HUSKERS MAKE BEARS FIRST ROAD KILL, 23-14
BIG WED WAP-UP
Prior to this year, a nine point Husker win over any Baylor team would not be reason for Husker fans to be dancing in the streets. In fact, a win like this one would have caused concern among Husker Faithful.
But this isn't your father's Baylor team and maybe not even your grandson's Baylor team.
This was a good bunch of Bear cubs Saturday night who still believe they can win every game they play. But in Waco this weekend, the better team clearly won. Even with the Bear's long opening scoring drive to start the game, you never got the feeling that Baylor was a serious threat to win the game.
A WOAD WIN
Okay, so the road to the Big Twelve North probably won't go through Waco, but the Huskers "W" over an improving Baylor Bear team is significant because it:
1.) Was a win-cherish it.
2.) Was the Huskers' 5th win of the season.
3.) Puts the Huskers back into a tie for the BTN lead.
4.) Was a conference win.
5.) Was Callahan's first conference road win.
6.) Equaled the total number of last year's wins.
7.) Puts the Huskers one win away from being bowl eligible.
8.) Didn't result in a serious injury to any Husker players.
9.) (Thankfully) didn't come down to the last play of the game.
10.) Put the Huskers back into the Top 25 rankings at #23.
THE GOOD OL' DAZE
Despite the win, this is a tough time for two groups of Husker "fans": The Anti-Fans (those who long for the days of Solich, Husker Option Football, Jammal Lord etc., who won't accept Bill Callahan even if he wins the national championship, who will always loath Steve Pederson and never forgive him for firing Frank Solich) have to keep quiet because the defense is aggressive, the special teams are explosive, the offense is beginning to click and the Huskers are winning.
And they can't stand it.
On the other hand, The Husker Faithful, that saintly bunch who have continued to support the changes in Lincoln and think the program has been headed in the right direction with the hiring of Bill Callahan, aren't ready just yet to say "I toldya so!". They know that day is coming and when it does, they will let loose.
THE JOY OF WINNING
But for now, the Husker Faithful are just enjoying each game and each win. They know this Husker team is going to be one of the most special teams in Husker history-not necessarily for the number of wins it may get this year, but how much this bunch will have improved by season's end. As I keep saying, this team is getting better each and every week.
The team's success can be attributed to the hard work of the players and the ability of the coaches to instill a winning attitude among the players that is making this Husker team very hard to beat. The Huskers have more depth, more experience and more importantly, have a group of kids who completely buy into the system.
Each week there are fewer penalties, fewer dropped passes, better Red Zone efficiency, better runs, greater catches, more sacks, more vicious hits; the "O" line is starting to play smash-mouth football. The unflappable "Joe Cool", Zac Taylor, is starting to live up to his preseason hype. The running game, with the likes of Cody Glenn, Marlon Lucky and Cory Ross is beginning to gel. This is an exciting bunch of players to watch. And you never know who is going to be the next star of the game. Look at Todd Peterson-now there's a household name for you. This redshirt freshman walk-on from Grand Island made one of the best plays of the game Saturday night. Who knew?
And how about the defense-Adam Ickes filling in for Stewart Bradley? How about Courtney Grixby? How about Jay Moore? Carriker, Tiedtke, Le Kevin and Turner? The list goes on and on.
Get used to it Husker fans. There are going to be many players who will be stepping up and making big plays for the Huskers this year. Callahan, Norvell and Coz have a lot of buttons to push and they seem to have developed a knack of knowing which buttons to push and when to push them.
Forget all the mistakes the Huskers were making earlier in the year. This is a different team going into the 7th game of the season. The Huskers have gone from being "The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight" to a team to be reckoned with.
Who will be the Husker stars down in Columbia this Saturday? Stay tuned and be sure to keep a Husker program by your side.
This was my first ever purchase of a pay-per-view sporting event. Naively, I thought there wouldn't be any commercials. Wrong! Husker fans paid $30 for more of the same commercials they get bombarded with on "free" TV. Thank goodness it was a great game and well worth the price.
