Archive for October, 2006

Pressure Presser
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tuesday’s Husker press conference wasn’t anything special — but Coach Callahan and his players all recognize the sense of urgency that exists for this game. You’d have to say it’s the biggest game for Callahan since he’s been here. It’s the first game he’s coached in that has the word “Championship” in it —- the Big 12 North Championship Game.

No Excuses

In an earlier post I tried to give Callahan and company as many excuses as I could think of, specifically with regards to the injuries. Coach isn’t listening to any of it. “There are no excuses… we gotta suck it up,” he said today.

When you think about it, the injuries, the heart-breaking loss, the lack of depth, and throw into all that the lack of an off-week, and I think you’ve got a physically and mentally taxed team. But a lot of teams are dealing with those things… the great teams battle through them.

Championship Focus

Coach and his players talked all day about their sharp focus for what truly is a must-win game. Funny, I thought this team was mentally focused going into the Oklahoma State game. “Winning a championship comes down to focus,” Callahan said today. I think the home crowd will help sharpen that focus. These last few sentences beg the question: How many times can you use the word “focus” in one solid paragraph?

Missouri will be a challenge

You’re welcome for that newsflash. After the Huskers were torched by that OSU passing game (well, and the running game) you have to wonder how they’ll be able to match up with Missouri. The Cowboys had Woods and Bowman at wideout. The Tigers’ best offensive weapons are arguably at the tight end position: Martin Rucker (6’6″) and Chase Coffman (6’6″). They have combined for 72 receptions for 694 yards and 8 touchdowns. And oh yeah, Chase Daniel isn’t too bad, either. He may not run like Bobby Reid, but he’s rushed for more than 300 yards this season.

By the way, for some reason today Chase Daniel’s name was changed to Chase Daniels. Ya’ know how one person can screw up a name, and then everyone else follows suit because they think he is right? Stick with your gut, people. It’s Chase Daniel.

Speaking of Which

Jon Schuetz asked linebacker Corey McKeon about Chase Daniel’s name. Corey said, “It’s good… it’s no Chance Mock… but it’s good.”

I wonder what they’ll say at mid-field

Bill Callahan and Gary Pinkel find themselves in similar positions this week. Pinkel’s water is hotter than Callahan’s, only because Pinkel is in his 6th season with Missouri. To open the season with six straight wins was nice, but losing three of four (which it will be if they lose to Nebraska) is not nice.

Callahan said he and OSU coach Mike Gundy talked before the game about how difficult each Big 12 game is. I wonder what the conversation will be like between Callahan and Pinkel. I imagine it will go something like this.

Bill: “So how’s it going with you?”
Gary: “Oh, we’ve hit a rough patch. It’s tough. You?”
Bill: “We gotta get better.”
Gary: “We do, too. Say, how come you guys stopped running the ball at OSU?”
Bill: “Every game’s different.”

A Cloud of Uncertainty

That’s what’s hanging over this program right now. You have to wonder if the players felt like they had time-warped back to last season on Saturday. Seeing Oklahoma State give Nebraska
“a whooping” (McKeon’s words, not mine) probably had them harken back to yesteryear. Not a good feeling to have heading into the biggest game of this year.

Texas coach Mack Brown declared “Nebraska is back.”

Saturday it looked like Nebraska was back to last season.

Is a lack of talent a fair argument?

I think it is, but I know Husker fans are sick and tired of hearing about it. No matter what kind of players you have, you can’t be making the same mistakes from year-to-year. I’m interested in your feedback on that. Do they have the talent (especially on defense) to run the schemes that they’re trying to run? Is the talent here to win a Big 12 Title? If not, then why are the expectations still so high? How long are you willing to give this coaching staff? What are your benchmarks… what is your timeline?


Tuesday briefing
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tuesday marks the most important Husker press conference of the year. Check that… the press conference before the most important game of the year. No press conferences are important.

Not to make excuses for the Huskers, but…

We can’t forget how injuries have hurt this team. Zackary Bowman’s injury was more detrimental than anybody thought. Could you imagine what kind of impact he would’ve had against Oklahoma State? How about Texas?

