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H U S K E R    D A N



Saturday's Pitt-Husker game was so ugly that:
It would make an onion cry.
It would make Ray Charles flinch.
It would make a train take a dirt road.
If it were a home, it would run away.
If it were an old car, it would be an AMC Pacer.
If it were a new car, it would be a Pontiac Aztek.
If it were a shadow, it would refuse to follow you.
If it were a person, it would be Zasu Pitts in a thong.
If it were a newborn baby, the doc would slap the kid's mother.
If it were a guy walking by a bathroom, all the toilets would flush.
If it were food, it would be the main course on Thanksgiving Day.
If it were a kid playing in a sandbox, the cat would try to cover it up.
If it were made into a movie, Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet would co-star.
If it were a new born baby, the mother would get a letter of apology from the condom factory.
That's how ugly this one was. Really.
This is no big secret: The Husker aw-fense is, well, awful. Just awful. It's pathetic, inept, disorganized, hard to watch or to even comprehend at times and worse, it's ineffective much of the time.
The sobering fact is that 7 points won't win many (or any) of the remaining games on the Husker schedule. Until the Huskers can develop some offensive consistency and score even a modest amount of points, this season is going to continue to be ugly. Kansas and Baylor are not gimmes this year with this offense. (Ironically, this is the first time this season the Husker offense has actually outscored the Blackshirts!)

Even the Husker faithful knew this year would still be one of transition, but most of us also figured the Huskers offense would be farther along at this point of the season, especially with a very favorable schedule.

One of the bright spots of the Huskers' offense was Pork Chop's steady runs late in the game. He carried the offense and took the Huskers down into field goal territory with 1:28 left in the game. But unfortunately, the kick sailed wide left giving the Panthers one last chance.
What is disconcerting was the number of penalties committed by the Husker offense Saturday. And this was the third game of the season, not the first. (Go figure, in the opener with Maine, the Huskers had zero penalties.)
The illegal formation penalties called on the Huskers Saturday were hard to fathom. Shouldn't Nebraska be able to at least line up correctly by now? Why doesn't Zac Taylor get rid of the ball instead of taking a sack? And why all the shifting? The only people it seems to confuse are the Huskers themselves.

The Husker offensive line is still not clicking. As of now, the Huskers have no real threat either at running back or receiver. As I said last week, Matt Herian's absence has had a huge negative impact on the offense this season. We can only hope that if he's able to, Matt returns quickly.
As the sign says at the end of the movie classic "On The Beach", "There's still time, brother".
Thank goodness we have a defense this year. As long as the Blackshirts can remain healthy, and depth continues to develop, the defense will be tough to beat.
Adam Carriker is a mensch. Barry Turner, Wali Muhammad, Blake Tiedtke, Stewart Bradley, Corey McKeon, Danny Bullocks and Barry Cryer are fun to watch as they continue to disrupt opposing offenses.
To go with our very good defense, the Husker special teams are also a force to be reckoned with. They have quick strike potential. Terrence "Second To" Nunn makes our special teams really sweet. And how about Sam "You Send Me" Koch? His towering punts may have been the difference in the game Saturday.

And you can't say enough about Adam Ickes, a Husker walk-on and former 8-man football standout at Orchard (NE) High School, making the game-saving block of Josh Cummings' last second field goal attempt. What a play!!

If only the sure-footed Jordan Congdon could have hit his two field goals, we could have all breathed a bit easier in the fourth quarter. But, we need to remember, Jordan is just a true freshman. He has the potential to be one of the great kickers in Husker history.
Let's count our blessings. Remember when I said Husker fans should cherish every win this year? Well, rejoice in the fact that the Huskers are 3 and 0. It hasn't been pretty, but we're 3-0. Go back to last year's Southern Mississippi game. We had a nearly 2 to 1 advantage in yardage (500-250 yards), had a time of possession advantage but lost the game. So do we want "W's" or do we want style points? I know most fans want both, but given a choice, I'll take scoreboard. A win is a win is a win.
If you're checking to see how this week's turkey stacks up with past Husker "Uglies", consider the following:
1.) A 1961 0-7 home loss to Colorado.
In that game, the Huskers didn't register a single first down in the entire mud-soaked game and finished the season a miserable 3-6-1.
2.) A 1960 6-7 home loss to Oklahoma State.
The Huskers finished the year at a cool 4-6-0.
3.) A 1981 6-0 road win at Missouri.
The Huskers started the season at 1-2. Turner Gill played in the second half of the fourth game of the season (a win over Auburn) and started the next week, when the Huskers beat Colorado 59-0 and finished the year at 10-2.


