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HUSKER    DAN

CU IN LINCOLN
Each week this season, the Huskers have managed to self-destruct with ill-timed penalties, fumbles, interceptions, missed tackles and blown coverages. The Huskers have given up far too many big plays and are among the worst (110th) in the country when it comes to turnover ratio.

And yet, Nebraska has managed to get seven wins this year, despite playing in a conference that is the most explosive in all of college football. To be sure, none of the seven wins was over a ranked team. The closest the Huskers came to beating a ranked team happened when they lost at home to Virginia Tech by five and lost in OT at Texas Tech by six.

Through all the mistakes, the Huskers have managed to improve each week, particularly with its offensive and defensive lines. Shawn Watson has streamlined his game plan to maximize the talent of his existing players. Barney Cotton has been able to plug holes in the O-line by throwing kids like Marcel Jones and Mike Smith into the mix. Despite injuries and a suspension, the O-line has become an improved part of this year's football team.

And the D-line seems to be peaking at the right time. Pierre Allen, Ty Steinkuhler have performed well along with Ndamukong Suh and Zach Potter. With a depleted linebacking corps and an average secondary, the development of the D-line has been essential in getting the Huskers in a position to play in a bowl game. A win, especially a big win over a struggling Buffalo team will be a must if the Huskers want to secure a New Year's Day bowl game.
FURTHER PROOF THAT THERE IS A GOD IN HEAVEN
IOWA 24, PENN STATE 23
SYRACUSE 24, NOTRE DAME 23
BOWLING FOR HUSKERS
Notre Dame's loss to the Orangemen might cause Gator Bowl officials to see Red instead of blue and gold, that is, if the Huskers beat Colorado this Friday. How sweet it would be for the Huskers, who finished last year with a losing record (5-7), to go to the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day in sunny (and warm) Jacksonville, Florida!

And wouldn't it be something if the Huskers were to play their best game of the season this Friday and thoroughly dominate the Buffaloes?

Think about it. With such a win Friday, the players know they would be sending a message not only to bowl game officials, but to future Husker recruits. In short, Friday's game could help put the stamp on the Bo Pelini Era at Nebraska.

Don't be surprised if the Huskers come out of the Tunnel with their hair on fire.
MORE ON THE "SALUTE" WEEKEND
In last week's column, I forgot to say thank you to former Husker wingback Anthony "Slick" Steels who sang the National Anthem at the Sunday brunch November 2nd at the Cornhursker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln. I had a chance to visit with ol' number 33 and reminisce about his Husker playing days ('79-'81). Thanks, Anthony!

Also, the men who performed the color guard ceremony deserve a big thanks from all of us who attended the event.
FROM THE EMAIL BAG
Husker Dan:
Not to nit pick, but the score of the K-State game was 56-28, not 58-26.
Jeremy
Jeremy: You must be a new reader of this column. From time to time, I purposely make errors just to see if anyone is paying attention. Thanks for being sharp enough to catch this one.
Husker Dan:
Nothing says hick like typos from a Nebraskan!!! I think you meant "ounce" when you typed once. Come on man!!
Mike
See above.

Send your comments to .huskerdan@cox.net.  For past Husker Dan columns, click here.

 
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