I only caught about mid-way in the third quarter to the conclusion of the game on TV, but I heard about a big hold that wasn't called while I listened to the radio driving from Texas. I then saw three holds in the fourth quarter that were big-gainer plays that Nebraska did not get. One play cost us the go-ahead touchdown (there were two holds on that play by the way).
Not to sound too much like Lou Holtz but…this is absolutely ridiculous. How come Nebraska cannot get an offensive holding call to go their way? What the heck is the rule anyway? I know that the college rule now mirrors that of the NFL rule, but when these non-calls starting costing people football games then you need to do something about it.
I am not saying that Nebraska is entirely innocent here either. I saw a play in the fourth quarter where Murtha tried to ride an Oklahoma defensive end like a pony. Poor pony.
Tale of two halves
If Nebraska could only get an effort like they displayed in the second half of the game today in the first half and the second half of every game from here on out, we will win out. It was a great effort on both sides of the football.
Taylor was able to right the ship on offense and the Blackshirt defense really played pretty big in the second half. Special Teams was the unit that kept Nebraska in it until the fake field goal by Oklahoma. Is it just me or didn't anyone else see that one coming? I was a bit surprised to see Brandon Rigoni crash down like he did.
Once again Nebraska showed character and resiliency. This team is still a year or two away from being truly effective on offense, but I think that we are leaps and bounds better than last year (although someone statistically could probably make an argument to the contrary). The team will get their pay-off similar to Pitt when their character will lead them to a win in a tight game.
Bigger weekend than just the result of the game
People will look at the score of the game and think that the weekend just consisted of a loss on the field, but such an opinion would be very myopic. Nebraska has a huge weekend for official and unofficial visitors. But this weekend in recruiting is bigger than just whose who in Lincoln.
People need to look at another picture when it comes to this weekend. It comes back to commitments, but if Nebraska does not get a haul out of the recruits in town then they could be between a rock and a hard spot to get enough people to visit in the coming weekends before LOI day that will commit.
This is problem. Through four weekends of home football games Nebraska received the commitment of one player. One! Now, Nebraska did bring in some top talent in those weekends, but your payoff needs to be larger than one out of 22 to commit.
Nebraska is looking to take another nine or 10 players. Matt Slauson and Jacob Hickman count against this class this year so technically we are already at 12 commits. I have heard recently that the number is about 21, but I believe that there is some flexibility in there.
The problem isn't the number of schollies that we have left to give this year; it may become the number of official visitors that Nebraska can bring in however. This weekend brings the total to 38 official visitors.
Just ain't the same?
People in my office have enjoyed the past few years around me and Nebraska being "down". I personally have enjoyed this year's return to reality for Oklahoma fans. However, no matter what the record, no matter what their ranking, or lack thereof, the clash between Nebraska and Oklahoma is still a hot ticket.
And why shouldn't it be? This is a game that in my mind is the biggest rivalry in college football. What makes it even larger now is that Nebraska only plays Oklahoma two of every four years.
This is still a hot ticket. Play this game at a neutral field as wild as on the North Pole and you should still get a sold out venue for the game. 12 combined national titles. Seven Heisman Trophy winners. National award winners. All-Americans. You name it, these two teams have produced it. You may not see two great teams now, but they will be again. Their heritage and tradition won't let them stray too far and too long.
"I know it was you Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!"
I have had the chance the past couple of weeks to spend a lot of time on the road and a week in the part of the country that I haven't ever been before. Oddly, I was lost thinking a couple of times about where I would be and two recruits that Nebraska lost out on late last year that Nebraska would face today.
Yes, I am talking about Nic Harris and Reggie Smith. Now, how much Nebraska actually lost out on Nic Harris is debateable. I am not saying that he isn't a good player. What I am saying is it is debateable if he would have ever been a Husker. I thought he would have been.
So being in Louisiana last week led me to think how Harris in the defensive backfield this year might have helped and how it might have looked for years to come. Then, hit me below the belt and let me drive through Edmond, Okla.
Reggie Smith. Reggie Smith. Where for art thou Reggie Smith? Oh yeah, you are a starter now for the Sooners. A team that wasn't even mentioned on your leader board until a week or so before signing day.
