My apologies that I haven't had a lot posted this week, I've been having problems getting Internet connectivity here in NOLA. I hope they're straightened out tomorrow.
A few things about Oklahoma State:
I doubt that most Husker fans are taking this game very seriously - after all, we've spent the last week hearing about how we'll play in the Big 12 title game, and we have Missouri coming up the week after this. Let's hope the Huskers don't read too much into this kind of media spew and the coaches can have them focused on winning this game against the Cowboys.
It's easy to understand why we should take the Cowboys lightly. They weren't picked to do much this season after finishing last year with a 1-7 record, the worst in the Big 12. In 2005, the Cowboys had a problem being consistent and that issue has carried over into 2006. The Cowboys had the lead with under two minutes left in both the Kansas State and Texas A&M games, losing to these two teams by a total of five points.
This type of behavior is expected in a young team and the Cowboys are one the youngest teams in the nation. As a Sophomore, Bobby Reid is exerpienced as one of the Big 12's four returning starting quarterbacks. OSU has seven Senior starters, four of those on the defensive line, two on the offensive line - meaning they will only lose one 'skill' position player in Senior receiver D'Juan Woods. Next year, Oklahoma State will return every rushing yard and every passing yard. Other than Woods, they will return all of their receivers.
It's lucky for the Huskers that we get them this year in Stillwater, and get to play a more experienced team in Lincoln next year. Still, young teams improve throughout the season - there is no reason to expect anything less from the Cowboys this coming weekend.
Our last trip to Stillwater was in 2002, ending in a 24-21 victory for Oklahoma State, the first time they'd beaten us since 1961, the first time in my life. Defensive lineman Kevin Williams, now with the Minnesota Vikings was unblockable most of the day. Tatum Bell, now with the Denver Broncos, ran for 182 yards, while Josh Fields, who went pro in baseball, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another.
It was not a pleasant day for Nebraska fans. Frank Solich was the coach that day for Nebraska, Oklahoma State was being coached by Les Miles (now at LSU). Oklahoma State finished 8-5 that season, beating Southern Miss in the Houston Bowl. Nebraska finished the season 7-7, losing to Mississippi in the Indepedence Bowl.
This will be the first meeting between Bill Callahan and Mike Gundy. Both coaches endured first year losing seasons. Both coaches are offensively minded, bringing two of the nation's top offenses together Saturday. More on that tomorrow.