experience we have in the interior by continuing to improve players and scheme I think its very likely this could be a top 4-5 in both PPG-YPG or another 2 spot improvement. Based on trends in growth of defensive staff and players over last 3 years, this is probably fairly reasonable expectation/hope for a fan.
2. Can this team be at least be Big Ten average in both special teams return and coverage units. Provide Dawson the practice time and access to players he needs and this will happen as its really not that difficult if focused on. I don’t think this will be overlooked in 2021 and will be fully addressed.
3. Lastly, can this be a top quarter of league offense which bring me to the question of do you expect the on-field talent-performance surrounding Martinez in 2021 to be better than 2018

In 2018 with what I believe was only slightly above average (By Big Standards) overall talent on offense paired with a Sieve for a defense Nebraska finished 2 in YPG and 5 in PPG in conference. PPG primarily lagging due to how much time defense was on field, TO margin being average (+1) and not having true home run threats that most high YPG offenses have which means you have to finish to many drives in red zone to get TD’s.

In 2018 excluding QB in discussion, we had 3 guys that were really good college players at that point in their careers in Farmer, Morgan and Ozigbo. We also didn’t have to play a whole lot of guys that simply weren’t very competitive that year which is equally important. Conrad was replaced early in the year at center and that really only left Warner/Wilson as players that were typically overmatched with Morgan/Spielmann thankfully staying healthy and covering up the glaring lack of game ready talent at WR outside of those two. I would also say as FR/So Stoll and Allen were not big ten ready either as blockers or receivers but were at least semi competitive at that point in their development.

So back to the question at hand and brief comparison of position group between 2021 and 2018


Oline - Its probably not a surprise that Farmer and Foster were 5.8/5.9 RR guys and anchored the last decent line we have had. We have three of those starting in 2021. Given the upside of guys like Corcoran/Jurgens/Piper (easily potential nfl players), the depth to cover injuries and the fact you won’t play an overmatched player like Wilson or go through any Freshman growing pains, I take 2021 line in a heart-beat. I am personally all in on this group and think it will be the strength of the team by end of year as Corcoran and Piper continue to develop nearer to there potential with experience.

WR – My primary focus for spring game was whether Toure and Manning would be running with 1’s and past the eyeball test. Thankfully, check and check. While I loved productivity and toughness of Morgan and think Spiellman paired well with him the drop off to Warner was basically playing a non competitive player by big ten standards. I believe Morgan is the only player that starts in 2021 and Warner simply would not play. I also believe there is at least 1 future pro between Toure, Manning, Martin and Betts. Even unknown, I would take 2021 with hesitation after the Spring “game” and it is not Kool Aid drinking to be excited about the possibilities here.

TE – Same basic players as Seniors. This is a no brainer for 2021 even with Fidone injured.

RB – No depth in 2018 after Zig but a guy like him (Good to very good Big Ten Player) would take this offense to a different level in my opinion. I would take 2018 with Zig and Washington. I do believe that all we need to have great shot at West is a couple legit Big Ten backs (see Mills) that develop enough that Frost will use them and limit the QB carries. I believe it is reasonable to expect to big ten average backs to emerge from the group we have given the numbers and recruiting ranking and the fact I believe the line will give them an opportunity to be productive.

QB – Assuming health, I would take a fourth year guy over the freshman version every day. I think we are going to see a team that has real threats and at least one go to player at WR like Morgan in 2018 and a team that can run the ball effectively without Martinez like we could in 2018. I think in that scenario, Martinez is a wholly different threat when he is in run-pass situations in 2nd and 3rd down rather than the 2nd and 3rd and long we have seen the past two seasons. His best year was 2018 the only year he truly had a competent supporting cast and go to player at WR. I think we will see a roughly 20-25 percent improvement in Martinez from 2018 based on the talent he will have again and normal development.

So, two questions

1. Will the offensive talent around Martinez be worse, equal or better than 2018
2. What are your expectations for big ten rank for YPG-PPG based on your expectations

I am obviously on the side that talent will be appreciable better overall given the high-end ceiling of some of the guys we have and the fact we won’t have to play any uncompetitive players anywhere unless a rash of injuries occur. I think with this group of players Frost will be able to call the game he wants to call. I am predicting another #2 for YPG (behind OSU again like 2018) and #3 for PPG (2 spot improvement from 2018) with turnovers causing PPG to be slightly lower than YPG but big plays and better defense will offset most of gap we saw in 2018. I will take it a step further and say I think that is only a slightly optimistic and not a best-case projection based on my perception of talent and belief I still have that Frosts offense can be highly effective in the Big Ten with the right players and he does in fact have the right players now.

I doubt it. They were proven players except for Ozigbo. Time for Held to up his game. Lubick is also in the question. We hired an offensive staff, but our best players are on defense.

I'm more bullish on the oline than most, our wide outs and running backs are key. (can we deveIop some) I think Martinez is a servicable B1G qb. I think he needs help on the field and from the sideline.
 

poundth3rock

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"we" need to stop including Jurgens star rating when discussing the OL. He was rated as a TE. When he came to Nebraska absolutely no one, who deals with ratings. thought he was moving to the OL.

So Nebraska has to 4 star OL and a 4 star TE playing Center. Thanks.

So you have a guy athletic enough to be a 4 star TE and have a 30+ inch vertical leap and is finally big enough to play in Big Ten at offensive line. Honestly, I would argue the potential at center is higher and four star rating is also relevant to offensive line now. Maybe not 2 years ago when he was lucky to weight 270 but that rating is absolutely relevant to discussion of expectations.
 

red scowl

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"we" need to stop including Jurgens star rating when discussing the OL. He was rated as a TE. When he came to Nebraska absolutely no one, who deals with ratings. thought he was moving to the OL.

So Nebraska has to 4 star OL and a 4 star TE playing Center. Thanks.

"we" need to stop including Jurgens star rating when discussing the OL. He was rated as a TE. When he came to Nebraska absolutely no one, who deals with ratings. thought he was moving to the OL.

So Nebraska has to 4 star OL and a 4 star TE playing Center. Thanks.

What kind of tight end would he be?
 

Tuco Salamanca

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So you have a guy athletic enough to be a 4 star TE and have a 30+ inch vertical leap and is finally big enough to play in Big Ten at offensive line. Honestly, I would argue the potential at center is higher and four star rating is also relevant to offensive line now. Maybe not 2 years ago when he was lucky to weight 270 but that rating is absolutely relevant to discussion of expectations.
Is anyone going to draft him as a 6'3" 300lb TE? No

That is like listing Johnny Stanton as a 4 star fullback or linebacker. He was a 4 star QB, that was moved to FB.
 
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