Wanted: Defense for the Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nick BenesCorrespondent IOctober 12, 2007

IconAny chances the Nebraska Cornhuskers have of winning their Homecoming game Saturday against Oklahoma State depend on one thing:


That old adage, "Offense wins games, but defense wins championships," won't work for Nebraska.

Anyone who thinks the Huskers can just walk into Memorial Stadium on Saturday and overpower the Cowboys hasn't watched much college football this season.

Nebraska has played catch-up too many times, and Sam Keller has been forced to throw the football too often.

Just look at the Ball State game.

Nebraska was supposed to walk all over the Cardinals, but Ball State put up more than 600 yards of offense. Had it not been for a dropped pass and a missed field goal, the Cardinals would have walked out of Memorial Stadium with a win.

And no, I'm not talking about the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL.

If there's any assistant coach in college football on the hot seat right now, it's Kevin Cosgrove, Nebraska's defensive coordinator. He's the one man Nebraska fans despise more than Steve Pederson.

Cosgrove has been accused of not making in-game adjustments, putting players out of position, and, most importantly, not coaching his defenders to make plays.

If Nebraska's defense doesn't play well on Saturday, there will be more boos than cheers coming out of the Sea of Red.

Nebraska has a real shot to win this game. And they probably should win.

But the team's confidence has to be lacking after the debacle in Missouri last weekend.

The defense didn't show up, which was partly expected—but the surprise was in how poorly Nebraska's offense played. Keller was harassed all day, and the running game never got off the ground.

And the real kicker: Nebraska's players—yes, the ones on the field in charge of making the play—seemed to have no passion. They looked like they had no drive to succeed, no fire in their eyes.

We'll find out on Saturday if Nebraska's got that fire back.

If they don't, expect a loss—and plenty of soul-searching in Husker Nation.