All year round, 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.
In Thursday's episode, Carriker welcomes a special guest to give his three keys to the Huskers' season-opening matchup with Arkansas State and makes his prediction for the game.
Here's a transcript of today's show:
"Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people’s show and today, I’m joined by a very, very lovely guest. Hey Dakota, can you say hi?
Can you wave? Can you wave?
All right, let’s dive right into it. I’m checking the pulse of Husker Nation and ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a football game. About 48 hours away at this point, the time I’m recording this. Let’s breakdown our opponent a little bit shall we?
Let’s look at Arkansas State. They are a two-time Sun Belt champ the past two years in a row. No stranger to ball game, no strangers to big game atmospheres as well. At USC, at Auburn, some of their non-conference scheduled games the past couple years.
They have what many consider to be the best front seven coming into this year in the Sun Belt Conference led by Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, a Sun Belt player of the year last year, who had 13-1/2 sacks last year he led the nation and he could possibly break the NCAA record this season.
Now my three keys to the game. Start up front with the offensive line. They’ve got a lot of potential this year. We have four guys with returning experience. We have some young guys who had to wait to play. The redshirt is gone. They’re young. They’re talented. We have the opportunity for depth. Potential to be one of the better o-lines we’ve had in recent Husker memory. They’ve had some struggles against the D-line in practice. I hope that’s cause the D-line is gonna be really good this year, but it’s all about protecting Tanner Lee. It’s all about opening up the running game for the running backs up front, beating that front seven of Arkansas State.
Number two, Tanner Lee. The guy’s confident. He has leadership qualities, voted a captain. He has experience, 19 starts. It’s gonna be a little bit bigger stage than he’s used to playing on a consistent basis. A little more pressure, but he is that pro-style quarterback we have been looking for. Now, he threw 23 touchdowns while he was at Tulane, but also 21 interceptions. He did not have a whole lot of help from his defense, so he was having to try and score a lot of points. In this first game, I simply want to see him lead the team, move the chains on a consistent basis and take care of the football.
All right, my third key to the game, the 3-4 defense, the Blackshirts. We finally get to see it. The spring game was 4-2-5, we finally get to see that 3-4 and Bob Diaco make their debut. For me it’s all about fundamentals. With a brand-new scheme. Oh, I cannot forget to mention Charlie McBride heard that I interviewed Coach Osborne on the show. He’s like, 'Well, when do I get to come on, Adam?' Well, if Charlie McBride wants to come on the show, he’s gonna come on the show. So, he’s gonna be joining me next Tuesday for my weekly interview. We’ll start the player of the week interviews the week after that for my weekly interview. Breaking down the 3-4 defense and the Blackshirts’ debut with Bob Diaco, so don’t miss that interview on Tuesday.
But this Saturday for me against Arkansas State is all about fundamentals. It’s a new scheme. You wanna see guys doing things the right way. They’re gonna grow and improve throughout this entire year. But in this first game, tackling. Tackling for me, it's about tackling. We’ve had some trouble tackling the past few years. Wrap guys up. I wanna see them punch some guys in the mouth, be physical. Arkansas State has a pretty good quarterback: four-star recruit, transfer from Oklahoma, returning starter from last year, Justice Hansen. So we gotta get some pressure on him. But fundamentals and tackling are the main things for me.
How do I see it playing out. Honestly, I kind of see it being the tale of two halves. I see the first half being a lot closer than most Husker fans would like to see it be, but I do see the Huskers pulling away in the second half. With a final score maybe a little bit lower than some might think, but 31-14. My kids, I’m having a competition with them, and I’m just now seeing for the first time. They got together, put their heads together with mom, 37-10. Throughout the season we will see who gets more games and predictions right, my kids or me. I sure hope it is me, or I’m gonna be in trouble.
Now, I did forget to mention that Arkansas State lost 12 of 22 starters last year, and they are 1-7 in the month of September the past couple of years. Now, they’ve played some good teams, but I consider this to be a good omen because I consider Nebraska to be a pretty good team.
Now, my shirt. It’s a Children’s Hospital shirt. If you know the story of Dakota, I’m gonna make it really short. She really got really sick about a month ago, really quick. She had to be emergency airlifted via helicopter to Children’s Hospital, emergency procedure. They saved her life. Long week in the hospital, mentally, physically, all those things. So I wanted to show some love to Children’s Hospital because this little girl right here means the world to me, and they helped to save her life.
All right, sign up for the email notifications. Go Big Red. Nice. Remember to throw the bones. Can you throw the bones? See ya."