Saturday, September 29, 2007

The time is now for the Blackshirts

LINCOLN -- Nebraska is about to tee it up against Iowa State and with all due respect to the Cyclones who got their lone win at the expense of Iowa, Saturday's game looks like the calm before the storm for the Cornhuskers.

That's especially the case for the defense, which allowed 610 yards last week against Ball State and has given up 40 or more points in back-to-back games for the first time in 17 years. If the Blackshirts truly aren't up to the task, the upcoming stretch of games at Missouri, vs. Oklahoma State, vs. Texas A&M, at Texas and at Kansas looks daunting to say the least.

Prediction time:
--Terry Douglass, sports editor: Nebraska 38-17
--Bob Gonderinger, reporter: Nebraska 35-24
--Kevin Schuster, reporter: Nebraska 41-24
--Bob Hamar, assistant sports editor: Nebraska 42-7
--Brian Ayers, reporter: Nebraska 34-24

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, September 29, 2007 || 0 comments

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

CU's Dan Hawkins on booing

Asked this week about his reaction to home fans at Nebraska and Arkansas booing their teams, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins had a interesting take.

While Hawkins said he could certainly understand the argument that if someone pays for a ticket, they can say or do about anything they want inside the stadium, he doesn't neccessarily agree with that.

"At some point, we have to have a little poise," Hawkins said during Monday's Big 12 Conference coaches' media call. "At some point, we have to have a little class and remember what the whole thing's about,” Hawkins said. “It's probably part of the nature of the whole beast, but shoot, if you're not happy with what's going on, don't come to the game or leave.
“I understand that sometimes that those values are a little old-fashioned and people don't take those to the ballpark anymore."

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, September 27, 2007 || 3 comments

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Monday, September 24, 2007

ESPN to televise NU-Nebraska at 8:15 p.m.

LINCOLN -- The Big 12 Conference and ESPN announced on Monday that Nebraska's Big 12 Conference road opener at Missouri on Oct. 6 will be televised nationally on ESPN. Kickoff for the game between the Big 12 North rivals is set for 8:15 p.m.

The national TV appearance will mark Nebraska's third national TV airing in its first six games of the 2007 season. The Huskers' game at Wake Forest was carried nationally by ESPN, while the Nebraska-USC game from Lincoln was televised nationally in prime time by ABC. Additionally, the Huskers' season opener against Nevada was carried by ABC on a regional basis.

The second ESPN appearance in 2007 marks the first time NU has had two regular-season games on the network since 1992 when the Huskers played three times on ESPN. The Nebraska-Missouri game will also mark the first time Nebraska has played a conference game on ESPN since a Thursday-night contest at Oklahoma State to open the 1995 season.

Nebraska has at least one more national TV appearance scheduled for this season, as the Nov. 23 regular-season finale at Colorado will be carried nationally by ABC. Game times for Nebraska's remaining contests during the 2007 season will be announced six to 12 days in advance of the contest.

In addition to the Nebraska-Missouri contest, three other Big 12 games on Oct. 6 are scheduled for television, including Oklahoma-Texas (ABC, 2:30 p.m.), Kansas at Kansas State (FSN, 11 a.m.), Oklahoma State at Texas A&M (FSN, 6 or 6:30 p.m.).

Nebraska's game this Saturday against Iowa State in Lincoln will not be televised. Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Monday, September 24, 2007 || 0 comments

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ball State predictions

LINCOLN -- Will there be a USC hangover at Memorial Stadium this week? Ball State definitely has some offensive potential with talented quarterback Nate Davis, but the Cardinals' rushing defense -- ranked 115th in the country -- might play a huge factor here for a NU team that will attempt to rediscover its ground game.

The Huskers haven't been stellar at stopping the run either, ranking 99th in the country. But here's guessing that Ball State's offensive line isn't in the same universe as the one the Trojans brought to town.

The picks:

Tony Chapman, reporter: Nebraska 27-21
Dale Miller, reporter: Nebraska 38-14
Brian Ayers, reporter: Nebraska 40-10
Kevin Schuster, reporter: Nebraska 49-17
Terry Douglass, sports editor: Nebraska 51-7

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, September 22, 2007 || 0 comments

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Practice protocol: Pads or no pads?

Former Nebraska linebacker Phil Ellis had an interesting take on what has been hot topic in Nebraska this week has been the revelation that prior to playing USC, the Huskers hadn't practiced in full pads since preseason training camp. Ellis, who played for the Huskers from 1992-95, said NU's practices under coach Tom Osborne where much different.

