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The straight scoop from
Colonel Mustard

Aug. 26, 2003

Sorry about my long absence. We are about to embark on one of the most interesting seasons in my lifetime. Make no mistake, Frank is coaching for his job. He will have a sense of urgency. He has greatly upgraded his staff, and that should pay immediate dividends. The overall talent level is better than last year but still not anywhere close to where it needs to be. We will play better than last year because we will be organized and motivated. In a word, coach Frank must stay away from play-calling and let his coordinators run the team. We should avoid the big-play play-calling lock-ups that we experienced lately. Last year I watched a disorganized and unmotivated and poorly led team wander though the season. This staff will maximize the talent that we do have and given time will recruit the talent that we need. There is a great question as to whether we have the right man at the top. I hope Frank can make it because I like the stability. But, Frank has to win nine, I believe, or Pedersen will make a change

Pedersen has ensured that we will win the opener by inviting all the living lettermen to the game. O-state is a good but not a great team. We had to work at it to lose to them on their field. The whole event was so absurd that Jammal couldn't help yukking it up at the end of the game. Do whatever it takes to take Woods away. I guarantee you that he will be covered by our best corner, if not doubled. The other strange thing is that I feel they are overconfident. If we lose this game, I think it could be a long year. But we won't lose in this atmosphere

As for our team, the Dukes transfer is unfortunate. I don't know whose fault it was. But it is too bad we won't find out how good he was. So we have another year of Lord. Maybe these coaches can do more with him. He is very limited but he is all that we have. We have a D-2 guy and freshman behind him. This situation is an indictment of our recruiting. Hopefully we can put him in a position to succeed. If we had a top-flight QB, I think we would be one of the surprise teams in the country. Pilkington should have a break-out year, and Birkel will be fun to watch. Our I-backs are small, but as long as they alternate we should be fine. Look for Davis to get more touches, particularly as a third-down back. Barney is striving for balance, and we need to be less predictable in our play-calling. But we predicate our offense on being able to produce a power running game. So the much discussed line improvement has to be there. I believe that our offense will be better than last year but still not what we are used to.

I believe that the defense will be much better. Pelini's coaching and ability to adjust during the game will be evident. Our front seven should be at least solid. We need to find another corner. We need better safety play. Bland missed too many tackles last year. This should be the Bullocks' year to become stars. All in all, this will be the strength of the team. The coaching alone will make this group better. They will keep us in every game.

The bottom line is a great improvement with better coaching, especially in-game adjustments. The jury is still out on Cotton, but if he is the real deal, we have quite a set of coordinators. We will win Saturday, count on it.

Keep the faith. GBR.
-- The Colonel



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