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  • HOW DO YOU SPELL OPPORTUNITY? UCLA

    We all know what happened last year when the Huskers took on UCLA in the Rose Bowl. No, not the New Year's Day version but the one in Pasadena last September. The Huskers lost 36-30, and in the process, surrendered 344 rushing and 309 passing yards for an NU opponent record of 653 yards of total offense.

    And unfortunately Husker fans found out that this was a portent of things to come in 2012 -- especially the painfully embarrassing losses at Ohio State, Wisconsin in the B1G championship game and the 45-31 loss to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl.

    SO-SO MISSISSIPPI
    Husker fans love big wins, but despite last Saturday's 56-13 thumping of a hapless Southern Mississippi -- winless in their last 13 games coming in to the NU game -- doesn't do much to convince most Husker fans that a win over UCLA this Saturday is likely.

    ANOTHER BRETT?

    Here comes another QB named Brett to Lincoln -- UCLA's Brett Hundley. (Husker fans remember all too well how Wyoming's QB Brett Smith helped torch the Husker defense for 602 total yards August 31st in Lincoln.) Hundley is the UCLA QB who last year anchored an offensive machine that picked NU's defense apart.

    How important will it be for Nebraska to be leading at halftime this week?

    Here's an interesting stat. Last year, UCLA was 8-0 in those games. Do you know what the Huskers' record was last year in games they were leading at the half?

    Read on for the answer.

    Know one thing: Saturday's game has OPPORTUNITY written all over it. Lose the game and the Huskers' season may become irrelevant very quickly -- at least on a national level.

    HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION

    But win the game, and the Huskers may lay the foundation for greatness for several years to come.

    Win it convincingly, and who knows what might happen. And know this: This Saturday's game with the Bruins is a HUGE game for Nebraska.

    BRUINS STILL IN BED?

    It's an 11 a.m. kickoff (9 a.m. Bruin time). And if I know anything about Husker fans, they are going to be jacked up for this game. Memorial Stadium is going to be rocking. Make no mistake. The noise is going to be deafening. Come Early, Be Loud and Be Relentless.

    I don't know who is going to win, but I think the Huskers are going to be ready to play. Will the young defense give up some big plays? As Steve The Red Clad Loon would say, prolly.

    NO SWEAT STATS

    Oh yes, the Huskers last year while leading a the half were 5-1. And what if the Huskers are tailing at the half? Don't worry. Last year, the Huskers were 4-2 in such games. And what if NU is tied at the half? The 2012 Huskers were 1-1 in such games.

    Hang on, Husker fans. This is going to be an exciting game.

    HUSKER DAN'S ARMY

    If you know of anyone serving in the Middle East in the US Armed Services, let me know and we'll send them, at no charge, a Husker Care Package full of Husker goodies. To date, we have been able to send a touch of home to 100s of troopers in the Middle East.

    FREE GAME DAY DVDs

    Send me (HuskerDan@cox.net) the trooper's name, APO adress, the length of deployment and his or her ties to Nebraska and we'll send the packages ASAP. And if you know of any of them who would like game day DVDs this fall, also let me know.

    We will need the trooper's CO to send an email to us authorizing UNL to send the DVDs.

    You may contact the writer at HuskerDan@cox.net.

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