The linebacking core continues to be plagued with injuries. Corey McKeon looks like he’s about 70% as he continues to rehab his severely sprained ankle. Lance Brandenburgh is wearing a club on one of his hands. Steve Octavien has been nursing a hamstring (although he seems to be close to 100%). Phillip Dillard is gone for the season. There is little to no depth at linebacker or in the secondary. Remember: the depth was so bad that Isaiah Fluellen was the starting nickel back before he got injured. Isaiah Fluellen. Isaiah……… Fluellen……

Not to beat a dead horse, but do you think Reggie Smith would be starting had he chosen Nebraska over Oklahoma?

There are a lot of people posting comments on the blog calling for Cosgrove’s job. He may not have had the greatest gameplan… but you’ve gotta have the horses. McKeon, Bradley, Ruud, Shanle, Tierre Green… these are good players, but let’s not forget that these are Solich guys. Let’s give Callahan and company a chance for their players to mature. I want to see Ricky
Thenarse, Major Culbert and Anthony West as juniors.

The question right now of, “Will Callahan last beyond this season if Nebraska doesn’t win the North?” is mind-boggling. Believe me, I understand the Nebraska football culture… I understand the patience, or lack thereof, of Husker fans.

You have to remember: this is year three of a complete culture flip. I am not a Nebraska apologist; I am a Colorado alum. This Husker program will be in good shape. Callahan and company need a fair shake.

Now, if the Huskers don’t win the North next year with an All-Pac-10 Quarterback at the helm and a healthier/deeper secondary, then Callahan will be on the hot seat.

Until then just sit back, relax, and enjoy the unpredictability while it lasts.

Blog Record Broken

Like Marlon Lucky on his touchdown runs, we are continually setting new records for “most posts” on the “Schick’s Shtick Blog”. We had a record 21 comments on the debacle at Oklahoma State. It’s great getting to hear what you think… I’ll respond to all of you as often as I can. Keep’em coming.

And most important of all, we’re destroying “Campbell’s Corner.”

These guys look good

The Creighton men’s basketball team practiced for more than two and a half hours Monday night. I wasn’t suited up, but I felt exhausted watching these guys. The non-stop suicide drilling, three-man weaving and scrimmaging left me searching for my inhaler.

With four starters and nine lettermen returning, this team is gonna be good. With so many newcomers (and the return of Nate Funk from injury), Head Coach Dana Altman will have the opposite problem he had last year: too much depth! Kenny Lawson, Isacc Miles, Ty Morrison… plus the boys from last season: Tolliver, Porter, Dotzler (if and when he’s healthy), Hibma (if and when he’s healthy), Watts, Gakou, Nengsu… plus the guys back from injury/sitting out: Funk ‘n’ Bahe (sounds like a grunge band). Can the Bluejays get an extra arena and field two teams? Casey Harriman will probably redshirt this season, but even he looks like he could step on the court and make an impact.

In talking to people who’ve been covering this program longer than I have (this is my third go’round following the team), this is (potentially) the best team Altman has ever had. You’d have to say it’s definitely the deepest. It’s going to be interesting to see what combinations he comes up with. Especially with Josh Dotzler continuing to rehab his injury.

Freshman Kenny Lawson looks good… he’ll have to put on a whole’lotta muscle, but he’s got the make of a solid player. Ty Morrison is recovering from Graves Disease, a hyperactive thyroid condition that causes weakness and fatigue. He toughed it out and battled his way through the practice. He’s got the talent and tools… getting his endurance back up will be key.

The Jays hold their exhibition opener Thursday night against EA Sports. Former Bluejays, including Johnny Mathies, will be suiting up for the video game company.

Look for Creighton to be pressing the R2 button all night.

I think that’s the turbo button for Playstation, isn’t it?

Nebraska Suffers a Meltdown
Sunday, October 29, 2006

Say good-bye to the Top-25.

Up 16-0 in the second quarter, it looked like Nebraska was going to cruise to an easy win. Then Oklahoma State hit some big plays and the Huskers hibernated for the second half.

Nebraska 29
Oklahoma State 41

Start Strong, Finish Strongless

For the second time this season, the Huskers gave up a lead of more than two touchdowns (read: Kansas).

