Shooting Point Blank
A series of articles by Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh.
You Ain’t Lion
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Dear Mr. Bronson,
Sticks and stones
May break your bones
But wins will always please me.
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Allow me to toss a few names out there for you if I may: Texas, Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, South Carolina, Notre Dame, Maryland, Auburn and North Carolina State. These are teams who pine to be where the University of Nebraska Bugeaters are right now. Defensively? Probably. As far as special teams go? Sure a few might like that, too. Offensively? Well, two out of three ain’t bad as the song goes. I speak, though, of a more important stat, one that isn’t always glossy or full if highlight reels, but it’s the only one that counts: 3 and 0. Nebraska can claim that mark for the seventh straight year while some of the nation’s elite have already stubbed their toes coming out of the gate and I gotta tell ya, I can see it happening a few more times.
This was billed as Foreman vs. Frazier (Joe not Tommie), a battle between two older heavyweights looking to get back into contention. I’m not really sure which Nebraska would be, but if I had to wager my collection of DeAngelo Evans pogs on it, I’d say Foreman. Why? Because Nebraska’s offensive line along with the Blackshirts flat out grilled Penn State on Saturday. Let out your groans now, if you’d like. I think the old Rally Cap®’s running out of juice, though. Maybe it was a little presumptuous of me to don it while the first half was still running down, I’m not sure, but I shant offend again, I can tell you that.
Blankman’s Offensive Freak O’ The Week award (because what would a recap column be without a cheesy long-winded award) goes to Josh “<Insert Trendy Nickname Here>” Davis who looked da-yum fine with 32 carries of the ball for a whopping 179 yards, both of those career bests for the Son O’ Double T. The Single Digit Backfield had another member chalk up a C-note offensively and it was the guy who got booed the most, Mr. Jammal Lord. I really don’t know why I cannot allow myself to join the “Jammal is Cancer and Dailey is the Cure” Campaign just yet, I really don’t. Maybe it’s the way he tries so hard, maybe it’s the way he keeps getting back up after being knocked down time and time again, often by the people who are supposedly there to support him. I don’t know, maybe I am rooting for an old nag in a race full of stallions, but this guy has something I like. He is exciting to watch when he gets the opportunity, but that’s already been said enough. He is who he is and he’s winning right now. That’s good enough for ol’ #71.
Blankman’s Defensive Freak O’ The Week goes to Barrett “That Was Just” RUUUUUUUUUUUD. #38 played pretty darn lights out, notching up a solid day of tackling coupled with a fumble recovery. What’s the deal, Bo? You make one star and when he’s picked up by the offense, you just create another one? Please stick around a while. You can be my e-friend and we can trade catchy nicknames and Simpsons episodes. The defense as a whole was damn good yet again as is becoming expected now (the gall of we NU fans) and managed to keep Penn State to a measly 203 total yards, 44 of those rushing. Don’t worry, Demorrio, I know I’ll see you back in the spotlight many times before the season, she is over.
Anyone catch that close little sideline “catch” that wasn’t ruled a catch? Refs, I appreciate the attempt to make amends for the ‘82 screw job, but until you make it blatantly obvious and allow Nebraska a cradle in the end zone (okay, that’s not really fair, make it a defensive PI call in the end zone), I say good day to you, sirs. You kinda feel bad for the PSU defensive front in a way. Most of the time they looked about as lost as Sandro at a punt, pass and kick competition. Still, Mr. Bronson’s words were enough to garner some boos from the South Stadium Crew and I don’t care what you say, he heard every damn word I stuttered.
What of Mr. Dailey though? Some people (read: Everyone around me in about a 5 fan radius) were screaming for Double D to come in when Jammal was coughing up the football more than Dan Alexander with a bad case of the shakes. The lady beside me clutched my arm to let me know that, “Dailey’s warming up!” I wanted to quickly apply an eye patch and bad accent to tell her that, “That’s all he’ll be doin’ for ta-day, lass! HAR HAR!” but good judgment prevailed and I watched and waited. I expected a little playing time, but I suppose none will do, for now at least. We’re reaching a point when experience becomes a major factor not just with depth but for 2K4. I think Joe’ll be fine, so we’ll leave it alone for this week.
So, overall not too shabby an outing. The time of possession battle was nearly doubled by Dear Old Nebraska U; I believe we ended up breaking even on the turnover margin which is decent, not great, but decent. Another outing that leaves me thinking, “what if?” in a few areas, but yet, at the same time, one that has me itching for a Pelini contract extension all the more. That’s another thing. I don’t know what Marvin Sanders is feeding these guys, but his defensive backs actually CATCH AIR when they make their picks. You’d think they had the desire to become Supermen (Blankmen? Naw, Supermen sounds better). I take that back, though, as these guys obviously want, nay, demand that level of perfection because their boss demands it. You can’t produce? You don’t play, bada-boom-bada-bing! In the meantime, the Rally Cap® goes back on the charger for a well deserved rest.
In a nutshell, the positives: Two 100-yard rushers for the first time since last year, 203 yards allowed, 10 points as well. Yet another offense dutifully corralled, the offensive line seems to be improving bit by bit and, oh, did I mention NU’s 3-0? Let that sink in for a while…say about 11 days?
*****************PROGRAMMING NOTE: Shooting Point Blank WILL be returning next week with a rundown of all the hot college football 11-on-11 action because, without NU football, I get a tad saucy. *****************
and really cool Husker posters can be sent to Blankman71@cox.net
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