February 2, 2007

Year in Review: Defensive line

Heading into the season no position looked stronger on paper than Nebraska's defensive line. The Huskers returned several key d-linemen of a front four that led the nation with 50 sacks in 12 games in 2005.

NU's front four didn't disappoint in 2006, but their sacks numbers were considerably lower compared to 2005. Nebraska finished with a total of 31 sacks in 14 games, but a big reason for that is defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove rarely blitzed his linebackers due to NU's inexperience in the secondary.

Cosgrove's scheme relied solely on a four man rush up front and this limited the sack numbers for the entire defense.

Defensive ends Adam Carriker and Jay Moore put up respectable sack numbers in 2006, but nothing like they did in 2005. NU will probably never have a sack year like 2005 again. To get 50 sacks in 12 games is unheard of.

The high points

Early on Carriker looked almost a step slow. He was in on several plays, but he was coming up empty in the sack category.

However, by the time Nebraska got to their key stretch run in October and November, Carriker showed why he was considered one of the best defensive end prospects in the country.

Moore also finished strong in 2006 and arguably played equally as good as Carriker. When you line up next to a player like Carriker, somebody like Moore can easily get overlooked when it comes to post season recognition.

Moore would've probably been a first-team all-conference selection in a lot of different leagues, but playing next to Carriker hurt him in that category.

There's no doubt that Carriker and Moore will go down as one of the better defensive end combos in school history. Cosgrove was almost spoiled to have two players of this caliber for three straight seasons.

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