Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Nebraska Football : Where from Here?

Was the epic loss to Texas proof that Nebraska is able to compete with the best? Or was it a choke at home that proves the Huskers are not ready for prime time?

The defensive line held up better than I expected against the Texas O-Line. Jay Moore played up to the hype given Adam Carriker. Steve Octavien was back to form.

Yes, this Texas rivalry is starting to feel like OU in the 1970s. I want another shot Dec. 2.

We haven't beaten anybody with a winning record. Then again, neither have Florida State or Miami, neither of whom are in the top 25. Wouldn't mind drawing either of them this year, though it probably would be a low-tier bowl.

KU seems to have been an aberration. If the Blackshirts can hold down Texas, they ought to be able handle to handle Okie State. And the offense ought to be able to carry more of the load than it did against Texas. Then a circa 1960s-70s Husker-Tiger brawl for the North.

It's true that, in retrospect, the recruiting is starting to look suspect. The two franchise QBs fell through. Leon Jackson flamed out. The best defensive players are generally Solich recruits. Isn't Brandon Jackson a Solich recruit?

I think the O-Line pipeline is starting to fill with talent, but the line still hasn't proven itself against good competition. A split-the-defenders TD pass, a shovel pass on which the receiver had to break a few tackles and break it outside to get passed the line of scrimmage and move up field, and a halfback pass. I love the versatility, but it's also a sign of desperation because of inability to open running lanes.

All that said, if NU wins the next four, it all looks wonderful. Even if we lose at Texas A&M but play well (24-20?), it's a solid 9-3. Probably a loss to Texas Dec. 2, then maybe an upgrade to a good Florida or California bowl. If we win all four, then we really are good and anything is possible, including an upset Dec. 2 and a Jan. 1 bowl.

It's fun looking at the world through scarlet-colored lenses.

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