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H U S K E R    D A N



Most Husker fans are asking themselves this week if a dramatic 4th quarter comeback win, on the road, against a BTS ranked team on natural turf makes up for another second half Husker collapse that saw the Huskers' first half 21-7 lead evaporate into a late 4th quarter 27-21 deficit.
For now, the answer is yes. Heck yes!
Raise your hand if you thought the Huskers could still win the game after Zac's pass was intercepted with just over 2 minutes to go in the game. Raise your hand if you thought the Huskers could hold the Aggies to a field goal attempt that had it been good, would have salted the game for A&M. And raise your hand if you thought the Huskers would block the attempt. Raise your hand if you thought the Huskers were going to win when the Huskers took over on their own 25 with less than 2 minutes to go and no time-outs.
And raise your hand if you thought the Huskers would win when Nebraska faced a 4th and 3 on the drive. And how many of you thought after Todd "I'm not Steve" Peterson made the first down that the Huskers would win the game? Okay, so I see a few more hands going up.
With every down, it seemed Zac Taylor grew more confident, even after he had several passes dropped. And then with about 30 seconds to go, there was a roughing the passer penalty that gave the Huskers new life with first and goal at the Aggie 9 yard line.
There is a river that runs along the northeast part of Nebraska and continues down the eastern side of the state as it continues its journey past Kansas City all the way to the Mississippi River near St. Louis. In steamboat times, if you wanted to get to Kansas City, all you had to do was hop on and let the Mighty Mo' to take you all the way. (Look, I know this is a bad metaphor but it's all I have.)
So the Huskers took a page out of the history books and rode the Huskers' Mighty Mo'-as in Mo Purify who made a leaping fade route 1st and goal catch of Taylor's pass. Touchdown Huskers! Congdon's extra point was the margin of victory. A few seconds later, Adam Carriker sealed the win with a tackle that ended the game.
Big 12 North Champs. A win on the road against a BTS ranked opponent, on natural turf in November. No matter what happens at home against the Buffaloes, the Huskers are headed to Kansas City to play either Texas or Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship.
A local writer recently likened winning the Big 12 North as important as being the prettiest pig in the pen. To those who think that winning the division is no big thing, I'd invite them to ask Gary Pinkel, Dan McCarney, Dan Hawkins, Ron "I'm a King, Not a" Prince, or Mike Mangino what winning the division would have meant to them and their respective football programs.
I'm sorry, being BTN champs is a big deal. Winning our 8th game of the season on the road against a BTS ranked opponent is a big deal. Having a chance to win the conference championship is a big deal. Having a chance to play in a BCS Bowl game is a huge deal. And having the chance to go 11-3 is an incredibly huge deal.
Husker fans: Enjoy this win and this season. Let the naysayers say what they want. Sure the second half of the A&M game was hard to watch at times, but "The Drive" as it will forever be known, will live in Husker memory for decades. The game typified the Huskers this season: Jump on an opponent and then hang on for dear life. But this time, the Huskers refused to lose. They did the little things that the coaches have taught the kids so that they could be in a position to win the game at the end. No one panicked.
We'll take it-anytime any place, anyway, we'll take it. Put it on a shelf, put it on your mantel over your fireplace. Frame it-gift wrap it. Send a post card. Get it autographed-I don't care. Just embrace it and enjoy the win.

Husker Dan is asking all former Husker football players to write me with what it meant for you to play for the Scarlet & Cream-to put on the uniform, to wear the helmet with the red "N" on it and to represent the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. Send your responses to [email protected]. I'll post the best responses in this column.

William Washington, former Husker tight end and co-captain ('92) is the first to share his thoughts with us. William says he has lived in Lincoln since his playing days but in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, has resided in New Orleans. He owns a construction/real estate development company and is partnering with former Husker Tyrone Legette (Husker co-captain '91) in helping to rebuild the area. I'm sure all Husker fans wish William and Tyrone all the best.
Husker Dan:
I am proud to be Texan born and Husker raised. Playing for the University of Nebraska provided me so many opportunities in life. I will always remember the tunnel walk leading into the Sea of Red. Husker fan support is second to none. Some of my best feelings were walking into opponents' stadiums and seeing all those red shirts in the stands.
I was able to play for the one of the best coaches of all-time, Coach Osborne, and receivers Coach Ron Brown.
I learned many things at UNL that I still use in my everyday life: Responsibility, commitment, loyalty, dedication, work ethic and how to deal with adversity. Whenever I hear the fight song, my blood gets to pumping a little faster and I'm ready to go out and give maximum effort for one play. Being a Husker meant you were prepared, confident and talented to win many ball games as well as win in the game of life. As I travel the country, I am given immediate respect along with an injection of great pride once people find out that I used to play for the Huskers. I gave a lot to the Big Red and the Big Red gave a lot to me. We are even in that respect but I still cheer, share my opinions, support and bleed Big Red Football.
William Washington
Tight End ('88-'92)

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.