Nebraska raced out to a 16-nothing lead against Oklahoma State, then scored 7 points in the final two and a half quarters (not counting the meaningless TD with 15 seconds left). When this team gets down by more than a touchdown on the road, they lose. Look at 2005: Missouri, Kansas — big defecits, couldn’t recover. This season: USC, Oklahoma State. Heck, look back to 2004 if you need to: Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Iowa State. (Okay, forget about 2004, which was a wash anyway). It’s surprising to me how this team cannot overcome adversity on the road. Counting last year and this year, the Huskers won their road games when they didn’t trail by more than a touchdown. Their largest conference road defecit overcome? 7 points, to Baylor (Baylor scored on its first possession of the game).

I posed the thought to Jon Schuetz in our Big Red Zone wrap-up at 10: I thought this team was through with getting blown out by teams they were expected to beat. Was it the Texas hangover? A sandwich game with Missouri on the horizon? I don’t think so. A team thinking ahead or focusing on the past doesn’t take a 16-0 lead.

Not-so-Special Teams

Have you ever seen the Nebraska special teams play this poorly under Head Coach Bill Callahan? Frantz Hardy (who I don’t recall returning many kicks for the Huskers) made poor decisions on returning kicks from the endzone. The coverage on the kick-off right before halftime was critically bad… the long OSU return led to an Adarius Bowman touchdown reception on the next play. What was going to be a 23-13 score at halftime, quickly became a 23-20 eyebrow raiser. Not to mention Jordan Congdon missed his first two PATs this season (one came on a mishandled snap), and a 42-yard field goal. All-in-all, this was not a banner day for the special teams.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Seriously, don’t fix it.

Brandon Jackson carried the ball on the first 6 plays of the game, gaining 66 yards. With the ball at the 9-yard-line, Jackson went to the sideline, Marlon Lucky came in, and one short gain and two pass incompletions later, Nebraska settled for a field goal.

The next Husker series, the first time Jackson touched the ball he raced 24 yards to the endzone. 16-0 Nebraska.

The next series, Jackson didn’t touch the ball. Not coincidentally, it resulted in Nebraska’s first punt.

Brandon Jackson carried the ball 11 times for 99 yards in the first quarter. He carried the ball 10 more times the rest of the game (3 in the fourth quarter). He had 124 yards at halftime. He had 58 after halftime. His yards/carry average didn’t drop off… just his carries. In the words of World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel, “Give me the headset!” I’m pounding that ball to Brandon Jackson all day long, he finishes with 245 yards on 32 carries with four touchdowns. Is that so hard? He averaged 8.7 yards/carry. He just didn’t get enough carries.

Zac Taylor takes too many hits

This just in off the news wire. Zac has been battered and beaten for the last two games. His offensive line needs to protect him better, but at the same time he needs to get rid of the ball more quickly. I admire him for stepping up into the pocket and stepping into the hits as he released the ball… but if this keeps up he won’t survive this season.

Oh yeah, about that defense

They forced two turnovers in the first half, and the Huskers scored touchdowns off of both of those. But giving up big plays might as well be like the offense giving up the football. The 45-yard touchdown pass with 15-seconds left in the first half was a killer (as was the kick-off coverage that led to the good field position). Andrew Shanle took a terrible route on that last play — as a safety, he needs to cut that play off at the pass. Instead, he nearly took Cortney Grixby out of the play by taking a huge gamble.

The Cowboys averaged 11 yards per pass attempt, and averaged 8 yards per play. The blackshirts looked like the same group we saw last year in Columbia.

Let me ask you this:

How does a team that holds a 10-minute time of possession advantage, wins the turnover battle, holds a 16-point lead at one point in the game, runs 17 more offensive plays, and gets 4 more first downs…. lose?

Nebraska and Missouri for Breakfast

With Nebraska and Missouri both losing (and most likely both falling out of the Top-25) ABC has decided to air next week’s game at 11AM.

Oklahoma and Texas A&M both won on Saturday, and have the luxury of an evening kickoff at 7PM. You can see both games right here on KETV.

How big is this Missouri Game?

It is without a doubt the Big 12 North Division Championship Game. If Nebraska wins, they can split their final two games (A&M and Colorado) and still make it to Kansas City. If Nebraska loses, they will need to win their final two games, and will need Missouri to lose its final two games (at Iowa State, vs Kansas). Kansas State is one back of Mizzou and NU, but plays Texas in two weeks… so in my book, they’re out.

This is the biggest week of Bill Callahan’s Husker career. And it’s coming off of back-to-back losses. If this game was on the road, I’d be very leary of this one. With it at home, Nebraska should win it. But after this week, who knows?

