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H U S K E R    D A N
 
"HUSKER DAN LOOKS AT NU'S FIRST LOSS"
 
HUSKER HEADLINES:
HUSKER GIFTS MAKE EAGLES SOAR, 21-17
HUSKER RALLY FAILS; EAGLES DOWN HUSKERS, 21-17
 
BIG WED WAP-UP
The worst thing about Saturday's loss to the Golden Eagles, is this was a game the Huskers could have and should have won.  The inexperienced Huskers running a new offense with young players, made too many mistakes, and as a result, leveled the playing field for the 14 point underdog Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi. 
GIMMIE THEM A BREAK
Let's hope the IRS allows the Husker football program to deduct the loss as a charitable contribution.  Indeed, Christmas did come early for the Golden Eagles. 
 
But unless you actually believed the Huskers would be vying for a national championship this year, Saturday's loss to the Golden Eagles won't have that much impact on the  Huskers' season. The key to the year is how much the Huskers improve down the stretch going into the BTN play.  And the way the BTN teams have been playing so far this year, the Huskers still have an excellent chance of winning their division. 
 
Look, I know statistics are for losers, but this was a game dominated by the Huskers in total yardage, first downs and time of possession.  The Blackshirts gave up only one offensive touchdown and limited the Eagles to three first half field goals when the offense turned over the ball three times deep in NU territory.
GREEN CHEER?
Nebraska fans need to be patient with the young and inexperienced (sounds like a soap opera) Huskers.  Perhaps this year's chant should be, "GO BIG GREEN".
 
HUSKER STORIES
There are many great stories fans have of the Nebraska Cornhusker football.  Some of you have already responded.  Your stories need to be shared with the rest of Husker Pride Worldwide.  The best way to ensure that, is to send your stories to Husker Dan at: huskerdan@cox.net.  Huske= r Dan will post the best ones.   Don't let your favorite Husker experience fade from memory.  Share your story with the Husker fans all over the world.  Your story may be edited for form and content.  Husker Dan will use your first name and last initial (unless otherwise directed) and the city and state in which you live.  Thanks.
FROM THE EMAIL BAG
SO. MISS-TAKES
Dear Husker Dan:
Please quit making this season any more than it is.  Callahan is an arrogant wash-up who is determined to run things the way he wants regardless of the lack of personnel to do so.  But then he was hired by an even bigger arrogant wash-up in Pederson.  I find it ironic that he will now be able to see a so-so Pitt team make the Cornhuskers look silly. 
 
I've been watching the Big Red since the 50s and I don't think I should have to put up with the way this fine program has been handled or the direction it is headed. 
 
And to have respected people like you try to paint a rosy picture for old die hard Big Red fans is misleading and should not be allowed!
Stew
(No town, no state)
Dear Stew:  Callahan is a wash-up?!!!  You can't be serious.  Take a deep breath, relax.  Let's get one thing straight.  My column is all about MY opinions, right or wrong, but they are MY opinions.  But I also give readers, like you, a chance to express comments that are often contrary to mine.  Right now, the only team on the schedule (other than Oklahoma) that can make the Huskers look silly this year, is the Huskers themselves.  Eliminate the costly errors and Nebraska will very tough to beat this season. 
Dear Husker Dan:
Please tell me again how I should cut Dailey some slack.  Sorry, last year I saw QBs from other schools who were freshman, and they did not make these kind of mistakes.  Dailey panics and loses it.  On the last NU play, he is running for the sidelines.  It is fourth down.  Who is he trying to stop the clock for?  Reminds me of the last play against Texas in 2002.  I do hate to be right on this one.  I hoped they would pull it out.  Four turnovers, again?
Stephen J.
No city, no town
Dear Stephen:
Think of what has transpired this year.  We have a brand new, very complicated offense being run by inexperienced players, including a true sophomore quarterback (Joe Dailey recruited as an option QB) making just his second career start.  We have an offensive lineman (Seppo Evwaraye) who last year was playing defense.  We have Terrence Nunn, a true freshman making just his second start.  We also played two freshmen at running back (Tierre Green and Brandon Jackson).  Willie Amos, a speed burner at receiver, did not play due to injuries.  We put in a true freshman (Cortney Grixby) at corner because Lornell McPherson was injured during the game.  Adam Carricker also was injured (cheap shot) and had to leave the game.  Our starting center and (former?) Outland Trophy candidate is on indefinite suspension.  His spot was filled by Kurt Mann making just his second career start. Three true freshman gave up their redshirt status to play on special teams for the Huskers Saturday.  We had 5 turnovers while getting only one from So. Mississippi; we were still in the game in the final minute and ended up losing by 4 points.  
 
As far as Dailey's last play, I agree with you.  I don't know why he didn't pass the ball to a wide-open Cory Ross.  We need Little Joe to become Mighty Joe really fast.
Dear Husker Dan:
(Notes from the "Back To Reality  Bowl")
It seems that those of us in the over-eager, must believer category of NU fans might have been a little carried away by the win against WIU.  This Saturday, as I watched the last few seconds tick off the clock and with little Joe tripping the light fantastic with no chance of making the end zone, it occurred to me that this loss was easier to watch than many of our ugly wins of the past couple of years.  I guess it's the hope of good things ahead and the realization that we are moving to an exciting place.  Saturday, we weren't out-matched and we weren't out-coached.  We weren't stymied by our own one-dimensional offense or beat by a nine-in-the-box defense.  Instead, we had a student pilot flying the Air Plains Offense.
 
