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  1. 2011 Nov 09

    The Inferno In Happy Valley


    By Shortister

    Alright. I know I am 1,091 miles from Penn State University right now, so I don't know the complete situation, but I do know what's being released. I also know that this is a disaster; this is an inferno right now.

    As you know, Joe Paterno was fired tonight and Graham Spanier stepped down as President due to the sexual abuse allegations that arose recently.

    Many of my friends are talking to me and are in disbelief why they fired him now. However, they aren't quite reading up on the story as they should be if they want to have a valid opinion on the matter.

    The chanting of "We Want Joe" on Beaver Ave. makes me sick, but yet, I understand it. I understand it because of the fact that JoePa had been the coach at Penn State for a very very long time. However, it makes me sick because they aren't thinking of the entire story. They are basically placing more value on college football than the protection and justice for the boys who made the allegations.

    Speculation is circling around Twitter and Facebook that someone needs to forfeit the game this week, whether it be the Nebraska Cornhuskers or the Penn State Nittany Lions. That's another thing right now I'm not completely sure about.

    Canning him via a phone call was a little classless, in my opinion. Couldn't a representative from the University go to his house and tell him in person? That's like breaking up with a spouse via phone. It is undoubtedly true that JoePa was married to Penn State.

    This entire ordeal reminds me of what happened at my the high school finals of Nebraska state soccer in 2010. Sure, that isn't even close to the magnitude of what is going on in Happy Valley, but it was sure big news at the time. No one remembers that the Lincoln East Spartans had a perfect season that year and was nationally ranked. Everyone remembers how former students threw green cards on to the field in response to playing a primarily ethnically Latino high school. I hope for the sake of college football that people do remember the JoePa legacy, and not just remember the last few weeks of his collegiate career.

    Tags: joe, paterno, penn, state, nittany, lions, joepa, graham, spanier, beaver, street, nebraska, cornhuskers

  2. 2011 Nov 08

    JoePa's Future Uncertain


    By Shortister

    Everyone in the sports world should know about the scandal coming to light in Pennsylvania. If you don't, you've been living under a rock for the past few days.

    Even though the Nittany Lions' players were never coached by Jerry Sandusky, this week and those weeks to come are going to be difficult. The press is all over this story, look at ESPN and all the writeups about it. Hell, just being a part of the university right now is definitely going to have bad connotations.

    The game this weekend is going to mean a lot to both teams. Nebraska, coming off a heart-breaking loss to an unranked Northwestern and Penn State trying to see some light while being involved in this depressing mess.

    Several questions loom throughout college football and Penn State: Is JoePa going to retire due to the chaos? Could he have managed this better in the past? Why was his press conference canceled? Other moral questions surround the university as well. One thing is for certain, this isn't "just going to go away".

    Tags: penn, state, joe, paterno, nebraska, cornhuskers, scandal

  3. 2011 Oct 23

    Nebraska 14th in BCS Standings


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    Nebraska is rated number fourteen in the BCS Standings for this week following the defeat of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. With the number of teams receiving their first defeat of the season, the top twenty-five is looking very competitive. Nebraska (14) must face Michigan State (11), Michigan (18), and Penn State (19) before gaining a possible re-match with Wisconsin (15).

    BCS Standings

    1 LSU
    2 Alabama
    3 Oklahoma State
    4 Boise State
    5 Clemson
    6 Stanford
    7 Oregon
    8 Kansas State
    9 Oklahoma
    10 Arkansas
    11 Michigan State
    12 Virginia Tech
    13 South Carolina
    14 Nebraska
    15 Wisconsin
    16 Texas A&M
    17 Houston
    18 Michigan
    19 Penn State
    20 Texas Tech
    21 Arizona State
    22 Georgia
    23 Auburn
    24 Texas
    25 West Virginia

    Tags: bcs standings, nebraska, michigan state

  4. 2011 Sep 11

    This Just In...Fresno State Commentary


    By justinprestidge

    This Just-In…

    Bulldogs or Pitbulls-Where is Mike Vick when you need him? Huskers survive dogfight 42-29

    Player(s) of the Game: Taylor Martinez
    10-21, 219yds, 1TD, 2INT
    15 car, 166 yds, 2TD’s

    Consistently inconsistent-Martinez and the Rob Deer effect…

    Moments after Martinez strolled over the goal line with little more than two minutes remaining, I stood up to breathe a sigh of relief. Color had just begun to return to my ever whitening knuckles, and clarity of mind started to set in. It had not even been 15 minutes earlier where I was thinking to myself-we could really lose this game? Visions of Ball State were haunting my thoughts. In the aftermath I began to wonder-is this what we have-a college football equivalent of Rob Deer?

