DEPTH CHART ANALYSIS: Week 5

Barring a total shock, such as Sammuel Lamur lining up as the starting quarterback Thursday night, or an unexpected injury, this probably will be the last DEPTH CHART ANALYSIS of the season.

Coach seems to know who he wants to line up and where. If we don't pull some kind of rabbit out of our collective hat in two days, it ain't happening.

Behind the jump you shall find a breakdown of the designated starters for the Nebraska game — not that this little piece of paper really means anything, mind you.

Quarterbacks

I think this has been covered to death in the week since the UCF near-disaster. The outcome of that game made it pretty clear that Carson Coffman's our man and Bill Snyder's gonna stand by him.

The long-rumored Sammy Lamur Wildcat package might finally make an appearance this week, however. Or not.

 

Running Backs, Fullbacks and Tight Ends

The only really interesting thing that happened here last week, besides a team actually figuring out how to stop Daniel Thomas (sort of), was Andre McDonald starting in place of Travis Tannahill — something I predicted eventually would happen more than a month ago, I might point out.

McDonald acquitted himself well, catching his first two career passes at crucial times in the final, game-winning drive. What remains to be seen is whether his starting status and playing time were part of a situational advantage or a permanent change in rank. This week's depth chart still lists Tannahill as a starter, for what it's worth.

 

Wide Receivers

Aubrey Quarles caught his first significant touchdown pass in almost two years and Tramaine Thompson showed signs of an imminent breakout (and a quintessentially freshman inability to read his blocks), while the only Chris Harper sighting was a dramatically failed option run.

Brodrick Smith had an average game by his standards, but he'll be a big part of whether we can upset Nebraska.

 

Offensive Line

Everyone knows the O-line played like crap against UCF. They know it, you know it, I know it. So let's move past it and figure out how they can get back to playing the dominating form of football they displayed against Nebraska last season.

Manase Foketi appears to be settling in and Saturday's poor showing aside, there's little to worry about with the center and guard positions.

More concerning is the situation at right tackle, where Zach Hanson has failed to ward off Clyde Aufner's increasing presence. Don't be surprised to see Aufner finally reclaim his starting spot this week.

 

Defensive Line

Not too much to say here. The rotation is set and we've been blessedly free of injuries so far. With any luck, Brandon Harold will have the club off his hand for the Nebraska game.

Meanwhile, Antonio Felder and Kadero Terrell showed some nice flashes against the Knights, and Raphael Guidry continued to put distance between him and Ray Kibble.

 

Linebackers

As predicted, Jarell Childs regained his starting spot opposite the team's leading tackler, Alex Hrebec, but Blake Slaughter probably did much, much more than Childs to deserve that spot against Nebraska by leading the team in tackles against UCF.

This will be an ongoing trouble spot, though, judging by the difficulty our linebackers had in containing Jeffrey Godfrey and UCF's running game.

 

Defensive Backs

Another week, another mess in the secondary. The word is that Tysyn Hartman, Emmanuel Lamur and Ty Zimmerman all will share time at the two safety spots, proving my point that Hartman's play has slipped this season.

Meanwhile, Troy Butler followed up his minimal snaps against Iowa State by not even seeing the field against UCF, as far as I can tell. I don't know if it's due to injury or off-field issues, but I'd sure like to have him back against Taylor Martinez and Niles Paul.

David Garrett, Stephen Harrison and Terrance Sweeney are doing an admirable job in his absence, however.

 

Special Teams

Josh Cherry came up big for us in a game in which we simply could not afford any missed kicks, while Ryan Doerr had another typically solid game of dictating field position. Anthony Cantele continues to boot kickoffs fairly deep and our kick coverage seems to be improving.

However, we're no closer to breaking a punt than we were against UCLA, although William Powell is bound to take a kickoff to the house any day now. And I'm not sure we're ever going to block a kick or a punt this season.

But I'm hoping that if we do, it comes Thursday, because we might need some extra points against that Husker defense.

 

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Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

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