All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Thursday's episode, Adam Carriker discusses Nebraska's improving offense, strong defense and its inconsistent special teams unit. Carriker also gives his predictions for Nebraska's matchup with Illinois, his keys to victory and more.
When Adam Carriker talks, you'll want to listen. Get every episode of the "Carriker Chronicles" in your inbox.
Here's a transcript of today's show:
Adam Carriker: Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show. Another prediction Thursday episode brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital, and just as we do each and every Thursday throughout the Husker season, each and every year, one of my beautiful children who thank god look like their mother joins me, and today I'm joined by my daughter Addison. Can you say hi, Addison?
Adam Carriker: She's not excited to be on this show at all. So, full disclosure, Addison has been asking to be on this show for a while, and if you watch my show you would know that each of my twins has been on the past couple weeks. And I was like, you know we're going to have to, because of her schedule, because she does volleyball, she does softball. You know, I was like, we're going to have to record this earlier than normal. So, as a result, we do not know who won at this moment in time, Nebraska versus Stanford in volleyball.
Addison, if Nebraska won, what do you have to say?
Addison: Go Big Red! Number one!
Adam Carriker: All right. All right. Now, what if Stanford won?
Addison: We'll see you later, Stanford.
Adam Carriker: We probably will see them again in the NCAA tournament, maybe in that national championship match again. All right. I know you love some football. She tolerates football on the weekends so well. Should we talk a little football? Is it all right if it's Nebraska football?
Addison: Fine, but you do all the talking.
Adam Carriker: Okay, I'll do all the talking. Here are my three keys to a Husker victory this Saturday over Illinois, the 's' is silent. All right. Number one, offense, keep improving. That first game versus South Alabama, let's be honest, they frankly weren't great and that's putting it kind of nicely. The next week versus Colorado, they looked really really good until the very end of the game, and then versus Northern Illinois, who is a better team than most people give them credit for. Still not a power five team, I get it, they looked much improved and better and better.
You look at Maurice Washington. Wow. All right, speed, dynamic. You look at Dedrick Mills, they are a great 1-2 lightning and thunder punch. Adrian Martinez, still not quite himself, but he's gradually improving and getting better. Let's just see an improvement on offense.
Defensively, my second key, number two: Could the Blackshirts possibly be back? They have been playing really well so far this year, forcing nine turnovers, holding their opponents to — one of the top-ten rush defenses in the country — holding their opponents to under three yards a carry. As a defense, your goal is always under four. They're holding them under three, and they even held an opponent this year to 1.8 yards per carry earlier this season.
I feel the reason this team still has a chance to be very successful — it's a very young season ladies and gentlemen, things can go either way, let's see what happens — but the reason I feel that we have a chance to be successful is that defense. All right. The ability to force turnovers and stop the run game, which is kind of important in the Big Ten conference.
Last, but certainly not least, the special teams, key to victory. The special teams need to be a little less box office. In other words, they need to be a little less entertaining. Every time special teams comes on the screen, I feel like I need to get my popcorn because I don't know what's going to happen. We returned a punt for a touchdown, we blocked a couple of punts, we have also had two field goals blocked, an extra point blocked, we missed a game-tying field goal in overtime, we missed a 30-yard field goal. Its been good, its been bad. A little less entertainment on the special teams, unless of course, we're getting the ball. That's what I'd like to see, a little less box office out of our special teams. At least when we're on offense, let's just make the field goal and make the good punt and all that good stuff.
All right, so last week, my kids predicted a bigger spread against Northern Illinois than I did, so they win the belt. The shiny gold spinny belt. I need WWE to send me a new one. They haven't had the spinny belt in a few years. That's a legit belt from the WWE by the way. All right.
My prediction for Illinois versus Nebraska: 38-17... Nebraska, come on people. All right, Addison, what is your prediction for the game? You're representing the entire family, lots of pressure here, what's your prediction?
Adam Carriker: Illinois winning?
Adam Carriker: It says Nebraska right there. I'm just messing with you, all right. Did you have fun today? All right. Well, thanks for joining me. Thanks for working me into your very very busy schedule, I truly appreciate it. Can you give me a hug?
All right. Until next time Husker nation, Go Big Red, and always remember...
Addison: To throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.
Husker History: Nebraska football's 25 most common opponents
Who are the Huskers' biggest gridiron rivals? Check out a photo collection featuring Nebraska's 25 most-faced opponents, and be sure to follow Husker History on Twitter for more tidbits about NU's storied football history.