SOONER SACK ATTACK CORRALS HUSKER COMEBACK 31-24
If someone would have told you prior to the start of Saturday's game
with the Sooners, that the Huskers would still be in the game with
less than 2 minutes to go in regulation, and you'd also know that:
1.) The Huskers would go 3 and out on their first 5 possessions to
start the game,
2.) The most outstanding Husker player in the first quarter would
be the punter,
3.) The Huskers wouldn't get a first down until 1/3 of the way through
the 2nd quarter,
4.) Zac Taylor would get sacked NINE times,
5.) Zac would toss two interceptions and one of them would be returned
for a TD,
6.) The Huskers would rush for just 34 yards the entire game,
7.) Sooner running back Adrian Peterson would run for 146 yards and
8.) The Sooners wouldn't get tagged for a single offensive holding
9.) The Huskers would fall behind 21-3 in the first half, you would
have said there would be no way for the Huskers to still be in the
game. In fact, with all the above futility, any self respecting Husker
fan would have said the Huskers would probably lose the game by 30
points or more.
But there the Huskers were, down by 7 with less than 2 minutes to
go, with the ball and looking to tie the game. Only a wind blown pass
that sailed just over the head of a wide open Nate Swift, prevented
the Huskers, unbelievably, from doing so. With a possible overtime,
the Huskers may have been able to have escaped with a win. With a
6-2 record the Huskers would have become bowl eligible and would have
been playing the rest of the way to improve their bowl options and
for a possible BTN title as well. Ahh, yes-we can all dream, can't
To be sure, the Sooners were the better team and had a difference
maker on their side, last year's Heisman runner-up, Adrian Peterson.
Even at 90% capacity, AD is still one of the most dangerous runners
in all of college football. He didn't play two weeks ago against Baylor,
but he just happened to heal in time for the Husker game. The Huskers
have absolutely no answer for Peterson.
This year, the Huskers are suffering from youth, inexperience, a lack
of depth, and at times, some questionable coaching. And to date, no
one has emerged for the Huskers as a "go-to" type player.
The Husker O-line is being held together with bandages, chewing gum
and paper clips. Greg Austin, the Huskers' starting left guard should
be in a M*A*S*H unit. There are two Husker offensive linemen who are
D-line transfers. And to show how desperate things are at the left
tackle spot, Wags opted to play, Lydon Murtha, a redshirt freshman,
who made his first career start Saturday. Think about it-a redshirt
freshman making his first career start in an NU-OU battle on television
with an O-line that is still trying to grasp the nuances of the West
Coast Offense. Amazing. Make no mistake, Murtha is going to be a great
player for the Huskers, but I don't think throwing a freshman into
the mix is something Wags relishes.
To keep coming back in the face of so much adversity (some if it self
imposed), speaks volumes about the mettle, character and determination
of this year's Husker team. They may not end up with the number of
wins commensurate with their effort, but this is a scrappy bunch of
This was, unfortunately, another winnable game the Huskers let slip
away. In what has become a Husker trademark this season, Nebraska
once again fell behind early in the game and had to spend the rest
of the game digging out of that hole. The Huskers' knack of falling
behind early has been a recipe for disaster for the Huskers. Credit
the coaches for being able to adjust to get back into the games, but
wouldn't it be great if just once, teams had to adjust to US after
we built a big early lead? Man, woman and child, that would be something!
A funny thing happened to Sooner tailback, Adrian Peterson on his
way to a "sure" 2nd quarter touchdown. Courtney Grixby,
like a blur, came out of nowhere to cut down A.D. at the knees during
Peterson's 58 yard run. The tackle was a thing of beauty. Had Griggs
tried to tackle him above the waist, AD probably would have dragged
him into the end zone. What made Griggs' play so important, was that
the Sooners didn't score on that drive. Griggs is going to be a great
I know ABC didn't send its "A" team to broadcast Saturday's
game (thank goodness Brent Musburger wasn't there), but even a reserve
team should know how to pronounce the names of the kids playing the
game. I can't speak for the Sooners, but Husker players seemed to
get hit pretty hard. First, it was "Linden" Murtha, then
it was punter, Sam "Koe"; it was Bo "Rudd" instead
of "Rude", it was "Mario" Lucky and the topper
was Ola "Degrundo". Look, I know Ola's last name is a bit
of a challenge, but this was ABC for goodness sakes!
HUSKER DAN'S ARMY
LETTERS FROM HUSKER SOLDIERS
From: "Chris Anderson"
Sent: Saturday, October 29, 2005 11:09 PM
Subject: Husker In Iraq
Dear Husker Dan--
Greeting from the sandbox! I must say I really do enjoy your web site
and what you guys do with it. It really is the best source to try
and stay updated on the Huskers from over here.. even if that is staying
updated with both of these recent losses. I have seen the letters
from other soldiers and was wondering if there was any way I could
get on the list to possibly get copies of the Nebraska games on Dvd
as well. I really couldn't think of anything better than to get to
see some games. I'm a Husker Alum who lived in Lincoln for a while..
but have been recently living in Wasilla, Alaska until I joined the
Army.. and then was stationed at Ft Lewis, Washington.. before being
deployed over here. my email is
firstname.lastname@example.org, and my mailing address is:
PV2 Anderson, Chris
21st Cargo Transfer Company
APO AE 09391
Thanks and I appreciate all of you back in the states supporting us.
