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Shooting Point Blank

A series of articles by Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh.

Smacked To the Future

Okay, I’ve got this defensive coordinator thing figured out. Forget Bo Pelini, forget all the hype you’ve heard, Blankman is your man. Get this: Nebraska comes out and puts points on the board, 3 or 7, it doesn’t matter. Then, we allow the team, CUNNINGLY, I might add, to go down the field and score a TD luring them into a false sense of security. Going into the locker room at the half, seemingly dejected and frustrated, we burst forth from the womb of Memorial Stadium and do smite our enemies into 2nd half shut outs, thus ensuring an undefeated season and 6th national championship.

…what?

Okay, okay, I’ll get semi-serious here. So, you were expecting a 1995 Nebraska ass-kicking today, were you? 66-0, does that sound about right? Well, as one of my all-time favorite instructors, Gary Blackburn, would tell us after we hosed an entire hard drive (not me), “That’s unfortunate.” It was planned, not necessarily that it’d be 15-7 at the half, but that Nebraska would get a decent lead (they did) and they would get some of the young pups some reps (again, they did.)

I pondered, as I enjoyed the ride home from Lincoln, what bandwagon I should hitch my star to. Would I be a Lordling or a Dailey Devotee? Then it hit me like Demorrio Williams off of the weak side, I couldn’t care less. That’s right, Blankmaniacs, I don’t really give a third and long about who is the starting quarterback against Penn State or Texas or Kansas State. All I care about is that big, fat W in the most important column of all. So what did The Blank One think of He Who Was Delivered From On High…er…the East Coast, anyway? Joe Dailey, for a true freshman, is good. Very good, in fact. He has a sweet touch on his passes. He makes the most out of truly bad situations. He has a presence. He is a very good quarterback and, from what I gather, human being as well. He did what was asked of him and more. I believe I can say, unequivocally, no less, that Mr. Dailey made about 78,000 new best friends today. Let’s leave it at that and move on for now, shall we? (That’s me attempting to shore up the wave of START DAILEY NOW’s)

The I-backs did their civic duty once more and gosh darnit, we just knew one of them would run for 100, right? Again, that’s unfortunate. Josh Davis ended the day with 13 carries for 65 yards which is a solid day at the ballpark in which 3 backs played. David “I Play Bass Not French” Horne had 10 carries for 51 yards and looked particularly saucy on a few plays. The Rushing Freak of the Day Title, however, goes to Mr. Dailey. Dailey had 8 rushes for 69 yards, so aside from the fumble in the end zone, not too shabby for a true frosh.

Other side of the ball time as we rap about the Blackshirts. Speaking of which, I was going into this game thinking the High Holy Grail of Defense was attainable. That’s right, a shutout (momentary pause for Sign of the Cross). The thing was, Travis Cox and the Gaggies, get this, tried to score. “You insolent cur!”, I shrieked at Mr. Cox. Okay, it probably came out closer to “Aw, no you di’in’” and or “Step up off mah grill, dawg!”, I honestly forget. Anyway, Utah State wasn’t about to bend over and take it just yet, so Travis Cox leads them down to score making it 7-6 Utah State. When the Huskers went in up 15-7 at the half, I decided it was time for drastic measures for the second straight week. That’s right, the Rally Cap®.

As the bill of my hat was turned to face the sun, the Blackshirts shined once more. Specifically, the Defensive Freak of the Day, Demorrio “Call Me Whatever You Want, I Still Mess You Up, Sucka” Williams. Super Demorrio was all over Travis Cox like Tom Osborne on a filibuster and I’ll just make the statement right now so we can get it out of the way: Williams for All-Big XII, at least. 238 yards total were drawn up on the board and according to Ye Olde Goals of Footballing, that’s a solid day at the ballpark. Also, I feel it necessary to alert you and yours that Mr. Cox had about 110-120 yards passing after the first quarter. He finished with 178, so he done got punk’d by Mr. Pelini who probably will be all up in Demorrio’s face about not getting 7 sacks when he could’ve. I love that man, by the way. Which one? You pick.

You’ve heard of “Stella Got Her Groove Back”? I think I’d entitle this Sixth day of September, “The Day Sandro Got His Dues Back”. BURN! Okay, no offense to Sandro personally but come on, bud. When you go 1-3 one day and miss a freaking EXTRA POINT the next week? That deserves the Patented Yank© and was I ever happy to see #27 come into the game. David “I’m Not Like That” Dyches went 4-4, plunked in extra points when necessary, basically did his job. Sure, they were mostly short kicks, but the point is: They were MADE. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we’ve found our kicker for the next four years.

So, positives, positives, where are the positives? Here’s a few: Nebraska has itself two quarterbacks who can start and play with the first string at least semi-well. That’s a start. Also, Nebraska has itself a kicker who can, #1, complete extra points and as an added bonus, notches the occasional field goal. Not enough? How does 405 total yards sit in your craw? How about the fact that the second half adjustments aren’t a fluke but a reality, something we can rely on these days? Here’s another: Nebraska has allowed 14 points TOTAL in its first two games. They’re on the positive side of the turnover battle.

Yes, mistakes were made. Again, it wasn’t perfect. There’s plenty of could’ve, even SHOULD’VES to go around, but the mistakes can be reduced to a minimal if not eliminated all together. Methinks things will get better now that PSU comes into town. The Payback Tour continues and JoePa’s in the Scarlet and Cream Sights now. There’s plenty to remember and plenty to look forward to. Enjoy the week leading up to this one; it’s gonna be fun under the lights. Oh and one last thing. Don’t let the tweaks and misses of today hinder one very important fact after today’s win: 2-0. That’s all you, me or anyone else in the country needs to know. I can guarantee you Penn State, NC State, Virginia, Purdue, etc. etc. wish they could say the same.

Questions, comments and your innovative referee taunts can be sent to Blankman71@cox.net

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

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