    Now, I want to preface everything that I may say with this-without T-Mart calling the signals on Saturday-we don’t win. Bottom line. Now that the attorneys are happy with the proper discaimers, on to the point.

    For those of you that are not as familiar with baseball (and I am by no means the expert), Rob Deer was a power hitting Right Fielder/First Baseman who played in the late 80’s and early 90’’s, spending most of his career with the Detroit Tigers. He was, what I considered at least, the epitome of all or nothing. A career .220 hitter, Rob Deer was a threat to go long every time he stepped up to the plate. He was also just as likely to strikeout, leading the league in that category on five separate occasions, along with finishing in the top ten in strikeouts a total of eight times.

    What we are seeing out of Martinez, could very well be just youth and inexperience, however, it appears we have a player cast from the very same mold. 166 yards rushing and two TD’s. Seven plays over 40 yards. Two fumbles and two interceptions. All or nothing.

    Martinez does not posses the accuracy to hurt teams on intermediate routes, and I have yet to see him be able to make a 15 yard out throw with any consistency. What he has shown, however, is that he is good at lofting dangerous passes and hoping his receiver can make a play and come up with it. I remember watching highlights of Martinez in high school and he was constantly doing this. He was so feared as a runner, and by far the best player on the field, he could get away with this.

    Take a look at this http://youtu.be/J6gg8bpnfCw and you make your own assessment.

    It does not appear that he has progressed much as a passer. The all or nothing strategy worked Saturday, but it will not work once we are knee deep in the meat of our Big Ten schedule. Wisconsin will stack the box and dare Martinez to loft a freebie into their secondary-scary thought.

    On a more positive note, he did seem to run the few option plays with more authority, and no one will underestimate his ability as a runner. It has been said many times that NU will go as Martinez goes. That could not have been closer to the truth on Saturday night.

    While it is exciting to watch him rip off highlight worthy displays of speed, I would be more impressed with a steady 10 play drive where we are consistently picking up 5 or more yards on first down. Wishful thinking with our offensive line? Maybe so, but without figuring out how to work some others in on offense (Jamal Turner anyone?) we will have to start getting used living on the edge.

    Ultimatley we may have to end up living with the strikeouts in hopes of that game changing home run. Just pray that Beck has a DH ready to step in if an extended slump hits-or Beck may be crafting his Deer John letter ahead of schedule…

    What do Kim Kardashian and the Blackshirts have in common? They both have things that need tightening up…

    Well that was fun. Okay, maybe not but through two games, this defense is certainly not living up to the pre-season hype. I am still not convinced that this defense is as average as it looked on Saturday. I mean, we have three All American candidates right?

    Granted, we are still missing Dennard, but one person cant make that much of a difference can he? We all know the pedigree of Fresno State’s QB Derek Carr, but who would have thought that he would add to his young and growing highlight reel against our vaunted D?

    The biggest concern is that we had-wait let me check again-yes…zero sacks and zero tackles for loss. David was his usual self adding another 15 tackles, but I only remember one or two plays where we got any meaningful pressure on Carr. It is hard to fathom that an injured, green offensive line could neutralize what many to consider being the best defensive line in the country. Was this just a bad overall game that will happen to good teams from time to time? Or is this an indication that the days of relying on our defense to hold our opponent under 14 points are over?

    Fresno State was able to gash us up the middle and you can bet that Wisconsin and Michigan State are giddy at the thought of being able to set up their passing game by punching us right in the gut. You can bet Carl and Co. will be putting in some extra OT this week trying to shore things up. After all, loose is only good when it is associated with clothes or slot machines-otherwise nobody like it-just ask Reggie Bush…

    In Conclusion…

    This is the second week in a row where sloppy football has been the only consistent theme. We have done enough to win, but mostly because we have superior athletes. We didn’t run as much option against the Bulldogs, but that may have been more to do with the way the game unfolded, and our offense’s lack of ability to gain any meaningful yardage on first down.

    Last week, Beck said that they forced some plays and didn’t put some players in the best position for success. I would say coming out of the first half and throwing for three straight downs when we are trailing and our QB has not really shown any feel for the passing game was questionable, and certainly not setting up T-Mart for success. I hope this is not a recurring theme this season-this was one of the main reasons Mr. Watson is no longer with us.

    All that aside, we are 2-0 and head into the last of our three game series with Washington where our Huskers hope to avenge lasts seasons meltdown at the Holiday Bowl. The Huskies come into the game giving up nearly 900 yards and 30 points a game. The bad news is that most of the yardage they have given up has been via the forward pass.

