from Colonel Mustard
For the first time in 38 years we have USC in Lincoln. There are a great many similarities between that 1969 game and this year's.
The '67 and '68 seasons were both disappointments and the only slump of the Bobfather's career. USC was coming off a national championship and was one of the strongest teams of the '60s. We had changed our offense in transition from the T to the I and opened up the passing game. Many here wondered how the change would work, and USC was considered a benchmark to test our progress. We lost 31-21 but the game was much closer than the score indicated. We felt at the time that poor calls had cost us the game. But the bottom line was that we could play with the best teams in the country. 1969 was a turnaround season in which the team improved to the point that by season's end it was one the best in the country. I feel that season and the following two national championships were fueled in part from the confidence gained in the USC game.
We are faced with a similar test this week. USC is the premier program in the country and we are trying to regain national power status. As with last year, this game does not make or break our season. The conference schedule is more important to the quality of the season. As in '69, it is a benchmark as to the progress we are making. We don't have to win this game to show progress. However if we are not competitive in the game this year, that would be a disappointment. I believe that Bill will very aggressive this year. I agreed with his conservative approach last year because I felt that USC had too many athletes and that an injury to Zac would ruin the season. With Sam and better overall talent and the home crowd, I think we can play with USC. The team that played Wake would get run over. But I believe that was a trap game one week ahead of USC and Wake now has a very good program.
Any home game in Lincoln is a great experience, but there is nothing like a big-game atmosphere. In last year's Texas game, you could almost feel the stadium moving. By the end of tomorrow night, we will know a lot more about this team and the direction of the season.
Keep the faith. GBR.
-- The Colonel