Also, if Nebraska loses to Missouri, no Husker player or coach will be able to mutter, “All our goals are still in front of us” anymore.

USC Loses — so does Notre Dame

If the Irish were hoping for a shot at the National Championship, Oregon State didn’t do them any favors. The Beavers ended USC’s 27-game conference winning streak (it’s first regular season loss in three years!) with a 33-31 win in Corvallis. Notre Dame will take on USC in a few weeks — and the Trojans won’t have a top-5 ranking.

West Virginia is in a prime spot right now. If the Mountaineers beat Louisville Thursday night, they should play for a national championship. I’m hoping they do… I went to a few Mountaineer games when I lived in western Maryland in the late 1980s. They love their football in Morgantown. Remember Major Harris?

The Mavericks are right where they want to be… sort of

Winning is one thing. Doing it with only one offensive touchdown is quite another. The Mavericks used an interception returned for a touchdown and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown to upend St. Cloud State 21-17. Greg Wunderlich supplied the lone offensive score with a 2-yard option run for a touchdown.

Starting quarterback Zac Miller didn’t play (as expected) with a busted throwing hand. He most likely will not play next week at South Dakota, in what will be a North Central Conference championship game for UNO. Win and they win it. Lose — and then it gets a little dicey.

Wunderlich didn’t look comfortable at all leading the Mavs. He bumped into his runningback, fumbled a snap, didn’t look sharp. He’s a good football player — hopefully he can work out the kinks this week.

Post Your Comments

Some people have already responded in the “comments” section below. Feel free to do the same. Keep checking in, and respond to your fellow Husker fans (one of which is calling for a coaching change? Wow.)

Calm Before the Stillwater Storm
Saturday, October 28, 2006

Feel free to post your in-game and post-game thoughts on this blog… we’ll have the game on KETV, and your postgame coverage in the Big Red Zone at 6pm at 10pm. Stay tuned, and keep checkin’ back.

Meet me in St. Louis

Wow, that didn’t take long. Who thought the Cardinals would take care of the Tigers in four games? I was hoping the Series would go at least six games. The more sports we have going on at the same time, the better. Now we’re just left with football. Poor us.

I think it’s time we finish the season a little sooner, though. I always wondered it as a kid, and it still boggles my mind to this day: Why do the “Boys of Summer” play the most important games of the year in the cold? The only smoke I should see is the steam from a pretzel or hot dog, not the breath of a fan. Let’s start playing some Sunday doubleheaders and wrap up the World Series no later than the first week of October. If we only play the Superbowl in warm weather cities and domes (and football is considered an all-weather, anything-but-lightning sport), then let’s make sure baseball isn’t played in the snow.

A reason for optimism

St. Louis shortstop David Eckstein gives me a lot of hope as an under-sized athlete. Not that I’ll win a World Series MVP award anytime soon… but that co-ed softball MVP award is looking a lot more realistic now.

No Upsets

A full night of Class A playoff games and no upsets. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Nada. That has to be rare. No 10-seed upsetting a 7-seed? Not even a 9 taking out an 8? These seedings must’ve been dead-on.

The top seeds were pretty impressive, with Lincoln Southwest and Millard North sleep-walking through their first round games. My darkhorse, Kearney, looked pretty stout on defense, shutting out Creighton Prep 17-0 out west. Westside looked solid over Grand Island. Is there a more anticipated quarterfinal matchup than Westside vs. North? I talked about it an an earlier post… I’m setting the over/under at 57.5.

Revisiting my Nebraska Prediction

After thinking about it (and sleeping on it) I think this might be more of a shootout than I first thought, at least on the OSU end.

Nebraska 38
Oklahoma State 33

Reliving the past
Friday, October 27, 2006

Every Husker game-week, I’ll post a couple of video links from past games involving Nebraska’s upcoming opponent. Enjoy!

OSU’s Last Trip To Lincoln

Huskers Go Down In Stillwater

Wonderful Weekend
Thursday, October 26, 2006

If you’re a sports fan (reading this blog, you should be) this weekend is for you. High school football playoffs, college football, NFL football, World Series… too bad I have to work.

Good thing I get paid to watch it all.

