Bucky Badger was doing push-ups all night. The crowd at Camp Randall was did a slow wave after singing Neil Diamond’s ”Sweet Caroline” and opening the fourth quarter to House of Pain’s ”Jump Around”. Even the tuba line was circling the field playing the well known beer polka “Roll Out The Barrel”. The pageantry of college football was in full swing in Madison as the Wisconsin Badgers (5-0) welcomed new Big Ten foe Nebraska (4-1) quite harshly, defeating the Huskers 48-17.
I was going to post many stats from the game as I usually do, such as, Wisconsin rolled the Blackshirts for 486 yards of total offense, 255 yards passing and 231 yards rushing. I was going to mention how the Huskers offense, which started the game trading blows with Wisconsin, totaled 335 yards of total offense, much coming in the final quarter after the game was decided.
Rather than do that, I felt it was time to say what I have been seeing myself. The Nebraska Cornhuskers are a much smaller and over matched team to compete on a national level at this time. The Huskers first quarter last night was great as they fought hard on both sides of the football. However, a much larger, more powerful and pro-style balanced attack was too imposing a foe for Nebraska.
No measure of adjustment. No defensive scheme. No offensive plan could have overcome the Wisconsin onslaught last night with the current roster that has been assembled under Husker HC Bo Pelini. The Huskers are not going to challenge for a National Title this year and perhaps no next year either, unless Nebraska finds it’s true identity once again in the annals of years past.
I remember when Nebraska was talked about as the Badgers were last night. An offensive line of great mass and strength. A defense that routinely turned opponents away with three-and-outs, shortening the field and scoring at will. Wisconsin could have posted many more points last night to put Bucky Badger to sleep until next spring.
Nebraska needs to either go with the option and run it to perfection, or adopt the spread and commit to it. But as we witnessed last night, the Huskers need a quarterback who can throw and not just run. We need a larger, faster backfield. Defensively, we need linebackers who don’t look like safety’s and think that the speed will overcome power.
“Be careful what you wish for” and “The grass isn’t always greener…” both came to my mind last night as I watched Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson give the Blackshirts fits on their QB containment/spy techniques. Russell completed 14 of 20 passes last night for 255 yards and 2 TD’s. Badger RB Montee Ball ran 30 times for 151 yards and 4 TD’s. For awhile, I thought I was watching a replay of the Husker football from the 90′s. I wasn’t. It was Wisconsin.
The majority of Husker Nation wanted Bo Pelini for HC after Bill Callahan was shown the door. Well he is here and this is his team. Pelini made a change at OC last year showing Shawn Watson the door. His brother Carl Pelini is in charge of the defense. What does Husker Nation say now?
I am not saying that the Callahan era should have continued. But I am saying that the coaching staff was out-planned and the Huskers were easily out-played in Madison Saturday. The rhetoric of, we made mistakes and pointing to a couple of bad calls is over. Nebraska will need to look at it’s recruiting plans and alter them to bring in some bigger “and” faster players to compete with the likes of Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, et al.
Next week, the Huskers host a wounded Ohio State team that is reeling and maybe that is what the doctor ordered for the Big Red’s Big Ten home opener. But make no mistake, we are not in the Big 12 anymore Dorothy!
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Written by Karl Sannicks, II