Tim Beck didn't have the most impressive resume when Bo Pelini put his reputation on the line by hiring his fellow buddy who also happened to also go to the same high school, Cardinal Mooney in Ohio, that Pelini attended. Beck's first season in Lincoln, NE received mixed reviews. Nebraska averaged 217 yards per game on the ground, but still seemed to struggle in the biggest games of the season. In the Huskers four losses, the team averaged just 139 yards rushing per game.
Heading into 2012 fans still question whether Beck can do the job. Were the shortcomings of the offense a result of implementing a new offense, was it having a quarterback that isn't comfortable throwing or was it a poor scheme that just won't work at the major college football level? I really do think Beck has what it takes to be successful. If quarterback Taylor Martinez is really as improved as people are speculating, I think the multiplicity of the offense will really start to show. The Huskers already have a good downhill running game with bruising running back Rex Burkhead. They have the speedy backs that can stretch defenses from sideline to sideline. Imagine what defenses will be dealing with if they have to worry about Martinez stretching the field vertically to one of the best groups of receivers in the Big 10. In a Sports Illustrated article, players and coaches said they have a lot more to unveil this season after having to hold some back in year one of the offense. Beck actually did run some plays that have not been seen in football, as far as I know. The read option is becoming increasingly popular, but Beck took that to a second level as they would first run the read option and if the quarterback gave it to the halfback to the outside, the halfback actually had a pitch man to run a second option. It worked great, but it was ran only a couple of times. I am sure the timing wasn't quite there yet, but if the Huskers can run that with increasing frequency as well as throw in some more new wrinkles, it will give defenses so much to prepare for.
I firmly believe that this could be a break out year if Martinez has improved the consistency in his passing game. If not, there is only so much an offensive coordinator can do. An inept passing game can tie the hands of Beck and limit the options leading to a more predictable offense that is easier to contain. If Martinez isn't the answer at quarterback, I think once Beck gets a quarterback that is better in the pocket the true offense will be revealed. Regardless, Beck will have his chances to open things up a little more this season. Pelini has to trust Beck if this offense has any chance to reach an elite level.
Kevin was born in Lincoln, NE so naturally grew up a being a Nebraska Cornhusker fan.
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