H U S K E R D A N
PARTY SPARKS HUSKERS PAST JAYBIRDS, 39-32 IN OT
BLACKSHIRTS SAVE NU IN OT, 39-32
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"Man, woman and child, did that put 'em in the aisles!"
"Holy cow! Un-bee-leeev-able!"
"We have just witnessed one of the most dramatic, aberrant, spectacular,
absorbing, engrossing, enthralling and riveting performances in recent
Husker history, Adrian."
As I headed back to Omaha after the game Saturday night, I was racking
my brain (admittedly, there ain't much to rack) trying to think of a
Husker game that was anything like the one I had just witnessed earlier
The best I can come up with is a combination of the following memorable
1978 MISSOURI @ NEBRASKA (35-31 TIGERS)
That year, the Huskers were ranked #2 in the country and were just coming
off an emotional game that gave Tom Osborne his first win over Barry
Switzer's Oklahoma Sooners. Missouri came into the game unranked at
6-4. On the second play of the game, before many people had even found
their seats, Rick Berns raced 80 yards for a touchdown. Husker fans
could just smell another big win, a trip to the Orange Bowl and a possible
national championship. Former Husker player and assistant coach Warren
Powers was in his first year as the Tiger head coach that year. (His
Washington State team had come to Lincoln in '77 and upset the Huskers
19-10.) That day in '78, Missouri and the Huskers combined for almost
1,000 yards of total offense. Tiger running back James Wilder ran, well,
wild all day (181 yards) and the Huskers suffered a 35-31 defeat (the
Blackshirts gave up almost 500 yards of offense to the Tigers) that
landed the Huskers in the Orange Bowl in a rematch will the *&^!%$
1997 HUSKERS @ MISSOURI (45-38 HUSKERS)
In '97, the Huskers went to Columbia ranked #1 in the country to take
on the unranked (6-3) Missouri Tigers. Husker fans were thinking another
win over the hapless Tigers and another possible national championship.
Missouri wasn't buying any of that. Mizzou QB Corby Jones played an
inspired game that day. The Tigers had the Huskers on the ropes with
just seconds to go in the game, leading 38-31. The Huskers had to drive
about 65 yards in the closing minutes and to score on the last play
of regulation on, what would be called, "The Catch" by Matt
Davison. The ensuing extra point was good, sending the game to OT. The
Huskers scored first on a TD run by QB Scott Frost. The Blackshirts,
who had surrendered almost 400 yards of offense that day, shut down
the Tigers on their OT possession. The Huskers, who escaped Columbia
with an incredible 45-38 win, had combined with the Tigers to score
an amazing 83 points. Despite their heroics, the Huskers dropped to
#2 behind Michigan, which would go on to share the national championship
with the Huskers.
1998 LA. TECH AT NEBRASKA (56-27 HUSKERS)
Louisiana Tech game into Lincoln in 1998, unranked and much overlooked
and faced the #4 ranked Huskers playing in front of a Sea of Red . Every
Husker fan thought this would be a cake walk, a stroll in the park,
another Husker blowout. But the Bulldogs led by QB Tim Rattay and receiver
Troy Edwards torched the vaunted Husker defense for 590 passing yards-still
a Husker opponent record. The two teams combined for over 1,000 yards
of total offense that day in scoring 83 points. The Blackshirts gave
up touchdown passes of 52, 94 and 80 yards. Husker fans were wondering,
just who are these guys and how can they be doing that do our vaunted
Blackshirts? (Rattay and Edwards went to play in the NFL.)
2005 IOWA STATE @ NEBRASKA (27-20 HUSKERS)
Last year, the unranked Huskers hosted the Iowa State Cyclones (#23)
on television game in Lincoln. The Huskers held on to win in double
OT 27-20 in one of the wildest home victories ever. Together, Husker
QB Zac Taylor (431) and the 'Clones Bret Meyer (317) threw for almost
750 yards that day. Both teams scored in the first OT and only a drop
of a sure interception by Cyclone defender Nick Leaders, enabled the
Huskers to escape with a win.
What is stunning about last Saturday's game was how the Jayhawks, who
earlier this year lost to that powerhouse Toledo in double OT and had
managed only 13 points in a win over South Florida were able to push
around the Blackshirts. KU played the Huskers with a second string quarterback
who had been switched to tight end in the spring. The Jayhawks came
into Lincoln Saturday with a defense that had lost 8 of its 11 starters
from last year; were playing on the road in front of 85,000 Husker fans;
had one of the worst offenses in the country but managed to rack up
32 points, 574 yards of total offense against the Huskers; ran 29 more
plays than the Huskers; led the game with about 4 minutes to go and
tied it with less than a minute in regulation. Only a miracle 3rd and
18 pass from Taylor to Hardy and a two point conversion pass to Nate
Swift, kept the Huskers from losing in regulation.
How did this happen? How could a bunch of "average" KU players
do that to the Blackshirts? After all, this wasn't Southern California
we played Saturday night, or Texas, or Missouri or Ohio State-it was
Kansas, for goodness sake!
FIELDS OF RICE
Saturday night, KU quarterback Adam Barmann looked like John Elway;
Jon Cornish looked like Adrian Peterson; Dexton Fields looked like Jerry
Rice. What the heck was going on?
Through the years, I've learned to be very concerned when the Huskers
score early (see the 1978 Missouri-Husker game), often and easily in
a game. With a 17-0 first quarter lead, the Huskers were on cruise control,
or so it seemed. Kansas was a 21 point underdog. The Blackshirts limited
Kansas to 16 yards of total offense in the quarter.
