MAKE A "SWIFT" SECOND HALF RECOVERY, BEAT BAYLOR, 32-20
BIG WED WAP-UP
This wasn't your father's Baylor football team that came to Lincoln
last Saturday-this wasn't even your older brother's Baylor team. This
year's version can really play-no kidding.
That the Huskers were able to shut out the Bears in the second half
was further evidence of the progress this year's Husker team has made.
Last year's team would have lost this game. Bear QB freshman sensation
Michael Griffin lived up to his billing. He was the main reason Baylor
had 216 yards rushing, with 99 of those coming in the first quarter
Griffin is a tough out. His running style reminds me of ex-Sooner running
back Marcus Dupree who terrified defenses back in the early 80s.
Had it not been for some second half heroics by the Husker "D"
(still can't call them Blackshirts) and a record performance by senior
wide-out Nate "The Great" Swift, the Huskers could have easily
dropped another game at Memorial Stadium.
The game was a story of contrasts. The first half saw the Huskers missing
tackles. being out of position and not playing with the passion needed
to win the game.
A LUCKY BREAK?
Thank goodness for this year's senior leadership. Cody Glenn, Marlon
Lucky and Nate Swift delivered some half-time inspiration that helped
the Huskers take over the game in the second half. The defense shut
out the Bears on third down conversions; had a great goal line stand
and limited Griffin to just three second half completions. The Huskers
also held a 10:12 to 4:48 TOP fourth quarter edge. And more importantly
the Huskers out scored the Bears 15-0 in the second half.
It also helped that the Huskers were able to run the ball Saturday for
161 yards. Any amount over 150 yards is frosting on the cake for this
year's Husker offense.
THE SWIFT AND THE JET
The second half turn around also included Nate Swift's record breaking
performance that saw him jump past Johnny "The Jet" Rodgers'
36 year old record for career pass receptions.
And Swift did it fine style. The record-breaker was a touchdown catch
that put the Huskers back on top, 24-20 in the third quarter. Swift
added another TD reception in the fourth quarter that extended the Husker
lead to 30-20 (the extra point was blocked).
THREE YEAR NOTE
It must be noted that it took four years for Swift to break the record
that "JR Superstar" established in only three years. Nevertheless,
Swift is a great kid who will likely get a shot at the NFL. Good job,
POINTS OF INTEREST
The Huskers also, for the umpteenth time this fall left points on the
field. That must drive the coaches nuts.
Quentin Castille's fumble near the goal line took away a potential touchdown
while Will Henry's roughing the punter penalty negated a huge punt return
by Nate Swift. If the Huskers can just stop beating themselves, they
just might be in a position to stay with the Sooners this Saturday in
MORE HUSKERS IN THE ROCKIES
For the third time this fall, I joined the Coloradans For Nebraska for
a Husker football watch party at Jackson's in Ft. Collins. The CFN watch
party was hosted by John Lambert, Tom Patrick and Mike Jobman who all
live in the area but who are all native Nebraskans.
To help jack up the crowd just before the kickoff, they by play the
Tunnel Walk music and blast "Hail Varsity" after every Husker
score. Jackson's is the place to be on Husker football game days. Don't
miss the Husker-Sooner game this Saturday.
This is Sooner week, but is far from the great battles that used to
go on for decades when both teams played each other every year as part
of the old Big 8 Conference.
Both schools have rich traditions that made this one of the great rivalries
in all of college football. But the two year rotation the Big 12 has
concocted ended this great rivalry.
And don't look for the two teams to play each year any time soon. It
ain't gonna happen. The competition in the Big 12 is just too great.
Look for a great game this Saturday. The play will be clean and the
competition will be intense. Bo and Bob Stoops are best of friends,
but come Saturday, the gloves will come off and friends will become
something short of mortal enemies.
If the Huskers can stop the mental mistakes, look for the Huskers to
make a game of it, even into the fourth quarter. If not, it could be
a track meet with the Huskers coming out on the short end.
BAND IN NEBRASKA
Due to time constraints, I have to postpone the final segment of my
salute to the Cornhusker Marching Band. I know last week I said THIS
week, but just can't get it done this week. Sorry!
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