Shooting Point Blank - Retro Style

Personally, I always felt some of my best experiences that I put on paper came when a game was going on. Now, naturally in the middle of June, not much is happening in the football world unless you're into arena ball (I am). That said, I figured we could look back at the times that were, after all, retro is in now, don'tcha know. Join me, as we take a gander at a game that was as a young walk-on made his name known and began his legacy. Welcome to Oklahoma State vs. Nebraska circa 1994.

Well, it was a fine October afternoon, Blankmaniacs and let me tell ya, a grand day for some NU footballin'. The 16th-ranked Cowpokes of OSU came into Memorial Stadium looking to pop the ‘Huskers in the jaw and send their national title hopes spiraling into the abyss. Problem was, the OSU defense never intended to take on the Pipeline-aided cyborg known only as the Turmanator. Brook Berringer left the game after the second half with what appeared to be a reoccurrence of his collapsed lung, then it was time for Matt to take the reigns of the Big Red Hosses and what was left was a little less cowboy and a whole lot more cow pie.

After opening up with a 3-0 lead in the first stanza, a Blankman got a little nervous seeing as how these Cowboys were always up for a fight with Dear Ol' Nebraska U. That said, things got a little more interesting in the second half of play. With Matt under center instead of Brook, naturally the crowd wondered if the walk-on from Wahoo had what it took to continue the successes of Touchdown Tommie and Brook "Not Tom" Berringer. Matthew more than answered the call in this humble journalist's opinion and hey, a deuce of the deuce (that's two-point conversions) never hurts the efforts as well. That said, let's meander on over to the awards for the day, shalst we?

The Blankman Gold-plated #1 Jersey Award goes to Lawrence "Bash N' Dash" Phillips. The man is, without a doubt, sickly good. 33 carries for a whopping 221 yards which averages out to a shade under 6.7 yards per carry for you math geeks in the audience. Larry's quicks made the day possible and set up NU's 68 carries for 372 total rushing yards. I gotta tell ya, The Blank One hasn't seen a runningback this complete since Mikey Rozier a ways back in the day and this is even before I was a twinkle in an eye. The kid knows his way around pigskin and to be true, BND's like a bloodhound when he catches a whiff of the end zone. Props must go to the pipeline as the masses up front don't take kindly to no recognition, so surely, the Blank One must adorn them with the proper procedures as well. As for Lawrence? Well, the West Covina native knows how to get it done. Here's hoping he can take the Scarlet and Cream Team deep into the season.

The Blankman Defensive Huddle Award goes to…the Blackshirts. Not just one, but all. The vicious Men in Black held the Men in Mostly White and the Occasional Black to 134 yards total. TOTAL. As if that wasn't enough, 9 punts were forced by the D which allowed the offensive lads to shine when they had to, even under the most unlikely of leaders. I must say though, with guys like Christian Peter, Ed Stewart, Phil Ellis, etc. lining up with the Black-backs? It's no wonder NU has gotten where they are today. Gotta give props to Kareem Moss, though. Might as well start calling the guy "The Human Tip Drill" after his bobbled almost-not-an-interception. Keep your eyes on the prize, Kareem, it's all good this week, mah brotha.

The Blankman Oddly Enough Trophy goes to Darin "Erstwhile" Erstad and Jon "You Had to Be There" Vedral. Okay, so Nebraska's lining up for a typical PAT. The snap gets totally screwed up and the ball's in Vedral's hands, so it's a no go, right? Wrong. Erstad gets some thought in his head like he's a major league baseballer and darts downfield like he's gonna tag someone out at home. Vedral completes the toss and bag, Big Red has a Big Deuce, their second of the day. Man that Erstad…a PUNTER that thinks he can play baseball. That'll be the day. Major Props go out to The Turmanator himself. The kid came in and showed Okie State just what it means to play the game laced in scarlet proving that when you step behind a Nebraska line? Even Grandma Esther is an All-American. Nice pass for the two-pointer, kiddo.

So, anyone ready for some positives? Having a hundred-yard rusher is defiantly something to take to the bank, but what happens when you've got a guy who notches double that and then some? Big grins all around, my friends, that's what. When an O-line can take it to the #16 team in the land like that? Good fortunes are definitely ahead. Phillips wasn't the only back who had a solid day. Clinton "Baby" Childs and Damon "Black Sox" Benning each notched 6-for-45 and 7-for-42 respectively. Solid days at the ballpark for each. Time of possession was once again big in NU's favor with a 36:55-23:05 edge. You can't win if you don't have the ball, naturally. What about the biggest positive of all? 6-0 overall and a 1-0 slate in the Big Eight. That's what it's all about, boys and girls. As long as the engine keeps steamrollin', things are looking pretty sweet down I-80 way.

Looking ahead to next week, Nebraska has to make a trip down to Manhattan to play the Purple Putty-tats of Kansas State. Now, normally, this wouldn't be much cause for alarm, but the ‘Cats are starting to make some noise and cultivate some talent. Couple that with a possible start by young #11 and you've got yourself an interesting contest. For now, though, just enjoy the win. As the stadium clears and the cheers give way to a calming Lincoln evening, let the words of the famous Kent Pavelka ring throughout the land, "DOUBLE EXTRA POINT! DOUBLE EXTRA POINT!". Smoke a lot of dope, do ya son?

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