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H U S K E R    D A N
 
HUSKER HEADLINES!!


SMITH AND WEAPONS DOWN HUSKERS, 41-24
TIGERS RAIN ON HUSKER PARADE, 41-24
HUSKERS SUFFER 4th QUARTER MELTDOWN, 41-24
HUSKERS MISSING IN ACTION, FALL TO TIGERS, 41-24
HUSKERS FUMBLE AND STUMBLE, 41-24
TIGER TRICKS NO "TREAT" FOR THE HUSKERS, 41-24
TIGER PAWS CAUSE HUSKER PAUSE, 41-24
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BIG WED WAP-UP

The Huskers' Barney-Frank offense disintegrated Saturday night in Columbia, with a 4th quarter meltdown ala "The China Syndrome". Led by Husker fifth-year senior and co-captain, Jammal Lord, the Husker offense went from pretty good in the first 3 quarters, to gawd-awful in the 4th quarter with a disastrous pitch, a costly fumble and as usual, a great pass completion by Lord to a wide-open defender. If someone didn't know better, he would think our qb was a true freshman instead of a fifth year senior.

If you Lord fans think your guy is going to get better "if the coaches just give him a chance", you may want to reconsider.

GO WITH JOE
This sounds like a broken record. Those who think Jamm-awful is the guy and who say Dailey isn't ready yet, I beg to differ. It's hard to believe Joe Dailey would have performed worse than JL Saturday. When Lord is under pressure, he gets rattled. He makes poor decisions, doesn't take care of the football, throws down the middle into the hands of wide-open defenders. This has been going on far too long.

Lord can look like a candidate for the Heisman one minute and look inept the next.

PLAY DAILEY
Play Little Joe. Now. What do you have to lose? Get the kid some experience. So what if he makes mistakes-isn't that what the starter does every game? Ask yourself, is Lord getting better? At least Little Joe could be gaining some valuable experience this year.

FRESH START
Lord started for the first time, 20 games ago. He had almost no playing time during Crouch's career, but he became the starter anyway. True, he was a 4th year junior when he got his first start, but look how he's played.

Each week, Frank Solich says, "Jammal had a great week of practice." And he says that some weeks Dailey hasn't practiced well. Lord's great practices don't seem to translate into great game-time performances.

PETERED OUT
Jammal is trying the best he can. He's a great athlete, maybe the best running back on the team, but, like "The Peter Principle" he's been elevated to his level of incompetence. He's being forced to take on a role for which he's ill-fitted.

If Solich stays with Lord, we could be in trouble. I know this writer said IF our defense continued to play lights-out football and the offense didn't beat itself, Nebraska could run the table-not because the Huskers are that good, but because the conference might not be up to snuff this season.

We may have a "gimme" or two on the schedule, but we're staring down the barrel of teams like A&M,Texas, K-State, Colorado (?) and who knows, Kansas.

If Lord is the guy, the Huskers will likely fall several more times. Solich was the one who picked Newcombe over eventual Heisman winner Eric Crouch. Luckily for Husker fans, Solich reversed himself and made Crouch the starter.

One has to wonder how long he can afford to stay with the present starter.

THE GAME
The only thing that surprised me about the loss to the Tigers was the Huskers' 4th-quarter collapse.

This was a game the Huskers could have won and should have won. The Huskers had clawed their way to a 4th quarter lead, only to see a good Missouri team outscore the Huskers 27-0.

The Tigers had a better game plan, executed better and wanted the game more than we did.

We all wondered what would happen if the defense had an off night,but what few of us anticipated, was a game in which the entire team didn't show up ready to play.

What is hard to take is that the Huskers gave the game to the Tigers. Yes, the Tigers took advantage of our mistakes, but the game should have never come to that. Never.

FALSE STARTS
Can anyone explain why we had 8, count 'em, 8 false start penalties? That is absurd. I know the conditions were awful, but they were the same for the Tigers.

THE MISSING LEADER
There don't appear to be any leaders on the offense this year. There are some very talented players, but no one has emerged yet as the leader of the pack. Until one surfaces, we will continue to have offensive problems.

WARREN PIECE
What added salt to the wound was seeing former Husker player and assistant coach, former Washington State head coach and former Missouri head coach Warren Powers on the Tiger sideline Saturday night. It is aggravating to think we lost that game with him on the sidelines cheering against the Huskers.