    Nebraska should not have a problem dispatching good ol’ U-Dub, but they will help from Burkhead, and try to find a way to get Turner the ball (please?!). Our defense will also need to show improvement as we cannot afford to leave gaping holes up the middle and have our secondary giving up chunks of yardage faster than big banks can snatch up government bailout money. Abdullah is exciting to watch, and if he is allowed to continue to return punts and kickoffs throughout his career, he will likely own every return record at NU.

    Look for the Huskers to start out fast and hang on late for a rather pedestrian 14 point victory. Should we get into another dogfight-well…we are awaiting Mr. Vick to return our call-he should know what to do…

    For a list of watch site locations please visit http://www.no...braskans.com/

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    GO BIG RED!!

    Tags: justin prestidge, fresno state, commentary

  5. 2011 Sep 06

    Fresno State Preparation Goals


    By DrNaumann

    Blog post image

    “Get better each day. Focus on the process, make ourselves better. That’s all we can control.”

    Bo Pelini, Nebraska Cornhusker Head Coach

    Tags: fresno state preparation, bo pelini, nebraska football

  6. 2010 Dec 13

    Husker Wrestlers Bounce Back In Dramatic Fashion vs. OSU


    By sportsvoice

    A couple of big names in Nebraska wrestling got back on track Saturday at the Coliseum after stumbling last week to lead the No. 14 Cornhuskers to a 17 - 16 win over unranked Oregon State.

    Both No. 7 Heavy weight Tucker lane and No. 8 184 pounder Josh Ihnen joined165 pound star No. 2 Jordan Burroughs in victory this week in a dual where the Huskers needed every point to squeek out the victory.

    No. 7 Lane defeated the Beaver's No. 12 Clayton Jack 2-0 to give Nebraska an early 6-0 in the second match of the night, and No. 8 Josh Inhen scored his 6-2 victory over Brice Arand with the outcome of the dual hanging in the balance in the last match of the night to seal the victory for the Big Red. Burroughs dominated once again notching yet another win by technical fall, this time victimizing OSU's Jon Brascetta 26-9.

    The huskers now head into a lull in their schedule, they won't be wrestling again until The Midwestern Wrestling Championships starting Dec. 29 and they won't have another dual until Jan. 15, when the Huskers travel to Grand Prarie Texas for the Lone Star Duals.

    Tags: nebraska, wrestling, oregon state, jordan burroughs, tucker lane, josh ihnen, clayton jack, brice arand, jon brascetta

  7. 2010 Nov 02

    Iowa State comes into NU game as battle tested as any team in the country


    By sportsvoice

    It would be easy for the No. 7 Nebraska Cornhuskers to overlook the Iowa State Cyclones coming into this week.

    The Huskers roll into the contest as a 19-point favorite and coming off of their biggest win in years after beating then No. 6 Missouri.

    But if NU is expecting ISU's unranked team to be intimidated they've got another thing coming. Here's the thing. Yes, Nebraska comes in looking impressive, especially after Roy Helu's record setting 307-yard effort. And yes, ISU has four losses including a seven point loss to Kansas State, who Nebraska annihilated by 31 points in Manhattan. But even so Iowa State should come into the game focused and ready to play.

    Playing tough opponents is nothing new to Iowa State. The Cyclones have played a much tougher schedule than the Huskers have. They've played five teams ranked in the top-25 compared to the Huskers two.

    If Nebraska comes into this game looking listless and unmotivated like it did during the Texas game they could be in for one heck of a rude awakening. Husker fans shouldn't forget, only one team coming into next week's match up managed to beat Texas.

    Of course, with all credit due given to Iowa State, this one should still be a laugher. Those guys in Vegas didn't build those casinos by getting the point spread wrong all of the time, and 19-points is a big number. Not only that but those games against top-25 squads that Iowa State has played, well, they've been pretty ugly.

    Iowa state has been stomped into the turf by quality competition all year, No. 11 OU bashed them 52-0, No. 6 Utah crushed them 68-27 and No. 15 Iowa walloped them 35-7.

    All signs point to a blowout in Nebraska's favor, but there's always the chance of a let down after a big win like the one the Cornhuskers had last week, and that, would bring a tear to every Nebraska fan's eye.

    Tags: college football, point spread, nebraska, iowa state, cornhuskers, cyclones, texas, isus tough schedule, roy helu, ou, iowa, utah

  8. 2010 Oct 30

    Martinez will need to outscore a shifty Missouri offense playing against a tough Missouri defense


    By sportsvoice

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's pretty weird to come in ranked so much lower than another team and yet still be everybody's favorite to win.

    Both Vegas and the cliche spewing ESPN talking heads are calling for No. 14 Nebraska to upset No. 7 Missouri. Even Kirk Herbstreet, Husker hater that he is, is calling the 'skers to win, though only "because it's at home."

