Well…by giving up 18 straight completions to Jason White (and just about everything else) while holding Adrian Peterson to a career-low output, the 2004 Nebraska team may have inadvertently decided the Heisman race. That’s about the most significant thing from Saturday’s night’s performance when it comes to the overall college football landscape.
Our run defense was better than I expected. Our pass rush was worse. I think the score was 30-0 by the time we got a decent hit on White (by Ruud, at the end of a scramble). After this hit, Ira Cooper did some trash talking. Strange.
White toyed with us worse than anyone I’ve seen since Ken Dorsey. Then again, last year he was voted the best player in all of college football. It still would have been nice to see someone on our D-line come off a block and either hit White or make him run for his life a little. I was at the 2001 NU-OU game during which White went down with an injury. Although you never wish an opposing player to get hurt, part of the reason White had to leave that game was because of some inspired D from the Blackshirts, making him run around and get out of his comfort zone. Alas, that D was a Craig Bohl-coached one, and we all know what happened to him.
Speaking of ousted defensive coordinators, I couldn’t help thinking our record would be better now if Pelini had been given the head coaching job. We are a .500 team. We have to beat Colorado now just to be bowl-eligible. It’s hard to envision Gill going 5-5 either, or Solich for that matter.
Seeing the way Callahan and Norvell handled Dailey in this game—limiting him to just 12 pass attempts—reinforces my view that they thought they could use the Iowa State game to “groom” him. In the process they miscalculated, didn’t use the running game enough, and we got so far behind there was no coming back. Although we still have a shot at the North title, does anyone want to play Oklahoma again? Well, maybe Corey Ross.
Ross should be a team captain next year for sure. His performance against OU was heroic. That a Pelini-coached D with OU-level talent couldn’t stop him speaks volumes. At the same time, it’s sad to see us handing off to Ross on 3rd and 8 and 3rd and 11. Maybe Callahan didn’t want another Texas Tech debacle, so he was trying to keep likely turnovers from occurring. I suspect we have some other talent on offense that could make a difference like Ross has this year. But our quarterback can’t seem to get them the ball.
JUST AN ASIDE…
What does it take to actually get a facemask penalty called on OU against Ross?
JUST AN ASIDE, II…
anyone else sick of that Dr Pepper commercial with LeAnn Rimes and Reba
Ah, the things you notice when there’s little left to keep you “in” the game.
If we were playing the Buffs on the road this year, another loss would be a given. (Road wins and Callahan apparently don’t go together just yet.) I’m hoping Ross has the chance to heal and that there is some pride left in the rest of this team. Colorado will crowd the line to try to stop Ross more shamelessly than anyone this season, so Dailey will have to hit something not dressed in black at least occasionally. Our D should stack up well against their O, which is to say both are capable of lousiness interspersed with signs of life.
Here’s hoping the home crowd and a shot at a bowl will make the difference.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.