Nebraska Week Mic Check: Home Improvement

By Chris Lauderback on October 31, 2018 at 3:05 pm
Ben Victor should see more snaps with Austin Mack out for at least the rest of the regular season.

Though the open week extended the time Urban Meyer's players and coaches had to deal with the bad taste in their mouths after Purdue pulled off a decisive 29-point victory, the extra seven days gave the team a chance to heal, take stock of scheme and work on fundamentals. 

Now back into the routine of game week, Meyer met with the assembled media on Monday and spoke on a variety of topics, including player development when prompted by a reporter's question. 

Q. What player on the roster would you say is the most improved from summertime until now? Somebody that jumps out at you?

URBAN MEYER: I’d have to say Bin Victor might be in that category.

Q. Why?

URBAN MEYER: Well, in spring, he didn’t have a great spring, and he’s playing at a pretty high level. He’s still a little bit up-and-down, but when he goes, he’s a really talented guy. Probably put Thayer Munford in that category. And then on defense, most improved players from spring or from the summer until now, probably Pete Werner would be a guy.

No doubt Victor has turned in some big plays this season. His sensational 47-yard touchdown catch and run against Penn State cut Ohio State's deficit to 26-21 with just under seven minutes to play, capping a three-game touchdown streak for the junior out of Pompano Beach, Florida. 

Victor was held without a catch the following week versus Minnesota but bounced back at Purdue with a career-high five receptions for 67 yards. 

With Austin Mack lost for the season due to foot surgery, Victor stands to see even more playing time. Going off just the eye test, it feels like Victor was already playing a bigger role this year compared to last and the numbers mostly back that up even if not in overwhelming fashion. 

2018 8 14 1.8 236 29.5 16.9 3 .38
2017 14 23 1.6 349 24.9 15.2 7 .50

As illustrated, Victor is averaging more receptions and yards per game along with a better yards per catch average though he's not finding the endzone quite as often per game. 

According to, Victor is also more prone to drops this year with three on 26 targets compared to last season when he tallied three drops on 46 targets. His contested catch rate is also down from last season. In a pretty small sample size, Victor has just one contested catch on six contested targets (17%) whereas last year he recorded three grabs on 11 contested targets (27%). 

Make no mistake, Victor is loaded with talent and while he likely never be an elite blocker, the eye test suggests he's made strides in this area. 

Of course, his real value is as a 6-foot-4 pass catcher and after his five-grab outing with Mack on the shelf for most of the loss in West Lafayette, fans might be about to see Victor take his production to the next level. 

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