Posted on: October 12, 2011 3:52 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The Nebraska defense took a major hit on Wednesday, as senior defensive tackle and All-American candidate Jared Crick was ruled out for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Crick had been All-Big 12 over the last two seasons, and was named the Big Ten preseason defensive player of the year by league media. The unfortunate announcement was made by coach Bo Pelini in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“I feel extremely bad for Jared,” Pelini said. “He is a young man who has represented this program in a first-class manner throughout his career.”
The loss hits Nebraska especially hard, as Crick had been a bright spot on an otherwise underachieving defensive line. As a whole, the Nebraska defensive line had registered just 7.5 tackles for loss on the entire year, with Crick contributing 2.5 of TFLs. As a whole, the Nebraska defense is currently ranked 80th nationwide in rushing defense, an effort that begins with the line. Without Crick, those numbers could continue to suffer.
What's especially shocking is that Nebraska wasn't just supposed to have a good defense this year, it was supposed to have the best defense in the Big Ten. That hasn't been the case by any stretch even with a completely healthy front four, so unless Crick's injury forces the rest of the defense to elevate its collective game in response (a plea that DC Carl Pelini has undoubtedly already made to his players), the Husker defense looks extremely vulnerable for the rest of the season.
Crick is likely to be replaced in the starting lineup by senior Terrence Moore, though sophomore Thaddeus Randle and freshman Chase Rome are also now in line to see increased snaps.
Posted on: October 4, 2011 3:27 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
By all accounts, the most lopsided matchup in the Big Ten on Saturday was Michigan's 58-0 crushing of Minnesota. Second place: Wisconsin beating Nebraska by 31 points. And with the bronze medal, we have the story of Nebraska DT Chase Rome, who did an admirable job of exerting his dominance and imposing his will on a most worthy opponent: a paper towel dispenser at the Madison airport, hours after the Cornhuskers lost to the Badgers.
Unfortunately, we don't have video of the 6'3", 295-pound Rome beating the metaphorical snot out of an inanimate object, but we do have the next best thing: a police record, since the incident landed Rome a ticket from the Dane County sheriffs:
On the "What A Big Man You Are" scale, where 1 is giving somebody a sympathetic hug and 10 is leaving anonymous comments on the Internet threatening to beat up anybody who disagrees with you, Rome's assault on the doomed towel dispenser is at least an 8.5. If he yelled insults at the dispenser at any point in the process, though, we're creeping up into the 9 range.
There's been no mention of disciplinary action against Rome that's gone through Nebraska's RapidReports feed as yet, and that's probably fine; as crimes go, Rome's is awfully minor, and the exact type of situation that would merit extra conditioning drills for a considerable amount of time (as long as it's the player's first offense against team rules or the law, anyway). We don't want to see football players thinking it's okay to vandalize bathrooms -- or really anything, for that matter -- but we also don't want to see the hammer dropped on players for the type of insignificant, impulsive behavior that has typified young men their age for time immemorial.