    Husker fans can only hope that their team isn't listening to the hype. Now would be a bad time for them to get cocky. Missouri is coming in off of that huge win against Oklahoma and though Nebraska looks like the better team on paper victory over Missouri is anything but a sure thing. Husker fans seem to think that by beating Oklahoma State's paper thin defense that means their offense is back. They're mistaken.

    Oklahoma State has given up scads of points to some pretty terrible teams. I mean really, 38 points to Troy? Missouri's defense makes them look like the weak sisters of the poor. Missouri is fourth over all in points against, they are in a completely different stratosphere than Oklahoma State,

    Missouri's defensive end Aldon Smith is no joke, neither is sophomore linebacker Zaviar Gooden. Both of them had big interceptions against Oklahoma last week. Smith is an NFL type who is big and fast. He'll be able to pressure Nebraska's Taylor Martinez in the pocket and disrupt the zone read option in ways that Oklahoma State couldn't.

    Martinez will need to over come that disruption though, because the Tigers will probably put up some points. They run a quirky offense that spreads recievers all over the field. They'll get loose for a few touchdowns for sure. Blaine Gabbert and TJ Moe will be the players to watch, though I don't see Moe owning Prince Amukamara like Justin Blackmon did last week, he's physical, fast and dangerous when Gabbert checks down to him in bubble screens.

    Missouri's offense may not have the crazy playmaking ability that Oklahoma State's does, but they have a defense that can hold Nebraska under forty, which Oklahoma State does not. Nebraska's Taylor Martinez will need to prove that he can execute against a real squad if he wants to lead his team to victory this time.

    Tags: missouri, nebraska, football, defense, weak sisters of the poor, herbstreet, oklahoma state, zone read option, taylor martinez, zaviar gooden, aldon smith, blaine gabbert, espn, in progress, tj moe, prince amukamara

  9. 2010 Oct 29

    Oklahoma State Game 2010


    By Casker

    Blog post image

    Related photos

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    This was a great experience. I met my dad and Uncle in Oklahoma City to watch this game. We arrived early and tailgated with the Oklahoma Husker Club. They really did a knock out job of arranging this tailgate including the Sidetracks band, Famous Dave's BBQ and shuttle service to/from the game! This was held at a local high school which was kind enough to let us use their facilities (parking lots and restrooms).

    The game was also awesome. It was great to see T Mart show the nation he can run AND pass! We all agreed that we watched T Mart mature as a player throughout the game. He made some very smart decisions as the game went on, which gave us more confidence in our QB.

    The main thing I want to comment on is the players. I flew from CA to OK just to watch them, so obviously I support them 100%. What bothered me was the casual attitude the players had towards the fans, to the point that they basically ignored us. I realize they don't care if I personally fly to watch them play a game, but what bothers me more is watching the players - the entire team - walk into the locker room while ignoring the thousands of screaming and cheering Husker fans. A few players looked at the crowd and only 2-3 players actually raised a hand, first or helmet towards them.

    Are they ignoring us? Are they trying to stay focused, and if so, why can't they enjoy the win at the end of the game? Why are they so vocal about struggling with "pressures" of playing at home?

    This is frustrating, but I support them still. Go Big Red!

    Tags: oklahoma state cowboys pokes away game fans support ignore home games struggle

  10. 2010 Oct 21

    Amukamara vs. Blackmon. The immovable object vs. the unstoppable force


    By sportsvoice

    Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara will need to be at his best in Nebraska's 2:30 pm game in Stillwater, OK., Saturday.

    He and the rest of the Cornhuskers' vaunted secondary have the potential to shut down one of the nation's top offences, but it's all in the execution, and Amukamara will need to lead the way.

    The blackshirts are about to face an arial assault unlike anything they've seen yet, and for a defense that was embarassed by poor tackling last week, it'll be a chance to re-stake its claim to dominance against some of the best competition they'll ever see in college. That'll be easier said than done.

    Oklahoma State's offensive stats are ridiculous. They're third in the nation in passing yards and second in points scored. If their quarterback Brandon Weeden keeps racking up passing yards at this clip, he's going to finish with up with just under 4,000 yds. on the season. And Weeden's not even the blackshirts' main worry.

    Wide receiver Justin Blackmon will probably be looked at as the most dangerous man on the field. Blackmon not only leads his team in receiving yards and touchdowns, he also leads the nation. At some point this neo-Dez Bryant is going to be matched up against the Husker's Amukamura, and that should be some good TV.

    Rivals.com has touted this as, "mabye the best wide-reciever cornerback matchup of the season."

    The two athletes' are both big time college players. But unlike Amukamara, who is a proven veteran. Blackmon is new to the national spotlight. He's been burning slow and incompetent defenses all year long and he's never gone up against a corner of Amukamara's caliber. It'll be interesting to see if Amukamara can check him. If Blackmon is what he seems the Blackshirts are going to have their hands full.

