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Wrecking Crew? Damn Near Killed 'Em!

By Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh

I have a cousin, Kim, who recently attended Texas A&M, she will soon graduate, if she hasn't already and my fading memory has failed me for another week. Kim wrote me this week asking what I'd like for Christmas since my name was drawn out of the Circa 1925 family safe. I requested a DVD copy of The Junction Boys, a story about Paul "Bear" Bryant during his Texas A&M days and Kim, in turn, requested a competitive game. I assured my dear cousin that behind the legs and arm of Reggie "Happy Feet" McNeal, it would be just that. So, to my beloved cousin Kim, I have just one thing to say: Oops.

It was a fine day for football and I wasn't really sure what to expect from the 2003 version of the Aggies. I knew they were fast on offense, they're very talented. They have a solid QB, runningback and corps of wideouts, but the main issue was that they were young. Never, however, in my wildest dreams that include band-aids, whistles and yo-yos would I have imagined the whomping that was about to ensue. Reggie "Supersized" McNeal made a few plays early on that made the impatient masses bitch a bit, but when it came down to it, Pelini Power ruled the day and dast I say the offense had its moments as well. A side note: I was informed by an individual in front of me that "cheering's okay but outright yelling is no good" for her when the opposing team's offense has the ball. Yeah, I suppose it'd be a real pain in the ass if all that noise made it difficult for an audible to be made, you contemptible shrew. Get a clue or do me and the rest of the Corngrigation a favor and stay home.

So, you like passing, do you? Probably not the most entertaining day for you, mah friend, but twas a fine day for those of us that, like me, enjoy typical Nebraska football. Pound it out, wear 'em down, own them late and win. 12 Cornhuskers nestled the pigskin against their chests and several of those individuals had uber-productive days. Jammal Lord led the rushers, but I will get to him in a moment. Bringing up the rear was David "The Jazzman" Horne with 14 carries for 84 yards; Josh "The Compass" Davis also had 14 totes for 64. Cory Ross, Robin Miller, Steve Kriewald, Juddson Davies and others did their parts to make sure it wasn't all too one-sided as far as carries went.

Blankman's Offensive Golden Legs Award goes to one Jammal "Have Faith In The" Lord. Jammal had 15 carries for 104 yards, a SAH-WEEEEET 31 yard scamper and two touchdowns. He continues to make good decisions and develop as a quarterback and as I've said in the past, I could pump this guy up until the end of the season and it wouldn't be enough because he embodies the offense. He is what he is and that is a captain, a good student, a good man, he is someone to be PROUD OF, I know that'll come as a shock to quite a few of you. So I say, once more, Praise the Lord, forever and ever, amen.

Blankman's Blackened Gold Jersey Award goes to, well, take your pick really. Let's just run down the list, shall we? Barrett "That Was Just" RUUUUUUUDDDD clocks in and clocks out with 8 total tackles, 5 of those solo, 2 TFLs, one interception returned for a score, one sack and hey, a game ball. Demorrio "Butkus" Williams with 6 tackles, 4 solo and one fumble recovery. Josh "This Is Just TOO Easy" Bullocks with yet another pick, 4 tackles, one of those for a loss. Andrew Shanle and Benard "Jaws" Thomas each notch a sack. Lornell "Mad Man" McPherson, "Fabulous" Fabian Washington and Titus "Prepster" Adams all had picks and that last guy? The big man? Yeah, he scored. We'll look past that little spiking the ball incident just this once for ya, T.

The 'Shirts managed to corral the potent but imperfect attack of A&M to the tune of 244 yards, 6 shy of the Mandated Goal Handed Down From On High. Oh, did I mention the fact that the Men in Black forced the most turnovers sincewellever? Okay, they tied that mark, but the thought is the same. 21 first downs achieved by The Lord and His Flock not to mention 384 yards, 333 of that rushing. 2 chances in the Red Zone and 2 converted, as well. Suffice it to say it was a Texas-sized ass-whoopin' that I certainly didn't see coming and I LOVE to be wrong in these instances.

If any of you stayed up late to listen to Big Red Reaction last week after the loss to Missouri, you would've heard two things: An Admiral Ackbar reference uttered by yours truly that probably has no place in a football conversation and a Blankman who referred to the new staff as mechanics who had a job to do after a black and gold monkey wrench got tossed into the Big Red Machine. There were a lot of questions coming into this one, Blankmaniacs. Would the Bo-shirts be able to bounce back after a very poor performance? Would Bo himself be able to adjust to the mobile QB craze? Would Texas A&M come in and snap yet another streak, that of Nebraska's consecutive homecoming wins? Would Nebraska be able to move the ball against a usually stout Wrecking Crew? Yes, yes, hell no and yes. I have a lot of faith in this staff due to this performance, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Pelini told the defense that it's how you react to getting punched in the mouth that determines just who you are. If today was any indication, these are guys and a team that we can all be proud of.

So, you're still looking for positives after my little spiel? Take everything that The Blank One has shown you here today, the 8 turnovers, the 333 yards rushing, the corralling of a mobile quarterback. Combine that with the hard work that has paid off in spades with a defense that basically gave the old "It Ain't No Thang!" to the idea they would 2002 on us. Feel confident in this staff and this team and smile damnit! It's good for you. For as bad as I felt, as the team felt after the 2002 mishaps, this same group of guys, well, suffice it to say that they make me smile over and over and over.

As I was wandering back to the BlankMobile, I was wondering if perhaps the 10-point spread was on how many rounds a fight between Kellen Huston and the Corps of Cadets would last rather than the football game that just took place. This is a win to feel good about, because frankly, a loss could've, dare I say would've, been devastating. In making reference to Mr. Huston, you deserve Special Teams Captainship next week, my lad. Though Pilk did a fine job after some initial jitters, I think we all learned just how nice it is to have the #1 holder in his place. Welcome back, sir.

In conclusion, it was a great day, a great game and a great win, redundant as that sentence is. It was a fun football game in the purest sense of the word and no drug could provide me with the high I have right now. I would also like to send a shout out to the Yell Leaders and the fans who traveled to watch their Aggies play in Lincoln. Not ONCE did the "whoops" falter even as the game was well in doubt for the Crimson Platoon. I've always wanted to visit Kyle Field and you guys gave me my own little slice right here. Thank you for that, folks, I surely do appreciate it. Oh and Kim? Don't hit me too hard come Christmas.

Questions, commentary, musings and interpretation can all be send, per usual, to Blankman71@cox.net

===Brandon a.k.a. Blankman #71===


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