Moving On Monday – CU to OU

The Huskers has to win this past weekend to seal up the North Division. Now, the Huskers will get a chance to play a south opponent they hadn't seen previously this year in Oklahoma and how fitting for Old Big 8 fans. What a perfect send off for Nebraska into the Big 10 with one more chance to play OU for the conference title. First, let's talk about Colorado…for the last time.

It's a game that has always meant more to Colorado than it did to Nebraska. Yes, there is some hostility and vitriol there between the two programs, but let's face it it's never been a rivalry beyond geography for Nebraska. It's a game that Nebraska was given as a compromise by the Big 12 to play around Thanksgiving.

Still, this year meant something. The Huskers could win the North title and at the same time keep Colorado from going bowling this year. That's always enough to get the Huskers geared up on a Saturday, but you also throw Senior Day into the fold and you can typically expect a little bit of extra effort on the field.

The Huskers took care of business on the field against Colorado winning 45-17 and now have Oklahoma to look forward to in the Big 12 title game. Still, before you look forward you have to take one final look back. Here is CU to OU on this Moving On Monday:

Last Colorado thoughts:

- North champs again. Who would have thought that based on how the Huskers started out their season, the emergence of Taylor Martinez on the national scene and a defense that might not have been up to the same level as last year, but still very good that this season would still come down to the Colorado game?
- Goal one is down for this Husker team. I know that goal four isn't attainable anymore when it comes to the BCS National Championship, but everyone needs to realize that goals two and three are still there. Nebraska can still win the Big 12 crown and also win a BCS Bowl Game. Not a terrible year at all.
- Now, onto Colorado. I thought that Cody Green played a pretty decent game. Green went 10-for-13 for just 80 yards, but with two scores. Good to see Lee getting some time. Injury that he had/has must be nagging; 3-for-4 though is good percentage.
- Is there anything that Rex Burkhead can't do? Burkhead goes over 100 yards rushing with a score, averaging 5.3 per carry, and goes 2-for-2 throwing the football for two scores. We had heard about the throwing option with Burkhead. It's good to see that it can be successful.
- Great defensive effort as a whole, despite Alfonzo Dennard getting burned deep on one throw, the Huskers held Colorado to just 262 total yards and forced three turnovers (a fumble recovery and two interceptions).
- Nebraska was able to get their composure back at home after a tough game at College Station where the Huskers threw two interceptions and also "committed" 16 penalties for 145 yards. Against Colorado though the Huskers played turnover free football and were penalized eight times for 79 yards.
- Kyler Reed has really become that X-Factor for the offense. I know that he only had 17 yards receiving, but two touchdown grabs and also brings that deep ball threat to the table when he's on the field.
- I thought that the receivers as a whole played well, the total passing numbers are a big indication of this with 15-for-19 with 142 yards and four touchdowns, with Brandon Kinnie and Reed leading the way. I was pleasantly surprised by what Joe Broekemeier brought to the table. I just wish that Nebraska could get Mike McNeill more involved in the passing game.
- I thought the overall offensive game plan for Colorado by Shawn Watson was spot-on and the play calling was perfect.
- Overall, you had to wonder how the team would respond given everything that had happened since the previous game. The players had blinders on though with the North crown in their sights and the coaches knew that the best way to turn the corner is to start preparing for the next opponent. Great job overall.
- I am not going to miss anything about Colorado when it comes to this game. This game was the best the Big 12 could do considering the Huskers used to play Oklahoma around Thanksgiving.
- Colorado isn't a "rivalry". It's more like the game that the Big 10 is throwing together for us each year with Penn State. Nebraska and Colorado share a border. Nebraska and Penn State are the last two teams to join the Big 10.
- Lets be honest, 49-18-2 does not a rivalry make. Yes, Colorado had enjoyed some success against Nebraska in the 2000s with four wins during that decade, but consider that Colorado only beat Nebraska 14 other times without the 2000s spanning back to 1898 and that is not a rivalry. It's a sham. It was a poor effort to try and fill in the hole of an annual game against Oklahoma that Nebraska enjoyed in the Big 8.

First Oklahoma thoughts:

- Now, I would have preferred Nebraska to play Texas A&M in Dallas for the Big 12 title for some very simple and selfish reasons, but for nostalgic reasons I like the match-up with Oklahoma.
- A&M though would have been the easier path for Nebraska by far for the Big 12 title. Think about it. Nebraska really allowed six points to the Aggie offense, they were given three more, and that was in front of 90,000 of their fans! A neutral territory could have really evened the playing field…you'd just need to see who the officials were for the game.
- While the matchups will be more difficult with Oklahoma because of their incredible athleticism on both sides of the football there are some reasons for Nebraska to be optimistic about this game.
- I had to listen to the OU/OSU game on the radio on Saturday night, but one thing that came through clear over the airwaves is that if Nebraska can get pressure on Landry Jones anything goes.
- Oklahoma has the edge in just about any of the positional matchups you want to put up, but OU hasn't been the greatest team on the road this year. I know that they are peaking with the game against OSU, but it's still reason to get some confidence about this game.
- OUs rush defense isn't as good as it has been in past years and neither is their rush offense. The matchup to definitely watch will be the OU receivers and the NU secondary. Good news for Nebraska fans is players like Eric Hagg and DeJon Gomes are really on top of their games right now.
- It would be nice to know the status of Martinez for this game, but think about last year. It was defense that came through for Nebraska against OU and all it took for Nebraska was good game management from the quarterback position.

One last thing that is neither Colorado or Oklahoma related before I let you all go this week. I have read the statement from Big 12 Commissioner, Dan Beebe, on his thoughts on the play and extracurricular activity between Ben Cotton and Tony Jerod-Eddie from Texas A&M.

If Beebe really believes that Nebraska would challenge the authority of the Big 12 or question the non-call by the officials after the A&M game then that's just insane. Cotton taking the high road on being asked if he thought A&M was just going for the ball more than likely wasn't what he thought he was doing, but it was what Nebraska had to say to not be dealt with more than just the 30 yards in penalties they accrued in that one play already.

Instead, Beebe should have been more mindful of how Jerod-Eddie felt following the game when Coach Mike Sherman said Jerod-Eddie was "remorseful". The text book definition of remorse is "a gnawing distress arising from a sense of guilt for past wrongs". Key word in that definition being guilt. One more game to go Husker fans…then onto the Big 10.

These are just a few of the things that are running through my head on this Big 12 Championship edition of Moving On Monday.


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