    Blackmon emerged on the scene seemingly from out of no-where after accumulating only 260 yards a season ago. This season he has exploded for 955 yards and 12 touchdowns over the first six games. Blackmon has yet to gain less then 125 yards in any game this season and has scored at least one touchdown in every game. Scarier still, he is coming off of a season high 207 yards against Texas Tech.

    But before big red teeth get to chattering, it's worth noting that Blackmon and the Cowboys have yet to play a defense worth mentioning, and, the pass Nebraska's secondary isn't just worth mentioning, it's one of the best.

    Tags: nu vs osu gametime, prince amukamara, nebraska, oklahoma state, stillwater, secondary, receivers, cornhuskers, brandon weeden, dez bryant, offensive stats

  11. 2010 Oct 20

    Husker D may be the key


    By sportsvoice

    It's do or die this week for the 14th ranked Nebraska football team. After a stunning defeat at the hands of the now 22nd ranked Longhorns of Texas, a loss to 17th ranked Oklahoma State could mean a step backward towards mediocrity and obscurity. But a win over the Cowboys puts the Huskers right back into the thick of the Big 12 race with a chance to play their way back into a BCS bowl.

    The game shapes up to be an interesting contrast of styles. Oklahoma State wings the ball all over the place, they're 3rd in the nation in passing. Nebraska on the other hand likes to bludgeon people into submission with their 4th ranked rushing attack.

    That's not to say that Nebraska will be the only team that can run the ball though. The Cowpoke's Kendall Hunter has tallied 838 rushing yards on the year thus far, good for sixth nationally in rushing yards. That's six spots higher than Taylor Martinez just in case you were wondering.

    But even with Kendall's impressive early season effort, the pokes are still only averaging a middling 174.3 rushing yards per game which puts them 41st over all. Which means if the Huskers can shut Kendall down than the pokes having nothing else to throw at them on the ground.

    That's good news for Nebraska, because the Huskers have the stingiest pass defense in the country. The cowboys need will need to figure out some way to beat it though, because if they don't this game could get ugly in a hurry. Their defense has looked downright bad at times this season and if Taylor Martinez can hold on to the ball he should be able to run by them as if they were standing still.

    In the final analysis this will be a showcase game for the Big 12, with two of the nations premier offenses squaring off against each other. But while this could be a classic, I don't think it will be. That Oklahoma State defense is suspect, and their offenses' strength is the pass, which also happens to be the strength of Nebraska's defense. The current Vegas point spread ranges from 5 1/2 to 6 in favor of Nebraska depending on which casino you ask. It could certainly get uglier than that if an angry Nebraska team comes out and plays up to its potential.

    Tags: nebraska, oklahoma state, football, point spread, matchup preview, offensive and defensive rankings, strengths and weaknesses of both teams, prediction, contrast of playing styles, current ap poll rankings, kendall hunter, taylor martinez

  12. 2010 Oct 18

    Big 12 football Big deal next week


    By sportsvoice

    Nebraska and Oklahoma fans should be in for a good show next week. There will only be 4 match ups pitting top-25 teams against each other and two of them will involve the scurs' and the Sooners.

    No. 3 Oklahoma will get a chance to assert its dominance against a northern division foe when they visit the 6-0 Missouri Tigers, and the now 14th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers will be looking to rebound in a big way when they travel to Stillwater to face 17th ranked Oklahoma State.

    I'm going with the chalk this weekend. I'll tell you why in my next post.

    Tags: big 12 preview, nebraska, oklahoma, missouri, oklahoma state, rankings, huskers, cowboys, sooners, tigers

  13. 2010 Oct 07

    Watch the Game tonight at the Cellar 70th & O St.


    By AndyCurran

    Blog post image

    Hey Husker Nation, I'm going to be watching the game at the Cellar in Lincoln tonight. We are giving away prizes and having drink specials for Locker members. Come by and say hi and register for your chance to win tickets to the Texas game next Saturday!

    See you there!


    Tags: kansas state, huskers, prizes, contest, tickets, texas

  14. 2010 Sep 30

    You would Mandy...


    By huskermaniac28

    Blog post image


    Wow, Stewmandy. You would single out Nebraska.

    Tags: nebraska, boise state

  15. 2009 Nov 20

    Big Twelve North Champions: Kansas State 3 Nebraska 17


    By DrNaumann

    “Everybody is tired this time of year. It’s something you have to deal with. It’s something you have to overcome. It’s more mental than it is physical. Our guys are in good shape. They are ready to go.

    “We’re not going to lighten much up. We know how to take care of their legs, but we need to get our work done this time of year.”
    -- Bo Pelini.

