Shooting Point Blank

A series of articles by Brandon "Blankman" Cavanaugh.

Troy State of Emergency

The Blank One is not much for stats but there is one stat that always gives me chills, makes me proud and generally gets me giddy. It is the High Holy Grail of Defense, it is the Pinnacle of Point Prevention and the University of Nebraska attained it on Saturday, October 04 ‘003: A Shutout. Not since October 21st, ‘000, nearly 3 years, has Nebraska been able to prevent an opposing offense from scoring but the Troy State Trojans were indeed brought along for your pleasure on Saturday.

I know I sound like a broken record, but quite honestly, I don’t care. The Blackshirts again play like men possessed even with two starters on the sidelines for this bout. Bo Pelini took the time to formulate a plan that would’ve put down an African rhino and his ‘Shirts executed it with break-neck speed and deadly accuracy that would make Ken Dorsey blush. 60 total plays were executed by Troy State, a measly 150 yards were accounted for and to the TSU fan who was sitting amongst a gaggle of inebriated and live wire Husker fans: That’s not normally how Husker fans act. We only get like that when we smell blood in the water.

I attended the ballgame with a friend of mine from Iowa City. Yes, he is a Hawkeye but today, he was a Cornhusker and I tell ya, Blankmaniacs, he fit in rather well. We were joined in Section 17 by a duo of backers for the Scarlet and Cream Team who had obviously had a few and who were HI-LARIOUS, so I owe them a shout out as well. Enough of personal gratuity however, it’s time to get down to brass tacks and address those who deserve to be addressed. Men of Corn, stand at attention, you’re about to get your due.

Blankman’s Uber-amazing Offensive Manchild O’ The Week Award goes to Pierce, Nebraska’s own Mr. Matt Herian. This kid catches wind of more pig than a Texas defender and at least Matt actually catches them. Herian made like it was ‘002 all over again and caught a bomb from Jammal “This Week I Shant Offend The” Lord. Now don’t get me wrong, Jammal had himself a quality day, but Herian’s playing lights out per usual and the people in Pierce oughta be proud of their baby boy. In the end, it comes down to this: Three catches for 110 yards. That’s big play potential, that’s MAKING the big plays. Herian’s got it, end of story.

Blankman’s Terrell Farley Memorial Award goes to, who else? Demorrio “Stinger? We Don’t Got Time for No Stinking Stinger” Williams comes through again and again and again. This guy has more energy in him than the Energizer Bunny, well, if the Energizer Bunny had claws, teeth and heat-seeking missiles. SDW finished the day with 10, that’s right, 10 tackles, 8 of those solo. Not enough? Two sacks on top of that. Williams has opposing offensive coordinators around the country scratching their noggins until they flake, but don’t worry, as soon, he will take your pain away. As an aside, I’d like to send out mad props to Josh “Or Is It Dan? No It’s Josh” Bullocks for snagging yet another pick in continuing with his one per game average. Keep it up, my son and you’ll be in damn fine standing come All-America time. As a matter of fact, props all around to the Blackshirts who came up with a lovely 14 tackles for loss.

As I was enjoying the drive home following a 30-point shutout, I quipped to my amigo in Huskerdom, “I wonder how long it’ll take for someone to demand more time for Dailey.” Sure enough, it was all I could do to get Multivitamin’s (nickname still a work in progress, see Josh Davis) name out of my mouth before “Kelly” calls in and asks Frank why in the heck Joe’s not seeing more time. Ah, so despite the miscued QB-Center exchanges of Hattiesburg, Daileygate is in full force yet again following JJJ’s (That’s Jukin’ an’ Jivin’ Joe) display of athleticism and a 21 yard toss to Mr. Herian as mentioned in subsection 24, paragraph 2A. I felt Joe, on the whole, looked good. He still has to work on the pitch off the option a bit, but he’s coming around nicely. As long as he continues to see some time, he should be solid come the end of the year and ready to go when Spring Ball comes a’callin’.

Ah and now the part you’ve all been waiting for: The Positives. Many, including myself, did not think Nebraska would cover the spread this week as TSU typically gives the team fits for a while. It happened, just not as long as I would’ve anticipated as Bo shut the door promptly. 150 yards total, those 14 TFLs, 6 sacks, only 5 penalties, a shutout and a partridge in a pair tree. Also, a positive that will not show up in any stat column except the one locked away deep in the recesses of the BlankPsyche (and trust me, that’s not a place you want to go without a crowbar, some manner of lubricant and duct tape). There was fun being had in the stands. Laughing, carrying on, telling jokes and that could lead to DANCING. Sorry, Bill Maher moment there. Those who wanted to complain did, but they were rarely heard as the crowd who took advantage of a less than name opponent coming to town just had a damn good time. 42 dollars well spent, no doubt.

Up next comes The Battle for the Nebraska-Missouri Bell. Even though the Tigers haven’t won in the series since 1978, they are a feisty bunch and believe me, they are not happy about losing The Border War to their blue rivals across the way. What better way to get back into the good graces of Coach Pinkel than knocking off Nebraska in front of a crowd that will no doubt be “injected with good cheer”. That causes me to pose a question for you, reader: Is it really a trap if you know it’s coming? I’ve been impressed with game preparation, conditioning and various other aspects of this team. No doubt Bo will take notice of how Mangino’s crew manhandled the Tiggers and, like the conniving cad he is, tighten the screws even more.

In the end, Blankmaniacs, this game, this 30-0 win was a testament to the season thus far. It is an ode to an offense that does what it has to and a defense that does what it wants to when it wants to do it. There was some good, there was some bad, but the good more than outweighed the bad and in the end, that’s good…right? To the Men of Troy, thanks for coming, enjoy the check and kick butt as you continue, but just remember when you see Demorrio in your sleep, it’s only a dream, Trojans, it’s only a dream.

Questions, commentary, whining, dining and contriving can all be sent to Blankman71@cox.net

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

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