OSU isn’t great, but still tough in Stillwater

Oklahoma State will face its biggest challenge yet, especially when it comes to Nebraska’s front-seven. Bobby Reid and company can put up a lot of points… they also give up a lot of points. It’s not a mystery as to why the Cowboys have lost some close games. In conference they’re scoring 34 points/game. They’re giving up 32 points/game. In their three conference games, Oklahoma State has given up 196 rushing yards/game. I see Nebraska being able to put up another 200 yards on the ground this Saturday.

It won’t be put away until midway through the 4th quarter, but this Husker team wins games it’s supposed to win.

Nebraska 30
Oklahoma State 20

fridAy football

Class A begins its playoff push Friday night. There are four teams that have a legitimate shot at the State Championship: Lincoln Southwest, Millard North, Omaha Westside and Omaha North. Of that group, Millard South has the easiest road to Memorial Stadium. If the Patriots don’t make it to the championship game, that’s a huge upset.

My darkhorse: Kearney. Defense wins championships, and Head Coach Brandon Cool always has a solid defense. They suffered a tough loss in the playoffs last year to Millard West, in a game they should’ve won. The Bearcats should get a little farther this time around.

The best quarterfinal matchup will be Omaha North vs. Omaha Westside. Talk about an offensive showdown. The over/under on that game should be around 57.5

But we shouldn’t look ahead that far. We’ve still got a big weekend of first round games coming up, and we’ve got to make sure the media, fans, players and coaches are all focused on the first round.

That being said:

Class A Championship Game
Lincoln Southwest 20
Millard South 23

Not Patton’s Place for Long

Colorado head basketball coach Ricardo Patton announced on Wednesday that the upcoming season (his 11th) will be his last with the Buffs. It took the players, media and the athletic director by surprise.

“It came as a big surprise to me, and I’m really disappointed, in many ways, just based on the timing. . . . I’m shaken by this; I didn’t expect it all,” said athletic director Mike Bohn. Maybe it was a surprise, but no doubt Bohn is relieved. A) He doesn’t have to fire (or not renew a contract for) his second coach in a year, and B) he’ll have a whole basketball season to find a replacement.

“This is not quitting; this is knowing when it’s time to move on,” said Patton, springing his stunning surprise at the school’s men’s and women’s basketball media day. He also said he didn’t want his lack of a contract extension to become a distraction to his team this season. My question is this: What can be more distracting than knowing you’re playing for a coach who won’t be around next season?

As a Colorado alum and someone who saw the team up-close for four seasons, I was always susprised that Patton survived each season. I admired his faith and his character, but he was unable to develop talent. Look at center David Harrison. The 7-footer chose Colorado over Duke (mainly so he could play ball with his brother D.J.) and never panned out as a dominant center. Now he comes off the bench for the Indiana Pacers. Had he gone to Duke, you think he’d be sitting the bench with his size? I know Colorado is not Duke (although in football they’re now quite similar), but there wasn’t much development of talent.

The pinnacle of Patton’s tenure came in the 1996-97 season, when Colorado went 22-10 and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Then, Chauncey Billups left (after his sophomore season), leaving the program without a true go-to-guy. In my opinion, the program never recovered from Chauncey’s early departure. They went 13-14 the following year, and only won 20 games one other time under Patton’s leadership (2002-03, Colorado’s only other NCAA Tournament bid).

At a school like Colorado, with a weak basketball tradition, you need a coach who can rally support in the community. Look at Nebraska — Doc Sadler is becoming a very visible face (and very vocal cheerleader) for the program. Colorado needs that. You have to make up for your shortcomings in other ways. Nebraska is doing it. Colorado should follow suit.

Maybe my math is off, but once Patton steps down at the end of the season, that’ll make eight new coaches in the Big 12 Conference in the span of about two years. Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Baylor, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa State and Colorado. Not surprisingly, five of them are North Division schools.

Where were you when…
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It’s a question that usually prefaces a monumental event, be it tragic or triumphant. The tragic is almost always a national disaster. The triumphant usually has to do with sports.

Kennedy’s assassination. The 1980 United States Olympic win over the Russians. The Challenger disaster. Tommie Frazier’s run against Florida. Sometimes it’s both… like the earthquake during the 1989 World Series.

Growing up as a big Bills fan (actually, a chubby Bills fan), I’ve got numerous days in January where I can tell you exactly where I was…Wild Card games, Divisional playoff games, AFC Championship games… and oh yeah, those Super Bowls. Nevermind those.

I was also a Mets fan — and 20 years ago today, October 25th, 1986, was one of the most amazing nights of my life.

Except for the fact that I was asleep.

Game 6

When you say “Game 6”, you can only be talking about the 1986 World Series. Type in “Game Six” in Google, and some of the first links you’ll find are from the ’86 Series… even a link of a reinactment by Nintendo’s RBI Baseball (left).

Mets down three games to two in the World Series, down 5-3 to the Red Sox in the bottom of the 10th in Game 6 at Shea Stadium — 2 outs, nobody on base. Gary Carter singles. Kevin Mitchell singles. Ray Knight faces an 0-2 count before singling to center, scoring Carter. Now it’s 5-4. The count is 2-1 on the next batter, Mookie Wilson. Wilson fouls off the next three pitches. The 7th pitch heads for Wilson’s knees, he dives out of the way and it heads to the backstop. Mitchell scores on the wild pitch and the game is tied. Wilson fouls off two more pitches in one of the greatest at-bats in World Series history. He then hits a ground ball to Bill Buckner. The rest is, well, World Series history. Ray Knight scores, and we’re on to Game 7.

And I missed the whole thing.

I was 7-years old, living in Rochester, N.Y.. I was doing what any 7-year-old would do. Dreaming about cotton candy and baseball cards.

The only thing I remember about that game was that my mother became a legend. If I remember correctly, my Dad was ready to turn the television off in the bottom of the 10th inning with 2 outs. My mother wouldn’t allow it. Then the words that became legendary:

“Never give up on your team.”

The Mets rallied, my Dad was thrilled, and my Mom was a legend.

I just wish I had been old enough to stay awake for it.

A little more than six years later, my Mom used the line again. January 3, 1993, when the Buffalo Bills trailed 35-3 in the third quarter to the Houston Oilers.

That was the Game Six that I was allowed to stay awake for.

And rightfully so.

The game kicked off at 12:30pm.

Terrence Talks
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

As tumultuous as Terrence’s tussle with Texas was — ending in a gut-wrenching fumble — he was man enough to stand up to the media after practice on Tuesday, which should earn him a lot of respect from Husker nation.

Pain Behind the Smile

If you’ve never had the chance to talk to Terrence Nunn, you’re missing out. There is no player on the team with a bigger smile than this wide receiver. He’s soft-spoken, but has a tremendous sense of humor.

Which made it so tough to see him with his shoulders slumped, carrying the weight of the Husker nation on his back as he walked off the field on Saturday. His fumble caused a lot of tears throughout Big Red Kingdom… but you forget that he felt the worst of all.

As we entered the Hawks Championship Center after practice, I immediately looked for Nunn. He was busy fielding punts in what looked like an extra session. Shortly thereafter, he calmly walked towards the reporters and stepped up to the microphones (about seven of them).

“It hurt a lot,” he said. “It felt like I hurt the team a lot. It’s something I gotta put behind me.”

Someone asked, “How many times have you watched the play?” (That’s like asking Matt Herian, “How many times have you watched your ankle break?”) Nunn’s response: “Not many. I don’t want to see it anymore.”

Last year, Le Kevin Smith had a game-clinching interception before taking 4 steps and fumbling the ball back to Texas Tech. The Red Raiders went on to win, and we never heard word one from Le Kevin until the end of the season.

Nunn, on the other hand, made himself available to the media on the first permissable day. He could’ve told the sports information department that he didn’t want to talk… like Harrison Beck did throughout his brief 2006 fall camp stint.

“When Le Kevin had those problems last year, we bounced back and made it to the Alamo Bowl. I know we can do it again… we know mistakes happen,” said Nunn.

It helps to have the support of your teammates and coaches, which it sounds like Nunn has. And with a personality like his, how could he not?

Nunn may have caused a lot of pain among Husker nation, (actually, if you’re scoring at home, it was Aaron Ross who caused the pain) but in my book he earned a lot of respect from those same fans on Tuesday.

Anyone can make a mistake and run away.

It takes a man to own up to it.

Attaboy T.

Tuesday’s Talk
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another home game against a team from Texas, another emotional loss. Now it’s time to move on and get ready for Oklahoma State. That’s the focus of the Huskers this week. They learned a tough lesson last year, losing 3 of 4 games following the heart-breaker to Texas Tech.

Callahan not taking OSU lightly

Afterall, “every game is different”.

Oklahoma State is ranked second in the Big 12 in rushing offense, total offense and scoring offense. They can put up points in a hurry when necessary. How about 42 2nd-half points against Kansas?

Callahan says quarterback Bobby Reid is the most unique guy they’ve played against. Either that’s because he can play the piano and juggle, or he can hurt you with his feet and his arm.

This game comes at an interesting time — between the Texas and Missouri game. Mack Brown said that the Longhorns’ game against Baylor (between the Oklahoma and Nebraska games) was a trap game for his team. Callahan was asked today if this OSU game was a trap game. The answer: “I don’t know what that means.”

That’s the first time I ever wished a coach would’ve just said, “We’re taking it one game at a time.”

Nunn of That

Terrence Nunn wasn’t at Tuesday’s news conference, but he will talk to the media after today’s practice. Even Coach Callahan said today that nobody wanted to win more than Nunn, who’s a Texas native. He said he’s just gonna have to keep playing him so he can play through it. He said, “We love Terrence Nunn.”

It’ll be interesting to hear what Nunn has to say.

Time Management

Whatever your job, you’ve got to manage your time wisely. The Huskers did not do that on Saturday. First and goal for Texas at the Nebraska 10-yard line with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter. The Huskers did not use one of their three timeouts until there were 30 seconds left in regulation. Coach Callahan was asked about it today, and he answered how he usually does when asked about something that everyone knows wasn’t the best decision: “We can always get better.”

Losing his hair — by choice?

Say good-bye to Matt Slauson’s mohawk (not that you ever saw it under his helmet). Since the Huskers lost to Texas, he feels the need to switch things up. And it begins with his turf-top.

The offensive lineman trimmed his beard and started growing his mohawk after the loss to USC. With another loss comes another follicle freelance. He’s going to shave his entire head sometime this week.

I asked him if he’s been creative with his back-hair. He told me he doesn’t have enough back-hair to get creative with.

And that’s not a bad thing.

More Thoughts on the Weekend
Monday, October 23, 2006

There may not have been a better football weekend than this past one. When it comes to NCAA and NFL football, the finishes that we saw this weekend were pretty amazing.

Football Rundown

Texas’ last-minute field goal to win over Nebraska… Notre Dame’s last-minute touchdown to beat UCLA… Cal’s overtime win over Washington… Michigan State’s 35-point comeback against Northwestern, the biggest comeback in Division I-A history?

Matt Bryant’s 62-yard field goal to beat Philadelphia, the second-longest field goal in NFL history… Chester Taylor’s 95-yard TD run against Seattle… Lawrence Tyne’s field goal with 10-seconds left to beat San Diego… Ahman Green’s 70-yard TD gallop? What a weekend.

Wow… maybe field goal kickers are tougher than we thought. Look at all the game-winners this weekend.

I meant mentally tough.

Speaking of Ahman Green’s Gallop

What a run by the former Omaha Central Eagle and Nebraska Cornhusker. 70-yards off left-guard to help the Pack squish the fish. What a way to come back from a nagging hamstring injury. Plus, he’s on my fantasy team, and I started him.

Keep it up, Ahman.

It’s almost playoff time.

Last Take on Texas

It’s still gotta sting if you’re a Husker fan. Texas got a few more breaks than Nebraska did, and the Huskers were still in position to win. How they fell three spots in the polls is beyond me… although, that’s what having 2 losses will do for you.

Talk about a tough stretch coming up. Can you remember a more difficult three game stretch? Including the Texas game, it’s one of the more challenging four-game stretches in recent memory. Two road games, two contests against top-25 teams… if the Huskers can go 2-1 (and win the Missouri game) they’ll be in great shape. This season has 9-3 written all over it. My 10-4 prediction (including the Big 12 Championship game and bowl game) isn’t looking too shabby.

Thanks for the Husker comments

We had a record number of posts regarding the Nebraska-Texas game. After every game (heck, any day of the week) feel free to leave your thoughts on the blog — they get sent to me first, and upon my approval, they’re posted on the website. So don’t worry about spelling or grammatical errors… I can edit those.

I may be the best proofreeder in this bilding.