Huskers buck Wyoming 38-14.
Player(s) of the Game: Rex Burkhead
16 car, 170 yds, 2TD
We’re bringing Rex-y back…and the Cowboys don’t know how to react…
“Burkhead…first down-touchdown Nebraska”. Shortly after Burkhead crossed the goal line to put the Huskers up 21-7, you could hear the collective sigh from the spattering of yellow clad Cowboy fans. The contingent of Husker fans cheered, although not overly enthusiastically, and rightfully so-after all, this is Wyoming. Even though our Huskers had just extended their lead to a modest 14, you got the feeling that the game was over-Superman to the rescue-reliable old number 22.
It was good to see Rex getting the majority of the carries against the Pokes-one has to wonder-why wait until the fourth game of the season? Through three games, the offense has ran through T-Magic. Sure, Rex had a good game last week, but it was Martinez who keyed the victory. This week, Martinez was just along for the ride. Burkhead ran with authority and toughness, and exhibited some speed on his 45 yard sprint to paydirt in the first quarter.
Our Huskers took control of the second half, finishing with over 300 yards rushing-the gold standard of hard nosed, power football (aren’t the Huskers like 500-2 when rushing for over 300?). Of course that is an exaggeration, but it is no secret that we have proven success when we are able to move the ball effectively on the ground. That is a good sign, because when the announcers take the time to announce “that was a nice ACCURATE throw by Martinez”, well, lets just run that power sweep again
It was a bit comical to see NU line up and run the same play over, and over again on the final two drives. At one point on the final scoring drive, our Huskers ran the same play FIVE times in a row for good yardage. So much so that the announcers pointed out that Pelini is trying to prove a point. Old school Nebraska Football-you know what we are going to do, now just try to stop us.
Wyoming had no answer. Of the final 16 plays, NU ran the same power sweep 11 times-none stopped for loss. Even my Playstation game knows how to stop it after I run the same play twice in a row. All said, after a slow first half, the Huskers finished strong-closing out a mediocre FBS opponent. Our coaching staff dusted off an old weapon and utilized him with great success Saturday. Bringing Rexy back-I like it-maybe we could make a song about it…hmmm….
And in this corner…wait do we even have any corners?…
Wide open spaces, sprawling prairies. You can look in any direction and there is not a soul around-the cool breeze tickles your face and you think to yourself for a moment-what a great feeling to be away from everyone. No, this is not an excerpt from a tour Wyoming brochure, rather, the feeling our opposing wide receivers have experienced all season. That explains why our Husker secondary is being solicited by Southwest Airlines for the next “Wanna Get Away” commercial.
Welcome back Dennard, by the way, do you have any friends you could bring with you? We kinda need some help back here. While Wyoming didn’t do as much damage as Washington did last week, there were a few blown coverages, and some dropped passes by Cowboy receivers, which could have made this game much closer than the final score indicated.
Too many times it seemed as though our corners were playing way too far off the line. I am not sure if this was by design, but it seems we do much better in press coverage and man to man situations. On several third and short situations, it was all to easy for Wyoming to convert a short four or five yard pass to keep the drive alive. I, for one, am growing weary of showcasing the opposing QB each week-this doesn’t bode well for our upcoming game against the Badgers.
The D-line once again didn’t seem to apply any significant pressure, and missed the presence of Crick up the middle. Hopefully he will be able to make it back next week-we will need all the help we can get. After the game Bo stated they will go back to the film and work on fixing what needs to be fixed. I sent an email to him this morning to save him some time-it read simply-“THE DEFENSE”-signed your humble Husker correspondent. I am anxiously awaiting his reply…as does the rest of Husker Nation…
Well here we are at 4-0, as expected. What is not expected is the erratic and borderline poor play of our defensive units. Yes David has been as advertised, but has Crick? Has this D-Line? Dennard has been MIA due to injury but has been sorely missed.
So what do we know at this point? We know we have an explosive offense-at times. We know we have a reliable running back in Burkhead. We have some talented and speedy young backs, and an emerging, but young offensive line. We also know we will need to see much more consistency out of our offense, and vastly improved secondary play in order for us to compete for a Big 10 title this year.
Our first big test is upcoming, and will feature a battle of two top ten teams. Wisconsin is also 4-0, having thoroughly pummeled its weak slate of non-conference opponents. Say what you want about the level of competition they have faced, but at this point they appear to be the superior team.
Does that mean we should be happy with just keeping it close? I for one don’t think so, while it will be a tall order to beat the Badgers in Madison, Wisconsin is not unbeatable. They have some of the same questions as we do on defense. If we can somehow get a turnover or two and have some help on special teams we could very well sneak out with a victory. I would expect that it is a semi high scoring affair, with UW pulling away late. Regardless of the outcome, this game doesn’t make or break the Huskers season but would go a long way in taking a step forward nationally. If NU can somehow edge out a victory-look out-it could be time to start dreaming of jambalaya and an early January trip to New Orleans…
For a list of NTN watch site locations please visit http://www.northtexasnebraskans.com/
GO BIG RED!!