Husker’s extinguishes Bengals eternal flame.
Nebraska rolls 73-7
Running backs should be seen and not Heard…
Well that was easy. Ok I know that it was the Bangles not Bengals that sang that song, but what are a few different consonants amongst friends? The 73 points was the most the Huskers have scored since the 2007 season-one everyone wants to forget. Nebraska paid $600, 000 for the Bengals to take a thrashing. For you accountants out there that is roughly $8k per point, far better than the $23k per point we paid for Arkansas State to come to Lincoln. Now that’s investing.
It was nice to see so many backups get into the game. On a day where Nebraska pulverized a severely overmatched team, NU got to see significant playing time out of their stable of running backs.
Burkhead, Abdullah, Heard and Cross all had an opportunity to ply their craft. We also got to see several different fullbacks carry the ball, and more importantly, hold onto it. What does it all mean you say? Nothing really—it’s hard to gauge performance in these types of games.
Nebraska will not face a weaker opponent all season, and the lanes the backs had to run through were larger than Tommie Frazier’s belly. Ok that’s a cheap shot at a Husker legend, but would it really hurt to mix in a salad once in awhile? I suppose if you win back to back national championships you are entitled to live large—literally.
Burkhead had a chance to test his ankle, and passed with flying colors. Abdullah may be our secret weapon, both in the backfield and on punt returns, and Cross mixed in his first 100 yard rushing game of his young career. Overall Nebraska racked up nearly 400 yards rushing and got out of the game relatively unscathed—something the Husker coaches I’m sure are glad to see.
As the season progresses it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff will use this group. Getting everyone touches will be difficult, but if we line up in that diamond formation with Burkhead, Abdullah and Heard, the Big Ten better watch out—or get used to the sound of the gentle breeze as one of them blows by you…
I want to play a game…
For years you have enjoyed, even taken for granted your field goal kicking. From the likes of Jordan Congdon to David Dyches to the legendary Alex Henery, Nebraska has been the beneficiary of numerous golden legs.
Last season you watched on as Brett Maher kicked his way onto the All Big Ten team. For this test you will endure anxiety as your kicker lines up for what was a previously automatic 40 yard field goal.
The Husker offense will have to score touchdowns as you lose confidence in the kicking game. The growing pressure will start to crush the fabric of NU’s special teams. Buzz saws will appear out of nowhere and cut and slice the hearts of Husker fans as they watch yet another makeable field goal sail wide right.
If you survive this test, you will have learned to appreciate what fortune Nebraska has experienced over the last several of having quality kicking. Can you endure the anguish of losing a few close games decided by a field goal margin? Let the games begin.
Ahhh the Saw movies. Yes those overly gory, twisted and demented movies where the antagonist, John Cramer, a.k.a. Jigsaw, captures unsuspecting victims and puts them through a series of tests with the intent of making the individuals value life and face their inner demons.
Ok so maybe it’s going a bit too far to say that field goal kicking will be the reason Nebraska loses more than its fair share of games this fall. However, it is a disturbing trend, and Maher has gotten off to a slow start to say the least. After Saturdays game, Maher is a very average 4-8 on field goals this year, missing a 37 yarder against UCLA, and a handful of 40+ yard kicks.
My gut feeling is telling me this is just a temporary hiccup and Brett will be back to his 2011 form and start consistently knocking them through the uprights. Hopefully that trend will start next week with our rematch against a surprisingly average Wisconsin team.
Maher needs to have a solid game to get his head right. The longer this slump goes on the more it will get in his head-and that’s where it will start to cost this Nebraska team. Will Nebraska’s kicking game to return to form? Or will it continue to roll downhill picking up more and more downward momentum as the Huskers crash to a 7-6 record? You decide…
All in all we learned little on Saturday other than our scout team could have probably beaten them by two touchdowns. Call it a glorified scrimmage, these games have become commonplace for modern day college football. As conferences continue to expand, so will their conference schedule—meaning less and less attractive non-conference matchups.
The changes to the BCS this year and the plus one format will open the door to a full-fledged playoff, meaning teams in the title hunt will be very reluctant to schedule a quality non-conference opponent. I, for one, support a playoff but also enjoy the non-conference clashes and hope that NU will continue its tradition of scheduling at least one big name team every year.
Next week we will welcome the Badgers from Wisconsin. I am sure everyone remembers what happened last year. NU will get its chance at redemption donning new uniforms in front of the home crowd. Unlike last year, this game doesn’t have national implications—mostly due to the poor play of Wisconsin—but is a game that will carry heavy weight within the conference.
This is a game that the Huskers need, and should win. I have heard a lot said about this being a game that can define this season. While a loss would not be catastrophic, it would severely hinder Nebraska’s chances of making it to the Big Ten title game.
Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State are on the horizon and if NU drops this game, we could very well be looking at an 8-5 or 7-6 season. If NU can jump out early and feature Burkhead, keep the mistakes to a minimum, we will win by 14. If UW comes in fighting and puts Nebraska in an early hole--it could spell disaster for the rest of the night. I, for one, don’t want to think about that…
If you are looking for a quick Badger related laugh, Google ‘badger salesman’ or look it up on You Tube-hilarious…