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Shooting Point Blank

A series of articles by Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh.

Rocked, Chalked Jayhawks

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Dear Mr. Winslow, Jr.

Shut the hell up.

With Warmest Regards,

Everyone

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Yeah, it’d been a while since the BlankCave had sent out an emergency communiqué, but hey, when the situation warrants, ya dig? Elsewhere around the college football landscape, Oklahoma was handing Texas A&M the worst loss since, well, ever. Miami was beginning a two-game skid, Ohio State staved off the Spartans and Purdue did the same for the Squakeyes of Iowegia. The thing is, around these parts? There was one game that really held interest, well, mine anyway. Nebraska vs. Kansas. How would NU respond after the pasting in Austin? Would Kansas get their first win over a Cornhusker squad since 1968? Does Krispy Kreme, in fact, line their “powdered” donuts with a thin veil of smack? Decently, no and probably.

Fact of the matter is, folks, these three games (Kansas, KSU and Colorado) are going to speak volumes and, yes, at 8-2 now, the perch of one Frank Solich is getting hotter than Angelina Jolie in a thong walking down the river Styx. Lose any of the three and he may be gone. Lose two, and he’s likely gone. Lose to Kansas? Run. Thankfully, Frank doesn’t have to hear about another broken streak as Nebraska went out and, eventually, worked over the Jayhawks like Lennox Lewis on Mike Tyson. I actually saw some very good production from the fullback spot (that includes #4) and was it really any coincidence that every TD scored was by the position that sportscasters abroad speak of with such revelry when calling an NU game?

Blankman’s Golden Porkchop Award goes to one Mr. Cory Ross, a guy who always showed flashes of amazing ability and even had some folks asking for his elevation to the peak of the depth chart. Now we know why. Sure, it was against KANSAS, for God’s sake, but Ross had 107 yards in the second half alone and that’s defiantly worth a shout out. Cory looked downright scary a few times as he slipped through opposing mits like he was slathered in bacon grease and it makes a guy wonder if the Three-back Carousel isn’t such a bad thing after all. An additional shout out goes to Steve Kriewald. Sure, his numbers weren’t fantastic by any stretch of the imagination, only 6 caries for 31 yards, but he got NU out of some sticky situations and even barreled into the endzone for Nebraska’s first score. He didn’t just get across the goal line, he beat anyone who touched him senseless along the way.

Blankman’s Jersey Color Optional Award goes to “Super” Demorrio Williams. Demorrio was in on 12 total tackles on the day including 8 solo, not to mention his sack and a fumble recovery. Think he would like that Butkus Award to put on his mantle? Also deserving of mucho props were the Brothers Bullocks. Both Josh and Dan got into the act this week notching a pick a piece. Josh was in on 5 tackles, 3 solo and Danny on 4, 3 also solo. The ‘shirts played a little hung-over this week, much like they’d chugged a gallon of cheap wine and staggered out on Sunday Morning in search of a 5-star breakfast from IHOP. Nevertheless, 292 yards total and 3 points on the board is a decent day. Is it enough to get a black shirt back? Here’s thinking Bo keeps the boys in red until, say, they turn purple into black and blue.

Now, something else I wanted to throw out there. Kansas is not fantastic by any means. They are not Oklahoma (Well, who is this year? But I digress). However, since Mark “Get In Mah Belly” Mangino took over, I’ve seen a lot of positive changes. JUCO transfers, for example and apparently the KSU route works for some. I’ve seen a good attitude, some athleticism on both sides of the ball as well as the belief they can win. Sure, Missouri’ll probably be the biggest win of their season, but it’s something to build on and Kansas could very well develop into solid team with the leadership of Tubby McLumpkins in a few years. I kid because I love, by the way.

So, positives as far as the longest running series in the NCAA goes? How does 400 yards of total offense sit in your craw? Nebraska churned out 293 yards of rushing and I saw some of the best blocking/running by the fullbacks as I had all year, again, #4 included. The Blackshirts continue to be ballhawks and that’s a system I can defiantly live with. Another stat that makes me a happy panda is this: 10-for-13 on third down. That’ll win ballgames for you, no doubt. Being able to extend drives and keep the ball in your offenses hands (and thusly, your defense off the field, thank you very much, Vince Young). Something else that caught my eye: Mark LeFlore, Isaiah Fluellen, Matt Herian and Ross Pilkington each had a catch. Seems like Barney-ball may have taken a bit more of its true form in Lawrence.

Now, we move on to Senior Day, the final home stand of the Nebraska Cornhuskers for the 2003 season and it’s against a very dangerous Kansas State team. Now true, Kansas State hasn’t beaten the Huskers in Lincoln since 1968, but with the combination of Darren “Skippy” Sproles and Ell “Comes After K” Roberson, there’s definite cause for concern. The thing is, the Blackshirts seem to feed off of the home crowd like a mountain lion on a bucket of KFC and methinks Ell might get the Reggie McNeal treatment, but, I’ll believe that when I see it with the BlankSpecs.

So, we’re looking at 8-2 with two regular season tilts to go. I, personally, see them both as toss ups. They are indeed winnable when, before the season, I couldn’t necessarily say that about Kansas State. Truly, the coaching staff (some folks in particular) will be under the microscope, methinks. It’ll be most interesting to see how they respond. In the meantime? Cheers, baby.

Questions, commentary and Kellen Winslow, Jr. plush dolls can be sent to: Blankman71@cox.net

===Brandon a.k.a. Blankman #71===

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