The straight scoop
from Colonel Mustard
Nov. 26, 2001
We are going to discuss the game in three parts, why we lost, how we might have won, and what does it mean long term.
We lost because we failed to show up on defense. There was no effort. When you stay blocked and can't get off them, that is a lack of desire. That was the flattest Nebraska team I have ever seen. They didn't wake up until the second half. You can't blame the scheme, because they ran only about four plays. They didn't trick us, they beat us physically. Whose fault is it that we were flat? Everything is ultimately Frank's fault, but I blame the players for this. Our senior leaders need to help get the team ready to play. This one was not.
The second reason we lost was that 7 was way too excited at the beginning of the game. He made bad reads and was firing the ball all over the lot. He had a big stats day, but when it was 35-3 he had almost no yards. He missed Bowling and we had to settle for a FG. He slipped on the 4th and 1. But that was a bad call -- we shouldn't have called time and run an option. The sneak was the call, and right away. This game was a shootout, and our star didn't get started until it was almost too late. Our lack of effort on defense was embarrassing and we needed 7 to keep us in the game and he didn't. I also could not understand why we didn't have Shanle on Graham all day and left Vedral and Burrow out there even though they were both constantly out of position.
Having said all that, we had a chance to win. The game turned when Diedrick fumbled and we failed to score after getting the ball at their 42 down 12. If we score either time, especially on Diedrick's fumble, it is a dogfight the rest of the way. They got a couple of lucky interference calls and Groce dropped a sure interception. But the game turned at that point. You have to be proud of how the team fought back, but we didn't execute when we had to. Frank had two really bad calls -- not sneaking on Diedrick's fumble, and the option in the first quarter on 4th and 1.
Oklahoma saved our season by losing. I can't see a scenario that we aren't in a BCS bowl. Frank, 7 and the program don't need another appearance on the Thrifty Bowl Week. An 11 and 1 team deserves better and will get it. Before you go down the gloom-and-doom path, remember that the Florida and Tennessee teams that we pounded physically worse than we just got it rebounded and won national championships the next year. Colorado was ready and played their best game of the year. We weren't and played our worst. It is just one game and if we learn that we have to be ready every week and have no margin for error, that is all it will be. Keep the faith. There will be better days. They have to be because it can't get any worse.