Easily the best game of the year for Nebraska. I wish Tomich and McBride could speak to the defense and fire them up like this every week. Some other “X-factors” helped us in this game: Missouri’s starting RB being suspended, the wind (Smith’s passing isn’t that exceptional to begin with), and the fact that it was Homecoming & the 1994 championship team was back.
Ross is a marvelous player—our best RB since Ahman Green. Obviously he provided the only real offense in the game. Dailey “improved” over his 3-completion performance last game by a whopping 1 pass. It’s depressing what happened to Herian. I wish him a speedy recovery. Hopefully by the time he comes back we’ll have a QB who can get him the ball more consistently.
Were it not for a great defensive effort (kudos to Barrett Ruud, Josh Bullocks, Adam Carriker, and LeKevin Smith), and two botched punts by Missouri, Dailey’s inability on 3rd down could have made this one much scarier. As it is, I suppose I’m just glad Dailey didn’t turn the ball over. We were 1 out of 15 on 3rd downs. You don’t usually win games with that dreadful of a conversion ratio. Dailey has completed 7 passes in two games. I think Lord could’ve completed 7 passes in two games in this offense.
Dailey seems to have his mind made up on 3rd down that he isn’t going to succeed. Why we typically pass on 3rd and less-than-5 is beyond me. Our QB usually misses by 5-10 yards, is picked, or nearly-picked. No deep balls to Fluellen since the Baylor game is also unfortunate to see.
Stuffing Smith on the ground was the biggest pleasant surprise against the Tigers. There’s no way K-State’s backup QB is better than Smith. What a great, improved effort from our D. How Cosgrove’s unit can look so inept (Texas Tech, Baylor, K-State) and yet so good (Kansas, Missouri) is a grand mystery. I’m crossing my fingers that the unit that plays fierce and mean shows up for the remaining games. If this team can somehow combine the offensive performance of two weeks ago with the defense from this past Saturday, we may have a shot against OU.
MISC. SCARLET COMMENTARY RECOGNITION
Panico’s 2nd quarter over-the-shoulder punt return grab might be the best catch from a Nebraska player this year. Nunn really blocks well for a freshman receiver. And it was great for DeAngelis to make that FG against the wind.
Seeing members of the 1994 champs was the biggest treat. Who can forget the win against Miami, the manhandling of Colorado, the Berringer-led gut-check win against Wyoming, the poll nonsense with Penn St., the Frazier bloodclot? What a team. Oh to be back at that level someday.
I hope this defense is back for good. I hope this team doesn’t look past Iowa St. (who won over Kansas on Saturday). Having the Blackshirts back like that is a thrill. They need to stay back.
The voice of Scarlet Commentary is Jeffrey A. Leever, a Nebraska native also stuck behind enemy lines in Jefferson County, Colo. He is a 1994 graduate of the University of Nebraska (Kearney) and a freelance writer and author. Some of Jeff’s writings of the nonfootball kind can be found online at Barnes & Noble (1, 2), Amazon.com (1, 2), and MenofIntegrity.net (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Contact Jeff at email@example.com.