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H U S K E R    D A N


If asked in August how they'd feel at the mid-point of this season to be 5-1 and have a 2-0 Big 12 conference record, and that the record would include a 14 point road victory at Iowa State, I'm sure most Husker fans would be pretty happy.

To be sure, Saturday night's game in Ames won't be confused with any of the other Husker classic wins of old. The Husker offense scored 21 first half points, added another TD late in the 4th quarter and hung on for a 28-14 win. There wasn't much that was flashy about the game, but this Husker team shouldn't care about style points. Just win, baby-anyway and anywhere you can. Husker fans should savor this victory. The BTN is shaping up to be a race between Missouri and Nebraska with the big showdown with the Tigers November 4th in Lincoln.

A look at the stats Saturday night and one would think the Huskers were the Huskers of old, running the option and playing good ol' fashioned smash-mouth football. But the Huskers didn't run the option, but did what was needed to win the game-run between the tackles. Had Coach Callahan chosen to exploit the 'Clone's weak secondary, there's no telling how many points the Huskers could have racked up on the 'Clones Saturday night.

We got out of Ames with a win. Mission accomplished.

With the West Coast Offense, the Huskers have the ability to take what opponents can't stop. The play of the game may have been Mo' Purify's spectacular catch with seconds to go in the first half. His TD put the Huskers up 21-7 and the Huskers were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

Yes, the 'Clones mounted a couple of drives and had two TDs called back-Austin Flynn's and Todd Blythe's-the latter-by a penalty and the former due to an apparent bobbled catch. The ruling on both plays was upheld by the Big 12 Conference review board this week.

The Husker blitz packages rattled Cyclone QB Bret Meyer. He never seemed to know when the Blackshirts were coming or where they were coming from. Way to go Coz. This was a big improvement over last week's fiasco with Kansas.
And on the subject of bad calls, Cyclone fans, we feel your pain. Husker fans remember all too well the outrageous calls at Penn State in '82 and the infamous "Phantom Clip" called on Corey Dixon's punt return for a TD in the '94 Orange Bowl versus the Florida State Seminoles. Those calls didn't just lose a game for the Huskers-we lost one national championship ('93) and another possible national championship in 1982. So Sooner fans and Cyclone fans, get in the sympathy line.
It is becoming evident that the Huskers offense is a thing of beauty. And with the "Four-Play" combo of Glenn, Jackson, Lucky and Wilson, the Huskers have a Beast that can be very tough to defend. No, the offense is not a finished product yet-still too many mistakes, but when you can mix it up the way the Huskers have been doing, it must create nightmares for opposing defensive coordinators. One game, it's 4 tight ends and 3 different running backs scoring; the next week, it's bombs to Frantz Hardy, the next it's smash-mouth football reminiscent of the Osborne years. The Huskers will need every once of these offensive tools to make it to BT Championship Kansas City December 2nd.
Cody Gwenn
Okay Husker fans, we are at the mid-point of the season. To make sure you are up to speed with football terms, Husker Dan is offering you the following refresher course:
Offensive Line
"Hey, sweet-haaht!"
Nickel back
What you get back from a buck for something that costs 95 cents.
Kicking Tee
What Jordan Congdon sips before each game
Left Rush End
The position played by conservative radio talk show hosts.
Two deep
Ancient Greek History, Philosophy, Chinese Arithmetic etc.
Trips right
Newt Gingrich's travel agency
A weapon of Miss distraction
Something Gary Barnett wouldn't do. (You gotta think about that one for awhile...)
Pump fake
A service station that's out of gas.
Passing Lanes
A bowling alley for QBs.
Naked Reverse
Something you do on a dare at a frat party
Moving Pocket
A quarterback with the trots
Ineligible receiver
He's already married.
Delay of game
Is in de north end zone
An auto body experience...
A benchwarmer
Rover Back
When your canine subs for Tierre Green.
Puddle Jumper
A receiver with bad kidneys
Everyone knows that if the Huskers win this Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas, the Huskers will have posted the 800th school victory. The Huskers will join Michigan, Notre Dame and Texas as the only schools to have reached the 800 victory milestone.
But what has gone almost unnoticed so far, is that if the Huskers beat K-State this week in Manhattan, Kansas, the Huskers will become bowl eligible. Stop to think about that one for a second-last year at this time, Husker fans were biting their nails wondering if the Huskers would have enough wins at the end of the season to be eligible to play in a bowl. This year, the 5-1 record hasn't drawn any interest. The Huskers have come a long way, baby.
Another amazing stat is that the Huskers have not won in Manhattan since 1996-a ten year drought! Who would have believed that could ever happen? Amazing, absolutely amazing.

K-State used to be the worst football program in the country. The program was dreadful-until Bill Snyder showed up. The rest in history.

And history is what the Husker players are hoping to make this Saturday night in a 6:00 p.m. pay-per-view game at Kansas State.

The Huskers should be able to take care of business. Nebraska has too many weapons for the 'Cats to defend. K-State's special teams are having a great year so far, blocking punts and returning kickoffs. If the Huskers can run the ball consistently, don't commit any costly turnovers and if their special teams can contain the 'Cats, the Huskers should make history with their 800th all time victory and their first win in 10 years in Manhattan.
This will not be the Freeman Bowl Saturday night. Josh Freeman never played a down for the Huskers. He slithered out of his commitment to Nebraska and split for K-State just before the signing date last February. The "classy" way Bill Callahan was informed of Josh's decommitment was when Freeman's dad text messaged Callahan with the infamous message, "We won't be coming," But this bit of rudeness won't have any effect on the game Saturday. Right, and I'm the King of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Freeman: Maybe your kid ain't comin', but the Huskers will be.

If you'd like to give Husker Dan a piece of your mind you may email Husker Dan at [email protected].  For past Husker Dan columns, click here.