    Nebraska Head Coach discussing the condition of the defense. The defense was the key to winning the Big Twelve North Championship against Kansas State. A wonderful senior day finish for Suh. See the complete story at KSU Game: Pelini -- We're Not Going to Lighten Up.

    Tags: bo pelini, kansas state game, blackshirts

  16. 2009 Jul 23

    Media Tabs Huskers to Win Big 12 North


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Even though some writers in Missouri find it absolutely nuts to do so, the media went ahead and did it anyway, picking Nebraska’s football team to win the Big 12 North in a preseason poll released Thursday.

    NU got 17 of 32 first place votes and 172 points overall. Kansas was picked second with 12 first place votes and 164 total points. Two-time defending North champion Missouri, Colorado, Kansas State and Iowa State rounded out the North side.

    In the South, Texas and Oklahoma technically tied for first with 174 total points, but UT got two more first-place votes. That means some voter placed the Longhorns third, presumably behind Oklahoma State. OSU finished third in the South poll, followed by Texas Tech, Baylor and Texas A&M.

    The votes:

    North Division
    1. Nebraska (17) 172
    2. Kansas (12) 164
    3. Missouri (3) 124
    4. Colorado 100
    5. Kansas State 81
    6. Iowa State 33

    South Division
    1. Texas (17) 174
    1. Oklahoma (15) 174
    3. Oklahoma State 130
    4. Texas Tech 89
    5. Baylor 75
    6. Texas A&M 33

    Agree or disagree? Let us know with a comment. If you haven't joined, sign up for free here.

    Tags: football, big 12 media days, missouri, kansas, colorado, kansas state, iowa state

  17. 2009 Jun 22

    2009 National CFB: Five Teams Poised to Fall


    By HuskerLocker

    Blog post image

    Periodically throughout the summer, we'll be offering some insights on the national college football scene, both through our burning questions, and through top and bottom five lists.

    You can access the entire archive right here, or by the NCFB tag at the bottom of this blog.

    Today, we consider five teams that will take a step back – and maybe a dramatic one – in 2009.

    South Carolina: Steve Spurrier has a date with irrelevancy, and it’s been coming for two years. In 2009, it finally arrives, as the Gamecocks face a brutal schedule. Three out of their four best opponents – Florida, Mississippi, Clemson – are at home, while pick em games vs. Tennessee, NC State and Arkansas are all on the road. Throw in a game at Alabama, and it’s a slate that USC’s uncertain offense just can’t handle. Five wins – maybe. Home games vs. Kentucky and Vanderbilt won’t be gimmes.

    As for Spurrier – one has to wonder whether he’s got the patience or the stomach for the turf war the SEC East is about to become. Lane Kiffin resembles a more reckless, younger version of Spurrier. Urban Meyer could win awards for his insolence. The SEC’s revenue-sharing plan has given Vandy and Kentucky a real shot at competing. Georgia is still Georgia. Recruiting down there is a nightmare, and Clemson’s on the way back up now that Tommy Bowden’s out of picture. We suspect a retirement, soon.

    Southern California: Blasphemy? Nope – just reality. The Trojans will boast one of the nation’s sturdiest running games, and Aaron Corp/Matt Barkley should capably fill shoes previously worn by Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, John David Booty and Mark Sanchez.

    But the defense, awe-inspiring in 2008, needs a year to retool after losing nine of the top 12 tacklers. We suspect, for the first time in five years, that opposing teams might really gain some traction running the ball on USC. The September-October schedule is really tough – games at Ohio State, California, Notre Dame and Oregon – and we could see a trap set in one of the two final home games vs. UCLA and Arizona. The Trojans could still win 10 games. If not, don’t be surprised.

    Utah: No undefeated season this year. The Utes lose quarterback Brian Johnson, their top four receivers and one of the nation’s best punter/kickers Louie Sakoda, who a consensus first-team All American. Throw in games at Oregon and the three best teams in Mountain West – BYU, TCU and UNLV – and you get the picture. A rebuilding job in Salt Lake City.

    Wake Forest: The smoke and mirrors are going to run out for Jim Grobe’s crew. The non-conference schedule, with games at Navy and vs. Baylor and Stanford, is sneaky hard, especially for a team that lost all of its starting linebackers. And while the conference schedule seems manageable from afar, we see take Wake taking a hard dive with home games vs. Miami, Florida State and NC State and road games at Clemson and Georgia Tech. Something’s gotta give in the ACC, and this year, it’s the Deacs. Seven losses. Maybe more.

    Oklahoma State: We make risky calls sometimes around here, and this is our riskiest. While many predict a breakout season for the Cowboys this year similar to the one Texas Tech (sorta) experienced last year, we go in the opposite direction.

