Captain, my Captain

Weekly dose of wisdom from the team leaders: Rashaun revisits his "tender" moment with Thurman Thomas, and Elbert Craig reacts to the idea of Frank Solich bypassing Jammal Lord for a freshman in the season-opener...

Captain's Notebook

 

 

Rashaun Woods

 

 

Lincoln is a tough place to play for any team. Having veteran players on the field can help with focus in hostile environments such as Nebraska.

 

"That helps out a lot. When you've got guys that are young, they don't quite understand and tend to make small mistakes because of the crowd factor. With older guys in key positions, maybe that can help."

 

The Oklahoma State v. Nebraska game will be one of the biggest games in the country this weekend. It could be huge for the program.

 

"I think as far as football goes, Oklahoma State doesn't get out there. It's obvious when you hear them (announcers and analysts) talk.

"I don't want to point on anything but sometimes they get it wrong. Inaccuracies and just a lack of knowledge.

"Maybe this will help out the program, as well as individuals a lot."

 

Several past Nebraska greats will be on hand to witness the season opener, which could provide a more difficult atmosphere for the Cowboys.

 

"It would help them if they could play. But obviously they can't. They have to play with the 11 guys they have their on scholarship."

 

Former OSU great and Buffalo Bills running back Thurman Thomas came to last year's homecoming to see the new Pokes in action, it left an impression on Woods.

 

"I got knocked out of bounds one time, and Thurman Thomas picked me up and was like, ‘Way to go, son.' I was like, ‘Thurman Thomas, What's up?' It's great to see guys that you go to watch and that have successful careers.

"Definitely come back (10 years down the road), see how Oklahoma State's doin. I'm glad to be a Cowboy, and I'm not gonna abandon them as soon as I graduate."

 

Pregame jitters can cause many players to be almost too focused leading up to a game. Some will lose sleep.

 

"I've gotten a lot better at not worrying. I think about it before I go to bed or something like that, of making the play or something. When I was young, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Now I think about it when I'm supposed to think about it."

 

D'Juan Woods will get a lot of playing time opposite his brother, and he could have a big weekend and year.

 

"I expect him (D'Juan) to have a good game. Considering how we think they're gonna play, he should do very well."

 

Rashaun isn't concerned about how big his stats are, as long as they win games.

 

"I'm pretty sure I'm not just gonna have 20 catches, but whether or not I have 50 or 100 or 150, it's about winning. It's about going out and winning because as long as I'm out on the field I'm gonna do what I'm capable of doin."

 

In one year, after the bowl, the team has improved tremendously with summer workouts and recent practices.

 

"We have more talent. A consistent level of talent. We had average players earlier that are good players now."

 

 

 

Elbert Craig (Okay, so he isn't exactly one of the captains...but, still, it is good readin')

 

 

Rumor has it that Nebraska might sit star quarterback Jammal Lord for a freshman that tends toward the pass.

 

"I don't see them airin' the ball out like that. Nebraska's not about throwing the ball. They're a runnin team. I don't think they're going to get too far out of their game. I believe they're gonna throw the ball, but not to where their offense would change into a throwin team."

 

After Nebraska's 7-7 season last year, many people around the country are still in shock.

 

"You would never imagine Nebraska havin a down year. When I was in high school all my friends were talking about Nebraska, they were always a powerhouse team. For Nebraska to fall off, you never would think that."

 

The rebuilding season could be even tougher for the Cornhuskers than last year.

 

"Take advantage. Everybody has their year. This is a rebuilding season for them, so we're just gonna take advantage."

 

Nebraska could rotate quarterbacks throughout the game, but Craig thinks they will rely on their ground attack.

 

"We haven't seen much of it (NU passing). As far as Nebraska usin two quarterbacks that have different styles. I think it'll give us more of an advantage if Nebraska starts throwin the ball. They stick to their runnin game, then I think it's gonna be a good game."

 

The Pokes' secondary improved much from last season, and they are ready to prove that this team will not lose because of a lack of pass defense.

 

"I don't see that happenin this year. As a secondary I think we have matured a whole lot. So, I don't see us getting beat cause of the pass. I don't see that. More experience, faster, smarter. But overall when you look at the defense, you don't just look at the secondary. Everybody plays a part. You've gotta get pressure on the quarterback. Everybody's gotta get back in their zone. I think we just have a better feel for the scheme, and everybody knows their responsibilities even better now."


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