Let me officially state for the record: …DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMNNN… Do Texas teams just play hot potato with this “dangle the carrot” in front of Nebraska’s face or what? On the bright side, I was wrong, WAY wrong in how I thought things would go down. Yes, I fully admit it. I thought we were going to get torn apart like wheat through a thresher, but interestingly enough the Keys to the Game were oddly appropriate.
1.) K.I.S.S. – Shawn Watson did in fact keep it simple. Short little outs to let big-bodied, physical receivers make plays. Mixing up the pass with a well-blocked run game. Played Marlon Lucky well as both a runner and receiver let alone Mr. Helu and when it came to D? Well, things broke down admittedly but when you’re working against a team like Graham and Crabtree, you’re giving up yards.
That said there were some guys on the field who really stepped up due to injury (Tyler Wortman and Matt Holt are just two examples) and Nebraska ended up winning the fourth quarter 21-7. Going into overtime I had a feeling that it would probably at least go to two and honestly it’s a shame that it didn’t. That was a loss, but it was a damn fine game and as much as it sucks to be on the losing end it was exciting to watch and I hope the Raiders enjoyed the game itself as much as the win. Good on ya, boys and girls.
2.) Discipline – The key to the game that 41% of 71 voters felt was the most important…well it was the most important and may have very well cost Nebraska the game. Suh seems to have a slight issue with the personal foul bug now and again but if there’s a true agitator for me when it comes to penalties, it’s the offensive line. I know that they’re better than what we’ve been shown and I know they can be COACHED to not do what they’re doing. Forget that, though.
If they continue to give up penalties in games, how about a little bit of reinforcement in practice? Stair running, push ups, make them push your truck back and forth down the street, but do something, Coach Cotton, because you’re making a potentially very good line cost Nebraska some very large chunks of yardage.
3.) Belief – When “Crab” jolted for six, I thought “here we go again”, but NO! Just when it looked as if Missouri had switched uniforms and Jeremy Maclin had transferred immediately violating a number of NCAA rules Nebraska came back and fought hard going in 17-7 at the break. The thing is I truly believed that the game was winnable seeing what I saw. It’s obvious that they, too, felt this way. This was a team fired up, ready to go into a Top 10 team’s digs and kick them in the mouth before leaving and it turns out they almost did after scoring 21 points in the final quarter to take it to OT.
Problem was, like I said, I felt it was going to have to go into multiples for Nebraska to win because I didn’t think they could keep Tech out of the end zone at least the first time. I think NU could’ve won by three, but Joe made his most unfortunate throw of the entire game and it was game over, man.
In Summary: Sucks, but I’ll tell you what: If the team we all saw plays the way they did and continues to improve even Oklahoma looks beatable. Note Sooners I said “beatable” not “they will be beaten”, “we’re going to beat them”, “Boomer Sooner isn’t going to be played 50 times”, but beatable. Hey, plus side, Bob and Brent won’t have to pull punches!
Before the TRUE rivalry is renewed however, we tangle with the RetroClones in a road game that this NU team should win. It will probably be a dogfight and Arnaud needs to be careful because without Phillip Bates who just up and quit the team behind him, there’s a big hole if he goes down.
Good week, Huskers. Beat ISU.