And what's up with the broadcast team? Was this crew hired as the result of a low bid? Why did one of the dippy announcers keep saying "qwatter" when he meant quarter? Sigh. And where were the updates of the other college football games being played that day? I had to switch to ESPN at the half to get all the updates. Okay, okay, get over it.
Husker Gifts that never quite made it.
In the long history of Husker gift items, there have been many great ones-Husker cups, belt buckles, books by Tom Osborne such as "More Than Winning", caps, sweatshirts, calendars, screen savers, videos, playing cards, CDs, DVDs, footballs, etc., but there have been others that, well, somehow never quite were a big hit with Husker fans. Here are just some of them:
The Bob Devaney "Just Say No" button
The Tom Osborne beer mug and shot glass package
"Book of Basketball Discipline" by Danny Nee
"Recruits I've Missed" by John Blake
"Abstinence" by Bob Devaney
"Guide To Dating" by Thunder Collins
"Anger Management" by Richie Incognito
"How To Talk Fast" by former assistant coach Dan Young
"How To Treat A Lady" by Lawrence Phillips
"How to Fool All the People All The Time" by Husker Athletic Director Steve Pederson
"The Art of Public Speaking" by Frank Solich
"How To Keep A Job" by Phil Elmassian with a forward by Bo Pelini
"Winning At Nebraska" by former Husker head football coach Bill Jennings
"Vegas Gambling Tips" by Tom Osborne
"My Years in the NFL" by Eric Crouch
"Al Davis Is My Kinda Guy" by Bill Callahan
"Going For Two" by Tom Osborne
"How To Dress For Success" by Bo Pelini
"Hillbillies I've Come To Love" by Bill Callahan
"My Greatest Hits" by Darren DeLone
"How To Be Humble" by Johnny Rodgers with a forward by Tommie Frazier and Scott Frost
"Passing Techniques" by Jammal Lord with an introduction by Joe Dailey
"How To Enjoy Retirement" by Tom Osborne
HUSKER DAN'S ARMY
LETTERS FROM SOLDIERS
(For the second week in a row, there are no new requests from Husker soldiers serving overseas.)
HUSKER ALUMNI NEWS
Gary McGirr, head of the Northeast Kansans For Nebraska said that the group is having an old fashioned Husker Tailgate Party to watch the Husker-Tiger football game this Saturday at:
4115 SW Huntoon in Gage Shopping Center
Readers: Be sure to let Husker Dan know about your the activities of your alumni groups. If space permits, Husker Dan will post the news in this section. GO BIG RED!
HUSKER DAN SEZ
Missouri is favored in this one. Good. I don't care and neither should you.
It seems that no matter what the record of Nebraska and Missouri have been through the years, this game is usually a dogfight-especially at Columbia.
This year will be no exception. The Huskers haven't been blowing teams out as in the "old days". This game will be a dog fight to the end. I wouldn't be surprised if this game goes extra innings.
3 IN 4
The Huskers are getting better and they'll need all the improvement they can muster for this one. The strength of the Tigers this year is not their defense-but they do have Brad Smith who, believe it or not, has survived three, count 'em three Husker defensive coordinators in his four year career at Missouri.
The winner of this game will stay alive in the BTN race, while the loser likely will be out of serious contention.
The Big Red is coming off Callahan's first career conference road victory and should be feeling pretty good about themselves. Similarly, the Tigers should also feel confident after their comeback overtime win against the 'Clones last week in Columbia.
The Huskers have a defense and an offense that will confuse the Tigers. Nebraska has more weapons, better players and better coaching than the Tigers. Had these two teams played a month ago, the Huskers likely would have ended up on the short end. But the teams are playing this Saturday and that's why the Huskers will win in Columbia.
If you'd like to give Husker Dan a piece of your mind or if you would like him speak at your next Husker event (Husker Dan lives in the Omaha area), you may email him here. For past Husker Dan columns click here.