The feeling is groovy because this team can play.  The defense is solid, the line is coming along fine, the players are having a good time, and the kid at the joy stick will get better.  Bring on Pitt, school's still in session.
Tracy H.
Omaha, NE
Dear Husker Dan:
I was disappointed but not discouraged by our loss to Southern Miss.  You can't turn the ball over 5 times and expect to win.  Dailey is simply a very inexperienced but good QB who will improve as the season moves forward.  The Big 12 North is still winnable.  Kansas State was beaten in every facet of the game.  We handed Southern Miss the game while Fresno State TOOK game from KSU.   Saturday's loss to the Golden Eagles was just one stumble on the path back to greatness.
Connecticut Husker Craig
Dear Husker Dan:
I was writing that Frankie, with the same outcome, would have been roasted, both on and off the cob.  This is the worst home loss in memory, and without immediate remedies at QB, there will be a lot more to come.  The kid was clearly off his game.  Why wasn't he pulled?  10-3 is looking good to me.  Let the New Erraw (?) begin.
Ohio Frank
Dear Frank:
Did you used to live in Lincoln?  Just kidding!  Saturday, the Huskers rolled up almost 500 yards of total offense (274 running, 202 passing); they had nearly a 10 minute advantage in Time Of Possession; the Blackshirts gave up only one offensive touchdown.  Despite the 5 turnovers, the Huskers were in the game until the last few seconds and ended up losing by only 4 points.  Contrast that with the type of play calling we saw in last year's opener with Oklahoma State. 
 
If you will recall, it was near the end of the first half.  The Huskers were close to the Cowboy 10 yard line.  The clock was stopped with about 15 seconds to go, it was first down and there was ample time for one or two passes into the end zone.  If the passes were incomplete, go for three.  Instead, the Huskers did not attempt a pass, but settled for a field goal attempt which was blocked and nearly returned for a touchdown.  That series may have sent a message to the team and to the fans last year that the coaches didn't have much confidence in our offense.  As a result of the play calling in that game, the coaches and team were summarily booed off the field.
 
As far as the loss to Southern Mississippi being the worst Husker home loss you can recall, you must have a very short memory.  What about the butt-ripping (38-9) loss to the K-State Wildcats last year at home?  
USA TODAY
Dear Husker Dan:
I couldn't believe it.  I picked up a copy of USA Today (September 1, 2004), read an article about Bill Callahan and bingo, there was Husker Dan!!!  What's up with that and how did you get chosen for the column?
Terry M.
Newbraunfels, TX
Dear Terry:
The writer of the article, Steve Wieberg, who lives in Kansas City, wanted to do a piece about how Husker fans felt about the Callahan Era and the new Husker West Coast Offense.  Steve called his long time friend B.J. in Omaha asking if he knew of any Husker fans Steve might interview for the article.   B.J. suggested he contact a couple of his Husker friends, Bill (the other guy who was interviewed) and me, for our thoughts on the issues.  It was fun, but also scary, not knowing how well (or inaccurately) you'll be quoted. 
HUSKER ELVISES
Dear Husker Dan:
Thanks for taking our picture (Husker Elvises) and posting it in your Husker Dan column last week.  (I'm the one on the left.)  I'd like to add that we are transitioning from Osborne to Air-borne. 
Larry B.
Loveland, CO
Dear Larry:
You are welcome!  The Husker Elvises are a blast!!! Keep up the great work!!  (Thankewverymuch!) 
HUSKER ASSISTANTS
Dear Husker Dan:
I am a Fresno State alumnus and am upset with Juan Downtuetogow's (last week's column) about his denigrating schools like Fresno State.  Granted, they don't play in a "BCS" conference but they will play anybody anywhere.  Since 2000, Fresno has played 14 games against BCS teams and has an 8-6 record.  Thanks for letting me sound off.
Chuck N.
No city, no state
Dear Chuck:
No prob-lame-o.  You must really be strutting your stuff this week after FSU's romp over Kansas State Saturday in Manhattan.  What a pasting of the Wildcats!!
SCREEN SAVER
Dear Husker Dan:
Do you know where I can purchase a Husker screen saver for my computer?  Thanks.
Rev. David H.
Springfield, MO
Dear Rev: 
Readers?  Anyone?  Anyone?
HUSKER DAN SEZ
My prediction of last week was, er, a little off.  So you might expect Husker Dan to be a little more conservative on this week's Husker pigskin prediction.  Well, not exactly.
 
If Bill Callahan thought he was in the pressure cooker before last week's loss to Southern Mississippi, then he's really in the hotseat this week.  Lose to the Panthers and you're looking at a 1-2 record with your only win against a Division 1-AA team and losses to two unranked teams. 
OUR DAILEY BREAD
The pressure this week most surely rests on the shoulders of young Joe Dailey.  He's the one player who can have the greatest impact on the Huskers' success.  Eliminate, or even reduce the number of errors, and the Huskers will leave the Panthers, well, in the pits.
 
Special teams made a huge improvement last week; the running game continues to get better, the passing game, minus the interceptions, can be explosive and the defense is solid.
 
This will be an exciting game.  The Huskers can and should win, but I temper that with the "T" factor.  Lose the turnover game and the Huskers will come away with an "L".
 
The Huskers will re-group.  Husker A.D. and former Pitt, er, Pittsburgh A.D. really wants this game.  The coaching staff knows how critical this game is and will get the players ready to play at Pitt, er Pittsburgh this Saturday.
 
HUSKERS                25
PANTHERS                                                             13
 
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