"We went full pads pretty much three days a week and we had 15-play scrimmages with No. 1s against No. 1s every week, no matter what," Ellis said. "We went full-tilt -- Tommie Frazier, Brook Berringer, Ahman Green -- it didn’t matter who they were, they were going down. There were no green jerseys or anything like that. You were getting hit and hit hard.
"I will take it to my grave believing that that's why we were good. We would kill each other in practice and when we were done killing each other, we were ready to kill somebody else. When you practice every day, ones against ones, you’re going to get better."

It will be interesting to see how the Huskers play this week after padding up for practice this week. While probably every coach would like to put their players through live plays in practice every week, they have to balance staying sharp with the potential for injury to key players they're going to need on Saturday. It's definitely a tough call for any coach to make.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, September 20, 2007 || 0 comments

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Upset? Not even close

LINCOLN -- I have to admit being completely surprised with what transpired Saturday night at Memorial Stadium where top-ranked Southern California beat Nebraska 49-31 in a game that wasn't even as close as the 18-point final margin. While I certainly wasn't convinced that my prediction of a 17-14 win for the Cornhuskers would come to fruition, I fully expected coach Bill Callahan's team to be much more competitive on its home turf.

The most surprising aspect was the way the Trojans were able to just absolutely bulldoze the Blackshirts with their running game. Heisman Trophy candidate John David Booty barely even needed to pass as USC moved the ball on the ground with complete ease. If defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove and his players can't correct that situation in a hurry, it could be a long season in Lincoln.

As it stands, USC was indeed a very good team. Now, the challenge for Nebraska is to see if it can put this loss in the rear view mirror, bounce back and try to put together a good season now that the bubble has burst and expectations have been lowered.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Sunday, September 16, 2007 || 6 comments

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Friday, September 14, 2007

USC at Nebraska: Upset in the making?

When you break this game down on paper, it's difficult not to come away thinking that No. 1-ranked Southern California might be a couple of touchdowns better than No. 14 Nebraska. However, the great thing about college football is that Saturday night when the lights go on and the home stadium starts rocking, all that analysis and the notion of who's a five-star and who's not, often seems to go out the window. It happens every week in stadiums all over the country and should definitely be the case at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

My pick: Nebraska 17, USC 14.

The score is just simply a nod to the last time a No. 1 team came to Lincoln when the Huskers beat Oklahoma 17-14 in 1978. The reason for the pick simply comes from a sense of feeling that the Cornhuskers are simply due to come through in a big game. So, while this is no Joe Namath-like guarantee, I think there's a realistic opportunity for a big upset Saturday night in Lincoln.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, September 14, 2007 || 3 comments

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Beautiful day in Winston-Salem

You really couldn't ask for a better day for football here at Groves Stadium. It appears to be a little less than the sellout that Wake Forest officials had touted in the 31,500-seat venue, but Nebraska fans are definitely representing -- early estimates are that there are around 10,000 Cornhusker fans in the seats.

We're a little late getting the pregame pick up (it's already 3-0 Nebraska), but as posted in Saturday's edition of the Independent, we'll go: Nebraska 27, Wake Forest 17.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, September 08, 2007 || 0 comments

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Kunalic credits Callahan for his calm

Despite playing in his first college football game last Saturday agianst Nevada, Nebraska true freshman place-kicker Adi Kunalic said he felt very calm. Part of the reason, he said, was a visit he had with Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan late last week.

"He just let me know that he was behind me on everything I did and gave me a few pointers to focus on some stuff," Kunalic said. "(He said) just kind of ignore all the fans and just to be relaxed and stuff."

Apparently, Kunalic felt very relaxed. He boot six of nine kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks and also drilled a 46-yard field goal in his debut.

"It did help me after talking to him because when I walked out on the field, I wasn't nervous at all and I was shocked at that," Kunalic said. "I was actually more nervous at my first practice with the team than the first game. I kind of just went out there like I've been doing it for years and years."

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Thursday, September 06, 2007 || 0 comments

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ready for some football?

LINCOLN -- They're about ready to kick things off in Lincoln. The new Tunnel Walk video was very good -- best it has been in quite a while -- even with a slight change-up in music. Now, on to the football.

The prediction here: Nebraska 39, Nevada 13

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, September 01, 2007 || 0 comments

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