Husker Dan:
Spent all Tuesday morning with a film crew from LA; doing a documentary film on "America's Greatest Fans". I had to dress up in my Husker Elvis outfit. They did an extensive taped interview and taping. They were going to go directly to Lincoln but I talked them into going to Alliance first and interviewing my bro Steve. They are touring all the big games interviewing fans and coaches and will finish at the ACC championship in December.
Huskers Forever!
Larry Brew
Ft. Collins, CO
Larry: Let us know when Husker fans can see this film. Thanks for writing.

Husker Dan:
I know you really like Husker football history. And as you know, I.M. Hipp was maybe the best known walk-on in Husker history. But few people know he had a twin brother, Knotso, who also played for the Huskers. I was wondering if you knew what ever happened to him.
Husker Brad

Dear Brad: And some people think I make up these letters...sigh.
HUSKER DAN'S ARMY (continued)

As many of you know, Husker Dan's Army has been formed so that Husker fans can provide letters, care packages, football tapes/DVDs etc. to our men and women in uniform who are serving their country throughout the world.

Husker fans and alumni groups, are you listening? To learn more about how to join Husker Dan's Army, please click here.

Last week, I posted a letter sent to me by Sgt. Nick Hornig who is stationed in Iraq. He requested some game tapes/DVDs. Here are some responses to his letter.

Hi Nick,
Just wanted to send greetings from Southern California where we have a great representation for the Huskers. I know that Husker Dan will do everything possible to get copies of the game to you folks. Knowing that we have fine Nebraska young men and women serving our country in far off Iraq, our prayers and continued best wishes go out to you. I'm proud to have been born in Nebraska and truly believe that you and your buddies make up one of the finest HUSKER teams to ever take the field. In my eyes, each and everyone of you are a true ALL AMERICANS and when you hear the 80,000 Cornhusker fans yelling each Saturday, they are definitely cheering for you.

God Bless each and everyone and may your tour be over soon. Thanks for all that you are doing for us at home. Go Big Red.

Bob Lehr
San Juan Capistrano, Ca.
Comment: Husker fans who wish to help, need to send their letters, care packages etc. directly to the soldier who is requesting the assistance.

Hi Nick:
I am with an alumni chapter--NE Kansans for Nebraska. What types of things can we do for you and your crew? We will be having our first game watch this Saturday for the Wake Forest game. There will probably be 50 to 75 members there for the game. We will see what we can do to assist your group in any way we can.
Thanks for what you are doing to help us and the people of Iraq.
Gary McGirr
Topeka, KS

Dear Husker Dan:
I want to enlist in your army. I am a native Nebraskan, UNL graduate and Vietnam Vet. Oh yeah, I am a rabid Husker fan too. We can't do enough for our troops, whether you believe the U.S. should be in Iraq or not. I currently live in Casper, Wyo. Unfortunately I am unemployed at the present time but being out of work is nothing compared to the sacrifices our men and women are doing for me overseas. Give me my orders, sir!
Ken Johnson

Husker Dan,
As an Air Force officer that has been stationed "in theater" in the past, I just want you to know how much your call to arms on Huskerpedia means to all of us that serve. Currently, I am serving at STRATCOM here in Omaha. However, I know what it's like to be a world away and not know what is going on back here. Thanks again for your support of our men and women in uniform.

Dear Husker Dan:
I just sent a note to Nick (from his e-mail you posted. I offered to send him a DVD...or a number of DVDs with last Saturday's game with Maine. Not sure if you need to know that, but in the interest of not overloading Nick with DVDs of the same thing, I am also letting you know. Thanks, Dan, for what you are doing for these great folks...and for your contribution to Husker football...
Captive in Arizona, but looking to get back to Nebraska...
Husker fan for over 50 years...
Brent Cederquist
Buckeye, AZ

Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 1:19 AM

Dear Husker Dan:
Hey Dan what's up. My name is John Janssen and I am in the United States Navy and I have been a Husker fan for as long as I can remember. I am stationed on a ship called the USS BATAAN based out of Norfolk,VA and I have not been able to watch a husker game since I joined the service and since there are not any games shown on TV in Virginia. The 2003 and 2004 seasons I was in Iraq and I am not able to watch the beginning of this season because we are setting in the Gulf of Mexico for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. I would like to know if someone could send me DVDs of the season so that I know how our new QB is doing and how my Huskers are doing. I would greatly appreciate it and thank you for your time.

Thank you
John Janssen
my address is 220 Oak Leaf Court Apt F
Chesapeake, VA 23320
[email protected]

If you'd like to have Husker Dan speak at your event, or you just want to send him an annoying letter click here. For past Husker Dan columns click here.