One of my friends at my place of employment is an Iowa State fan so as you can imagine we had some good-natured ribbing over the past week. I was curious about ISU as I hadn’t seen them play this year admittedly and was curious about their offense, how it would match up versus what the Huskers have put on the field thus far and vice versa. In regards to the offense he felt Austen Arnaud was a gamer and he was right, but he wasn’t impressed with the receiving corps. He did feel good about the running backs, however.
On defense it was a different story. When prompted about ISU’s defense he asked jokingly, “Do you guys pass much?” Well you could say that. Time to get the keys out and kick the this SPB off of the tee.
1.) K.I.S.S. – You can refer to this as “Remember the Red Raiders” – Okay, I officially like the “Nebraska Offense” which, of course, features no implements of the West Coast Offense whatsoever because that is evil and wrong. All kidding aside, let’s have a look over the numbers, shall we? 538 total yards (328 passing, 220 rushing), 7.0 yards per play average, and 37+ minutes worth of possession. Yeah we did good.
It seems like everyone got their cake and ate it too as all three backs had at least over 65 yards with three TDs amongst them. Several receivers got in on the act including Swifty’s 100+ yard game, of course and lastly but certainly not least, Joe Ganz went 27-37 for 328, one touchdown and, that’s right folks, no picks. This works. Me likey.
2.) Remember San Jose State! – Going into the game I was concerned that ISU was going to toy with Nebraska using Arnaud and they did to an extent but far less than I ever anticipated. He had a mere 20 yards rushing and tried to use the passing game as his bread and butter but only managed 113 yards there while being sacked twice. I guess Bo remembered San Jose State. Moving on!
3.) Please…let…go – A special kudos goes out to Barney Cotton (yes, read that again. I am giving praise to Barney Cotton) and his offensive linemen who did not allow a silly thing like penalties stifle Shawn Watson’s creativity. I feel that Barney’s best line is in right now and have confidence in some rotation. I still feel Mike Huff shouldn’t see the field, but as long as he minds his manners, what the heck. Four penalties on NU still isn’t great, but it’s improvement and that’s what counts. In this case I’ll take three less for under half a football field’s length in yardage as Nebraska found themselves close to 20 first downs in the FIRST HALF.
In summary: While I much like everyone else wasn’t a fan of the severe case of Fumbilitis that was going around Ames (it is the fall/winter times, though so bring your chicken soup), it was a well played game by Nebraska on the road against a Big XII foe that they should have beaten and did so with gusto. Adjustments were made in an attempt to come back by the ‘Clones, but tweaks were made right back, there were some fantastic heads up moments by the team and that turns into a solid day at the ballpark.
Next up come the Bears of Baylor which present a similar scenario to Iowa State except they come to the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium which will be filled to the brim with 85,000+ that will probably be pretty happy to see a little bit more of what they saw against Gene and his bunch. I think Baylor has the potential to be scrappy, but we’ll get into that a bit more this week. For now, I say we savor the win for a moment before pressing on.