LINCOLN NE - OCTOBER 16: Wide receiver Brandon Kinnie #84 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers sits dejected after loosing their game with the Texas Longhorns at Memorial Stadium on October 16 2010 in Lincoln Nebraska. Texas Defeated Nebraska 20-13. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
I'd say the look on Brandon Kinnie's face still aptly describes my mood, but it's Tuesday, and time to get over the loss. That's how it works around here, typically. Games are Saturday, we talk about them until Tuesday, then Wednesday we start on the next opponent. There's none of this coach speak "we lost, we forget about it and move on" stuff because that's really not human nature. It's not how things work for a team, either. They'll watch film of themselves, work on mistakes, and fixing issues, so it's not like they forget, they just don't want to answer any more of your questions after a loss.
Fans of any team typically take a couple days to digest what just happened, especially if they're like me, 48-years old and trying to recover not just from a tough Nebraska loss, but from too many beers. (It kinda sucks getting older.)
I watched the game again last night, honestly trying to look for something besides dropped balls I could point at for the loss. Fact is, we sucked in a lot of areas, and when I say "we" in this case, I mean it. One of the things that struck me about the game was how much Husker fans booed. Here's what I'll say about that - if you're truly one of those people who believe in those "Greatest Fans in College Football" signs (clearly I am not), then you ought to go back and look at this game and conclude that Husker fans are pretty much like everyone else when it comes to fandom.
We did so many things for this game that were different than any other game it's amazing. We singled out an opponent. We bought t-shirts saying nasty things about them. Then we booed like hell when the refs made some pretty crappy calls (or non-calls). One thing, though - we shouldn't have booed the injury . That's just not right, even if you believe Texas is full of sneaky bastards.
I'm not pointing this out to castigate our fans, because it doesn't bother me that much. So what if we singled out Texas? So what if we bought a gob of nasty t-shirts? Are these things so bad?
One thing I haven't seen mentioned - did Nebraska fans stand and applaud the Texas players as they left the field? Wow, if you did that, you deserve some kind of like special mention because I don't think I would have been capable.
Okay, back to the game, specifically to the half-time interview with Bo Pelini. He makes the point that they weren't making the right reads, and when you go back to look at the offensive plays, it's somewhat of an understatement. I'm not going to pretend I have Chris Brown's level of knowledge about our offense, but it's clear that we're reading the defensive tackle on most of these zone read plays. He's supposed to be taken out of the play by the read, but too many times, the play would slowly develop and he'd make the play. It was also obvious that Taylor Martinez hadn't seen linebackers as fast as Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho.
If you remember in my "Five Reasons Nebraska Will Lose To Texas" article, I mentioned Kheeston Randall blowing up the middle of our offensive line and disrupting blocking lanes. That happened on a couple plays, but more often Nebraska's linemen just weren't quick enough to get around the corner when they were pulling, so plays to the outside frequently went for short yardage as the Texas linebackers got to the point of attack before the blocking.
Still, the defense performed reasonably well, and 20 points should have been enough to win the game. There are probably a lot of people down on Shawn Watson, but I think he called a pretty good game. The fact that we're pointing out dropped touchdown passes is evidence enough of that - guys were in position to make big plays, they just didn't make them.
Latest story is Pelini second-guessing his decision to pull Martinez and replace him with Zac Lee. Is this really a story, or is this media looking to generate some controversy? Martinez will start against Oklahoma State. I don't think that's shocking to anyone. Oklahoma State does not have Texas' defense, particularly at the linebacker positions.
About Pelini. If the media wanted to stir up some controversy, they'd point out what a jackass he is after a loss. How 'bout this line, (from a really crappy article I'll rip apart later) -
"We're not a finished product," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said after the Texas loss. "People around here want to make us out to be the '85 Bears.
"We're not there yet."
When he says "people around here" who's he talking about? The fans? His coaches? His players?
If there is one cause for hope, it's this. Despite all of the individual screw ups, 28 missed tackles, ineffective rush offense, and giving Texas a huge lead, Nebraska should have won this game were it not for a few missed passes. That should be evidence enough that we're good enough to win the Big 12, but not yet good enough to win anything on a national stage yet. Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws.
That's about all the rambling I have left on this.
Except for one thing.
That's it for Texas. They get the last laugh. Shit happens, but apparently a lot more shit happens when Texas is involved. I've liked Nebraska playing Texas, even though things haven't worked out for us. The football games are always great games, but obviously haven't gone in our favor. The Big 12 conference seems like a yearly battle between Texas and Nebraska in volleyball, and our baseball team (other than the last two seasons) has typically faired pretty well against Augie Garrido. Basketball is another story, although our women's team has been getting better with each year.
As for the constant theme across Big 12 message boards that we're running away from the Big 12 because we can't beat Texas, well, say what you want to say, even if it borders on delusional. Running away from one big meanie to face Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, and Iowa isn't exactly running away, now, is it?