Who Are You and What Have You Done with the Real Nebraska Cornhuskers?
Well now, wasn't that something to see.
I, as an avid Husker fan, am thoroughly embarrassed by what transpired this Saturday. I don't really know how else to accurately describe what I was feeling as I watched the Red Raiders trounce the Cornhuskers 31-10 yesterday.
My father asked me if I thought that this loss was worse than the Virginia Tech loss earlier this year. I pondered it for a little while, but the answer is quite obvious: Yes.
The answer to why is agonizingly simple. We played hard against VT. We dominated. We left everything on the field. Against Texas Tech? Not so much.
There is a lot of blame going to be thrown around this week. From Shawn Watson to Zac Lee to Bo Pelini to the offense in general. No one will be able to hide from criticism this week. But I think that while most of the finger pointing will be justifiable, I took away one pressing thing that could have made everything better, and that was effort.
I had never seen a team like I did on Saturday. Not from Nebraska. There was no energy, no passion, no enthusiasm. People were standing around tapping their feet and staring ahead. Their heads were not in the game at all.
Perhaps it was because the fans weren't into the game? But why would they be when the players so obviously aren't? That was THE quietest I have ever heard Memorial Stadium. Forgive the old cliche, but in the third quarter, you could absolutely hear a pin drop.
And of course, one of the biggest plays of the game—the fumble return for a touchdown—could have easily been avoided if Niles Paul pulled his head out of his rear end and realized that it was a lateral.
Paul was quoted in saying that he was "almost positive" that it wasn't a lateral. I hope he is lying, because it was blatantly obvious that it was a lateral, even on the slanted view that I had while watching it on TV.
There are numerous other times when I was just sitting in my living room, shaking my head asking "What are they thinking?" but I will refrain from going on a tirade about them all. The real question is, WHY weren't their heads in the game?
I honestly don't have any idea what it could be. I have never seen a football team on any level, give up the way that Nebraska did on Saturday. There was poor execution, there was penalties galore (not that it's new or anything) and there was just a general lack of focus and energy. Did they not know what the score was?
If I had just turned the channel on in the second quarter and didn't know what the score was, I would have guessed Nebraska was up 42-0.
For some reason, it seems like this Nebraska team can't function unless there is a big play, a spark as they say. You saw it last week. Nebraska was inept offensively until they caught a break with a blown coverage and Zac Lee hit Niles Paul down the field for a quick touchdown.
After that, they played passionate, determined football, and it's sad to see them lay an egg like that Saturday, knowing the level of football they can play when they want too.
Can we move on from this? Time will tell. We still control our own destiny in the Big 12 North, but we won't win any games if we play like we did on Saturday, no matter how talented we are.
I do have faith in our coaching staff an our players to turn it around, but we better to it quickly, lest we fall victim to an underrated Iowa State team that nearly beat Kansas. I don't know what a loss to them would feel like, but I can tell you I don't have any desire to find out.
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