Sandboxians for Nebraska!!
Attention Husker fans and Alumni groups: Here's another soldier in
need. Now, get going!
FROM THE EMAIL BAG:
You really blew it by saying that the Oakland Raiders fans are known
as the "Battery Chuckers". The last time I checked, it was
the San Francisco Giants who have that name, not the Raiders. Get
your facts right.
Forrest Hills, New Jersey
Thanks for your letter. You must be a new to my column because seasoned
readers know that from time to time Husker Dan intentionally inserts
errors into his columns just to see if anyone is paying attention.
You never know when HD will "plant" another one. Thanks
for being so observant...
A MONTH OF DRUMS
This month is International Drum Month and Husker Dan is asking you
to put your hand over your heart and salute all the drummers of the
world. (Husker Dan is getting a little verklempt just thinking about
some of you readers know, Husker Dan has been a drummer since he was
about thirteen. Soon after graduating from college, he packed all
his belongings (which didn't amount to much) into his chick magnet
'62 Chevy and headed for Los Angeles to seek his fame and fortune
(ha!) in the music "bidness". He was fortunate to fulfill
his childhood dreams of doing concerts, TV shows and touring with
recording artists, most of whom, unfortunately, are probably in rest
homes by now.
Why do I mention drums in a column about Husker football? Because
the UNL Marching Band has a great drumline. And you have one more
chance to catch them warming up before the Huskers' last home game,
November 12th with K-State. The drumline warms up before each game
outside the Architecture Building south of the Stadium. (See the attached
picture). As a "cymbal" (groan) of your appreciation, be
sure to applaud them. After all, we drummers have to "stick"
SONNY AND JOHNNY
BTW, there is a connection between music and athletics. Case in point:
The most exciting football player I've ever seen was Johnny "The
Jet" Rodgers and the most exciting (not the best) drummer I've
ever seen was the late, great, incredible Sonny Payne who performed
with such superstars as Count Basie and Frank Sinatra. When God assembled
Sonny and Johnny, he put many of the same ingredients in both of them.
Like "The Jet", Sonny Payne did things that were mind boggling.
Sonny could play a drum solo while bouncing his drum sticks off his
drum heads, catch them in mid air and amazingly, keep his solo going.
I saw him play in Omaha with Basie a number of years ago. He put on
an amazing display that night throwing his drumsticks off the wall
behind him, catching them in mid air and never missing a beat in his
incredible solo. And for those of you who don't know much about Basie,
his orchestra (it still tours worldwide) is to big band jazz music
what the '95 Husker team was to college football. Yup, THAT good.
HUSKER DAN SEZ
HUSKERS GO BOWLING IN LAWRENCE?
This is a BIG game for the Huskers Saturday in Lawrence. Win and the
Huskers are bowl eligible. Lose and the Huskers will be struggling
and may be headed for another losing season. K-State is improving,
Colorado will be tough to beat in Boulder, so the Jayhawk game will
could make or break the Huskers' season.
The Jayhawk defense held Missouri to three total points. This is the
same Tiger team that shredded the Blackshirts for over 500 yards and
41 points just a couple of weeks ago. To put this week's game in Lawrence
in perspective, the Huskers, under Bill Callahan, have won, in about
a year and a half, a total of one conference road game.
Do the Huskers have enough offense to win in Lawrence? They do, but
they need to put it together. Let the game come to them. Zac doesn't
need to force passes into double coverage. The line needs to block.
Our backs need to run to the open lanes, not into a pile of defensive
players. Special teams need to come up with some great plays. The
Huskers' fate this week may rest on the foot of NU place kicker, Jordan
If history is on the Huskers' side this week, Nebraska will continue
its string of consecutive wins over the Jayhawks that goes back to
the Johnson administration. But over the past four years, Husker fans
know how quickly some of these streaks can come to an end. (See Missouri,
Iowa Sate, Kansas State.)
This week will be another toss up. It could be a low scoring game.
If the Huskers take care of the ball, run clock, have zero turnovers,
can mix it up with run and pass and the defense can play the entire
game the way they did in the third quarter against the Sooners Saturday,
the Huskers could come away with a win. In other words, the Huskers
will have to do something they haven't done all year... The Huskers
will relish being bowl eligible after a close one in Lawrence.
If you'd like to give Husker Dan a piece of your mind or if you would
like him speak at your next Husker event (Husker Dan lives in the
Omaha area), you may email him
here. For past Husker Dan columns click