Nebraska Football: Cornhuskers Make Statement, Leave Kansas State in The Dust

Brandon Cavanaugh@http://twitter.com/@eightlacesCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2010

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 18:  Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers celebrates with Kyler Reed #25 after scoring on an 80 yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Washington Huskies on September 18, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Cornhuskers defeated the Huskies 56-21. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

That “clunk” you heard was a gauntlet being thrown to the ground.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers think that they’re just as good as anyone in the country and they dare the opposition to prove them wrong.

After blowing out the candles on Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder’s birthday party by decking the Kansas State Wildcats 48-13, the Cornhuskers sent a message to the conference and the nation.

Taylor Martinez's 259 yards (16.1 YPC) and four touchdowns versus the Wildcats was an amazing way to respond to a lackluster performance versus South Dakota State and the perfect way to stake claim to a potential national championship run.

An offensive leader? Martinez has that part down pat. Supporting cast? Roy Helu, Jr. and Rex Burkhead are ready to shoulder the load.

Demolishing defense? Kansas State’s do-it-all running back Daniel Thomas rushed for a season-low 63 yards versus a Nebraska defensive line that had question marks regarding the run coming into the contest.

The secondary remained stout and linebacker LaVonte David will likely continue to lead the Big 12 conference in tackles after this weekend after a performance that included 16 tackles (10 solo, 2 TFL) and one sack.

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Kansas State may have not provided Nebraska with a true litmus test in their quest for a Big 12 Championship, but they gave the Cornhuskers an idea where they stand.

Nebraska’s Big 12 Farewell Tour continues on October 16, a date that has likely been circled in many Cornhuskers’ minds since the 2009 Big 12 Championship.

The Texas Longhorns come to Lincoln and look to work their magic once again toppling Nebraska from their perch.

If Cornhusker head coach Bo Pelini had anything to say about the status of the team, it’s time to see where the smallest improvement is needed to beat Texas and only the Longhorns.

“We still have a lot of things we can improve on,” Pelini said in the post-game press conference following the Kansas State victory. That’s bad news for the rest of the nation as even while some miscues occurred, the sea of red parted any opposition Thursday night and left the Wildcats gasping for air.

ESPN’s crew made several interesting comments as the night wore on including going so far as to suggest that should Nebraska continue to win out, the fresh-faced Martinez ought to be considered for the prestigious Heisman Trophy.

When asked about Martinez’s four-touchdown performance post-game, Pelini responded, “He made some mistakes, but he did a lot of good things. He ran for a lot of yards. He is an explosive player. He creates some problems for defenses.”

Indeed he does, coach.

If teams continue at their current rate, Nebraska and long-time rival Oklahoma may add an old-fashioned flavor to the Big 12’s final conference championship game.

Fans of current top five teams have to wonder how they might fare against the Cornhuskers, their electric offense and stifling defense.

Would Gary Patterson’s TCU Horned Frogs be able to keep up? Could Boise State’s Kellen Moore navigate the Blackshirts’ secondary, one of the finest in college football?

Would Oregon’s equally effective offense provide Martinez-like shock and awe? Will Nebraska meet future Big 10 foe Ohio State for all of the marbles or could the Cornhuskers even take on Alabama in a rematch of the 1971 national championship game?

Notice has been served to the rest of the country.

Nebraska isn’t intent on settling for simply winning the Big 12 in its final season amongst the conference. Bo Pelini wants to prove his statement from the post-Holiday Bowl press conference last year, “Nebraska is back and we’re here to stay.”

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