We were all lead to believe that Nebraska was going to get three great players out of the state of Oklahoma last year, but had to settle for two. It isn't the loss of one that will hurt, it will be playing against the one from Oklahoma and the one from Louisiana for years to come that scares me.
I just can't help but think about what might have been when it comes to talkling about Reggie Smith or Nic Harris. You broke my heart…
Talk about a conflict of interest
I couldn't imagine being in Zac Taylor's shoes today. The team that you faced today was a team that your dad used to quarterback. Worse than that, you were born in the same town where that university is and had that school's blanket in your crib as a baby.
Talk about emotional. This was the team that you probably sold out for every Fridya night under the lights in Norman, Okla. This was the team that you could say that you and your father played quarterback for.
Now, you had to face them.
I had a similar conflict of interest when I was at Kearney. At Kearney the coaches and players didn't want to see anyone wearing the "other" Nebraska garb around. If you wanted to wear Husker paraphanalia then go be a Husker.
If you are in Kearney though, strapping it on for the Lopers, then it is Blue and Gold.
I personally couldn't keep scarlet and cream off of my mind and kind of found the policy a little childish, especially when it was trying to be enforced by the upperclassmen in the locker room.
Anyway, just wanted to say that I feel ya' Zac. I sort of know what it could have been like for you and the thoughts in your mind. I know that your parents, family and friends are supportive of you and your career move to come to Lincoln. Great job in the second half.
I apologize for not being around the last week. However I am planning on making it up to you now with some things that I have come to learn recently about recruiting.
Curtis Bailey – Someone PMd me about the possibility that Bailey was set to officially visit this weekend, but was unable to make it. This couldn't be further from the truth. A visit was in the best interest of Bailey this weekend, but not Nebraska. Don't look for Bailey to visit Nebraska.
Dustin Hensel – This chase didn't officially end until this week. There was some phone tag being made between the two and a difference in opinion really is what kept Hensel from getting more consideration by Nebraska. There seems to be a need by Dustin to keep information regarding his knee injury quiet. Dustin won't be visiting Nebraska.
DeLaShaun Dean – Dean unfortuantely tore up his knee and his season is over. With the knee injury came an end to the interest that Dean was receiving from Nebraska. There is just too much liability recruiting a position like safety, cornerback, or wide receiver to have a player that may not ever recover all of their speed ever again. Dean will not be visiting Nebraska.
Shannon Boatman – This one could get interesting. Boatman is just not very interested in recruiting right now and I am vexed as to why. His team needed to win out to make the playoffs and I think that they only have two wins on the year. Nevertheless, if Tyler JC lost this weekend then he will be in for an official against KSU. Boatman is one of three JC OT's that Nebraska is still considering. He is a two to play two guy, but can transfer in Decemer. We will be talking to him later this week.
Nick Posey – Posey has been given an offer from Nebraska verbally, but there are some things that need to happen for him to get here on an official visit. Posey may be in for the KSU game as well. We will keep you posted.
Mystery JC OT – Yes, there is a third JC OT that is out there. Many were asking me about Ofa Mohetau and him being at College of the Siquoas, but he just hasn't played a lot this year and there are some questions as to why. It is not Ofa though. This OT just popped up, but couldn't enroll at Nebraska until this summer because his JC works on quarters.
Mystery HS OT – We will be bringing you a story on a four-star OT that has set up an official to Nebraska for the KSU game in the coming days. If Nebraska could get this one it would be huge. I spoke to the recruiting expert in his area and was told, "I just spoke to ______ and Nebraska wasn't mentioned. If Nebraska could move in and get an official it would be a coup." This OT is currently set to get re-evalauated and should see his state ranking go up.
Odds and Ends – OK, here are some other rumblings that I am hearing. There will only be one LB taken this year so this answers some of the questions about why the Ronnie Paulo visit may have been bumped back. Paulo may be a guy that if there is a spot open, but no officials that it could be felt he could commit to Nebraska sight unseen. I would look for two or three more wide receivers, at least two more offensive linemen (and some of them may not be in the database as offensive linemen), and defensive secondary to be the big areas that need to get some bodies into commit slots to wrap up this year. A couple of players may be waiting right now for their test scores to commit. We will bring you up to date.
Have I said it's good to be home? Well, it is.