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Nebraska 59, Baylor 0

Let me tell you, I just don't think my heart can take these close, nailbiting games anymore. If the Cornhuskers keep it up, I'm going to have to get back on my trusty nitro glycerin pills just so I can protect the old ticker. Speaking of explosions, a record-setting first quarter blast from the Cornhuskers flat-lined Baylor right off the bat Saturday and reduced the cheers of the pumped-up Bears fans to a mere murmur. In the end, win No. 7 was hardly a heart-stopper, but for the Huskers the result was still the same: The beat goes on.

A few takes:

UNBEARABLE: By attending the only parochial school in the Big XII Conference, students at Baylor University have a lot of practice in bowing their heads to pray. And following the game, both teams huddled at midfield to give thanks to the man upstairs. Nebraska, of course, was thankful that they were able to rest their top players, secure an easy win and get a solid tuneup for the dreaded Oklahoma Swooners. Meanwhile, Baylor praised God for allowing the game clock to finally reach 0:00. This game lasted longer than medical school, but the Bears were broken from the very beginning. Don't get me wrong -- the Blackshirts were great in allowing BU to stumble to just 84 yards, but let's not get carried away, especially since Baylor has not scored a touchdown since the Pleistocene Epoch. In fact, looking at the BU offense for some type of stability is like looking to Tom Arnold for psychoanalysis.

JAMMAL IN THE FAMILY: In a day when a swirling Lincoln wind made quarterbacks from both teams hit the mark about as accurately as a Ray Charles vs. Ronnie Milsap archery contest, Nebraska's backup QB reeled off the prettiest spiral of the afternoon. His second-quarter strike to Matt Davison was smoooth (that's right. It requires three "o"s to describe it) and, asamatterafact, wound up accounting for roughly half of NU's aerial stats. At the start of the year, Husker fans were jumpier than a hemophiliac in a knife factory about the health of Eric The Red, but Lord has proven he is a more than capable backup for the Huskers' Hypesman contender. In fact, he's as smooth as a Frosty and Wendy's. Game ball to No. 10.

DEPTH CHARGE: Certainly, more than a few eyebrows were raised in tacky sports pubs across the nation when Saturday's 52-0 halftime score flashed across the TV's sports ticker. But the most impressive -- and important -- number for Husker fans on this day was 115. That's how many players saw action against the Bears. At times, the path from NU's sideline to the Husker huddle saw more foot traffic than O'Hare International Airport on Christmas Eve, and by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, fans saw more strange faces on the field than a film festival featuring Jim Carrey. The fifth-team tailback, superhyped Thunder Collins, gave a semi-snoozing red-clad crowd something to cheer about by actually touching the ball in the fourth quarter, but then disappointed everyone in attendance when he was unable to levitate over the line of scrimmage and brush defenders aside, Jedi-like, with a wave of his hand. Still, there was a good chance that if you were wearing red and carrying the football, good things were going to happen.

BUFFALO CHIPS: An interesting result flashed on the Memorial Stadium scoreboard during the second half of Saturday's game. Kansas, despite having a coach that looks a lot like Picachu the Pokemon, stunned the Colorado Buffaloes and ended the Bluffs' hopes of getting to a bowl game in 2000. Three weeks ago, Gary Barnett came up with the motivational ploy of threatening to remove the decals from his team's helmets if they didn't start playing like the Buffaloes of old. Now that CU is no longer bowl-eligible, perhaps the "Genius" should follow through with that uniform change. In fact, why not go all the way and switch back to the school's silver-and-powder-blue motif like they wore in the early 1980s, when their football team smelled worse than the Boulder City Dump on a 100-degree day? At 1-6, they're looking a LOT like the Bluffaloes of old, all right.

THE BOTTOM LINE: In his post-game comments, Head Husker Frank Solich made a profound, insightful statement about his top-ranked Cornhuskers. "We appear to be a team that is ready to play football," he said. Whew! Actually, the fast-start mentality that Frankie was alluding to was evidenced by 38 points in the first quarter, which is a school record. In fact, this was NU's biggest blowout in four seasons, when they tore apart the Oklahoma Sooners by a 69-7 count. If you recall, that 1997 laugher followed a nasty bit of weather in Nebraska. Coincidentally, in the time since that trouncing, there has been a Red Storm Rising in the south. These Sooners, at 6-0 for the first time since Duran Duran was a legitimate band, don't exactly conjure up images of Thomas Lott or Jamelle Holieway, but they still can put points up in a hurry. The clash in Norman is being hyped as another Game of the Century, but if the Huskers can jump out early and make a few timely stops, it might not even be the Game of the Week. Nebraska 38, Oklahoma 24.

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Home of Nebraska's RED CLAD LOON.