Husker Thoughts Week 3
Um, yeah. And then there was that.
Okay, you know how back in mid ’80s, Russell Mulcahy, Sean Connery, and Christopher Lambert made Highlander, and it was awesome? But then, for some reason they made Highlander II: The Quickening, which was not only a terrible movie but
also a complete betrayal of all of the good points of the first Highlander? And then after that they kept going, and made Highlander III: The Sorcerer, or as many fans deemed it, Highlander III: The Apology, where they basically just copied the first movie again, only it was nowhere near as good, because, well, you’d seen it before, and the memory of the second, awful movie was still in your mind, so the only reaction you could muster was kind of an “Eh…”
That’s about how the Huskers’ season has gone so far. After they completely betrayed their early promise last week, the Huskers came in focused and dominated Fresno State in a way that felt very similar to their game against Florida Atlantic. Which is great, except it kind of leaves me with little more to say about this game. After a week off, “Red Storm” again lived up to its name (562 total yards, 280 on the ground), Armstrong made smart choices with the ball (260 yards 3 TDs), and the defense, minus the 66-yard TD run by Fresno’s allegedly non-running QB, looked dominant again. In fact, they looked to be playing with more energy than I can recall seeing a Nebraska team play with recently. The first play of the game I saw was Fresno’s first offensive play, a little pass out to the wide receiver in the flat that went for -3 yards, and it was absolutely amazing to see 4 or 5 Husker Blackshirts swarming all over the ball carrier. That’s the kind of (great) sight we haven’t seen a whole lot recently in Husker football, but I sure could get used to seeing it.
I was actually shocked when I looked at the stats and saw that the defense gave up 346 yards. But when your offense has four drives that last four plays or fewer, but still end in touchdowns (not to mention a punt return for a TD), I guess that’s just a statistical fluke. But whatever the statistics say or leave out, with the exception of Fresno’s final scoring drive, which started at Nebraska’s 14 yard line, there was no doubt in my mind which unit would win between the Blackshirts and the Bulldogs’ offense.
If you really wanted to pick at this performance, you could point out that the Huskers seemed a bit reliant on the big play, as
they seemingly have been in so many years recently. Nebraska only had one scoring drive go at least 10 plays. It went exactly 10 plays and ended in a field goal. The next longest drive was 7 plays long and came at the end of the game after the subs had been put in.
It’d be too easy to excuse this fact, to say Nebraska didn’t need the big play, they just had it a lot because Fresno was a clearly inferior team. But then, last week against a McNeese State team that should have been clearly inferior, the Red Storm didn’t consistently produce the big play and they struggled to find success. Maybe that game was a fluke, or maybe the big play will always be there this year. Maybe the next Highlander movie won’t suck.
In any case, we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out. The competition ratchets up another notch on Saturday, and we all need to hope the Highlander analogy stops. Only God can help us if we get to Highlander: Endgame. The Big Ten needs a marquee win almost as desperately as I need to watch Miami crash and burn. Burn. BURN!