Tale of Two Programs
On Saturday, Kansas State (3-4, 1-3) dominated the Nebraska Cornhuskers before a crowd of 52,234 in Manhattan.
"We plan to go down there and just lay into them with a big stick." Nebraska's Smith said earlier in the week prior to the game.
And yet it was Allen Webb who did the majority of the talking- on the field with both his arm and feet. Ripping off scoring drives on the Blackshirt defense that only a week ago was scorched by Texas Tech 70 to 10-- the Wildcat Offense made a statement of their own.
Webb playing in place of an injured Dylan Meier got the Wildcat offense rolling, putting together scoring drives of 75, 49 and 79 yards respectively. Allen himself scored twice before tailback Darren Sproles picked up the Cats third touchdown of the game to set the tone.
Webb played the best game of his career to date in a Wildcat uniform and when the dust had settled, Kansas State had rushed for 294 yards and six touchdowns- with Webb and Sproles both rushing for 100 yards.
Not so shabby for a Cat offense that only ranked 76th in the nation coming into Saturday's game. K-State won all phases on offense compared to the Huskers---- first downs (24-9), total yards (418-222), and total plays (84-46).
"I was proud of Allen Webb. He certainly had his share of mistakes, but to come in under those circumstances and against that defense, he did a nice job" said Coach Snyder after the game.
Following the game, Webb had this to say about the performance "Really, I feel like the player of the game is our linemen……They did a good job. Without them, the offense would be nothing." Webb was 14 of 23 on the day for 124 and no turnovers (though he came awfully close to one).
Opinions aside, Webb proved the pundits wrong with his performance and proved to be humble in victory.
As for Nebraska's starting quarterback?
Dailey went 3 of 12 for 116 yards on the day in Callahan's pass friendly offense.
"We didn't get a chance to exploit their defense with our game plan…We believed in our game plan," Dailey said. "We were very shocked at the scoreboard. It reflected our bad play. We have worked so hard this week and we expected to come out with a win."
More telling however was the undertone in which Dailey used to describe the Wildcat Offense.
"That was our old offense…. that's what we used to do," he said.
As for the Wildcats beloved Lynch Mob Defense? Well if the game is won in the trenches—the score is reflective of the Wildcat effort.
"Their offense was very predictable," said Brandon Archer referring to the new offense Coach Callahan brought with him to Nebraska.
"Coming in, we felt they were going to run a lot of different stuff and do a lot of different things, a lot of disguises and motions …..a lot of stuff to get us off of our keys. But we knew they had a base offense, base runs and base plays, so in that sense, they were predictable."
As for the Coaches?
"We were a little bit better today than we were previously," said Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder. "It's still a work in progress, but I was pleased with a lot of things." Happy with the effort and the win, Coach Snyder saw a team effort win and good improvement.
Coach Callahan had other thoughts about the state of his Husker program however.
"We're capable of playing better," Callahan said. "I feel that. I believe that."
The Huskers did not find much of a groove on offense throughout the game, struggling particularly to convert third downs- going just 2 of 11 on third-down chances and 0-for-7 in the second half.
On the defensive side of the ball it was not much better for the Blackshirt defense.
"The bottom line is, you've got to make a tackle, you've got to make a play," said Coach Callahan. "When you're there in the field and you've got a one-on-one situation, you've got to make a play. That's football. That's life. You've got to make plays when you get opportunities, and we missed opportunities today…."I take total accountability - total accountability - for what's transpired out there on the field."
Give Coach Callahan credit, he stood up and shouldered the responsibility for the loss.
"I'm accountable," Callahan said after the game. "I offer no excuses. Just understand that. There are no excuses, none whatsoever. I'm very adamant about that." And with that the new Nebraska Coach shouldered the responsibility for the loss.
This was an important game for both programs and although it is far too early to make any kind of judgment- Saturday's game illustrated a couple differences in each team. Coach Callahan is still quite new to the Big 12 and does not yet have the players that would fit his "style" of offense. That said however, the score was not the only difference on Saturday.
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