THIS BLOOD'S FOR YOU
There has been bad blood between Warren Powers and the Husker program dating back to 1977 when his Wazzu team came to Lincoln and upset the Huskers, 19-10. The next year, his first year as the Tiger head coach, Missouri beat the Huskers in Lincoln 35-31-the Tigers' last win over Nebraska until Saturday night.

AND JOSTES FOR ALL
There was also the infamous late hit by Randy Jostes (Omaha Ralston H.S.) that took Turner Gill out of the game in the 1982 Missouri game. The Huskers rallied to win that day 23-19.

What is important to remember, Husker fans, is this season is a marathon, not a sprint. The Huskers still can win the Big 12 North, they can still run the table, still play for the Big 12 championship and still qualify for an attractive bowl game.

Clearly, the leader of the pack in the Big 12, and many think, in all of college football, is the Oklahoma Sooners. Tiger fans who are strutting this week will get a big dose of reality when they go to Norman this Saturday.

There is still a lot to fight for and a lot to accomplish. Stay tuned folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

THE MISSING COLUMN
Last week's column did not get posted. We haven't figured what the technical glitch was, but hopefully, it's been solved.

LAST WEEK'S HUSKER HEADLINES (AFTER THE TROY STATE GAME)

HUSKER FIVE-OH, POKE HOLES IN TROJANS, 30-0
BO'S BOYS BOP TROY BOYS, 30-0
HUSKERS DEFLATE TROJANS, 30-0
TROJANS "LEAK" UNDER PRESSURE, 30-0

FALL GUY
Fall afternoons such as the one we had for the Troy State game, were made for college football at Memorial Stadium. The autumn colors were just starting to show. The sky was blue, there were no clouds, temps were in the 70s and there was very little wind. It was a magnificent day.

SALUTE
Before the game, I ran into former NU offensive line coach, Milt Tenopir. I introduced myself.

"Thanks for the memories, coach," I said as we were shaking hands. He smiled and seemed genuinely happy with my gesture.

STATUE OF NO LIMITATIONS
On the east side of the Stadium, I stopped by to see the bronze Statue of the Husker players. It was surrounded by hordes or red clad Husker fans, many of whom were there because it's such a logical place to hitch up with friends and family members. Two young boys were draped on the statue, securing their hold by hanging onto the chin strap of one of the football figures.

LAST WEEK'S TRIVIA ANSWERS
1.) Which coach has more Big 12 championships, Texas coach Mack Brown or Frank Solich?
Ans. Frank Solich

2.) Which NU quarterback holds the NU record of most career touchdown passes?
Ans. Tommie Frazier

3.) What is the number of TD passes thrown by the person in question #2?
Ans. 43

4.) When is the last time the Huskers did not play a game on two consecutive Saturdays in September?
Ans. 2001. The Huskers didn't play Saturday, September 15th or the 22nd.

HUSKER DAN SEZ
There's not much to say about this week's game with the 3-3 Texas A&M Aggies.

To show how weird it's been in college football this year, there are only 5 undefeated teams in D-I football and two of them are TCU and Northern Illinois!!!

It appears the Sooners and Hurricanes will meet for all the marbles in the Sugar Bowl-at least Oklahoma's sure to be there.

For the rest of the pack, it's going to be a dogfight every week. There are no games that can be overlooked by any team wanting to go far this year.

BYRNE'S RETURN
This week's game with the Aggies is no different. The Huskers will be out to show the Collapse in Columbia last week was just an aberration.

Bo's Boys will be breathing fire. The offense, well, they'll be at home. Let's hope and pray the offense doesn't have to come from behind to win the game Saturday.

Former NU AD, Bill Byrne, will make his first appearance at Memorial Stadium in his role as the Aggie AD. Let's hope the Huskers send him back to College Station with a big "L" for his new school.

GAME PLAN
The defense needs to get back on track with another lights-out performance. This game will be close all the way.

HOME SWEET HOME
The Huskers should have an advantage playing in front of the home crowd. But when (not if) the offense self destructs, or the play calling is lame, look for another chorus (or two) from the Boo Birds.

Both teams will want to show they're back on track this Saturday. It will be a very tough game. But home-cookin' should pay off for the Huskers. The crowd will be loud, the place will be rockin'. Don't miss this one-either in person or on the tube. Come Saturday, Huskers will bounce back to bag the Aggies.

HUSKERS 24
AGGIES 14

 

You can write Husker Dan at huskerdan@cox.net.