Friday, October 10, 2008

Nebraska Football: Would Buffalo Beat the Huskers?

That's what I'm wondering after Missouri mauled Nebraska.

Turner Gill's Buffalo team went into Columbia and it was 27-21 late in the 3rd quarter. At the time in the game when Missouri was fighting for its life against Buffalo, it was putting in a backup quarterback against Nebraska and shutting down the attack at 52 points. How did Buffalo do better on the road against Missouri than Nebraska did at home?

Please, no lectures about patience. That was pathetic. Penalty flags flying everywhere. Opposition says NU plays dirty. Again, if Buffalo can play a respectable game at Mizzou, how can NU look so bad at home?

At least Bo Pelini isn't pronouncing his performance "excellent in all phases" as Bill Callahan did. But players and coaches are in disarray. Pelini and his staff come off as wide-eyed little leaguers way out of their depth. Is this crew going to get the mess fixed in one week for the first road game at Texas Tech? Will Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach shut it down at 52 with a quarter still to play?

Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops will limit the damage, especially if he's still ensconced at #1 and doesn't have to worry about style points. There's time to improve before that game against Iowa State and Baylor. Might be in shape for a respectable stretch run in November.

There's no choice but to be an optimist about Pelini. Maybe he can will the defense into a more competitive unit. I don't know what happened to the offense that scored so well at the end of last season.

Forget about Texas Tech and Oklahoma. The "certain" wins against Iowa State and Baylor now look shaky. OWH columnist Tom Shatel rightly said recently that the November slate -- Kansas, Kansas State, and Colorado -- will be the measure of this season. A sweep of those games, or two wins and a strong showing in a loss to Kansas, will show progress. Anything less is hard to spin in a positive way.

No comments: