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  1. 2011 Dec 04

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Knee-Jerk Reactions - Championship Week


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brandon Cavanaugh

    - No one should suggest that Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin’s head was in the CUSA Championship Game. Feel kinda bad for Case Keenum if no one else.

    - LSU is the epitome of sportsmanship. What other team spots their opponent two scores before smashing their skulls in?

    - It was impressive how Oklahoma State took down Oklahoma with the subtlety and grace of a Viking raid.

    - If you told someone that the ACC Championship Game would be 10-10 at the half before one team outscores the other 28-0, they’d likely believe you. If you told them it would be Clemson instead of Virginia Tech, you’d likely be 100 dollars richer.

    - Despite the heart-breaking loss to Kansas State, Paul Rhodes is the best thing to happen to Iowa State since the Morrill Act of 1862.

    - Thought Wisconsin would get revenge on Michigan State. Didn’t think the score would be so close.

    - Badgers running back Montee Ball for Heisman

    - Baylor is 9-3? Clearly college football has ripped open time and space allowing the sport to be swallowed by a separate time rift in which Waco demands only the finest of athletic specimen.

    - Seriously, quarterback Robert Griffin III for Heisman (RG3 if you’re nasty)

    - Still lobbying for the MAC to get a BCS berth over the Big East. You know it’s the right thing to do.

    - Final Bowl Prediction of the Week: Outback vs. South Carolina

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    Tags: houston, lsu, oklahoma state, clemson, virginia tech, kansas state, iowa state, paul rhodes, wisconsin, montee ball, heisman, baylor, robert griffin, south carolina

  2. 2011 Dec 02

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Championship Week


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    The first Saturday in December begins the end of the college football regular season. This includes conference championship games across the land, regular season finales that decide title appearances and the coaching carousel keeps spinning throughout December. Lets get right to the beef of the games, shall we?

    Marathon MAC Championship – Detroit, Michigan

    Ohio vs Northern Illinois – Friday 6:00 PM, ESPN

    MACtion makes its final regular season curtain call as the fighting Frankies head to Detroit’s Ford Field to take on Northern Illinois. The Huskies, who are ranked No. 8 in FBS rushing offense, bring in dual-threat quarterback Chandler Harnish to face a Bobcat defense that is adequate.

    Ohio is also riding a wave of momentum into this game thanks to a five-game win streak.Surprising sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton has thrown for nearly 3,000 yards. Northern Illinois can score, but they can also be scored upon (with a No. 94 scoring defense). Look for Frank Solich to get a conference title, though this one won't take him to Tempe.

    Winner: Ohio

    Pac-12 Championship - Eugene, Oregon

    UCLA vs. No. 9 Oregon – Friday 7:00 PM, FOX

    The inaugrual Pac-12 title game will be hosted by the folks in Autzen as UCLA, accompanied by their lame duck head coach Rick Neuheisel, try to keep the spread inside 40 against the high-octane Oregon offense.

    The Bruins' defense gives up a lot of points, and the offense doesn't put many on the scoreboard. Here’s hoping Neuheisel has as much grace falling on his sword following this game as he has through the week. Oregon should cruise even without LaMichael James

    Winner: Oregon

    SEC Championship Game – Atlanta, Georgia

    No. 14 Georgia vs No. 1 LSU – 2:00 PM, CBS

    For a game that has had plenty of implications in previous years, this year’s tilt in the Georgia Dome won't factor much into who will make the BCS title game. According to whom you listen to, that is. LSU is the only undefeated BCS team in America, and they will take on a surprising Georgia squad that somehow found themselves atop the SEC East.

    Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and a better-than-most offense has saved Mark Richt’s job (again) and has bought him some time between the hedges. However, these are the LSU Tigers that they are playing. That the game's taking place in Georgia means nothing.

    The Tigers spotted a decent Arkansas team 14 points before running them out of the building by the fourth quarter. This will be close early, but put your money on the horseshoe hiding in Les Miles’ body.

    Winner: LSU

    The Defacto Big 12 Championship Game - Stillwater, Oklahoma

    No. 10 Oklahoma at No. 3 Oklahoma State - 7:00 PM, ABC

    Bedlam has arrived and folks across the country are amped, even without the fanfare and title implications that we were hoping in the middle of October. A very interesting game as Oklahoma State finally has all of the ponies to defeat the Sooners.

    However, Okie State has been known to take the night off during games like this. Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon have shown up all year, but they need one more dynamite night to get Oklahoma State into the BCS with a chance at a title game appearance.

    Oklahoma isn’t the same team on offense without the threat of injured wide receiver Ryan Broyles, whether people admit it or not. The Cowboys need a big win to get into the title game. I don’t think they'll be victorious by a wide margin, but they should finally bring a Big 12 title back home.

    Winner: Oklahoma State

    Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game - Charlotte, North Carolina

    No. 5 Virginia Tech vs. No. 20 Clemson – 7:00 PM, ESPN

    These two teams were picked by many to meet for the conference crown before the season began. Few thought that Clemson would be reeling as they are right now having lost three of their last four games. Virginia Tech is coming into the game looking to avenge their only loss of the year, losing to the Tigers in Lane Stadium 23-3 on October 1.

    Clemson was white hot on offense back then. However, quarterback Tajh Boyd is still throwing the ball pretty well, though the Hokies' defense has only improved. Usually in games like this, you look at what each team has done over the last month and factor that in heavily. That's exactly what makes the pick easy.

    Winner: Virginia Tech

    Inaugural Big 10 Championship – Indianapolis, Indiana

    No. 15 Wisconsin vs No. 13 Michigan State – 7:17 PM, FOX

    Finally, we head to Lucas Oil Stadium for a rematch between two teams who supplied us with of one of the best finishes of the year. When they first played on October 22, a hail mary pass from Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins to wide receiver Keith Nichol on the final play of the game stunned everyone as Wisconsin had come down from 14 points to tie the game with less than 2 minutes remaining.

    Both teams haven't changed much since they first met. The one thing that stands out as this game approaches is that Wisconsin’s running game has gotten bigger and better down the stretch, meaning Russell Wilson isn’t as necessary for a win. That alone could mean that the Spartans need to shut down the running game entirely and make Wilson beat them.

    Michigan State's defense isn't too shabby (No. 6 in FBS), so if Cousins can move the ball and get six on the board more often than assisting in setting up three, it should mean good things for the Spartans. That being said, I just can’t see the Badgers playing as poorly in the first half as they did in East Lansing.

    Winner: Wisconsin

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    Tags: big ten, big 12, pac12, mac, acc, sec, wisconsin, michigan state, ucla, oregon, ohio, northern illinois, lsu, georgia, clemson, virginia tech, oklahoma, oklahoma state

  3. 2011 Nov 11

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Eleven


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week 11 has that feeling of a season soon coming to a close. Outside of the proceedings in State College, there are some very good games out there, as well as a few more coaches on the hot seat, not to mention one burned to a full crisp. As always before we look to the future, we must pull a Marty McFly and go back in time. Last week’s ups and downs were as follows -


    Houston: The Cougars has quietly gone undefeated and quarterback Case Keenum has made his case for the Heisman. Look for more attention to come their way if they keep winning.

    Arkansas: The Razorbacks took on South Carolina in a game that was anticipated to be rough and made their way through to set their sights on a hard-hitting matchup with LSU.

    LSU: Went 15-plus rounds in a slugfest with Alabama and came out on top. Sometimes you’d rather be lucky than good. The Tigers were both on Saturday night thanks to the Crimson Tide’s fantastic special teams.

    Oklahoma State: Also a survivor of a surprising belt-to-bell bout. It’s hard to not wonder if they can stay focused enough to get all the way to Bedlam without a loss. If they do, their chances at a national title bid get significantly better.

    UCLA: The Bruins notched an unexpected win against Arizona State. The prize is an outside chance to attend the Pac-12 title game and save Rick Neuheisel’s job.


    Alabama: Defense played very well, but too many blown opportunities doomed the Tide. Now there’s more than likely no chance to go to Atlanta to represent the SEC West.

    Arizona State: Such a bad game played last week. Now the Sun Devils need hope the Pac-12 South title isn’t out of reach. Assuming they don’t keep dropping games, of course.

    Michigan: Had the Legends division by the you-know-what’s, and now... welp...

    Missouri, Arizona State, Pittsburgh:

    On to this week’s festivities! All are times are Central:

    No. 20 Auburn at No. 15 Georgia – (2:30 PM, CBS)

    This week’s nationally-televised afternoon SEC battle has Gene Chizik’s gang heading between the hedges to take on the revitalized Bulldogs who are looking to punch their meal ticket to Atlanta.

    For Auburn, a sloppy passing attack and the inability to win outside Alabama makes this game difficult. Georgia’s offense has been good this year, but their defense has performed surprisingly well, giving up less than 20 points per game.

    Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray has shown the ability to dissect any defense that comes into the Dawgs’ house. Considering how Auburn has played on the road this year on the road, look for the Bulldogs to cruise and set up a game with Kentucky. The game would be a mere formality between Georgia and the SEC West title.

    No. 7 Oregon at No. 4 Stanford - (7:00 PM, ABC)

    "Game of the Week" status hovers over Northern California again, as Chip Kelly’s Ducks fly into Palo Alto to take on the steamrolling Cardinal. While Stanford has gone unblemished, Oregon has been grinding through their schedule ever since the debacle in Arlington against the No. 1 LSU Tigers.

    This game features two of the top five scoring offenses in America, with players on both sidelines that are top-notch. You know about Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and the Oregon Duck duo of quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James for the Ducks. The Cardinal defensive is only giving up 11 points per game, while Oregon is No. 26 nationally giving up almost 20 per game.

    With the game at home, Stanford looks like the more comfortable team. However, Oregon’s ability to control the tempo of a game so quickly and efficiently, this Pac-12 fight is a tossup. It seems that Stanford has the edge, but with the way that Oregon shut down Stanford last year in the second half, it’s a tough call.

    Other games of note include:

    No. 17 Michigan State at Iowa – If the Spartans wins against the Hawkeyes, it looks like they can punch their ticket to Indianapolis.

    No. 16 Texas at Missouri – A measuring stick for the Longhorns. Texas has looked comfortable lately, but going to Columbia will test that comfort level.

    TCU at No. 5 Boise State – The Broncos’ last true test to pass with flying colors to get into the national title picture.

    Miami at Florida State – Remember when this game appeared to be a treat at the beginning of the season?

    Maryland at Notre Dame – Come for the uniforms, stay to see if the Irish stay on course. Try not to go blind.

    Arizona State at Washington State – A huge game for the Devils’ conference title hopes.

    Now for some of the coaches that have pants which could defrost an iced-over pond:

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – Finally! Be gone! Nutt isn’t going to be retained by the university after this year. While there are some who aren’t fans of that, it’s refreshing to see that the Rebels athletic administration finally got sick of Nutt after losing 10 SEC games in a row.

    Houston wants you to think that his oversigning is the true problem and the lack of quarterback maturation isn’t. Someone will trust Nutt with their program. Here’s hoping they realize what they are getting.

    Paul Wulff, Washington State – Had a great start to this year, but the wheels have come off. Beating Arizona State would be help his cause, but parting ways with the Cougars may be a foregone conclusion.

    Turner Gill, Kansas – Held Iowa State to 13, but couldn’t do more than that? Baylor is going to pummel you hardcore at home. Then again, it’s the last home game in Lawrence this year. Hopefully the Jayhawks can finally say “goodbye”.

    Randy Edsall, Maryland – They fired Ralph Friedgen for you? The uniform combinations are what you’re known for at this point.

    Jon Embree, Colorado – The Buffs fired Hawkins for this?

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    Tags: houston, lsu, alabama, arkansas, oklahoma state, arizona state, auburn, georgia, oregon, stanford, houston nutt, paul wulff, turner gill, randy edsall, jon embree michigan, missouri, pittsburgh

  4. 2011 Oct 27

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Nine


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    It’s week nine, ya’ll! There are only a few marquee games this week as the push to the finish line kicks into high gear. Last week’s thrills and spills include -


    Texas Tech: An impressive start and great win in Norman, especially after the weather delay. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege had his coming out party and the whole team played fantastically from top to bottom.

    Southern California: A great win in South Bend. Even though the Trojans have nothing to fight for at the end of the year, they’re still showing up week in and out.

    Arkansas: A tremendous comeback from the depths of Hades against Ole Miss to win (Don’t worry, the statement on Houston Nutt is worthwhile this week)

    Syracuse: Coming back from the depths of the Greg Robinson mistake, the Orange impressed a national crowd with a win against West Virginia.

    Michigan State: We called it here last week. Sparty wins conference games that shouldn’t be close with heart-stopping theatrics.


    Oklahoma: What was that, Sooners? A letdown game? There’s no excuse for that.

    Illinois: A few people called it (including our editor-in-chief and newbie James Stevenson). We all got Zooked.

    Missouri: Not only could the Tigers not come close to matching Oklahoma State’s offense, but the Missouri faithful couldn’t sell out a game featuring the No. 4 team in the country.

    Kansas, Auburn, Georgia Tech and SMU:

    On to our Pre-Halloween fun (All times Central):

    Baylor at No. 3 Oklahoma State (2:30 PM ABC Regional)

    The Art Briles Bears head north up I-35 to take on a white-hot Cowboys team. Mike Gundy’s crew is still undefeated, headed towards a possible Big 12 title and national championship bid. For Baylor, it always starts and ends with Robert Griffin III at the helm throwing to wide receiver Kendell Wright.

    Last week, Baylor had a bye week after their pasting from Texas A&M while the Cowboys took care of business in Columbia against Missouri. The defenses will be tested well in this ballgame, with Baylor ranked No. 101 in points allowed.

    Oklahoma State is a more pedestrian No. 65. This is a game that should scare OSU coach Mike Gundy, as RG3 has been slowed down, but never completely stopped.

    However, the Cowboys' money combo of quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon is just too much, especially when in the friendly confines of Boone Pickens Stadium.

    No. 9 Oklahoma at No. 8 Kansas State (2:30 PM, ESPN)

    This becomes a do-or-die game for Bob Stoops against a surprising Kansas State team. Bill Snyder has his team playing hard with a fierce running game and a defense playing far better than expected allowing just less than 20 points per game.

    Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert have rushed for over 600 yards each already, and the defense has been good enough to hold up their end of the bargain. Oklahoma looked lethargic on offense and even less inspired on defense against Texas Tech, especially in the secondary.

    Stoops shut off media access to his team this week. He’s angry, as he well should be. A pissed off Sooners team is not a welcome sight. Look for a close game, but Oklahoma will prevail.

    No. 22 Georgia at Florida (2:30 PM, CBS at EverBank Stadium – Jacksonville, FL)

    Shine up your stirrers! The World Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party attendees renew their love in north Florida when the Bulldogs and the Gators meet in their annual tilt. Georgia has become the front runner for the SEC East title after starting their season fighting for Mark Richt’s job. Florida, on the other hand, has played hard but have a three-game losing streak thanks in large part to injuries.

    The Gators have said that John Brantley will start at quarterback, although there are whispers that he’s not ready to get back under center. Regardless, Georgia is the better team right now and can help their case for a division title with a win.

    They are out of the SEC Championship Game for now unless South Carolina loses (a likely prospect). Georgia takes this game as Florida is just not playing well right now, especially on offense.

    No. 6 Stanford at Southern California – (7:00 PM, ABC)

    The final featured game of the week pits Andrew Luck against Matt Barkley and Lane Kiffin’s de facto Pac-12 title game due to postseason ineligibility.

    The Trojans made a statement last week against Notre Dame, while Stanford rolled Washington at home. The defenses are going to be tested like they will be in Stillwater, however there is much more at stake for Stanford than there is for USC.

    If the Cardinal wins this one in Los Angeles, they set up a big game for the North division against Oregon in Palo Alto. That becomes a revenge game for last year’s whooping in Eugene. Coach Kiffykins and his quarterback have their hands full going against a defense that only gives up 12 points per game, No. 5 overall.

    Luck has to live up to his billing over the next few weeks for Stanford being taken seriously in case teams slip and a spot in the national title chase opens up. Expect a good game and for Stanford to squeak by.

    Other games of note across the 48 states of the Union include:

    No. 25 West Virginia at Rutgers – WVU’s Big East title hopes are on life support. They need this win badly.

    Ole Miss at No. 24 Auburn – A regeneration game for Auburn. Let’s see how much they can improve.

    Kansas at No. 24 Texas – This should be a tune-up for Texas. For the 38 of you that can actually watch it, let us know how it goes.

    No. 5 Clemson at Georgia Tech – *MAJOR UPSET ALERT* Georgia Tech is angry, at home, and Clemson is due to have a bad game on the road.

    No. 15 Wisconsin at Ohio State – Wisconsin will play better against the Buckeyes, but expect Ohio State to come out guns blazing.

    Coaches that have a Three Mile Island burn going on the back of their pants include:

    Turner Gill, Kansas: People are now realizing that Turner is in over his head at a school that should have never hired him. Remember when there were rumors that Auburn wanted Gill? Who knew that Gene Chizik would have been the better option?

    At least there will only be (how many people have the Longhorn Network again? Oh, right.) 38 people watching th Jayhawks get stomped.

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA: You got stomped by an Arizona team that has been a train wreck all season long. How does that treat you? At least Cal will only beat you at home in front of a third’s capacity.

    Kevin Wilson, Indiana: Mr. Wilson is now included on this list for the simple reason that he’s not very impressive right now. Furthermore, the loss of one of the country's top recruits (quarterback Gunner Kiel) doesn’t help matters. I like Wilson, but he needs to get his team back to basics. Fundamentals win ballgames, kids.

    Jerry Kill, Minnesota: Only this school would give a contract extension with a decent sized buyout to a guy that admits he’s over his head. Bravo. Maybe the FireJerryKill.com guy isn’t so off the mark after all, eh?

    Houston Nutt, Mississippi: I’m saving the final bullet for you.

    This is video of Houston Nutt’s post-game press conference last week when his no talent Rebels gave up 29 unanswered points to Arkansas snagging defeat from the jaws of victory. 30 seconds into this video, he goes after Ole Miss’ Rivals.com writer Neal McCready for his prediction that Ole Miss would lose 49-10 to the Razorbacks.

    Obviously, if you cover the spread, it’s a victory in Houston's eyes. Moral victories don’t count in the win-loss column, Nutt! This is your team, your staff, your fourth year!

    Let me guess, if McCready didn’t write that piece, it wouldn’t be as satisfying to lose by only 12 points in your 10th consecutive conference loss, would it?

    Let’s review your tiresome crusade to justifying over-signing: Throwing others under the bus when you lose such as your offensive coordinator, the NCAA for putting recruiting restrictions in place, and the kids you wanted until you realized during summer conditioning that they weren’t as good as you thought.

    Not to mention the upperclassmen that you dump on the side of the road because you have a freshman that you don’t want to redshirt. It’s all their fault, isn’t it Houston? Anyone but you.

    You are the poster child for everything wrong with college football. When things go wrong, it’s someone else’s issue, except when you win. I despise Bobby Petrino with a passion, but thank goodness that Arkansas hired him and not you.

    I hope you lose out and Pete Boone fires you in the tunnel after Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen embarrasses you. Then, I’d like to see you try to get another FBS job and pull these stunts, because fans across the nation will come after you wherever you may roam.

    There might a spot opening up in Lawrence after this year, so why not be the joke in the Big 12? You’d do a fine job taking the place of Colorado as the conference’s laughing stock.

    Then again, the thought of you being on the field with Gary Pinkel with both of you trying to outwit the other…that’s how black holes are made, isn’t it?

    Rant over.

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    Tags: texas tech, usc, syracuse, michigan state, oklahoma, illinois, missouri, kansas, auburn, georgia tech, smu, oklahoma state, kansas state, florida, stanford, turner gill, rick neuheisel, kevin wilson, jerry kill, houston nutt

  5. 2011 Oct 21

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Eight


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week eight has arrived with the Halloween season (and Christmas decorations BAH HUMBUG), and everyone’s conference season is in full tilt. The BCS standings are out, and bowl bids are starting to be sized up. Lets take a look at the ups and downs from last week -


    Michigan State: A nice little upset at home versus the Wolverines. Can’t say that anyone needed to be punched, though.

    Oklahoma State: Did a good job taking care of business against Texas. Keep working towards Bedlam.

    Clemson: What a comeback against Maryland! The Tigers can’t afford to live on luck every game, though.

    Oregon: No LaMichael James and a hurting Darron Thomas? No problem! However, the quicker they can get healthier, the better.


    Indiana: A bad loss to Wisconsin, and just a hint of advice: Don’t kick punts into the butt of your personal protector.

    Michigan: Live by Denard, die by Denard. The defense lived up to expectation, but the offense…meh!

    Georgia Tech: a loss to Virginia? Really?

    Kansas: Congratulations, you covered the spread! A moral victory!

    Texas, Maryland, Iowa State, Arizona State and Florida:

    And now here’s something we think you’ll really like (all times Central):

    No. 20 Auburn at No. 1 LSU – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    The LSU/CBS network carries the Battle in the Bayou between Gene Chizik’s Tigers against Les Miles and his Ragin’ Cajun Tigers. As for Auburn, they earned a well-fought victory against Florida last week, while LSU decapitated Tennessee in Knoxville.

    The main focus of this game is the suspension of three LSU players, most notably starting Safety Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu. Even with one of their better safeties out, the Bayou Bengals shouldn’t have an issue with the anemic Auburn offense. Look for Les’ group to have the most fun between the two Tiger teams on Saturday afternoon.

    No. 6 Wisconsin at No. 16 Michigan State (7:00 PM Saturday, ESPN)

    Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson and the high octane Badger offense (that’s odd to type, to be honest with you) roll into East Lansing for a primetime night game. They’ll face the best defense on their schedule thus far as Sparty tries to ride a wave of momentum after defeating Michigan.

    This is the first time all season that Wilson will be tested outside the friendly confines of Camp Randall. He has to pass this test to get people to believe in both the Badgers as true national title contenders and himself as a legitimate Heisman contender. Something has to give between the FBS’ highest scoring offense and the No. 4 scoring defense.

    Don’t forget that the team which plays the most complete game usually wins these high-profile affairs. Michigan State can’t score enough points to outdistance Wisconsin, but don’t be surprised if the final score is much closer than you think. Over The last few years, Michigan State has made a living by winning nighttime Big Ten games at home that most think they shouldn’t

    No. 25 Washington at No. 8 Stanford – (7:00 PM Saturday, ABC)

    It’s "Sark Week" in Northern California as the Huskies go down to Napa Valley to take on Andrew Luck and the undefeated Cardinal. Luck has been rolling along this year, while Keith Price has been a pleasant surprise as Jake Locker’s replacement for Washington. The only loss of their season was in Lincoln earlier this year.

    Stanford is the most complete team in the Pac-12 right now with both the offense and defense ranking No. 5th in the FBS, a model of efficiency. Washington has been good on offense, but they give up 28 points per game. That’s not what you to throw at Andrew Luck. Stanford takes this one in a high-scoring bout.

    Other games to keep an eye for this week include:

    No. 4 Oklahoma State at Missouri – A big time upset alert. That said, Mizzou can’t even sell this game out?

    No. 9 Arkansas at Ole Miss – Bobby Petrino’s gang wants more blood and the Rebels are hemorrhaging it.

    No. 22 Georgia Tech at Miami (FL) – The Yellow Jackets were embarrassed by Virginia. They’ll be going against a Miami squad that can fall asleep at times.

    No. 10 Oregon at Colorado – How will the Ducks fair in the altitude minus both LaMichael James and maybe Derron Thomas?

    Tennessee at No. 2 Alabama – The Crimson Tide needs to find consistent some offense before LSU, and if you don’t think so, Saban could give…well, he doesn’t care.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Bob Toledo, Tulane - WHOOPSIE. Apparently when you’re 15-40 over your career with the Green Wave, it’s time to call it a legacy (if you can). It’s hard not to feel for Tulane.

    With the effects of Hurricane Katrina still taking their toll on the school’s athletic department, there’s not much that can be done. Barely getting 10,000 people per game in the Superdome and having LSU/Louisiana-Lafayette winning doesn’t help either.

    Turner Gill, Kansas and Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – We put these two together not because they are joined at any coaching hip, nor do we think that either school will win this week.

    We're putting them together because no matter how many losses Houston or Turner will end up with this year, there is a good possibility that both coaches will not be fired at the end of the year.

    Both have buyouts that are pretty hefty and it will take a lot of money being ponied up to get them to hit the road. For Gill, this saves him for another year. Kansas has shown time and time again they don’t know how to run a football program. However, for Ole Miss, there’s a far better chance that some wealthy booster can put up the money necessary.

    Nutt only has one year left on his deal after this season, though. For the Rebels’ program, it’s simply a question of if they want to pay the penalty as opposed to lose one more season to a guy that has shown he has no clue.

    Jeff Tedford, Cal – Utah is pretty similar to the Golden Bears and has the same record. That does mean Cal can beat them...right?

    Rick Neuheisel, UCLA – A two game stretch against Arizona and Cal. Welp, good luck against the Golden Bears.

    Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State - Good luck against Virginia, a team that should be easier than you thought after the euphoric win over Central Michigan last week.

    Follow Brian on Twitter: @btbowling
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    Tags: michigan state, oklahoma state, clemson, oregon, indiana, michigan, georgia tech, kansas, texas, maryland, iowa state, arizona state, florida, auburn, lsu, wisconsin, stanford, bob toledo, turner gill, houston nutt, jeff tedford, rick heuheisel

  6. 2011 Oct 14

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Seven


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    Week seven has arrived in the 2011 season. While some match-ups this week should be entertaining, there’s a plethora of good games down the line. However, we can’t get to the future until we visit the present. Let's examine the week that was -


    Oklahoma – Questions, anyone? The woodshed built on the 50-yard line of the Cotton Bowl should remind you why this team is a legitimate national title contender.

    Virginia Tech – Survived a shootout with Miami in a game that both teams needed to win.

    Arkansas – As much as I dislike Petrino, they showed up and took care of business versus Auburn.

    Baylor – A good bounce back performance after the loss to Kansas State.


    Texas – Mack...sit David Ash. He’s not good.

    Fresno State – The Bulldogs were shelled at home before halftime on national TV. Not good.

    Minnesota – Destroyed...by Purdue? Really?

    Missouri – The Gary Pinkel Effect strikes again.

    Memphis, Arizona, Kansas, Colorado - Everyone hum along!

    On to this week’s meetings! All times Central:

    No. 11 Michigan at No. 23 Michigan State – (11 AM Saturday, ESPN)

    East Lansing is the site for this year's battle for the Paul Bunyan trophy. Last week, Michigan survived a shootout in suburban Chicago vs. Northwestern while the Spartans enjoyed a bye week.

    Michigan State comes into this game with a defense allowing only 10 points per game (No. 3 nationally). They will need to flex every bit of that defensive muscle against Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and this high-octane Wolverine offense.

    As you examine this Michigan team, be sure to note that the Wolverine defense has only allowed 12 points per game (No. 8 nationally). Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver B.J. Cunningham will find ways to put points on the board, but look for "Shoelace" to help outscore the Spartans and beat little brother.

    No. 20 Baylor at No. 21 Texas A&M - (11:00 AM Saturday, FX)

    History suggests favoring the over on points scored (for entertainment purposes only, of course) in College Station this week, as RG3 and the Bears roll down Highway 290 to face the Fightin' Aggies. Both teams put up points last week as Baylor visited Iowa State and Texas A&M tripped to Texas Tech.

    For A&M, quarterback Ryan Tannenhill has to match Robert Griffin drive for drive this week, and he's capable of doing so. However, Texas A&M needs to complete a 60-minute game, and playing Baylor is an affair where A&M can't afford to let up again.

    Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett’s unit has matured well for the Bears, and has a chance to put on a third-straight eye-opening performance. This is a must-win game for Baylor, as the loss to Kansas State allows no room for error in their remaining games. If the Aggies lose, look for the chirping for Mike Sherman’s job to get much louder.

    No. 6 Oklahoma State at No. 22 Texas – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC Regional)

    The Cowboys visit Austin for a second straight year due to the shrinking of the Big 12. The Longhorns host Gundy’s crew following the lancing provided by the Oklahoma Sooners last week just three hours up I-35. Everyone knows about the Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon connection for Oklahoma State.

    For Texas, quarterback Case McCoy should be taking snaps for the Longhorns until death, injury or eligibility do they part. That's not to say David Ash isn’t a good quarterback, but last week's drubbing showed that McCoy is the man. It won’t matter who Texas starts though, because the Cowboys will have their pistols firing against a defense that can't stop the bullets all day long.

    No. 18 Arizona State at No. 9 Oregon - (9:15 PM Saturday, ESPN)

    The final big game of the day takes place at the hostile Autzen Stadium as the Sun Devils and Ducks meet for a major Pac-12 tussle. Last week, Oregon ran California out of the building while losing LaMichael James to a dislocated elbow. Meanwhile, Arizona State barely broke a sweat dismantling Utah.

    For the Sun Devils, quarterback Brock Osweiler has been solid for the offense. The defense has been alright giving up less than 20 points per game. Arizona State's defenders will need to feed off of linebacker Vontaze Burfict as the Ducks's offense has found its rhythm following the debacle in Arlington against LSU.

    Oregon’s offense is averaging a shade over 50 points per game, but will feel the effects of losing James for at least a few games. This will likely be a good game, but the Ducks are almost invincible at home. Look for Oregon to notch another win.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Mike Stoops, Arizona – WHOOPSIE! Looks like the axe finally fell on Stoops. When your only win is against Northern Arizona, and you’ve given up no less than 37 points per game to FBS teams, you're not doing well regardless of schedule strength. Adios, Mike. Maybe one of your brothers has a bunk or guest house to crash at.

    Turner Gill, Kansas – Did the state of Oklahoma get a deal on woodshed materials at Lowe’s last weekend? Oklahoma drags Texas behind one, and the Cowboys do the same with Kansas. The Sooners are coming. Be very afraid.

    Neil Callaway, UAB – Having the No. 120 offense and No. 96 in the FBS isn’t helping. Neither will the upcoming game against Tulsa.

    Houston Nutt, Mississippi – The good news: You didn’t lose last week! Bad news: You’re going to get bombed by Nick Saban and Alabama!

    Jeff Tedford, California – The Bears played well for a half against Oregon, but forgot to show up for the second. Then, Southern Cal topples them for the eighth straight time. Feel the heat.

    Kirk Ferentz, Iowa – All you can muster is a field goal versus Penn State? Your offensive genius got you three points? BAH!

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    Tags: oklahoma, virginia tech, arkansas, baylor, texas, fresno state, minnesota, missouri, memphis, arizona, kansas, colorado, michigan, michigan state, texas a, m, oklahoma state, mike stoops, turner gill, neil callaway, houston nutt, jeff tedford, kirk ferentz

  7. 2011 Sep 28

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Five


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    It’s hard to believe that there are football games happening outside of Madison this week (GASP!). This is where you find out what else is going down and where it’s going down at. Last week’s winners and losers include -


    Georgia: Congrats Bulldogs, you kept your heads out of the guillotine just long enough by embarrassing someone else for a change. Then again, considering it was Ole Miss, that wasn’t a difficult project.

    Oklahoma State: You battled back from trailing Texas A&M early on the road to pull out a big win. Take care of everything before December, and you’ll have your opportunity to make the big time.

    LSU: The Tigers took the potential of getting ambushed in Morgantown very well. Les Miles’ offense bailed out the defense for once, and The Hat just keeps on winning.

    Arizona State: Save the Illinois stumble, the Sun Devils have been the biggest surprise out of the Pac-12 so far this year. They had a fine win against Team Kiffykins.


    Pittsburgh: For the second week in a row, the Panthers snared defeat from the jaws of victory. The Big East won’t feel bad for them at all though.

    Toledo: The Rockets were flat out jobbed by an incompetent officiating crew from ref to replay official. What an awful way to lose a game.

    Arkansas: The Razorbacks had their chance, and proved they were in over their heads again. If things don’t improve this week…well, let’s wait on that thought.

    West Virginia: A good performance by quarterback Geno Smith, but the Mountaineers had no answer for LSU’s offense. WVU will get better though, at least if no one is faking injuries.

    Ole Miss, Memphis, NC State: This is fitting:

    Onto this week’s dandies! All time CDT, of course.

    No. 14 Texas A&M vs. No. 18 Arkansas – (11:00 AM Saturday, ESPN)

    Yours truly will be in Jerryworld to watch the first SEC conference game for the Aggies as they take on the fighting Hogs. Both teams lost last week, Texas A&M with a disappointing second half versus Okie State, while Arkansas really wasn’t ever in the game against Alabama. Arkansas quarterback Trevor Wilson was efficient last week, but nothing spectacular. “Efficient” isn’t going to beat Saban’s team.

    While A&M doesn’t have the defense that Nick Saban possesses, the Aggies are stout. Running back Ronnie Wingo, Jr. has to put up better numbers than last week for Arkansas to improve. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was alright last week, but RB Cyrus Gray wasn’t and didn’t help the A&M effort once they started to struggle.

    Don’t think that head coach Mike Sherman didn’t notice the success Alabama had running the ball with Trent Richardson. Arkansas has won the two games against A&M in Arlington so far, but there’s no reason to think that the Aggies won’t take this one. Texas A&M’s defense will be the difference in 2011.

    No. 15 Baylor at Kansas State – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC Regional)

    Who'd have thought that this game would have Big 12 conference championship implications at the beginning of the season? Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has more touchdowns (13) than incompletions (12) this year, and has shown that he’s definitely worthy of Heisman consideration. Baylor rolls into Manhattan, Kansas to play Bill Snyder’s Wildcats, who pulled off a semi-shocking, convincing win against Miami (FL).

    Junior quarterback Collin Kline hasn’t been great for the Wildcats, but he’s going to have to start putting together longer drives to keep RG3 off the field. The Kansas State defense is only giving up 10 points per game, but it was given a stern test against the Canes and the Bears could run roughshod over it.

    Look for Griffin to struggle a touch more than he has, but he will still have a great game and Baylor should win setting up an October with some big games for the Bears to prove they belong in the upper tier of the Big 12.

    No. 13 Clemson at No. 11 Virginia Tech – (5 PM Saturday, ESPN2)

    A potential ACC title game preview goes down in Lane Stadium Saturday evening when Dabo Sweeney takes the surging Tigers to face Frank Beamer’s Hokies. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd has played well for the Tigers, who are off to a fantastic start. Running back David Wilson has been the star for the Hokies on offense, but Virginia Tech hasn’t faced a true challenge thus far.

    While Bud Foster’s defense has been great for the Hokies, Virginia Tech has been in much tighter games than expected. Clemson has only played at home during their great start, and this is one of two major road tests for the Tigers.

    With the wave of momentum that Clemson is riding, their chances are better than people think, and it’d be no surprise if they walk out of Blacksburg with a win. If the Hokies do go down, they can’t lick their wounds for long, as the Miami Hurricanes will be visiting next week.

    No. 3 Alabama at No. 12 Florida – (7 PM Saturday, CBS)

    The other Game of the Week takes place in the warmth of The Swamp. Nick Saban goes from one big game to another and Will Muschamp finally gets to be the head man in a big time SEC conference showdown. The Crimson Tide comes off a game where running back Trent Richardson played out of his mind again, and a swarming defense took the wood to a respectable Arkansas offense.

    Florida’s offense has evolved into an unstoppable monster under offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. Running backs Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps are the fastest one-two punch in the SEC, and quarterback John Brantley has taken his game to another level. These two teams have rock solid defenses, so this one will come down to who can win a three-plus hour chess match.

    Saban pulls everything out of his kids in this type of atmosphere. Can Muschamp coach at his level? The game will be low scoring. The winner’s tough to call, but Alabama seems to be the appropriate lean right now. Check the weekly Husker Locker predictions to see who is ultimately chosen.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat:

    Mike Locksley, New Mexico: Whoops! The axe finally fell on Mike this weekend after a “recruit” stole a car registered to Locksley and his wife. It didn’t help that this young man was underage and hit the sauce hard. If this was the final straw for Mike, that’s a sad statement from the New Mexico athletic department. Such is life though, and the interstate game vs. New Mexico State is here. For the families, folks, for the families.

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss: In a game where the loser may have gotten fired on the way back to the showers, you no-showed again in the second half. Also, you didn’t even talk to the media after the game. Instead, you send out offensive coordinator David Lee to take the bullet for you. Do you think Fresno State will care if you feel bad and pull punches?

    Tom O’Brien, North Carolina State: How’s Russell Wilson treating you? Wait, nevermind.

    Mike Riley, Oregon State: A win over Burfict’s boys in the desert? Not likely.

    Danny Hope, Purdue: Beating Notre Dame would save your job for the season. Not beating them would be both terrible and is expected.

    Larry Porter, Memphis: Really? SMU runs you out of your own stadium?

    Mike Stoops, Arizona: In a shocker, the Wildcats were beat down by Oregon and will be beat down by Southern Cal. Why? Because that’s the norm for Arizona football.

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    Tags: georgia, oklahoma state, lsu, arizona state, pittsburgh, toledo, arkansas, west virginia, ole miss, memphis, north carolina state, texas a, m, baylor, kansas state, clemson, virginia tech, alabama, florida, mike locksley, houston nutt, tom obrien, mike riley

  8. 2011 Sep 21

    COLLEGE FOOTBALL: A Look Around the Nation - Week Four


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    By Brian Towle

    As the season officially turns to fall, time once again to take a look at last week’s winners and losers, and a look forward to this week’s games.

    To start us off again, the biggest gains and losses from last week


    Oklahoma – Went into a tough environment against a gritty team and found a way to win. Time to focus on running the Big 12 as it currently exists.

    Notre Dame – They needed a big game versus Michigan State and got it.

    Clemson – Things came together for the Dabo gang versus Auburn. Don’t celebrate too long though Tigers (the ones that won), as things don’t get easier.

    Miami (FL) – Very impressive how the Canes took control of that game against Ohio State.


    Arizona – Another big game for the Cats under Mike Stoops, another egg laid. Stanford ran them out of their own house.

    Michigan State - What? Why? Where did you go, D’Antonio?

    Mississippi State - That’s the best the Bulldogs can do on offense? Dan Mullen, you didn’t even give your team a chance. Let us all know when you think you can be relevant without ducking out on the big stage again.

    Ole Miss, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and Auburn - May I introduce napalm to erase those bad memories?

    To this week’s watch list! All times Central:

    No. 14 Arkansas at No. 3 Alabama – (2:30 PM Saturday, CBS)

    Another week in the life of head coach Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, another ranked SEC opponent coming into Bryant-Denny Stadium for their enjoyment. The Arkansas Razorbacks come to Tuscaloosa for a afternoon meet and greet. Head coach Bobby Petrino brings in an offense that is ranked No. 8 in the FBS in both passing and points per game. The most surprising stat is that Arkansas ranks No. 17 in points allowed, giving up a hair over 12 per game.

    Granted, their games haven’t been against teams better than Missouri State and Troy, so take those numbers for what they’re worth. The Tide is ranked No. 2 in scoring defense, allowing less than a touchdown per game, so this should be a great matchup for both teams. The fact that Petrino has junior quarterback Tyler Wilson and not All-SEC Ryan Mallet will be the difference here.

    Mallett was adept at making necessary passes, and Wilson won’t have seen a defense this good all year. Saban lives for these high-pressure home games, and Petrino tends to field a team that folds like a cheap tent when away from War Memorial Stadium. This contest shouldn’t be too high scoring, but Alabama will win comfortably. If Arkansas does lose, they can’t hang their heads for long, as a battle with Texas A&M looms the next week.

    No. 7 Oklahoma St. at No. 8 Texas A&M – (2:30 PM Saturday, ABC)

    This game will crown the main challenger for Oklahoma’s Big 12 championship bid. The Cowboys had a very late, interesting game against Tulsa last week, while the Aggies wore out Idaho at home. Two of the top three passers in both the conference and FBS will be on display, as Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden goes will be looking for All-American wide out Justin Blackmon. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be taking center stage for the Aggies.

    While both offenses are stellar, the Aggies’ defense is doing their part, only giving up 10 points per contest, although they’re just two games into the season. The difference will be a Cowboy defense that looked shaky at times against Louisiana-Lafayette and Tulsa.

    Head coach Mike Gundy’s team doesn’t fear anyone, and they seem to play well with an “us against the world” mentality. This game will be close no matter what, and it’s very tough to call a winner. Regardless, the loser is not out of the conference race, but they’ll need help.

    No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson (2:30 PM Saturday, ESPN, ESPN3, etc.)

    The ACC conference slate kicks off for both teams with a visit to Death Valley for the Seminoles. Last week, Clemson played a very tough game versus Auburn, while Florida State gave Oklahoma all they could handle. FSU Quarterback E.J. Manuel has a bruised shoulder, and is questionable at best. His dual-threat abilities gave the Sooners fits, but if he isn’t ready to go, expect Clint Trickett to air it out, as the Noles proved their running game is far from effective.

    Clemson doesn’t really impress on the stat sheet, but they’ve played very well as a unit. Quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Andre Ellington have been impressive at times for the Tigers, but in order to win this game and grab a hold of the sit at the head of the ACC Atlantic’s table, Clemson has to prove they can stop the pass. Look for the Tigers to come away with a somewhat ugly, yet convincing win, and for Florida State to go back to the drawing board.

    No. 2 LSU at No. 16 West Virginia (7:00 PM Saturday, ABC)

    The final game of the night will be live from Morgantown, when the Bayou Bengals travel to the Smoky Mountains. LSU comes into the game with their #2 ranking, but they haven’t been truly tested by anyone yet. Quarterback Jarrett Lee has managed the offense well enough to let the defense do their thing against teams like Oregon and Mississippi State.

    West Virginia comes into the game with the high-flying Dana Holgorson offense that has been more misses than hits through the season so far. While the Mountaineers’ offense, led by quarterback Geno Smith has been good, but not as great as it can be, the defense has been a tad tepid and that’s being kind. Don’t forget, this is the same team that had Maryland driving for the go ahead score late in the game last week.

    While this should be the biggest test for the LSU defense to date by far, the offense should be able to put points on the board, again without Lee doing much. West Virginia will score, but they won’t be able to be effective enough. LSU should prevail once again, but the score should be closer than people may give the Mountaineers credit for.

    Either way, it will be the most festive in-game atmosphere you may ever see, as the allowance of alcohol sales inside the stadium should bode well for the both Tiger and Mountaineer fans who likes to enjoy the occasional adult beverage…or three.

    Coaches on the Hot Seat

    Turner Gill, Kansas – That was bad, Turner. Georgia Tech just destroyed your charges. Texas Tech arrives in two weeks, and your Jayhawks had better be ready.

    Houston Nutt, Ole Miss – Vanderbilt ran you off the train tracks, sir! That’s right, Vanderbilt! I’d expect to see you bomb this week yet again, but you get to go against..

    Mark Richt, Georgia - Georgia vs. Ole Miss this week in Oxford. At least if Richt loses, he may not be fired in the tunnel going back to the locker room after the game. Houston Nutt on the other hand...

    Rick Neuheisel - UCLA, Mike Riley - Oregon State – UCLA vs. Oregon State. The winner gets to live. For how long, who knows? At least the players’ families will be watching.

    Mike Stoops, Arizona – This is getting old, sir. Your team wasn’t prepared and you were outcoached..again. Oregon comes to town this week, so I recommend drafting excuses right now.

    BONUS: Dan Beebe - Big 12 Commissioner (for now) – It was really your fault after all, wasn’t it Dan?

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    Tags: oklahoma, florida state, miami, ohio state, notre dame, arizona, michigan state, mississippi state, ole miss, kansas, pittsburgh, auburn, arkansas, alabama, oklahoma state, texas a, m, clemson, lsu, west virginia, turner gill, houston nutt, mark richt, mike riley, dan beebe

  9. 2010 Oct 26

    Pelini on Prince: He'll Bounce Back


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini hands out gaudy praise of his own players like a dentist foists candy on tykes, but Tuesday he mounted a surprisingly strong defense for senior cornerback Prince Amukamara, whostruggled in Saturday's 51-41 win over Oklahoma State.

    “Remarkable,” was the word Pelini used to describe Amukamara's play in 2010. Considered a top cover corner by several NFL analysts, he let Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon catch three passes for 129 yards and a touchdown in the first half, including an 80-yard flea flicker. Blackmon caught the ball at midfield, broke through Amukamara's arm tackle, and outran him to the end zone.

    “That really wasn't his play,” said Pelini, who expected Amukamara to receiver over-the-top help from the safety on the pass. “The ball was underthrown and the guy kind of pushed him by.”

    Amukamara told reporters Saturday he was “humbled” by Blackmon, the nation's leader in receiving yards who also drew a pass interference penalty.

    Pelini saw it differently. He played safety at Ohio State in college and coached the position in the NFL – including Deion Sanders with the San Francisco 49ers.

    “They all get beat,” Pelini said Tuesday. “No one is invincible.”

    The mark of Amukamara's talent, Pelini said, is preventing bad plays. Every corner has them.

    “What really shows what Prince was about is how he played the second half,” Pelini said.

    Tags: oklahoma state game, prince amukamara, bo pelini

  10. 2010 Oct 24



    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Minutes after the Blackshirts had given up 495 yards and 41 points – the most in 24 games – in their narrow, exciting win over Oklahoma State, defensive coordinator Carl Pelini was in little mood to examine the numerous, glaring mistakes made by his troops.

    “I won't assess the defense,” Carl told reporters. “We won. Let me enjoy the win. I'll assess the defense on Sunday.”

    I sense that kind of answer is perfectly fine by Husker fans, who have built up a healthy respect for The Brothers Pelini and the work they do. Respect that Bo and Carl have earned.

    But how would fans react if offensive coordinator Shawn Watson had said, in response to critical questions, “let me enjoy the win” after the 2009 Oklahoma game? What if offensive line coach Barney Cotton had called Saturday's win “beautiful” - as linebackers coach Mike Ekeler did - while his offensive line whiffed on blocks and gave up six sacks?

    Food for thought as we chew on the review:

    Five Players We Loved

    Quarterback Taylor Martinez: Two plays jump out after reflection: The 33-yard toss to Mike McNeill on a deep corner route that took patience and touch; and his evasion of the pass rush to hit Kyler Reed for a first down on Nebraska's final touchdown drive. Those were senior plays. Martinez clearly took criticism and a benching in the Texas game well.

    Wide receiver Niles Paul: After he returned that kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, the senior made a beeline for the Nebraska fans and apparently told them “God bless you.” Was it a response to the handful of hecklers Paul encountered last week? It shouldn't be. Most NU fans like the kid just fine. Thirty jokers with a Facebook account isn't an entire fan base. At any rate, Paul picked a good time for one of his best career games.

    Wide receiver Brandon Kinnie: It was the junior, not Paul, who got his number called on the endzone fade patterns Saturday. He broke up a potential OSU interception on one, and scored an touchdown on the other. Worth watching down the stretch.

    Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard: Another terrific game for the junior. He may not be able to turn down the NFL if it comes calling, unless a work stoppage is entirely unavoidable and guaranteed to last through the 2011 season.

    Kicker/punter/runner Alex Henery: All he does is make every field goal, punt bombs and convert first downs with a weaving, terrific run on a fake punt. There aren't many like this Omaha Burke product. His dependability will be missed when he graduates.

    Three Concerns

    Jump Balls: Oklahoma State took its share of gambles on deep passes to Justin Blackmon. The Cowboys only hit a couple, but those few were worth 14-21 points. It's not easy for any defense to cover a kid like Blackmon – who seems to have all the makings of a Calvin Johnson/Dez Bryant-caliber talent – but Nebraska's corners, particularly Prince Amukamara, struggled to track and deflect the ball.

    Pass Rush: There isn't much of one. Yes, defensive end Pierre Allen went down early with a minor knee injury, but his replacements – Josh Williams and Jason Ankrah – are reputed to be pretty decent pass rushers, and they didn't really get home Saturday. Cameron Meredith is generating the most consistent pressure of the front four, but this unit just isn't the same with Ndamukong Suh. And the blitzes aren't really working. Witness that disastrous call in the first quarter that left OSU slot receiver Josh Cooper wide open.

    Ball Security: Martinez lost one fumble and nearly created two more turnovers with, shall we say, odd decisions. His first pass was a remarkably dangerous, underhanded throw to avoid a sack. His improvised option play to Paul should be sent to Siberia, never to return. Never a dull moment, though.

    Three Questions

    Can Nebraska solve the Memorial Stadium Mystery? Bo's had a week and a day to think about how to better prepare his team for the pressure of winning at home. Doesn't seem intuitive, but the numbers don't lie. And Saturday's Missouri game is bigger than Texas, because more is at stake (against a team that Husker fans like even less, I suspect, than Texas).

    Is the passing offense here to stay? If Martinez is up to it, perhaps. NU has created enough of a run threat to keep defenses honest, setting up the playaction pass for those deep crossing routes Watson likes so much.

    Just how good is Missouri? The Tigers have just a month removed from pulling out a thrilling 27-24 win over San Diego State thanks to a final-minute touchdown pass from Mizzou's Blaine Gabbert to T.J. Moe. That seemed to ignite Missouri's defense to previously unseen heights; the Tigers' D has played lights out for four weeks, and the offense came around in the Oklahoma game. Is Mizzou truly a top ten team? My read of the Tigers' talent tells me no. But they've beaten two of the teams that I thought would beat them (OU and Texas A&M) and I only had them slated for three losses. The third one? Take a big guess.

    Win Nebraska-Missouri Tickets

    Tags: husker monday review, oklahoma state game, taylor martinez, alex henery, alfonzo dennard, brandon kinnie, niles paul

  11. 2010 Oct 24

    NU 14th in Latest BCS Standings


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Even after Nebraska's best win of the year - a 51-41 victory over previously undefeated and No. 14 Oklahoma State - the AP and Coaches polls hardly rewarded NU, instead vaulting Missouri - a 36-27 winner over BCS No. 1 Oklahoma - into the top ten.

    In the BCS poll, NU rose two spots from No. 16 to No. 14. Auburn is No. 1, while Oregon, Boise State, TCU and Michigan State follow. Missouri is No. 6. Oklahoma is No. 9.

    In the Associated Press poll, NU stayed at No. 14 as OU and LSU - both losers on Saturday - were slotted at No. 11 and No. 12. Missouri jumped to No. 7.

    In the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, NU moved up one spot from No. 13 to No. 12, as LSU, which lost to Auburn 24-17, dropped to No. 13. Missouri landed at No. 8, while the Sooners were at No. 11.

    Oregon remained at No. 1 in both polls, followed by Boise State, Auburn, TCU and Michigan State. The Ducks or the Broncos should be the No. 1 team when BCS standings are released Sunday night.

    Win Nebraska-Missouri Tickets

    Tags: oklahoma state game

  12. 2010 Oct 23

    NU-OSU Report Card


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Here's our report card after the Nebraska-OSU game!

    OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Quarterback Taylor Martinez. No brainer here. The best part about Martinez’s play was his ability to evade the rush and deliver key first downs with his arm on NU’s final touchdown drive. Not sure he grew up Saturday, but he showed he could throw big passes.

    DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: None. NU gave up way too many yards and points for that.


    QUARTERBACK: A- Martinez made a couple of head-scratching plays – and got away with them. But he played with intelligence, toughness and poise. As defenses gear up to stop the zone read game, Martinez will have to make plays with his arm. He did so Saturday. Now – can he get off the roller coaster?

    RUNNING BACK: B Not much was asked of Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead – but both ran the ball with forward lean and aggression, and neither fumbled. Decent pass blocking both in the backfield and down the field.

    OFFENSIVE LINE: B Martinez bailed out NU’s pass protection on a few occasions by evading the rush. The rushing lanes were decent at best. But Nebraska found its stride in the second half, plowed out some pretty big holes in the fourth quarter, and gave Martinez some nice cushion early in the third quarter to hit some throws.

    WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS: B+ Still a few drops – Mike McNeill, Brandon Kinnie and Niles Paul all had one – but several more terrific plays downfield. Kinnie and Paul both had career days. Kyler Reed just might be NU’s best deep threat, as he caught another long ball – and his third touchdown – Saturday.

    DEFENSIVE LINE: D+ The scheme isn’t doing the front four any favors, but NU’s linemen have to get more pressure on the quarterback and not get shoved off the line against the run. You may see NU retool this unit over the next couple weeks to free up guys like Jared Crick and Pierre Allen. Cameron Meredith is playing the best of the front four.

    LINEBACKER: C- They, too, didn’t get much help from the defensive line, which didn’t hold up very well. But LaVonte David and Will Compton missed too many tackles and seemed a step behind some of the Cowboys skill players.

    SECONDARY: D Worst game in almost two years. The tackling was bad, and the coverage wasn’t much better. OSU tested NU deep and found the bank open. The Huskers did a much better job on crossing routes later in the game.

    SPECIAL TEAMS: A A fake punt, a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and three field goals from Alex Henery. A banner day for John Papuchis and Co. NU dominated the third phase.

    GAME MANAGEMENT/PLAYCALLING: B+ Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson called a strong game – especially in the second half. He varied the formations and playcalling to keep Oklahoma State off balance and trusted Martinez to make the right reads and calls in the passing game. Watson also didn’t waste time with bubble and tunnel screens. On defense, the staff really struggled to manage substitutions and play calls against OSU’s no-huddle offense.

    Win Nebraska-Missouri Tickets

    Tags: oklahoma state game, report card, alex henery, taylor martinez

  13. 2010 Oct 23

    NU-OSU: Sweet Survival


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    The game finally secure, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini turned away from the field in the waning seconds of NU's 51-41 win over Oklahoma State and began to locate his defensive players, a little dazed from a perfectly-awful performance. He started patting the helmets of each one he could find, a universal sign of confidence. And, in this case, a rare display of Bo's mercy.

    A small, proper gesture for an afternoon when NU could have folded its tent – and certainly would have in the Bill Callahan era – but stood firm against the Cowboys, who could probably score a couple touchdowns on the Baltimore Ravens.

    Survival is sweet. There are days when one thing or another spins totally out of control, and you're doing well just to hang on – literally, in the case of Huskers' tackling – write off the numbers and exhale over the win.

    Saturday in Stillwater was precisely that. A loose, wild game for a half. A signature Nebraska moment when it mattered. Yet another milestone for Taylor Martinez, who threw for more yards than he said words in the postgame presser. And a game that NU's offense really needed, even if OSU's defense couldn't stop Navy's passing game, much less Nebraska's attack.

    “Everybody had their mistakes, I promise you that,” Pelini said. “But everybody who played in that game today made plays. Made some plays that helped us win the football game. That's the way it goes – especially on the road.”

    The Huskers – and Bo – showed daring and resolve Saturday. They never hung their heads. They love the road, and feed off the adversity of the moment. If they could ever handle that stunned silence of Memorial Stadium after something bad happens - nothing sounds quite so heartbroken as 85,000 in a Sea of Red – watch out.

    You saw guts and execution in the special teams, with a fake punt, Alex Henery's three field goals, terrific punt coverage and Niles Paul's 100-yard kickoff return. You saw it in Paul's acrobatic grabs – even after one of his trademark drops. In Brandon Kinnie's ability to break tackles and get a foot down inbounds on a fade route in the end zone. In several of Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead's runs.

    And, of course, in Martinez.

    It's a high-wire act with this kid every week. Martinez risked, by my count, five turnovers Saturday. He committed one that led to a Cowboys field goal. Although he wisely ran out of bounds several times, he still took his share of howitzers from the OSU defense.

    But he was a lot more T-Boom than he was T-Bust at T. Boone.

    He'd get NU in long-yardage situations, then rescue it with a great throw or a timely sidestep of the Oklahoma State rush. He progressed through his reads. He set his feet. He corrected mistakes in five days that would take most QBs several weeks. And he did this after he was benched and the press – me included – took a pretty good run at his execution and leadership. His answer to press corps? A sharp little grin and wave at the end of his presser that reminded me of some young Hollywood bad boy who spurns the paparazzi.

    In his sheer, dogged insistence to make plays where there are none to be made, Martinez keeps winning folks over - and games along with it. He's tough. He is so oblivious to danger that he zips right past it or throws right over it. His rainbow deep passes were miraculously on target Saturday. He threw lasers on the short stuff. He got out of about five sacks.

    “We tried everything,” OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young said. We rushed three, we rushed five, we dropped eight and just weren't getting it done. So we need to find something that works better."

    We'll pull the slot machine next week and see what we get with No. 3.

    But at least Husker fans know he can throw it around the yard. Kudos to offensive coordinator Shawn Watson for opening up the playbook in the second half, addressing OSU's weakness head on, and trusting Martinez to find his way. Which he did.

    The same cannot be said for the Blackshirts.

    That defensive scheme – whether you call it the Peso, Queso, Ole or Oh My – demands too much of its players against a running back like Kendall Hunter and an offensive line like Oklahoma State's. Often, Hunter was three or four yards downfield before he even encountered an NU safety, who had No. 24 in a phone booth and let him out. Nebraska's defensive line doesn't penetrate. The linebackers do what they can, but inevitably get caught up in the wake of their own teammates.

    NU doesn't attack the run. It catches the offensive line and hopes to hold on. Did the Cowboys ever bother to run outside the hash marks? Not really. Opponents can now see that if you spread out the Huskers sideline-to-sideline, the Brothers Pelini will empty the box and ask their safeties and linebackers to be all-conference players on every down. They're pretty darn good. But not that good. Oklahoma State – quite easily – could have run for 350 yards Saturday, had it been so inclined.

    And where's the pass rush? It's a question. Cameron Meredith seems to be the most consistent guy at generating pressure. Jared Crick is struggling to get there. Blitzes didn't get home.

    The brothers need to reevaluate, and at least consider altering how the defensive line handles its responsibilities. Even Bo admitted after the game that he put some of the NU defenders in bad spots.

    The Huskers' secondary struggled, but Justin Blackmon's 80-yard flea-flicker touchdown skews the final numbers. Blackmon is a dynamic talent, the second coming of Dez Bryant. Hunter is a NFL starter, if healthy.

    Bo's mild, reflective postgame mood seem to reflect that reality. OSU had terrific skill players and an aggressive offensive coordinator in Dana Holgerson who will likely get a head coaching job next year. The crowd was loud and into it. NU had to survive – and did.

    “In this game, you have to pick each other up,” he said. “I thought that the times that the offense needed picked up in the game, the defense did it, and vice versa. It's a team game. We said going in, 'We've got to do what ever it takes to win the football game,' and that's what we did."

    The Huskers still have a stake in the Big 12. And you'll take it with a side of cole slaw.

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    Tags: oklahoma state game, taylor martinez, blackshirts, bo pelini, shawn watson, carl pelini

  14. 2010 Oct 23

    NU-OSU: Huskers Win Shootout in Stillwater


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    His first pass of the day - a feeble, underhanded flip to an empty patch of grass - appeared to be an ominous sign of struggles to come.

    So much for first impressions. Because the kid brought his gun.

    While No. 14 Oklahoma State's fast-break offense turned No. 16 Nebraska's peso defense into queso, NU quarterback Taylor Martinez got busy writing the latest chapter of his memorable season.

    Just one week after getting benched in a 20-13 loss to Texas, Martinez turned in a tough, daring, explosive performance, throwing for 323 yards and five touchdowns – both freshman records - and accounting for 435 total yards in a 51-41 shootout win over the Cowboys in Stillwater

    “Pretty fun for me,” Martinez said. “For the team, too. We get to throw the ball around a lot and we get to make a lot of plays. It's pretty cool.”

    Martinez had never topped more than 200 yards passing in his young career. He eclipsed that mark in the third quarter. He spread it around, too, completing 23 of 35 passes to seven different receivers, with four completions of 25 yards or longer. Dodging OSU blitzers with frequency, often buying time instead of running right away, the Corona, Calif., native converted a number of key third down plays in the second half.

    He kicked it off with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Kinnie on Nebraska's opening drive, and capped it with a nine-yard toss to Kinnie late in the fourth quarter. In between, he made his share of head-scratching plays – including an improvised option play with Niles Paul and a costly fumble – that paled in comparison to the spectacular ones.

    “When he lets the game come to him,” head coach Bo Pelini. “He's pretty good.”

    Paul was, too. His 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was part of a career day of 274 total yards. That included nine catches for 115 yards, both career highs. This, one week after Paul was a goat in the Texas loss, heckled by fans on Facebook and in the NU parking lot.

    “Niles is a stud,” Pelini said. “He's a competitor...he stepped up for us and made some plays.”

    Good thing. For the Blackshirts were run ragged by OSU's dynamic spread offense that racked up 495 yards. NU hasn't been gashed that badly since 2008. Losing defensive end Pierre Allen didn't help; he was replaced by sophomore Josh Williams and redshirt freshman Jason Ankrah, but Nebraska's defense often looked vulnerable and a step slow.

    The Huskers had few answers for Cowboys' running back Kendall Hunter (201 yards rushing) and wide receiver Justin Blackmon (157 yards receiving). Tackling was a particular concern, as the Huskers, with their whiffs and failed arm bars, routinely made Hunter look like OSU alum Barry Sanders. NU gave up 343 yards in the first half.

    “We had bad tackling,” Pelini said. “The awareness wasn't great at times in some of the areas we needed to fit into. I don't lack confidence in that area.”

    Pelini said the Huskers struggled to handle the Cowboys' no huddle offense, which routinely shuttled players on and off the field and ran plays within 10 seconds of the ball being spotted.

    And after OSU took its first lead of the game at 27-24 late in the first half, Nebraska (6-1 overall, 2-1 in the Big 12), already engaged in nearly two hours of a heavyweight fight, appeared on the ropes.

    “We started to get a little wide-eyed,” Pelini said.

    Martinez started to get hot. He led a 66-yard touchdown drive just before the halftime gun, overcoming a holding penalty and a drop by receiver Niles Paul by completing a 33-yard corner route to Mike McNeill and a nine-yard touchdown pass to Kinnie.

    “It was really critical that we be able to show we can run the two-minute offense,” Martinez said. “Previous games, we'd get stopped.”

    Said Pelini: “That was a huge drive.”

    Here's why: Nebraska got the ball to start the second half, and immediately tacked on a field goal to take a 34-27 lead. After OSU (6-1, 2-1) went three-and-out, Martinez converted two third down plays on NU's ensuing drive to set up a perfectly-thrown 41-yard touchdown pass to Kyler Reed. The Huskers had a 14-point pad. The Cowboys never got closer than seven after that. Martinez completed 15 of 21 passes in the second half for 196 yards.

    Both teams spent the first half trading haymakers. Nebraska struck first with a 27-yard run by Alex Henery on a fake punt, which led to Martinez's 45-yard touchdown pass to Kinnie, who caught the quick slant in stride, broke a tackle, rumbled to the end zone for his first career touchdown. NU led 7-0.

    OSU, its offensive line gashing wide holes for Hunter, twice got inside the Huskers' red zone, but settled for field goals.

    Paul returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards, sprinting down the opposing sideline, then veering hard to his left at midfield to evade two tackles and outrun the rest the to the end zone.

    “We knew we were going to have a chance to take one to the house,” Paul said. “Or a big gain. I just saw a hole open up.” OSU had given up two kickoff returns for touchdowns already this year.

    But Oklahoma State cut the lead to 14-13 with a 76-yard touchdown drive as Weeden completed five straight passes on the drive.

    Martinez answered, converting a 4th-and-inches at midfield, then setting up his own 1-yard touchdown pass to fullback Tyler Legate with a 26-yard run on third down. Oklahoma State cut the lead back to 21-20 with a 84-yard touchdown drive, fueled by Hunter runs of 13, 16 and 5, and a defensive pass interference penalty.

    An NU field goal to increase the lead back to 24-20. Ping. An Oklahoma State 80-yard flea-flicker pass from Brandon Weeden to Blackmon for OSU's first lead at 27-24. Pong.

    Nebraska scored those 17 straight points, and altered the trajectory and momentum of the game. The capacity crowd of 55,935 at T. Boone Pickens Stadium quieted down, and while OSU still busted off some big running plays in the second half, Weeden only threw for 82 yards over the last 30 minutes, most of that on a final touchdown drive with the game out of reach.

    “I thought the second half was pretty good (defensively),” Pelini said. “We settled down. We tackled better. We just played better. We just made more plays.”

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    Tags: oklahoma state game, taylor martinez

  15. 2010 Oct 22

    Guess The Score! NU-OSU!


    By HuskerLocker

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    Put your score and potential offensive and defensive MVPs in the comment box below. Get the score correct and win $20 gift certificate to Lincoln's BBQ4U and a Locker pass subscription through January!

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    Tags: guess the score, oklahoma state game

  16. 2010 Oct 22

    Five OSU Players to Watch


    By HuskerLocker

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    Five Oklahoma State Players to Watch in OSU’s Tilt with Nebraska.
    Wide receiver Justin Blackmon: He’s a jump ball artist who will be getting the first true challenge of the year. He won’t be used to a physical specimen like Prince Amukamara (or Alfonzo Dennard) covering him.
    Running back Kendall Hunter: The senior leader and bellcow will be a focal point of the Cowboys’ gameplan on Saturday. He has the toughness to run inside, the hands to catch the ball on the run and the speed to make NU’s linebackers look pretty bad.
    Linebacker Orie Lemon: OSU’s best defensive player won’t necessarily be the guy who shuts down Taylor Martinez, but he will be responsible for making plays on the second level, which is key to slowing down NU’s running game. The Cowboys’ defensive front isn’t in the same league as Texas, so the linebackers will need to make plays.
    Athlete Joseph Randle: OSU’s newest weapon is just a true freshman, but he’s fast and shifty and he’ll be another guy for Nebraska track all over the field. He’s equally versatile as a runner and a pass catcher.
    Quarterback Brandon Weeden: He hasn’t faced a pass defense nearly as sophisticated as Nebraska’s and Weeden’s already thrown eight interceptions this year. Look for NU to hit him early and often and make him bail on timing patterns.

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    Tags: oklahoma state game

  17. 2010 Oct 22

    Five NU Players to Watch


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Five Nebraska Players to Watch in NU’s Tilt with Oklahoma State.
    Cornerback Prince Amukamara: Time to earn that NFL money by matching up against one of the better downfield receivers in the Big 12, and perhaps college football in OSU’s Justin Blackmon. Amukamara has the talent, speed and physicality to do the job and take away one of Cowboy QB Brandon Weeden’s key weapons.
    Linebacker Will Compton:
    If defensive coordinator Carl Pelini eased Compton back into action last week vs. Texas, look for the DC to lean heavily on the sophomore in Stillwater. OSU runs the ball enough out of power sets that NU needs to place a second linebacker on the field to stop it, and that guy’s likely to be Compton. After missing the first five games with a broken, can Compton shine in his second game back much like Rex Burkhead did in the 2009 Colorado game?
    Defensive tackle Jared Crick: He’s been pretty quiet since a breakout game vs. Idaho, but Crick could have a feast against an OSU line that can give up sacks and tackles for loss. There seems to be something holding back Crick. Does the Pelini scheme take advantage of Crick’s top-end speed properly? Maybe this is the game where the Huskers turn him loose.
    Quarterback Taylor Martinez: Pressure’s on. Martinez seems to excel beyond his years on the road, and he may need to again to keep up with the Cowboys’ high-powered offense. Martinez has to prepare for an attacking defense that forces him to throw. Martinez isn’t a terrific passer, but he can make the throws to beat OSU’s so-so pass defense.
    Wide receiver Mike McNeill: His on-field complaint Bo Pelini was a bit much, but it pointed to this truth: McNeill was open over the middle for most of the Texas game. Look for him to get some touches on Saturday.

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    Tags: oklahoma state game, will compton, prince amukamara, taylor martinez, mike mcneill, jared crick

  18. 2010 Oct 22

    NEBRASKA FOOTBALL: Five Keys to Oklahoma State


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Intermezzo in Stillwater. Nebraska's game at Oklahoma State lacks the drama of last week's Texas tilt and next week's blood match with Missouri – which, if the Tigers beat Oklahoma Saturday and NU beats the Cowboys, becomes the game of the year in the Big 12. But the stakes are up, NU's wagons are circled around this moment, and a fan base just now stumbling out of the fog of the UT loss wonders just which Husker team shows up for Saturday afternoon nachos.

    The keys, please:

    Chess Match: Nebraska may not face a coaching staff that's equal to its own expertise every week, but NU has a tough assignment in OSU's braintrust, led by head coach Mike Gundy, who's stepped away from the offense some to coach the mood the team during the game, but still remains an offensive mind as strong as any in the Big 12. The Cowboys' offensive and defensive coordinators, Dana Holgerson and Bill Young, have proven track records – Young coached Bo Pelini, in fact, when Bo was at Ohio State – and aggressive schemes. While Oklahoma State has developed a habit of struggling in these big games, the Brothers Pelini and Shawn Watson aren't going to run them ragged on schemes and plans.

    Polar-opposite Quarterbacks: An interesting side story of Saturday's game pits Nebraska redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez – a young, explosive runner who leads almost exclusively by example – against OSU junior Brandon Weeden, a 27-year-old former Minor League Baseball player who isn't much of a runner, but has a strong arm and an even stronger presence in the locker room. If you want to talk about two guys who come at the position from an entirely different point of view, here you have it.

    Who does the matchup favor? It could be a push. Martinez officially has a blueprint floating around out there to stop his running talents, while the book on Weeden is to get a pass rush in his face and make him throw interceptions. But if you give either quarterback some room to breathe – watch out.

    First quarter stumbles: In five of the nine Nebraska losses during the Bo Pelini era, NU has turned the ball over in the first quarter – against Oklahoma in 2008, it was several times - which directly led to points for the opponent. At home or on the road, Nebraska never seems to be a particularly fast starter; it can't afford to get behind against an explosive OSU team that also has the ability to control the clock.

    Head Hunter: While wide receiver Justin Blackmon – who leads the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns - earns the press clippings for the time being, it's senior running back Kendall Hunter who should attract more of Nebraska's attention. Equally skilled in between the tackles and darting around in the open field, Hunter is the kind of player who challenges NU's relative inexperience at linebacker. OSU can pound the ball on isolation and counter plays, but also send Hunter on quick shoot routes toward the sideline that forces LaVonte David or Will Compton to cover a ton of ground in a short amount of time.

    Nebraska's elite secondary can probably diminish Blackmon's contribution or take it away entirely. Hunter is a different matter.

    T. Boone Factor: Oilman T. Boone Pickens and his enormous wad of cash has transformed an erector set of a stadium into a polished, full-blown home field advantage that will come into play Saturday. While NU handled road trips to Washington and Kansas State with surprising ease, you just have to think that, somewhere during this season, an opposing crowd will get its claws into Nebraska a little bit. You hope, if you're a Husker fan, that it isn't Saturday.

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    Tags: five keys, oklahoma state game, taylor martinez, kendall hunter, will compton, lavonte david, shawn watson, carl pelini, bo pelini

  19. 2010 Oct 21

    Husker Heartbeat 10/21: Connie's New Crew


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Photo from US Presswire

    Welcome to Husker Heartbeat - a sampling of links and quick wit to start your morning! Keep checking each morning, Monday-Friday, for new links! We look for the offbeat as well as the straightforward - so don’t just think of us as a typical link farm!

    A quick abbreviation key FYI: OWH=Omaha World-Herald, LJS=Lincoln Journal-Star, CN=Corn Nation, BRN=Big Red Network, HI=Huskers Illustrated, BRR=Big Red Report. If we need to add more - we will. Others, like ESPN, are self-explanatory.

    *Fresh off a historic season, Connie Yori talks about her new young Nebraska women's basketball team, including a "special" freshman in Jordan Hooper.

    *NU volleyball rolls again.

    *LJS Sipple looks at Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgerson, a Mike Leach disciple.

    *OSU's Kendall Hunter is the biggest, most versatile threat for the Cowboys' offense.

    *Brandon Kinnie's dropped pass haunted him for days.

    *Looking back at the few memorable Nebraska-Oklahoma State games.

    Tags: husker heartbeat, oklahoma state game, connie yori, brandon kinnie, kendall hunter

  20. 2010 Oct 20

    SCOUTING REPORT: Oklahoma State


    By HuskerLocker

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    The best scouting report on the web available to Husker Locker Pass members with a 30-day free trial of HLP! Get entered for two free tickets to the Nebraska-Missouri game!

    Tags: oklahoma state game, scouting report

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