This was a game that the seniors just were not going to let get away. With soon to be All-American and team MVP Ndamukong Suh, the 6'4", 300-pound behemoth of a tackle, along with safety Larry Asante stuffing or intercepting everything that Kansas State threw at them, it didn’t matter that Zac Lee and the offense had another three and out. Big deal!
Suh had another one of his games that us fans have come to expect, one that is written down in the stat book before the game is even played. You know the verse, 10 tackles, two for loss, two passes defended, and a couple of sacks.
Just for the record, and for those readers who expect 100 percent accuracy, Suh had nine tackles, including two for loss. He had 1.5 sacks, broke up two passes and was credited with a quarterback hurry.
At the end of the game the ESPN announcers spoke about Suh's chance at the Heisman trophy, and made the obvious statement. That if the award was actually for the best "player" in the country, then without a doubt, Suh deserves to be in the select list of three to four players who get invited to the Touchdown Club in New York.
That being said, it is also known that only the offensive (recently quarterbacks only) stars who get the invite/award. Ask anyone associated with the NFL and there is no doubt the Suh is a "no doubt about it" top five pick.
I can guarantee you that there are 11 coaches in the Big 12 who are glad that after two more games, they won’t have to worry about Big Suh anymore.
You could tell that he still isn’t done playing this game as he ran off the field like he was chasing Colt McCoy after Saturday night’s game. No Suh still has plans for this season, oh what fun we still have in store.
Fellow seniors Larry Asante, Philip Dillard, Barry Turner, and Matt O’Hanlon all had great games also. Asante’s hit at the goal line on Keithen Valentine in the third quarter that caused the fumble was in all probability the game saving tackle of the season, okay, maybe just the game, but you get my drift.
Asante led the team with 10 tackles and added an interception to go with his forced fumble. Much maligned fellow senior linebacker Phillip Dillard added eight tackles, including a nine-yard sack and a forced fumble of his own to stop a KSU second-half drive.
The offense did contribute to the win as Roy Helu Jr. continued to show signs of recovery rushed for 95 hard earned yards to push his season total to 1,057, which was the 29th such occurrence in Husker history. This is a remarkable achievement, given the fact that Helu was pretty much ineffective for three games in October, and played despite being injured.
Helu also became the 25th Husker to rush for 2,000 yards in his career, as he continues his march up the Husker record book. Freshman Rex Burkhead also made his return to the lineup after suffering a fractured foot and contributed a nine-yard reception to go with six carries for 19 yards.
Zac Lee was an efficient 13-19 for 169 yards with a touchdown and an interception, which ended a great scoring chance late in the first half as the Huskers drove to the K-State two yard line, but then a 12-yard sack was followed by an end zone interception that was returned more than 40 yards to end that scoring threat.
The Husker special teams also contributed to this victory as junior Alex Henery had an impressive 45.5 yard average on six punts, including a mammoth 61-yard punt that went out of bounds at the three yard line to make the Wildcats have to march the entire field and against the Blackshirts on senior day, that was not going to happen.
So now most of you are turning your attention to the third ranked undefeated Texas Longhorns, as my sister text me right after the game, but no that is not the case, pay attention to what Bo said in the brief interview in his soaked Gatorade shirt, that the win was nice, but we have Colorado in less than a week that we have to get past before we turn our attention toward UT.
True that Bo, good for you, win against those Buffs in five days (writing this on Sunday) and you have your second consecutive nine win season, a chance to win a conference championship and get a BCS bowl bid. You have Husker nation firmly in your corner now as you are teaching these kids how to play and finish the game.
There were far fewer mental mistakes in this game (three for 34 yards) than in previous games, so that was another positive sign. I also see our team’s conditioning proving to once again be a difference maker.
Colorado won’t be overlooked by Bo and company as they know the task at hand is huge. Colorado should be another victory as they don’t have any speed on the offensive side of the ball and as long as the offense continues to play effective, conservative ball the game should go our way.
Playing Texas however will be a different matter. Texas, like the Sooners a couple of weeks ago, have a defense to match the Blackshirts, but if we can’t move the ball, or at least sustain some ball control possession, it could get messy in Arlington.
There is time for that later, for now fans, enjoy the win, but only until about Tuesday, have a great turkey day and GBR!