So What Did You Learn, Dorothy?
Anyway, more on that in a bit.
As for the Hicks this weekend…I warned you before hand; I didn’t see one play of the game. Hell, I didn’t even watch the gametracker of the game. (Was a bit busy at the time.) In this business, nothing is worse than commenting on a game I didn't see (or pay attention to while it was happing), but regardless, keep that in mind as we go through some things we learned about NU:
- Without Joe Ganz you are really really screwed. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still probably in the bottom half of QB’s in the league, but he is a senior and he does have the ability to put up nice numbers. Was he zipping around the ball that well early on? Or was the "emotion" (roll eyes) of it all just too much for WMU?
- Marlon Lucky eh? 3.8 yards per carry and less than 50 total? Against a MAC team that finished in the bottom half of the country in defense last year? Weak.
- Sounds like the Husker defense is right about where most rational people thought they’d be. Improved on effort (Seriously...even me of all people knew you wouldn't mail it in during game 1), yet still not quite able to put it all together. Hiller is a pretty good QB and threw for 3000 yards last season. But come on..this is Western Michigan at HOME. Back in the old days, this was a major concern. Today, it almost seems folks are happy it was only 30-49 for 341.
- FOUR sacks? FOUR!?!? That’s like more sacks than you’ve had combined since the Maine game in 2005 no? Wow, FOUR?!? AND two turnovers? Congrats.
- Looks like Alex Henry is working out well for you guys. Having a key guy who can kick field goals when your inconsistent offense sputters out inside the 30 is key.
- Would be nice to see what would have happened if Western wouldn’t have blown their best opportunity of the game early. Wide open receiver, and the ball sips out of Hiller’s hands? I’ve told you this once, and I’ve told you this 1000 times: Teams from small conferences will always struggle in Lincoln, because it takes them a while to get their bearings after seeing THAT many middle aged rural white guys “throwing bones” to start the game. Seriously, that would throw me off too.
- Why is the tunnel walk mentioned by almost everybody as one of the best part of the game? You actually WON a game by 20+ points. I think you have way more things to worry about than a song from 1985 thrown up on the scoreboard with some pictures. So it was cool. Whoopie doo.
- Somebody must have done a decent job shutting down Jamarko Simmons. I assume he wasn’t hurt and I assumed he actually played. I’ll investigate further to see just what the hell happened, but props nonetheless. (or a big fat “nice going” to Bill Cubit for not throwing to him, although I heard a rumor he was banged up.)
- Regardless, This broke down pretty much as we expected. (I predicted 31 to 23 Huskers) Again, this is a WMU team that gave up 30+ points FIVE times last season and has almost everybody back. Regardless, Ganz appeared to put up decent numbers, but yet made a few mistakes. Not sure where the hell your running game went, but apparently it wasn’t needed. Remember also that two of Bill Callahan’s WORST seasons (2004 and 2007) were opened with big wins over Western Illinois and Nevada. We shall see how it goes.
** Other observations **
- I’m not sure why everybody is all over the Missouri defense today. Mizzou gave up 4 TD’s, a pick 6 (Dumb pass by Daniel) and an absolute scrub TD with :00 on the clock to end the game. Of those four TD’s by Juice Williams, Two of them were absolutely perfect passes that were covered completely. Not much you can do when the guy is putting the deep ball on the money like that. The one missed assignment they did have was a sub just after Gettis hurt his shoulder.
Regardless, That was the second toughest game on Mizzou’s schedule, they played average at best and still put up 52 points and won by double digits. (Against a defending BCS team). There is plenty to improve on, but I think it’s awfully early to start hitting the panic button on the defense. Seriously, watch the highlights…you couldn’t drop a ball out of the sky better than Juice Williams was doing last night. Props to him.
- Texas A&M….seriously. I mean, I know CU struggled with Montana State in Dan Hawkins’ first game…and I know Rich Rodriguez struggled in his first game. (I told you Utah was pretty good)…but Arkansas State at Kyle Field? Come on now.
- I think people are completely under-estimating just how bad Florida International is. Granted, KU led 30-10 at the half and Sod Reesing had 256. But if you’re going to be the BCS juggernaut you have built in your own mind..you need to be putting the wood to borderline high school teams like Florida International. That South Florida game just got more interesting.
- Good wins for KSU and ISU…if against other high school teams as well.
- Graham Harrell threw for only 536 against a 1AA team. What the hell is wrong with the Red Raiders? Yeesh, he is slipping.
- Great win for Okie State that has flown under the radar overnight. Wazzu is a decent team with some serious weapons. Pretty good for 5th best team in the south ( or so people say).