    Part of it is a matter of pressure and expectations. At Tech, Mike Leach crafts his teams to his liking, toils away from the state’s major newspapers, and keeps perspective and occasionally gets a pass from the media because of it. Not Mike Gundy, for obvious reasons: The watchful eye of T. Boone Pickens, and, well, this little moment.

    The Cowboys also host Georgia to open the season, the most significant season-opener since, oh, whenever. OSU buckled in Athens back in 2007, and its fan base can taste a win here. If the Pokes can’t beat a Dawg team that’s replacing its top quarterback, running back and receiver, well, you can imagine the pressure that goes on the team, and Gundy, after that.

    Thirdly, Oklahoma State couldn’t stop the pass in last year, and, with replacing three starters in the secondary, we don’t forsee it this year. Couple that with a front seven that gave up at least 110 yards in nine of 13 games, and you’ve got a defense poised for a major meltdown in 2009. Gundy seems to know as much, which is why he signed up coordinator-for-hire Bill Young to do something – anything – with the defense.

    Finally, well, we just don’t trust the HC. Don’t trust a guy so involved in the offense that he turns his back on an awful defense to go draw up plays. Worked like a real peach in the last quarter of the season, when OSU went 1-3 and gave up more than 500 yards per game, didn’t it? We see too many similarities in Stillwater – meddlesome administration, aloof coaching, mercenary, cerebral guys on defense – to what happened at Nebraska in 2007.

    Tags: ncfb, oklahoma state

  18. 2009 Mar 10

    Florida-OU Redux? Spare us.


    By SMcKewon

    Blog post image

    Early odds from Bodog are out on next year's BCS national championship games. They favor Florida and Oklahoma (and USC, which has the same odds as OU).

    Hoo-ray. Not.

    Remember that some of these are sucker bets anyway. Notre Dame has pretty good odds, 30-1 which is meaningless. The Irish won't be within ten miles of a national title in 2009. Even if the schedule is pretty friendly.

    Nebraska goes off at 55/1. Behind OU (5/1), UT (8/1) and Oklahoma State(50/1). Ahead of everybody else in the Big 12.

    Want a good bet? Try that Virginia Tech at 20-1. If Tech gets past Alabama and Nebraska, the ACC is highly manageable.

    And, yeah, we like Florida, too.

    The whole odds. We credit The Wiz of Odds for finding it but repost them here because they're a little hard to read on that site:

    Alabama 22/1
    Arizona 100/1
    Arizona State 150/1
    Arkansas 150/1
    Auburn 150/1
    Boise State 100/1
    Boston College 100/1
    California 60/1
    Cincinnati 90/1
    Clemson 60/1
    Colorado 100/1
    Florida 7/4
    Florida State 30/1
    Georgia 50/1
    Georgia Tech 50/1
    Illinois 80/1
    Iowa 75/1
    Kansas 75/1
    Kansas State 175/1
    Kentucky 125/1
    Louisville 150/1
    LSU 20/1
    Maryland 200/1
    Miami Florida 35/1
    Michigan 120/1
    Michigan State 100/1
    Missouri 90/1
    Nebraska 55/1
    North Carolina 45/1
    North Carolina State 100/1
    Notre Dame 30/1
    Ohio State 17/2
    Oklahoma 5/1
    Oklahoma State 50/1
    Oregon 20/1
    Oregon State 100/1
    Penn State 35/1
    Pittsburgh 60/1
    Rutgers 125/1
    South Carolina 100/1
    South Florida 80/1
    Tennessee 100/1
    Texas 8/1
    Texas A&M 150/1
    Texas Tech 60/1
    UCLA 150/1
    Utah 125/1
    USC 5/1
    Virginia 100/1
    Virginia Tech 20/1
    Wake Forest 80/1
    Washington 200/1
    West Virginia 75/1
    Wisconsin 100/1
    Field (Any Other Team) 20/1

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    Tags: football, oklahoma, florida, usc, texas, oklahoma state

  19. 2009 Mar 05

    Hustle N Smother Huskers Press Cys Into Obilivion


    By SMcKewon

    Blog post image

    (Photo courtesy of ESPN.com)

    For nearly a half, Nebraska’s 77-61 win over Iowa State looked like a scary replay of the Cyclones’ victory in Ames. ISU forward Curtis Brackins was shooting over the top of the smallish Cornhusker front line, and guard Lucca Staiger was draining 3-pointers straight out of a P-I-G contest.

    But on NU’s Senior Night, two Huskers senior fittingly turned a 31-29 deficit into a 34-31halftime lead in a matter of seconds. Guard Steve Harley banked in a long 3-pointer as the shot clock was nearing expiration. Then, his defense helped force a steal that turned into an Ade Dagunduro layup just before the halftime buzzer.

