Huskers ready themselves for THE Kyle Field

As Nebraska prepares to face Texas A&M, there are plenty of sub plots to the game. It could seal up the north division. It's a chance to beat a southern team on the road and it would be a way to quell at least some of the naysayer's diatribes about how this program has been living off the success of beating nobodies. Yeah, this game means a lot.

As Nebraska finished today's practice, it was good news all around as both junior linebacker Corey McKeon and Steve Octavien were back and as Defensive Coordinator Kevin Cosgrove said, "full go."

The practice was conducted on the grass fields between Hawks Championship Center and Cook Pavilion, with the Aggie fight song blaring throughout much of the session.

As you have seen on TV or have no doubt heard, that place gets loud. Nobody would know that better than someone who was at Texas A&M for almost 20 years of their life, and he talked about not just the volume, but the sheer orchestration of the crowd. "It's different than having cheerleaders. They have yell leaders," Associate Athletic Director of Football Operations Tim Cassidy said. "Everything is designed for the volume to hit at the peak time. They are doing their best to disrupt the audibles and things like that. They have yell practice every Friday night. There will be 30 to 40,000 people there preparing for the game."

"I can tell you that from being at Florida, LSU and now, the Coliseum, it (Kyle Field) is the loudest play I've been," he continued.

While some of the current coaches don't have the familiarity with the atmosphere that Cassidy does, they understand full well what they are walking into. "It's what college football is all about," Cosgrove said of the atmosphere there in College Station. "I've never been there, but I am looking forward to the challenge. It's just one of those great environments you hear about. It will be great to go down there."

You can look at the game a myriad of ways and the players certainly do. Where the media can't hear or see what they are saying, the message is probably a little different. But as one receiver put it, regardless of how you put it, this next game is huge. "You don't want to go into a bye-week off of a loss," sophomore wide receiver Nathan Swift said. "If we could get a win down there (College Station), that would really jump start us into the Colorado game and hopefully onto some good things."

"After the Oklahoma State game, we said that we didn't want to lose another game. This is obviously a huge hurdle for us if we are going to make that happen."

Husker fans will flock to Texas in the thousands, many knowing that they won't have a ticket, but simply want to be part of the atmosphere that surrounds a Saturday game around Kyle Field. It would seem like a waste of money to some, but even if you can't get into the game, some think it's worth it.

It is for Cassidy, as he remembers some of his years down there, and the atmosphere of a game, it's something he thinks everyone should experience at least once. "Wherever you go in college football, to find the kind of atmosphere you are going to see there on Saturday, it's hard to match," Cassidy said of his alma mater, where both he and his wife got their Masters Degrees and one of his sons (Ryan) currently attends. "It's different then when you go to schools like in the SEC, where it's a violent situation."

"It's very similar to Nebraska in that you just have great fans that cheer for opponents. Hopefully, we give them (Aggie fans) no reason to cheer, but to just cheer for the Huskers."

Nebraska will continue its preparations for the Aggies tomorrow as they will hit the field for their second full padded practice of the week. The game is set to air on ABC at 2:30 central time this Saturday.

If Nebraska wins, they seal up the North Division and if Texas beats Kansas State this weekend, they seal up the south, and the Huskers and Horns will face each other for the second time, but this on neutral ground in Kansas City.

The Huskers lost a heartbreaker at home to the Horns just over two weeks ago when the Huskers had the lead, but a Terrence Nunn fumble turned the ball over to Texas deep in Nebraska territory, giving them the opportunity to score at least a field goal to win, which they did – beating NU 22-20.

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