MO' WENT BYE-BYE
But old Mo' seemed to change when we shanked punt. We seemed to lose
our intensity. Barmann & Company got hot, we had some turnovers
and bingo, the Jayhawks clawed back into the game.
When the Huskers did score, they scored almost too quickly. Meanwhile,Kansas,
was able to mount long drives that kept our D on the field most of the
night. KU ran 29 more plays than the Huskers, for a whopping total of
94 plays! The Blackshirts soon ran out of gas. We continued to make
more mistakes. The Huskers looked like last year's penalty and mistake
prone team. Credit the players and coaches for not caving in Saturday
when things went bad for the Huskers.
And we learned this week, that the crowd noise that was so deafening
for KU's offense, may have disrupted the Blackshirts' as well as they
tried to make line calls just before Kansas snapped the ball.
There were so many great plays Saturday night-the 3rd and 18 completion
to Hardy for a TD and the double extra point try that put the Huskers
up by 7. But the play of the game may have been Brandon Jackson's recovery
of an errant center snap on the play just before the 3rd and 18 pass
play to Hardy. Had the Huskers lost the ball, the game would have been
over. End of story.
I'm betting that Kansas won't play that well the rest of the year.
THIS WEEK'S ELMER FUDD PLAYER OF THE GAME
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES
When Kansas linebacker Eric Washington went down with a dangerous injury
in the second half, the game was stopped for about 10 minutes. During
that time, I couldn't believe what I saw. While this young player was
lying motionless on the turf, some idiot Husker fans-a very small number
of them, I might add, attempted to get the wave started! How freakin'
stupid is that! Thank God their effort fizzled out. All the good that
Husker fans are known for, would have gone out the window. My God, how
stupid can some people be?
HUSKER DAN'S SPEAKING SCHEDULE:
The 10th Annual Land Mine Convention
Friday, October 13th
Bellevue Kiwanis Club
Friday, October 27th
Big Wed Weetweet
Mahoney State Park
Aunt Rosie Roast
The Millard VFW Hall
(right across from the Dairy Queen)
Friday, December 1st
FROM THE EMAIL BAG:
Hi Husker Dan!
My step daddy is letting me use his computer (and helping me type) as
I am an 8 year old Cornhusker fan by the name of David Zacharia. I love
reading about the Huskers!! I live in Las Vegas with my cat Jacob and
my goldfish Allie. My step dad teaches me all about the Huskers and
we read your commentary together when it is available (along with Scarlett
Jeff and Col. Mustard). You are my favorite though. Keep writing and
if you could send me a personal email at my very own email address below
it would be great!
GO BIG RED!
Las Vegas, Nevada (The Silver State)
David: Thanks for your kind words. It sounds to me that your step dad
is doing an excellent job of raising you to be a good Cornhusker fan!
Have you ever seen a Husker home game? It's a thing to behold. Some
day (if you're really good!) your parents might top off your Husker
Experience by taking you to Lincoln to see the Huskers in action. Please
feel free to write me any time with your comments and thoughts about
the Huskers. Thanks!
Regarding Brent Musburger's broadcasting of the Southern Cal-Husker
I would rather pull all my finger nails off before listening to him
announce, not only our games, but anyone's. He is very biased and has
no problem reflecting that in his announcing.
Go Big Red and everyone just keep the faith.
(No name, no town)
Okay, so tell us how you really feel.
A reader sent the following link to a music video that someone in Hastings,
Nebraska had made. Thanks to the person who sent it.
HUSKER DAN'S ARMY
Just a quick note to say thank you for all the e-mails you have sent
in support of myself and the Huskers! I truly appreciate it and will
respond when I can--probably get in trouble for writing to you all instead
of my wife right now! I was born in Imperial, Nebraska and moved to
Wyoming where I grew up. Everyone else in my family is a Wyoming native,
so there is some friendly rivalry when we get together. Thanks to the
response to my wife's e-mail. She is a Tennessee native whom I am rehabilitating
to appreciate real football instead of the sissy SEC stuff she is used
to!! I catch what news I can get--got to watch some of the USC game
(got up at 0300 to watch it before going out of the wire for a mission)
play with those guys--give us another shot at them!!
Go Big Red!!!!!
Thanks again, SSG Toby Davis
HUSKER DAN SEZ:
So what are we to expect from the Huskers this week when they face the
Iowa State Cyclones in Ames Saturday night? This looks like another
Kansas game in the making. The 'Clones have a good offense with tall,
fast receivers. That doesn't bode well for our altitudinally challenged
The 'Clones and their fans will be jacked up for this game-they know
their team hasn't lost at home to the Huskers since 2000. ISU always
seems to play to the level of competition, so expect the absolute best
shot from the Cyclones.
The only thing Husker fans can find comfort in, is Iowa State's defense,
or lack thereof. Get this: Iowa State is dead last in all of Division
1 schools in defense. And to top it off, opponents have an average pass
completion rate of 70%!
Look for Zac Taylor to have a great night. If the Huskers can also run
on the 'Clones, the Huskers should win. Don't be surprised if the Huskers
trail in this game at the half. ISU coach Dan McCarney will have his
team ready to go. This game will likely go down to the wire. Look for
If you'd like to give Husker Dan a piece
of your mind you may email Husker Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For past Husker Dan columns, click here.
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