Thursday, January 25, 2007
There's positives. Coach Doc Sadler certainly wasn't going to claim any sort of moral victory by losing to the Longhorns, a team that's traditionally dominated NU, by one at home. That's encouraging to see.
Still, it's obvious that the Huskers don't have the firepower to keep up with the Big 12 bigger boys, even in what appears to be a down year for the conference. And it's tough to project where a win might come from in the next five games.
Blame Kevin Durant for this loss. He's the real deal and dominated even while going scoreless the final 11:43. He makes it look so easy inside, then can pop out to the top of the key and drain a 3-pointer. It may be the flattest 3-point shot you'll see, but I guess when you're 6-10 and can jump like that, you may actually be shooting down into the hoop even from that distance.
Monday, January 01, 2007
1. Well, 9-5 isn't a horrible year, not with four of the losses coming to teams that were then in the top 10. But since it seems everyone wants a "breakthrough" win or a sign that the Huskers are climbing closer to contending for a national championship again, the season might be considered a minor disappointment, Big 12 North title aside.
2. Can't blame the Blackshirts on this loss at all. Holding Auburn to 178 totals yards, a 3.2 average per play, 27:00 in possession time and Brandon Cox to a 10-for-21, 111-yard day should add up to a win. But the Tigers getting short fields against the NU defense after both turnovers was too much to overcome.
3. Bill Callahan's seemingly 1.000 batting average on trick play calls this season took a major hit. Dane Todd's much-anticipated first carry of his career turned out to be one NU would rather forget.
4. A bowl win is nice. But I doubt the win over Michigan in the Alamo Bowl played too big a role in the Huskers' nine wins this season. This tough loss won't play a role in any losses next year.
5. Any bets that Nebraska tries a field goal more often than once every other game next year?
6. Early line: Over/under on times the name "Sam Keller" will be heard or read by the average Husker fan between now and Sept. 1 -- 10,234.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
1. It was hard to believe that Oklahoma only led 14-7 at halftime. But one badly timed INT got the Huskers back into it. On the other hand, it was tough to believe that it ended a 21-7 game. The way NU dominated the battle for field position early in the third quarter, it seemed like they would sooner or later tie it up.
2. Winning a conference championship game and turning the ball over five times just don't fit together.
3. Even though the talk surrounding Husker Nation all year focused on winning the Big 12 North, you could tell how much this loss hurt. Yes, NU has picked up some big wins over the last calendar year. But winning a conference title really, really, really would be a statement win.
4. It was cold. The parking lots were filling quickly by mid-afternoon. Not many empty seats were found. And football doesn't belong inside. All that adds up to the fact that K.C. would remain a great choice to host the game every other year.
5. NU-OU just isn't a hated rivalry anymore. The biggest boos from the game were still any time a Texas Big 12 award winner would be mentioned and shown on the big screen.
6. Anyone know a good remedy to keep Boomer Sooner from rattling around in your head non-stop?
Friday, November 24, 2006
2. It appears that the best deals weren't only available at malls on Friday. Nebraska held a firesale on trick plays. It sure made for interesting viewing. But now the only surprises left in the playbook for OU or Texas are the fullback dive and option.
3. The only person I would like to be in the morning less than Zac Taylor is Colt McCoy. Those QBs sure took some hits. It made for some rough viewing in the doubleheader. It'll make for even rougher attempts to get out of bed.
4. Sounds like Barry Turner saved himself from being on the receiving end of a lot of trash talk by his teammates with that catch. It was nice, but Mo Purify doesn't have to worry about his job yet.
5. Amazing that it's been five years since the home team has held serve in this series, eh? (Heck, if ABC had to interview Andy Roddick, a tennis analogy was required here.)
6. So who is Husker Nation rooting for....the Sooners or Cowboys? The first OU-NU Big 12 title championship to try and reignite that old Big Eight rivalry or a rematch with a reeling Texas team?
Monday, November 13, 2006
2. That last drive was a thing of beauty and erased 28 minutes and five drives that went nowhere. Zac Taylor said he'd take winning in the final seconds over a 17-point victory anytime. But would Husker coaches and fans who still have frazzled nerves agree?
3. Maurice Purify was Mr. Clutch, but G.I. native Todd Peterson was Mr. Clutch 1B. Seven catches with six going for first downs and the other a TD. Four came on third downs, one on fourth down, the TD on first down and a second-down catch was on the final drive. His play helped make the loss of Nate Swift bearable for the offense.
4. Yowza, there were more missed tackles in that game than I think I've seen all year. The Aggies were grasping at air in the first half, then the Blackshirts caught the missed tackle bug after halftime. Take away those whiffs, and both teams' offenses enjoy much less productive days.
5. Will Jordan Congdon get to try anything over a 40-yarder the rest of the year? If he doesn't get the chance to try a 44-yarder on fourth-and-5 with the wind to his back and the Huskers up 21-7 in the first half, all signs point to no.
6. The Kyle Field environment is everything it's advertised to be. Gotta love a stadium where the Aggie War Hymn literally shakes the press box every time. NU fans should make the trip if they get the chance. Mark the calendar for 2010.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
2. Anybody else with they were as consistent at their job as Brandon Jackson? Sixteen carries in each half, 56 yards in the first half, 55 yards in the second, one fumble in each. I'm guessing both Jackson and the coaches wish that last stat dropped to zero, though.
3. Did Cody Glenn and Kenny Wilson watch the game from the stands or a skybox? Just wondering, because two of the big four NU running backs were MIA from this year. It seems clear that there is no longer 1A, 1B, 1C and 1D. Jackson is 1, Marlon Lucky 2, and the others see time of the Huskers go up by 40.
4. Rumor starter: Gary Pinkel accidently brought the "Contain Brad Smith Ourselves" gameplan and used it on Chase Daniel.
5. A dropped fourth down pass, the D giving up some points, etc. are areas that some might complain about in the second half, but did anyone besides the Tigers ever get the feeling that they ever really got back in the game?
6. We know what kind of home team the Huskers are. Now it's time to see if they're a new road team. Solid road games at USC, Iowa State and K-State convinced many in Husker Nation that the road woes of the past two years are over. But Okie State brought back the away from Lincoln Malox moments. Texas A&M is not an easy place to play. But it's tough to figure out how the Aggies will play coming off a tough loss to OU.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
2. Not the bounce-back effort that's needed. The offense went flat, the defense made its yearly one big sieve-like performance (see Tech '04 or Kansas '05), special teams hurt the Huskers and the coaches' decisions are being questioned. Similar to several NU road games the past two years...
3. Who else after the first quarter was ready to proclaim the I-back firmly settled and name Brandon Jackson the No. 1 running back? Now who expected him to have nine carries over the final two-and-a-half quarters? Raise your hand...anyone?
4. Prior to this game, it seemed that the special teams naysayers were being a little picky. But bad kick coverage, bad execution on extra points and bad kicking can probably add up to 13 points in this game.
5. Husker fans should be relieved and humming "Boomer Sooner" after this one. The North is still up for grabs, and like last year, three losses may not be enough to knock a team out of the race.
6. I'm no expert, but I have to agree with what the NU coaches were saying since last week following the Texas game....that OSU offense is pretty explosive. Husker Nation has to regret that it proved the coaches right so dramatically. Getting up 16-0 only to see the Cowboys score 41 of the next 48 points is a shocker in Huskerland.