Sunday, October 12, 2008
For the first time in years, I had that nauseating feeling after watching the Nebraska and Texas Tech on Saturday. It wasn't the same severe nauseating feeling as the Orange Bowl in 1984 or 1994. This was a good sick feeling. Now that I think of it, the last time I had this feeling was when the same Red Raiders came to Lincoln in October of 2005 and LeKevin Smith intercepted a pass, ran with it, fumbled it back to Tech at the 10, and then watched as Cody Hodges threw a 10 yard TD with 12 seconds left to win 34-31.
It's not because Tech and Nebraska have a long history like we do with Oklahoma and Colorado. It's because both Saturday and that day in October 2005 were both times Husker fans were optimistic about the future and winning meant something. In 2005, most agreed that we were about to turn that corner and become relevant on the national stage. We never did. Before the game yesterday, I thought that we were years from turning that corner. We're not there yet, but we're closer than I thought. I was realistically giving the Huskers two wins the rest of the year (MAYBE two wins) - Baylor at home and Iowa State in Ames. Now, I really believe we have a chance at beating everyone left on the schedule besides Oklahoma. Will we? No. But most importantly, we can.
Some notable numbers and thoughts from the game:
Marlon Lucky: 16 carries, 66 yards. 7 receptions, 80 yards. The best game he has ever played as a Husker. Easily. His hands clearly show why he gets that chance at the next level.
Joe Ganz: 36/44, 349 yards, 2 TDs, 1 Int. It's too bad that his one Int will define the entire game because once again he proved that he knows this offense inside and out. Ganz was the best Qb on the field Saturday. Imagine if he had an arm?
Shawn Watson: I really like how Watson 'dumbed it down' offensively. Simple running plays and simple comeback routes kept the ball in our hands for 40:12 seconds to Tech's 19:48 seconds. Before this game, I thought if anyone's job would be in jeopardy at season's end it would be Watson's. He has no association with Pelini and with how bad offensively things had been going so far this year, I assumed. However, I guess being sheltered by Cally for several years should allow you more time.
Penalties: Once again, horrific. 8 penalties for 55 yards for us. I thought that the first possession back to back holding calls inside Tech territory changed the course of the game. We played catch up the rest of the game where as if we score on that drive, it changes the dynamic. Barney Cotton has to stop this weekly bleeding.
Fourth Down: 4th and 5 on your (Tech) own 36 with 4:30 to go and Armando Murillo bites on the attempt to draw the defense offsides while he is assigned to man coverage on Michael Crabtree? To add injury to insult, center Stephen Hamby wasn't suppose to hike the ball to Harrell.
"That's a game plan a lot of people have against us and Nebraska today has done the best job since I've been here," Graham Harrell said.
Michael Crabtree: 5 receptions, 89 yards, 2 TDs. He's the real deal. Missouri receiver Jeremy Maclin has been regarded as a Heisman Trophy finalist and best receiver in college football. He's not in the Top 2 recievers in the Big 12. I'll take Crabtree and Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant.
Posted by Sammy Vegas at 2:35 PM