In watching the Kansas State-Nebraska game once more, I decided to do so from a different perspective. Sure, I enjoyed seeing the plays ran again, but it was how they were ran and how eerily familiar this was. In a year where Michigan is not only staying home for the holidays but having their worst season since they began playing which I believe is somewhere between the fall of Rome and the founding of the United States, Kansas State reminds me of us one year ago: they just didn't care.
The current Cornhuskers, however, are playing with a sense of pride on both sides of the ball, Ndamukong Suh only gains confidence and thusly the eye of every offensive coordinator he faces with each passing game and Joe Ganz throws for 300 yards much like many of us mow the lawn during the time when it’s green. It’s gone well every week before, so let’s bring out the key ring and have a look:
1.) Stop Josh Freeman – Well big checkmark next to that one. Freeman was held to a 7 of 18 day with one long bomb TD of 63 yards helping him to a whopping 114 yards passing. Husker Mike and I are in agreement on two things: Josh Freeman is not a legitimate NFL prospect and if I were a KSU fan, I’d be getting on the Chase Coffman bandwagon yesterday. As went Freeman, so went KSU and the shame of it is that if properly cultivated, Freeman would be an absolute beast quite possibly as efficient and dominant as Tim Tebow or at least a quarterback in that vein.
Against Nebraska, however, Freeman is still winless after shunning them for the soon-to-be-departed Ron Prince. He has broken record after record at Kansas State, but aside from him and his coach beating Texas twice, what he has truly achieved? Under Bill Snyder, this young man could’ve been special but under Ron Prince, his time spent at Kansas State was a waste of both his and everyone else’s within the program. It’s hard to be #1 when you go 0-3 against a team you turned your back on.
2.) Infuriate Ron Prince – On Friday when the Keys to the Game article was published, I actually thought about this one in particular and asked myself if this was possible. Prince probably already has his bags packed, so why would he be infuriated? What’s the point in being mad when you have no reason to express extreme emotion? What’s going to happen? He could’ve won his last two games 100-0 and it wouldn't matter.
As the saying goes more often than not a team will emulate the personality of their coach and Kansas State looked downright depressed. It seemed like half the team didn’t even want to be there and once the heat got ratcheted up, it wasn’t pathetic, it was sad. KSU players got decked and dropped like flies, Nebraska fans took over Bill Snyder Family Stadium and once the final whistle blew Prince and his team looked like visitors wearing their home uniform.
3.) Blitz – I wouldn’t say a ton of blitzing occurred because quite honestly it wasn't necessary. Four sacks, three forced fumbles, eight tackles for loss, it was unruly. Truly this KSU team is lost and nothing short of Bill Snyder returning or a Mark Mangino coaching effort will save this program. Right now KSU looks like their old 1988 selves and while I love to watch Nebraska pound a team into their own turf, it’s a little more entertaining when they, you know, try.
In Summary: Nebraska kicked the snot out of Kansas State and has completed the second chapter in the Quest to Become 3-0 in Their Last Three Games. The Colorado Buffaloes come to Lincoln and I don’t like their chances much. I think it’ll be closer than this contest because their coach has a future and a team that can make plays happen, but I see Nebraska pulling out a closer one. I’m thinking 7-14 points myself which would be fine leading into a pretty darn good bowl for a first year coach.
Husker Mike and I agreed on two premises when it came to KSU’s QB situation, but there’s one thing I do wish to speak out on. Two outta three ain't bad, though:
“Nebraska had to insert yet another freshman walk-on into the game at linebacker. Matthew May moved from safety to linebacker, and entered the game after Blake Lawrence suffered a concussion. So now we've seen walk-ons Tyler Wortman, Matt Holt, Colton Koehler, and May (not to mention converted I-back Cody Glenn) all having to fill the void created by bad recruiting.”
Unfortunately, Jax, what you saw with Mr. May was not the result of bad recruiting. Far from it, in fact. No one can honestly tell me that Will Compton couldn’t have played well this entire year if they watched him during last. Very few redshirts were burned. I think maybe two or three out of a crop of what? 20+? Pelini has been using the cards that are on the table that are either expendable or have to be used due to no more redshirts being available.
This is both a good and bad thing in my eyes. Good because it states that Pelini’s schemes are able to take advantage of the players he inserts while masking deficiencies and bad in how Nebraska is sending a vibe out that says “We don’t play true freshman a lot.” That’s not something several top recruits want to hear, but at the same time I do praise the staff as the team has improved as the season progressed and really isn’t that all we ask for aside from yearly nine win seasons and a national title in every decade?
To Jax I say bad recruiting? No sir. A fantastic amount of talent waiting in the wings? Most definitely.
Time to go beat our non-rivalriest of non-rivals.