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Here are some random thoughts about Saturday night's loss to the Hokies of Virginia Tech:
1.) Even though the Huskers didn't play very well, the game still came down to the final play.
2.) It took an almost perfect game by the Va. Tech to beat the Huskers.
3.) The Huskers never quit. They kept coming back time after time.
4.) Had this game been played with last year's team, the Huskers would have had a 50 point meltdown.
5.) The game may have been decided in the first quarter when two Husker mistakes (blocked punt for a safety and Ganz's interception that set up the Hokies on the Husker 5 yard line). Before the Huskers could even register a first down, the Huskers were down 9-zip.
6.) You can't win many games when you rush for only 55 yards and the opposing quarterback has more yards rushing than your entire team.
7.) How many games can the Huskers expect to win if they continue to have a 3rd down conversion rate of 2 for 11 and a time of possession deficit of almost 10 minutes?
8.) Bo Pelini's late blow up may not have cost the Huskers the game, but he MUST learn to be smarter. Had Suh not hit Tyrod "Struts" Taylor out of bounds, the Hokies, leading by just 5, would likely have punted. Four minutes can be an eternity in college football.
9.) The Huskers are still making too many costly mistakes.
10.) Because the Husker offense couldn't sustain drives, the Husker "D" was on the field way too long. They ran out of gas even in the second quarter. But to their credit, they held the Hokies to field goals instead of touchdowns.
11.) Nate Swift's 88 punt return for a TD was the most electrifying play since Marlon Lucky's TD pass to Nate Swift in the '06 Husker-Texas game.
12.) The Huskers need much more speed on defense.
13.) Roy Helu, Jr. should get many more snaps at running back.
14.) The Huskers should run the ball more.
15.) Will Joe Ganz rush for 55 yards against Missouri this Saturday?
16.) Alex Henery's 48 yard field goal was a beaut!
17.) 48 points may not be enough to beat Missouri in Lincoln this week.
18.) The Missouri-Nebraska game may not be over until early Sunday morning.
19.) Will the Huskers be able to put pressure on Chase Daniel Saturday night?
20.) Is there any team that can beat the Tigers during the regular season?
21.) Will the Huskers be 3-3 after the next two games?
22.) Will the Sooners go undefeated until they meet the Tigers in Kansas City?
23.) How can this week's game with the Tigers be Homecoming when the Huskers have yet to go on the road?
24.) What's a Hokie?
25.) Why do Hokie fans dangle their key chains during games?
Mrs. Husker Dan and I watched-check that-TRIED to watch the game in the middle of a nest of very loud Hokie fans who stood the entire game. Consequently, we had to stand the entire game.
Their fans kept chanting "Let's Go Hokies, 1-2, 1-2-3!" I swear to you it sounded (and I'm not making this up) like "Let's Go Honkies, 1-2, 1-2-3!"
I sat in the last seat in row 65, with nothing but some chicken wire fastened to the railing to keep me from failing 80 feet to a certain death.
At the game, I visited briefly with # 75, Larry Jacobson who won Nebraska's first Outland Trophy back in 1971. He's still huge. I also spotted the very pretty Christina Houghtelling, former Husker volleyball standout, wearing a Cody Glenn jersey.
Mrs. Husker Dan and I took Major Jonathan Harvey (82nd Airborne) and his brother Matt to and from the game Saturday night. Jon served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He flew into Omaha Friday from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina to see the game. His brother flew in from Phoenix to join his big bro and their parents for a mini-family reunion. Both grew up in Nebraska City and hadn't been to a Husker game since 1991. An anonymous donor from Illinois provided the tickets for the two.
We took time to stop by the Nebraska Bookstore to meet Mike Babcock who was signing copies of his new book "University of Nebraska Football Vault".
The four of us stopped by the Huskerpedia Tailgate Party a couple of blocks south of the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Lincoln. We got to meet former Husker great Joe Orduna and his son Daniel (great name). We were also treated to a performance by The Husker Elvises who performed the night before at the reunion banquet honoring the 1970-71 Husker national championship teams. David Max and Joe Hudson, who run Huskerpedia, hosted the tailgate party.
David Max gave Major Jon Harvey a Husker football that was autographed by Vince Farragamo, Eric Crouch, Dave Humm, Van Brownson and Jerry Tagge. Jon also got Tommie Frazier's to sign it.
That football and one I have that was signed by all the members of the present coaching staff including Bo Pelini, Jeff Jamrog and Tom Osborne are going to be auctioned (Ebay?) to help raise money for Husker Dan's Army and for "The Husker Fans' Salute To The Troops" weekend celebration. The "Salute" event will take place November 1st and 2nd at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in downtown Lincoln.
Veterans from any war and from any branch of service and their families are invited to attend this great event. Veterans and their guests will be escorted by chartered buses to and from Memorial Stadium where they will be treated to a special tour of the Stadium and the new athletic facilities. They will also be treated to a special Tunnel Walk experience.

To learn how you can be donor or to register for the event, go to www.huskersalute.org. Remember, your donations are tax deductible. Please help us to thank the brave men and women who have served our country.
This Saturday morning, I will be doing an interview with Jeff Beals (Grow Omaha!) on Omaha radio station KFAB 1110 at 8:00 a.m. I will be talking about "The Husker Fans' Salute To The Troops" celebration. Be there or be square!
Marching bands have been very important in my life. I was introduced to drums and the music business when, as a 12 year old kid, I watched a drum and bugle corps march by me one day in downtown Omaha. I still remember the drum cadence. Anyway, something clicked that day. As strange as it may seem, I knew at that very moment, I wanted to play drums for a living when I got older.
And several years later, while in the Omaha North High School drumline, I was introduced to the game of football. I had absolutely no knowledge of the game prior to that night. My fellow drumline buddy, Bill Wakefield, who later became the interim Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was my mentor. He patiently explained the game to me, play by play. The Vikings went on the beat Creighton Prep that night, 21-19 in an exciting game. From that day on, life would never be the same for me. I became addicted to the game of football.

So it's no wonder that with the combination of drums and Husker football, I would have a special place in my heart for the Cornhusker Marching Band.
The CMB is more than just a band. This group provides the foundation on which all Husker spirit is built. I can't imagine a football Saturday in Lincoln without the CMB. I admire the Band and its tradition so much that they received a "Dano Award" last year for the "Most Outstanding Musical Group."
It wasn't long after the award had been announced, that I received a very nice letter from Tony Falcone, Director of the CMB, thanking me for the award. I told Tony that I would like to do a feature on the Band. He suggested that I attend one of the Band's rehearsals this summer at Memorial Stadium. So Mrs. Husker Dan and I came to Lincoln in August and met Tony and Doug Bush, the two people who help make the Band the great organization that it is.

First of all, you need to know that Tony and Doug are two of the classiest guys you'll ever meet. Tony sees to it the Band plays the music correctly, while Doug makes sure everyone marches correctly.
What is remarkable is how smoothly the rehearsal went. (I'd like to see Bo Pelini handle 290 musicians armed with musical instruments!) The practices involve stretching exercises and require a great deal of marching coordination. For those of you who have never played in a marching band, you have to be able to play the music from memory, march in step while playing the music and make sure you are marching to the correct locations at all times and in straight lines. Throw in the echo factor of Memorial Stadium and you have a daunting task to make it all work.

The CMB is one of very few college marching bands in the nation that does a different half time show for each home game. The amount of time required to produce the finished product is amazing.

I have so much material, that I've decided to make this Cornhusker Marching Band special a series of features. In the next few columns, we'll get to know more about the players and the tradition of this great organization.

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