Before we talk about the details of the game, I have to say the missing man formation on the first Nebraska punt of the day was one of the most touching things I have ever seen. It was a wonderful tribute to Sam Foltz and an indication of what he meant to the Husker football program, his team mates and the people of Nebraska. I’ve watched the clip of that punt formation many times since last Saturday’s game, and every time it brings a tear to my eye.
First and foremost, last weeks game was a win…which is good. How we got there was a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.
The good part (in addition to the win) was NO TURNOVERS! The Huskers ran the ball 51 times for nearly 300 yards and only threw 13 passes. Those who longed for the power running game of the past, must have been in heaven, but I think the Big Red needs to take better advantage of the best receiving group in the Big Ten in order to win down the road.
The bad was the number of penalties. The Huskers were penalized 7 times for a total of 80 yards…several of them were silly personal fouls of one form or another. The Huskers had hoped for improvement in this area, but it did not show up in week one. More discipline is in order.
The ugly part was the punt return game. How many times did they miss fielding a punt? They were very lucky that there were not a few turnovers in that part of the game. One thing I want to know is where was De’Mornay Pierson El?
Overall, the Husker offense looked ok. As I mentioned above, the run game was strong, with Newby, Ozigbo and the freshman Bryant all looked good! The passing game needs work.
Defensively, the Blackshirts looked good. They ran to the ball very well and held Fresno State to 31 yards rushing and 274 total yards. That is a long way from where they want to be, but with a brand new D-line and Nate Gerry out of the lineup on Saturday, they did pretty good.
This week the Huskers face the Wyoming Cowboys that won in triple OT last Saturday (actually early Sunday) against Northern Illinois. They have a big, strong, mobile QB named Josh Allen. He was named Mountain West player of the week for his performance against Northern Illinois. He was 19 for 29 passing and accounted for 315 total yards in last weeks game.
The Cowboy defense held Northern Illinois to 133 yards on the ground (94 yards if you exclude the 3 OTs). They also have a lot of team speed and ran to the ball well.
The Huskers have a good start…can they keep it going? Join us at Dukes on Saturday and find out!
This looks like another game the Husker should win fairly easily, but we have seen too many times that anything can happen in football. Neither team is ranked this week and I suspect the Huskers will remain out of the top 25 even with a win over the Cowboys. The odds makers currently have the Huskers favored by about 25 points. It will be interesting to see how the Huskers do in the pass game this week, and also what kind of a difference Gerry makes on the defensive side of the ball.
We hope you can join us Saturday, September 10th at Duke’s…doors open at 8:00 PM.
Duke’s will be offering a variety of breakfast and lunch items. Arrive early for good seats! Families with children are welcome, however OLCC rules dictate that minors may not remain if a game goes beyond 9 PM.
This week the Huskers face the 3-6 Rutgers Scarlet Knights in New Jersey. Rutgers is another one of those teams that Nebraska should beat, but we all know how those games have gone this year. The Knights have a couple of guys that the Huskers need to keep an eye on. The have a return guy named Janarian Grant that was Big Ten special teams player of the week last week when he returned both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns. He was also Big Ten special teams player of the week one other time this season. His kickoff return for a TD was his third this year.
Another guy to watch for is wide receiver Leonte Carroo…if he plays. This guy leads their team in receptions and yardage despite only playing 5 games this year due to injuries. He has 9 TD receptions in those 5 games. He is regarded by many people as the top receiver in the nation. At this time, his status for Saturday’s game is uncertain.
Statistically, Nebraska is the better team in this contest, ranking above the Scarlet Knights in both offensive and defensive statistics. The Knights do have an edge in turnover margin and penalties.
Several Huskers got banged up this past weekend, but almost everyone has been practicing including Terrell Newby who saw limited action last week. Defensive lineman, Kevin Maurice is also healed and ready to play again.
Can the Huskers make it two wins in a row for the first time this season? Join us at Dukes this Saturday and find out!
I keep going over in my mind what was different about last weeks win vs several losses earlier in the year. I’ve decided there were a few minor things, but overall not a lot…largely, the ball just bounced Nebraska’s way last week. There were some painful turnovers that killed scoring opportunities, and there were some frustrating penalties that kept drives alive for the Spartans…but lets talk about the little differences that helped.
Probably the biggest difference I saw was on the offensive line. Those guys got more push than I have seen in any other game this year, and did a great job in pass protection (no sacks on Tommy!). It didn’t hurt having Imani Cross picking his holes well and really fighting for extra yards! I thought the energy level as a whole was better last Saturday…and it stayed pretty good the entire game. There was even more energy in the stands. Although the Husker defensive backfield got picked apart again by the opposing QB, they still seem to be improving (other than the Purdue game). Instead of being able to drive a truck between the receivers and defenders, the Blackshirts were actually able to make good plays on the ball several times. Connor Cook had to make some perfect throws and his receivers had to make some spectacular catches to get their yards. It is certainly not where we want the Blackshirts to be, but the improvement is encouraging.
I actually thought the Minnesota game was a little cleaner with no turnovers and only 2 penalties, but the energy level was higher for the Michigan State game. Put the two together and the Huskers could be very special going forward.
The annual OR4NE Christmas party will take place at Amalfi’s Italian Restaurant. Social hour starts at 5pm, with dinner at 6, and a white elephant gift exchange to follow. See you there!
The annual OR4NE picnic at Dabney State Park along the Sandy River is scheduled for Saturday August 9th from 11AM to 4 PM. The park offers stunning scenery, walking/hiking paths, disk golf, horseshoes, swimming and a boat ramp. There will be plenty of good food, fun and games, so bring the kids to this family friendly event. The park is generally busy…especially if the weather is warm, so please arrive early to secure your parking space.
There is a $5 fee per car for getting into the park. The picnic is free for members and $5 for non-members.
Please bring your favorite side dish or dessert to this potluck event and the Oregonians for Nebraska will provide everything else!
Water and soft drinks will also be provided…for anything else, BYOB.
The picnic is a great opportunity for members to renew their OR4NE membership ($20 for Nebraska Alumni Association members, $25 for non-members) and purchase OR4NE gear. You might even find someone who is interested in discussing the upcoming football season.
During the 2013 football season Ryan Tweedy and David Max will be touring the state of Nebraska and other locations around the country to provide screenings of Ryan’s Nebraska Cornhuskers documentary film titled “Through These Gates”.
Ryan Tweedy was born a Husker and will die a Husker. He is a film editor in Los Angeles and has been filming and editing for this documentary all over the United States for a year and a half. More information about the documentary and Ryan’s associates in the film making process can be found at the film’s website Huskersfilm.com.
David Max is the co-founder of HuskerMax.com and the author of the book “50 Years of Husker Memories”. OR4NE has decided to host a showing of “Through These Gates” on Saturday, October 19th (a bye week for the Huskers).
The screening would also be a fund raiser for our chapter to help with our scholarship fund. The cost would be $10 per person and shown at Dukes. Most likely time would be around or just after lunch time. Tickets will be available at the Picnic or at any of the watch parties prior to the screening.
Ryan and David would personally attend the screening and be available for a question and answer session about the film. They will also be selling and autographing copies of David’s Book and the Ryan’s DVD.
Click here for the official film trailer to wet your appetite.