|MVP OF THE WEEK (Offense)|
|QB - Joe Dailey - Sophomore|
30 15 4 50 218 4 36 128.37
For someone that hadn't had any real contact the entire Spring or Fall, to come into a live game, under the lights and perform in that first-half of play, Dailey proved to be equal in maturity and a certain quotient of ice in his veins to impress all that were fortunate enough to watch him play that evening.
The second-half I do look at as somewhat of an aberration only because Dailey's mind-set was one prompted by a first-half deluge of success.
As Dailey himself put it, he was on a "first-half high", confident to the point of Favre-like in some of the passes he attempted, but as there is only one Favre, Dailey would have been better suited to take other choices in front of him.
Coach Callahan said of Dailey's performance that re-instilled that confidence he already had in him, especially from what he did in the first two quarters of play.
Now, you do have to take the opponent into consideration heavily here. The lack of a defensive opponent that had either the manpower or speed to keep any sort of consistent rush on Dailey or defend Nebraska's talent and speed does make things look awfully good on paper. And, it can deceive you at least somewhat as to what Dailey and company might do against a markedly better team like Kansas State or an Oklahoma, both lying still quite a ways down the road.
That shouldn't diminish, however, the performance, because the circumstances regardless of the competition left many opportunities to fail.
Your first game as a starter, a night game, a new offense, mostly new receivers, a reconstructed offensive line and no actual continuity developed with any of them when it comes to a real-life game.
That's tough for anyone against anyone and Dailey came out looking like he's going to do nothing but shine in the end.
|MVP OF THE WEEK (Defense)|
|LB - Ira Cooper - Senior|
12 4 8 1/51
Ira Cooper has the age to say that his team-leading performance in tackles shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. Considering the fact, however, that he's been playing behind Barrett Ruud for almost the entirety of that experience at NU, his performance against Western Illinois at a different position proved itself worthy of this MVP.
Subbing for Chad Sievers who is presently sidelined with an injury, all Cooper did was wreak havoc wherever he happened to be.
If it wasn't his interception that he almost took back to the house or his constant disruption along the line of scrimmage, for a guy that has been spelling offenses for years, he was drilling Western Illinois' with what I am sure was to them, infuriating consistency.
Head coach, Bill Callahan said of Ira's performance in light of the change in positions was a credit to his ability, but mentality as well. "Having that versatility to move from the inside "MIKE" linebacker position to the "WILL" linebacker position, you've got to be pretty smart, heady and athletic to make that move." he said. "And, he certainly did so tonight."
Cooper drew praise from teammates as well, Barrett Ruud stating that he was happy "Coop" got out there and played well to Le Kevin Smith said of his performance on the evening "He was balling out".
Chad Sievers is expected to be back next week, but in his brief opportunity to shine, Ira Cooper did just that and in the process made everyone aware that the starting line-up is good, but the depth is pretty darn good as well.