MO SHOWS BO WHERE TO GO, 52-17
BIG WED WAP-UP
There were two good things that came out of Saturday night's Missouri Meltdown:
1.) There were no serious injuries on either team.
2.) And the game mercifully ended. Had this been a baseball game, the Tigers would still be at bat. And for that reason alone, Husker fans should be thankful.
SHUTOUT OR SHOOT-OUT?
It didn't help matters that the week preceding the game, Bo Pelini made comments (taken out of context) that his goal was to shut out the Tigers. Throw in the almost giddy words of linebacker coach Mike Ekeler about the great defensive game plan the coaches had devised for the Tigers, and you have a very hostile Missouri team coming in to Lincoln.
Ekeler also said the players were so excited about meeting the Tigers, that they were ready to play the game last Tuesday.
Too bad the game was Saturday.
FORGET THE MEMORIES
In my view, blame for the Husker meltdown lies with a number of systemic problems: a lack of team speed, too many mistakes and a paucity of experienced depth. Some of the poor play by the Huskers this year can be attributed to the wacky practice philosophy of former Husker head football coach, Bill Callahan. Callahan gave almost all the snaps to his starters, while all but ignoring the lower units. Pelini has had to start from scratch with many of these players who this year are now being called upon to play significant roles. Thanks for the memories, Bill.
By now, everyone knows about Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel's comments that he thought the Huskers were a dirty team. He added that he was spat upon by a Husker player prior to the game Saturday night. But now, the whole "incident" has been rendered moot by both Gary Pinkel and Bo Pelini. End of story.
You wonder why Chase Daniel would indict the entire Husker football team with talk about the Huskers playing dirty. He seems to be a good kid, but does he think he's playing tennis? Look, football is a very, very nasty business. But because Chase has such a great offensive line, he's probably not used to being touched. If he makes it to the next level, he'll find out what real dirty play is all about.
And before Husker fans get all steamed up at even the thought of their cherished Cornhuskers playing dirty, let's take a look at some other incidents that have taken place in "recent" memory between these two teams. To be sure, Missouri has a less than stellar reputation when it comes to game time ethics. Husker fans should remember two of the most vicious and senseless hits that occurred when the Tigers played Nebraska.
Back in 1979, it was Tiger DE Norman Goodman who took a cheap shot at Husker running back, Jarvis Redwine who was lined up for an extra point attempt. Redwine had to be taken out of the game. And in 1982, it was Omaha Ralston High School grad, Randy Jostes who knocked Husker quarterback Turner Gill out of the game with a vicious late hit. (BTW, the Huskers won both games.)
So pul-eeese, spare me the "dirty" talk, Chase.
GIVE 'EM A BREAK
What is troubling to most Husker fans is that they thought Husker meltdowns were going to be a thing of the past, something that went bye-bye when Kevin Cosgrove was fired. Wrong-o.
And just when you'd like to play a beatable opponent and restore your confidence after last Saturday's 52-17 blowout, here comes a road game with the seventh ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders-the same team that just four years ago handed the Huskers its worse loss (70-10) in Husker football history.
THE PERFECT STORM
The scary thing is, this Saturday very well could be a repeat of the Missouri Massacre. The perfect storm exists once again for the Huskers: no running game, senseless penalties, missed tackles and missed assignments, not enough team speed, a weak secondary and average offensive and defensive lines. And the Husker defense is facing yet another potent spread offense that some believe to be better (gasp!) than the one the Huskers faced last Saturday night in Lincoln. So don't be surprised if the Huskers get another butt-kicking in Lubbock come Saturday.
The minimum goal of this year's Husker team is to become bowl eligible. The problem is finding enough "W's" to make that happen. We're looking at probable blowouts at Texas Tech and Oklahoma (a worse opponent, in my view than either Tech or Missouri) and a probable "L" to Kansas at home.
So where are the 3 or 4 wins needed to get to a bowl? Iowa State on the road? Ooops, they almost beat Kansas. Baylor at home, maybe? Colorado? The only "gimmie" that may exist is the game at Kansas State. The Wildcats might be the only Big 12 team in worse shape than the Huskers.
Be patient, Husker fans. Keep the faith. Remember, Bo Knows.
GROW OMAHA INTERVIEW
If you were up at 8:30 last Saturday morning and turned on Omaha radio station KFAB's "Grow Omaha" show hosted by Jeff Beals and Trenton Magid, you may have caught an interview they did with me regarding the "Husker Fans' Salute To The Troops" celebration. "Salute" is going to take place the weekend of November 1st and 2nd at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln. The celebration will give Husker fans who contribute to the event the opportunity to say thanks to our brave men and women who have served our country in the military.
For more information on how you can become a donor and how you can register for the event, go to www.huskersalute.org.
Both Jeff and Trenton are with Coldwell Banker Commercial World Group, a commercial real estate brokerage company in Omaha. BTW, Jeff Beals, in addition to his commercial real estate duties, is the author of "Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One". Jeff travels the country promoting his book and conducting seminars in self marketing.
All of us associated with the "Salute" event, owe a big thanks to Jeff and Trenton.
BAND IN NEBRASKA (PART II)
It seems each year, I get email from long time Husker fans who are making plans to visit Lincoln to see their very first Husker home football game. They always ask me what I suggest they do to help maximize their Husker Experience. Without hesitation, I tell them not to miss the Cornhusker Marching Band as they perform about an hour before kickoff in front of the Kimball Recital Hall on the campus of UNL. The band plays selections from the show they'll be performing at the half.
The first piece of music you'll hear in their pre-game performance is "The California Chords" which is a series of major and minor chords. The Band always gets a huge ovation afterward. And that's' just for a warm-up!
Wait for the "real" music! After they finish playing the half time selections, the Band huddles up and marches north through the campus and up Stadium Way. Before they reach Memorial Stadiuim, the Band plays "The Band Song", in which the players sing the words. For those of you who don't know the lyrics, here you go:
THE BAND SONG
Hear the trumpets playin'
Hear the crowd a sayin'
NU Band is on parade!
Hear the trombones blowin'
Hear the drums a rollin'
NU Band is on parade!
Sound out, sound out
Sound out loud and clear
Let the team all know the Band is here.
Sons of Old Nebraska
If someone should ask ya
We're the Scarlet and the Cream!
And then the Band cranks up a couple of choruses of "Hail Varsity", which if you have an ounce of Husker Red Blood in your veins, you'll get chills. Garr-rann-teed!
Next week, we'll take a look at (among other things) the daunting task of creating, practicing and learning five new halftime shows in as many weeks.
MO SHOWS BO WHERE TO GO, 52-17