MCNEESE STATE 24
When I was a 2.5 point a game player in 7th grade basketball, I begged our head coach to scrimmage the 7th grade girls team on a weekly basis (so did everyone else, and the girls vice versa). We needed to play them to shut them up about how good they were and how bad we weren't. Coach Miller would say to us over and over, every time we brought it up, "It's a lose-lose if we play them you guys. If we blow them out, oh well we should have. If we barely win or lose, its the end of the world." I think about Coach Miller saying that every year when the Huskers play an FCS team. (Thank God the B1G said no more D2 schools on the schedules). When any team in big boy football plays an FCS team, they really can't win. I'm not downplaying the fact that the Huskers looked like the boys from Varsity Blues walking out of the strip club at 9 AM after a night of debauchery on Saturday, but they looked bad. Just like I said don't get too high off of a FAU beat down, don't get too down off of a narrow McNeese St. win. Just take some deep breaths.
Does beating Mcneese state by 7 pts. feel good? NO. At the same time, they did win and the season is not over. Great teams have had early season, close victories like this before that put a spark in them. Could you imagine if the Huskers lost that game? With how bad the B1G looked, I'd say the Huskers were pretty lucky. 2-0 is 2-0 after all. This narrow victory will not even be a afterthought if Nebraska is undefeated later in the season going towards the Wisconsin game.
There is going to be good stats and bad stats. Prepare yourselves.
The 31-24 win marks the 10th straight win for the Huskers in games decided by 7 points or less. Is that a good stat? I'm not sure. Eventually they will get burned in the close game, 7 points or less category. Thank God it wasn't against an FCS team. For now I will enjoy Bo's impersonation of Kurt Russell in the movie Backdraft..."YOU GO... WE GO..."
2 games have been played so far. In those 2 games, the Huskers have thrown the ball 24 TIMES ON FIRST DOWN! They are averaging 2.29 friggin yards on those 24 friggin pass attempts. I call this little nugget of info, "The Jager Bomb Stat." The reason I call it that is because when I think of our Heisman friggin candidate running back and the fact we are throwing on first down, I do so many damn jager bombs, I forget the stat completely. Come on Beck. Just run the damn ball and quit trying to "outsmart" the less physical, less talented opponent.
McNeese State beat Nebraska in a couple categories that are troubling. They ran 7 more plays than Nebraska (71), and won the time of possession by nearly 10 minutes. If only the Huskers would have passed more on first down...
De'Mornay Pierson-El had 5 punt returns for 52 yards. He nearly equaled last year's entire punt return totals of 70 yards. Good to see there is improvement in that category (although, I'm not really sure if this is good stat or a bad one).
Ameer Abdullah touched the ball 3 times in the 4th quarter. Three times. Less than 4. Three. Here is the breakdown of those touches.
1 rush for a 2 yard loss.
1 punt return for 34 yards.
1 reception for 58 yards and the game winning touchdown.
Does anyone else see a problem with this? I know I do. This should never happen when you've got one of the best players in the country. Ever.
THE GOOD: Abdullah had a good day stats wise (considering we all figured he'd have 200 yards & 2 TDs by halftime). He went 17 for 54 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground, averaging only 3.2 yards per carry on the ground. That's not very good, considering the opponent. He caught 3 balls for 96 yards and 1 hell of a touchdown that saved Nebraska's asses. I'm not saying that was his "Heisman Moment," because it was McNeese St. after all. But if he doesn't make that play and Nebraska loses that game, could you imagine the after shock it would have created? The B1G confrence's national perception is bad enough without Nebraska losing to an FCS school. We don't need that in our lives. After the game, Abdullah addressed the team and told them that their effort wasn't good enough. He said he noticed the team attitude during the week in practice, but didn't say anything. Then, he went all Tim Tebow, and promised that he would never make that mistake again.
THE BAD: Tim Beck. How can you call such a great offensive game last week, only to turn around and screw it up week two. This has got to stop, and stop now. The inconsistency in the offensive play calling has been a problem for, oh, I don't know, 3 years? The university gives Tim 700,000 reasons a year to not screw this up. He should donate some cash to whatever charity Ameer Abdullah likes the most, today. Because Ameer saved his ass against McNeese State.
Saturday was a near travesty. In no way should Nebraska EVER be tied with an FCS school with minutes to play in the game. That stuff shouldn't happen at Nebraska. But the key word in "near travesty", is "near". Nebraska didn't lose. They won, barely. The fact is, if Nebraska rolls off some wins and is undefeated going into the Michigan State game, no one will give two squats about barely beating McNeese. They did win the game. It does go in the left handed side of the win/loss column. At the end of the day, that's all that matters. As of right now the B1G is the laughing stock of college football. All the big dogs in the conference lost on Saturday. The B1G has one team left with zero losses, and a Heisman candidate running back. Hopefully, the Huskers pull their heads out of their butts and become the torch bearer we all want them to be. But let's get one thing straight right now, I am not SEC fanboy (who is actually a Vanderbilt fan) who roots for the whole conference. I enjoy Ohio State losses, and sad Urban Meyer eating Papa John's pizza on a golf cart. I laughed while Notre Dame scored time after time on the portly, non-headset wearing head coach from Ann Arbor. Is it bad for the conference as a whole? Yes. Do I care? No. When it all comes down to it, if Nebraska wins, I'm happy (and probably drunk). So save it ESPN; I don't care what your ex SEC football player, commentators have to say about the B1G. We want a lot less David Pollak, and a LOT more Samantha Ponder. Mmkay?
P.S. Sorry in advance Fresno State. A lot of frustration from the McNeese State game will be taken out on you next week. Final score 92-0.