R E D C L A D L O O N
LOON DROPPINGS, Vol. 11
Nebraska 31, Kansas State 21
Purple, they say, is the color of royalty. And that's no more evident than
with the sporting world's current kings. You've got your Ravens, you've got
your Lakers, you've got your Arizoner Diamondbacks. And hey, technically,
until Nov. 23 Kansas State is still the reigning king of the Big 12 North --
though in recent weeks they've all but abdicated their throne. Regardless, on
Saturday KSU brought its quicksilver cadre to the sovereign confines of
Memorial Stadium, and the result was a battle royale with the Big Red. But
Nebraska, as Nebraska tends to do, exposed every weakness of this once-proud
ruler. The naked truth? This year, the emperor has no clothes.
A few takes:
READY, AMOS, FIRE!: After seeing Kansas State's mascot up close Saturday, the
Loon hereby promises to cut Lil Red and Herbie a little more slack. Yikes.
Hey, KSU fans know Willie the Wildcat is creepy and wrong, too. Following the
game, some purple people were overheard wishing they could have traded their
Willie for NU's in a Manhattan minute. Young Mr. Amos is typically a quiet,
unassuming kid -- the Cornhusker sophomore is more subdued than Steven Wright
after a half-bottle of vicodin -- but his pair of timely picks off Elle
MacRoberson spoke volumes. Now, he's Famous Amos. Willie's play directly
produced nine points for the Big Red -- so you can say with some conviction
he was the difference in this game. Of course, it helped that the toxic
stench of Kansas State's passing game makes the reek of Iowa Beef Processors
smell like fresh-baked apple pie from grandma's kitchen. But this was no
fluke: Nebraska's defense -- led Saturday by Groce, Clanton, Kelsay, Burrow
and, yes, Amos -- is the real deal. Game rock goes to No. 27.
(THIRD) QUARTER HORSES: In three out of the last four weeks, Nebraska has
been (basically) even with their opponent at halftime. And in each of those
games, NU has seen a positively Viagran upsurge in the third quarter to
rabidly defend their unblemished record. Solid third-stanza performances
against Techsas Tex, Oklahomer and the KSWho have led to a trio of 10-point
wins. These Huskers have turned out to be best in the third -- and fourth --
quarters. Consider: Since that halcyon second half against Iowa State, NU has
outscored its foes 110-13 in quarters three and four. In fact, opponents'
second-half scorelines have had more zeros in them than the lines already
forming outside theaters for "Lord of the Rings." Opposing trainers, take
note: At halftime, instead of retaping your players' ankles, just fit 'em
with a toe tag.
RUNNING THE TABLE: By the time this contest rolls around each fall, Kansas
State has usually racked up a lofty array of defensive rankings, which NU
then detonates like a cavernous Afghan hideout. This year was no different.
Loons, don't sell short silver-dollar outputs by -- who else? -- Eric the Red
and Dee Dee against the staunch KSU defense. This year, 100-yard days against
that group have been scarcer than a Salman Rushdie book-signing at the Hyatt
Regency in downtown Tehran. So to get two of 'em on the same day is a
Fonoti-sized accomplishment. And even when the Huskers weren't running the
ball, they were merely making long handoffs -- that 45-yard second-quarter
strike to Flash on the Patented Lawrence Phillps Throwback Play was real
purty, even if Dan Vili Waldrop was hugging his defender so hard, you'd think
he had just found a long-lost Samoan sibling. In all, the offense did what it
needed to do to bring home 'W' No. 11.
BRONZE STARS: Unlike Nebraska's much-loved quarterback, the options are
beginning to dwindle for those holding a Hypesman Trophy ballot. From Ken
Dorsey chucking ducks to DeShaun Foster prompting UCLA alums to wistfully
recall those long-lost days of handicapped-parking suspensions, it appears
it's down to two: The Lincoln Navigator and Florida's Rex Grossman. Sure to
emerge over the coming weeks is a heated discussion over running vs. passing
offenses, and how valuable the QB is in each setup. To this I say: 62-24.
This argument was already settled a few years back with that emasculation out
in the desert. Besides, what Hypesman voter could live with himself if he
voted for a guy named Rex? The only thing on Grossman's mantel is a Big Mouth
Billy Bass -- and that's the way it should stay.
THE BOTTOM LINE: In October, the nation witnessed what may have been Round
One in an epic two-part battle between two of the country's best teams. And
some have been clamoring that those same two squads will most certainly face
off again for Big 12 supremacy in Dallas on Dec. 1. Nebraska-Oklahoma? Oh,
no, I was talking about Texas-Colorado. The Bluffs, at 8-2, are still players
in the conference championship race, and a win over the Cornhuskers would
send them, not the Big Red, to the Big D. Let's just get this out of the way:
The Loon hates Colorado. Not in the same way as one hates, say, Osama bin
Laden, but just more often. What is there really to like? Ralphie, one of the
most overexposed mascots in all of college athletics? Their self-righteous,
pious former coach? Their overrated, excuse-making current coach? Their
uppity, smug, hypocritical fans? Oh, they think a lot of themselves out there
in L.A. on the Front Range. But, friends, they're about to have another think
coming. Cornhuskers 35, Vermin 20.
Red. White. Loon.
Show your true colors in THE POND,
Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.