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HUSKER    DAN

BLACKSHIRTS MIA, SURVIVE BALL STATE 41- 40
BIG WED WAP-UP


Okay, be honest. When you saw that Ball State was on the Huskers' home schedule this season, you circled the date as the Saturday you were going to clean out your garage, rake your yard or maybe play 18 holes. Oh sure, you were going to listen the game for a while on the radio, but you wouldn't dream of shelling out thirty buck-os for the PPV broadcast of a game you knew would be over at the half. And if you had tickets to the game, you gave them to your cousin in Beemer (who you don't even like that much but you knew would actually go to this turkey of a game).

Too bad that wasn't the case. Too bad for Husker fans that the game wasn't over by intermission. Husker fans who did go to the game, or watched it on TV , saw an incredibly exciting game. Husker fans will be talking about this one for years to come-and for all the wrong reasons.

For the third straight week, the Husker's "Milk Carton" defense was missing in action. How in the name of Bob Devaney can the Huskers expect to win a conference crown or even a division championship with a defense that is giving up over 400 yards a game?

This wasn't Southern Cal, or LSU or Florida the Huskers played Saturday-it was freakin' Ball State from that powerhouse Mid-America Conference. Sigh...
TROJAN-CARDINAL MATCHUP?
Okay, so by extrapolation, Ball State and the Trojans will meet for the national championship in January, right?

It doesn't take a genius to know that if the Huskers continue to surrender over 600 yards (!) to a team like Ball State, this is going to be a very long season for the Huskers.
LOCKED UP
I would suggest that the black shirts that were given to the Huskers' first string defense, be removed from the locker room and locked up in a safe, far away from Memorial Stadium. They should not be given back until our defense can stop somebody-anybody.
BAIT 'N SWITCH?
Maybe Steve Pederson pulled a fast one on Husker fans. Just maybe in an attempt to bolster the Husker Athletic Department's bank account, he did a little bait and switch. He scheduled an Arena Football League game at Memorial Stadium and forgot to tell anyone.

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Yet on a sun-drenched beautiful Saturday afternoon, the play of the game belonged to the defense-from linebacker, Bo Ruud who returned a Cardinal interception for a 34 yard touchdown late in the game that helped the Huskers claw back into the lead. To be sure, there were other standouts on defense-Phillip Dillard, Zach Potter, Steve Octavien, Ty Steinkuhler and Courtney Grixby all of whom had very good games.

And on offense, where would we be without Sam Keller? Once again, our receiving corps played very well. Even the O-line gave Keller enough time (I know there were several breakdowns) to throw for over 400 yards.

But if the Blackshirts don't get things straighten out quickly, the Huskers will have a one way ticket to Palookaville which doesn't run anywhere near San Antonio.

MORE LATER ON THE OREGONIANS FOR NEBRASKA ETC.
More about Southern Cal and Ball State in next week's column. I'll also tell you about the great people with the Oregonians For Nebraska who welcomed Mrs. Husker Dan and me as we joined them for their football watch party at the Refectory in Portland, Oregon Saturday.

HUSKER DAN SEZ
As for the this week's game with the Cyclones-any team that can beat Iowa (even a mediocre Hawkeye team) must not be taken lightly. Get ready for another Arena Football game. The Huskers win it in triple OT, 51-48. Sigh.

If you'd like to give Husker Dan a piece of your mind you may email Husker Dan at huskerdan@cox.net.  For past Husker Dan columns, click here.