    Nebraska’s press then melted ISU in the first ten minutes of the second half, giving coach Doc Sadler a rare opportunity to clear his bench and get each senior a standing ovation from the more than 9,000 fans in Bob Devaney Sports Center.

    Following a three-game losing streak , it was hard to imagine a more therapeutic win for the Huskers last home game of the regular season.

    “For some reason our energy wasn’t what it needed to be to start that game and Coach told us we had to find a way to get some energy,” said Dagunduro, who continued his late-season tear with a career-high 24 points. “So we took it upon ourselves to boost our energy. We got a couple of scramble plays and that gave us some momentum going into the second half.”

    Although NU (17-11 overall and 7-8 in the Big 12 Conference) gave up two Staiger treys to start the second half, the defensive tone had been set, and the Huskers then went on a 17-6 run, forcing a glut of turnovers in a row, and 17 for the game. Repeatedly guards Cookie Miller, Sek Henry, Harley and Toney McCray trapped the Cyclones (14-16 and 3-12) on both sides of the half court line, forcing a travel and two over-and-back calls.

    Aside from the tall, possibly NBA-bound Brackins (25 points) and Staiger (17), ISU’s entire roster scored just 19 points, many of those coming after the game was out of reach.

    “A lot of them are just hurried mistakes and not taking our time and not reading the floor,” Iowa State Coach Greg McDermott said. “When we read the floor, we attacked the pressure and got layups. It’s unfortunate, but we kind of melted down against their pressure.”

    NU, meanwhile, got a balanced scoring performance to compliment Dagunduro’s work. Miller scored 14, rattling home two treys. Forward Ryan Anderson, having nailed almost 50 percent of his 3-point attempts over the last eight games, hit three more to finish with 11 points. Harley chipped in ten and didn’t force many jumpers outside of the scope of the offense.

    “If Steve can get into double figures for us, especially down this stretch, and we’ll have a chance to win some games,” Sadler said. “But we have to get Steve into double figures and he did that tonight.”

    Senior Night gave Sadler the opportunity to start Dagunduro, Harley, Paul Velander and Nick Krenk, all of whom were honored before the game with a video and a framed jersey. Dagunduro said NU battled nerves in the opening minutes; it showed when ISU jumped out to a 5-0 lead.

    “I would have been devastated if we went out with a loss,” Dagunduro said. “But that’s a credit to our guys, they wouldn’t let us seniors down and they did a good job rallying.”

    Tags: mens basketball, ade dagunduro, ryan anderson, doc sadler, iowa state, curtis brackins, lucca staiger, cookie miller

  20. 2008 Oct 19

    The Day After


    By BlackshirtJM

    After what used to be considered a routine victory, today it feels like winning the Super Bowl. This is more of a reflection on how much lower the bar was moved over the past four years than anything. But these days of lowered expectations are apparently numbered, because yesterday marked the re-appearance of our old friend, Dominance.

    It seems our old friend was alive and well, but living in Ames, IA, of all places. And who the heck is Jack Trice, anyway? Is that the farmer that donated the field? Who hurts worse today, Iowa State, or Chase Daniel?

    If you missed the Texas-Mizzou game yesterday, it was a thing of Lone Star beauty. Before Sunday is over, we'll hear just how dirty Texas can be, I'm sure. The Horns kept running this play I like to call, "The Alamo", where Texas does not leave any Tigers standing. The bottom line is, Mizzou now has two losses in the Big XII, and they have yet to play KU. NU isn't out of this yet. In the unlikely-but-anything-can-happen event that NU beats OU..and KU..and KSU...well, we shall see. It may not be in our best interests to win the North, since we'd then have to play those very same Longhorns.

    The Husker Offense: Was brilliant. Simply brilliant. Mixed well of runs and passes, we owned the clock...again! Joe Ganz was outstanding, and Marlon Lucky seems to be moving with more confidence and less tiptoeing. Watson seems to have found his groove in terms of schemes.

    The Defense: Bo needs to invent a "gray shirt". With only a few exceptions, the defense had a really solid day. Now if they can just say healthy...

    Next Up: Baylor - No doubt we will hear how "tough" Baylor has become since last week. Yeah, yeah. You can't sell tickets if you can't hype the game, this we know. Of course, Nebraska is long past the point where hype is needed. If Memorial Stadium could sell out with the Bill and Kevin show, they'll sell out no matter what, even if we have another Depression. This would be a great opportunity to play a lot of the back ups, just to get playing experience. They may need the following week.

    This game, like most of the others this year, has had a lot of positives, which seem to get better every week, save one. By the time the season is over, the Huskers ought to be pretty good. The coaching staff seems to be finding chemistry that works, both within the staff and in the play calling.

    Tags: iowa state

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