Only two Nebraska football players were invited to the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine. But Billy Devaney defended the program’s talent level.
In a story by Lincoln Journal Star’s Steven Sipple, Devaney, the executive director of player personnel, said he thought the Huskers had enough talent to win the division. In fact, the only game where talent looked far behind was with Ohio State. The Buckeyes rolled the Huskers 62-3 in a game in which QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. suffered a head injury.
“It was like, ‘Oh, God,'” he said. “I was very concerned,” Sipple quotes Devaney.
The Ohio State loss was one of four for Nebraska this season as the Huskers finished 9-4. Nebraska also lost to Wisconsin, Iowa and Tennessee. The Huskers lost to Wisconsin by 6 in overtime, to Iowa by 30 and to Tennessee (Music City Bowl) by 14.
As Sipple reports, it’s the Hawkeyes game that stood out to Devaney.
“Wisconsin, obviously, was a pretty balanced team, but it was a good matchup. The Iowa game, that was bullsh–. There was no way in the world that should have happened.
“Even Tennessee, yeah, they were athletic. But I thought there were other places that we should’ve competed better, where we matched up well. Ohio State was the only game where I thought the talent gap was noticeable.”
It’s not the first time a high-ranking Husker has used the Hawkeyes as a point of reference. In 2014, Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst fired coach Bo Pelini even after the win against Iowa. When asked if the game’s conclusion was a factor in the decision, Eichorst said: “In the final analysis, I had to evaluate where Iowa was.”
Nebraska’s Devaney defends talent level
Devaney: Nebraska's talent level wasn't an issue in 2016 — except against Ohio State https://t.co/bghhPIKr9W
— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) February 15, 2017