Dailey's Day

He's soft-spoken most any time I have heard. He's non-assuming, modest and mature beyond his years. He's also something else, perhaps something that right now means little to nothing to him, but one day could be something that makes him smile. What made him smile more was that in the process of breaking the all-time passing record for yards in a single game, Joe Dailey's efforts helped his team to win. The record was simply the icing on the cake.

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Even before this season actually began, everyone speculated about when the record would be broken. You know, that passing record held by Dave Humm that up until this year looked pretty safe for at least another thirty years to come.

Dailey1S.jpg - 101258 Bytes
Joe Dailey's performance is the
single best passing performance
by a Husker in over 100 years
of Nebraska football.
That wasn't important though, the passing record more signifying of days gone by, people opting to remember even more fondly the rushing records that brought the more recent titles to Lincoln.

Well, I doubt this is a time to wax nostalgic for even those that can, but in triumphing over the past, Joe Dailey brought the future front and center today in the form of 342 yards in the air. After 100 years of Nebraska football, 300 yards passing is no longer speculation, but history.

What's this mean, though? I mean, it's impressive, sure, but for all the grandness of such an achievement, what's it mean in the end? "We won the football game." Dailey said. "To be honest, that's all that really matters to me right now."

"Numbers are just numbers."

Indeed they are and when it comes to being impressive, these numbers were that and then some. Let's put aside the fact or at least, put into perspective the yardage-total in and of itself. Add to that the fact that Dailey accumulated that on just 13 total completions. 13 out of 20, Dailey's passing percentage of 65 as high as it has ever been. That along with the 5 touchdowns gives Dailey a pass-rating of 291.14, the 3rd best in team history.

The 5 touchdowns ties a record, the yardage mark breaks a record, the efficiency rating amongst the best in the history of the program and all that with no turnovers. Yeah, you'd have to say that even the modest Dailey has to be thrilled with this.

Ok, maybe not.

"It's just another number in the books." He said

The Sophomore QB may indeed be a Sophomore, but he's got a wisdom beyond his years. Who can say that

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Willie Amos was one of the few
receivers not to get a ball from Joe
during their victory over Baylor.
Almost duplicating his performance
though, Isaiah Fluellen scored 2
times on 2 receptions just like
Amos in week one of the season.
it hasn't always a part of him as we knew him to be very mature even throughout his recruiting process before coming to NU. It's a maturity that took being pulled last week and rather than be bitter about it, he's better because of it instead.

"I took it personal, because that's a reflection on me and my play." Dailey said "Therefore, I said to myself this week ‘you don't want to throw interceptions? Then don't do it anymore. You don't want to fumble? Then, don't do it anymore'. So, this week was a lot more about my actions than my words and I think my play proved that very well today."

Others agreed.

"Joe's performance was outstanding." Wide receiver, Isaiah Fluellen said. "He had an awesome game today."

"He's starting to become more mature." Callahan said. "You see his growth continuing in all situations, in all down and distances, so I was pleased from that standpoint that he managed the game very well."

Yes, yes, but come tomorrow, it won't be about what you have done, but what you will do next. And, the speculation all this week will be whether Dailey has actually gotten better or was this just another first half against Western Illinois, Joe eventually expected to regress instead of progress in his game.

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Only one time during the history of
Nebraska football has the team
bettered the total in passing yards
Dailey put up by himself against
Baylor. That happened against
Kansas when Nebraska totaled
360 yards passing on the game.

The starting QB at the time (Dave
Humm) threw for 281 yards in that
game, 16 yards short of his all-time
record, the one broken by Dailey
on Saturday with his 342.
Dailey's belief right now isn't in the respect he's possibly earned, but what he hopes his team has earned from this record-setting day. "We want respect." He said. "That's what we want. We want respect by every one of our opponents."

Dailey had to earn that today for him and his team, but as he noted while it wasn't happening at first, before it was all said and done, Baylor had to give them that whether they wanted to or not. "We got those guys to back out of that box." He said. "Towards the end of the game, they had about six or seven in the box and that proves a lot about our scheme and our talent."

The talent certainly does seem to be there, yet another receiver, this time Isaiah Fluellen adding to the mix as a potentially potent weapon for NU. Along with the breakout performance of Brandon Jackson, this offense seems ripe for success.

Well, let's not put the cart before the horse as just a week ago, it was a 60-point loss and this week, NU scored about that much on one of the worst teams in college football.

Right now, it's just about being more successful than you've been.

It's a process and like most situations that bring something new to players used to something old, it's one that will be painful at times. It is obvious even despite the fact that this was Baylor that NU is getting better a little at a time. Joe and his offense especially, they didn't wait to get their confidence back, they went out and took it.

As for Dailey and the rest of the team, it's a mind-set that come this time next weekend, that they are hoping they don't have to give back.


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