Saturday, November 27, 2010
The following was written in the Nebraska Sports Journal a while back. Good memories; especially with the Big 12 coming to an end for Nebraska. Of course this was back in the Big 8 days.
It was No. 1 Nebraska vs. No. 2 Oklahoma in front of 63,000 fans at Owens Field. Never has the quality of a game been so strong. Yes, there has been buildup of many games over the years. This game, however, featured two teams that performed brilliantly all day long. The errors of the game included three turnovers by Oklahoma and one by Nebraska. There was only one penalty the whole day, an offside penalty against Nebraska.
Oklahoma ran the record breaking Wishbone T. Nebraska was able to stop the main weapon of Greg Pruitt's end runs but was not able to stop the keeper, fullback, or most of the passing game.
Nebraska ran the I spread and the I slot. Oklahoma took away Nebraska's passing attack but Nebraska was able to the run the ball effectively. The difference in the game is the play all Nebraska fans remember. It was Johnny Rodger's punt return. It was the play we have heard called by Lyle Bremser a billion times and it is never enough. That play was the difference in the game that day.
Joe Wylie punted the ball high and deep which helped Rodgers' return. Oklahoma was down to him when he caught the ball. You can't describe the run. You have all seen it. Rodgers went 72 yards for the score!! He should have called a fair catch the way they had him covered. Greg Pruitt spun him around. Ken Jones almost had him. He darted, caught his balance, twisted, dodged, disappeared a couple of times and then ran for the end zone. Joe Blahak bumped Joe Wylie out of the way. He put the fans in the aisles. Man, woman, and child!!!
The Cornhuskers twice were able to get 11 point leads that day; 14-3 in the second quarter and 28-17 in the third quarter. Remember the punt return was in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the ballgame. But the punt return forced OU to fight from behind most of the day.
With seven minutes to go in the game, OU's QB Jack Mildren had ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more. Nebraska had the best defense in the country but Oklahoma had 467 total yards. Oklahoma also had a 31-28 lead. It was reported that Devaney lost his temper and yelled at the defense on the sideline "Why can't you guys give Rich Glover some help once in a while?" Rich Glover seemed to be doing it all that day.
Then is was NU's Jerry Tagge's turn to direct NU on the winning 74 yard drive. "Nobody said a word in the huddle but me," Tagge said. "We all just knew what had to be done." And they did it.
The drive took 12 plays and over five minutes. Jeff Kinney ran for 30 yards on two plays early in the drive. He broke a few tackles. Do you remember his torn up jersey? Tagge hit Rodgers on a third and eight with Rodgers making a great catch.
Jeff Kinney ran the ball into the end zone with little time left running behind All American Daryl White. Nebraska won 35-31 and we all felt great for hours, days, months, and years to come.
Alabama, behind Bear Bryant beat Auburn 31-7. A little bit of an upset as Pat Sullivan was the QB for Auburn. He would win the Heismann that year. All American Johnny Musso was the star for Alabama. Alabama was headed to the Orange Bowl to play Nebraska. We had never beaten Bear Bryant.
It was No. 1 Nebraska vs. No. 2 Alabama in the Orange Bowl for the National Championship. Jeff Kinney scored a touchdown followed by a 77 yard punt return by Johnny Rodgers. Jerry Tagge ran for a touchdown and so did Gary Dixon before half. NU led 28-0 at half.
Rich Sanger had a field goal and Van Brownson, subbing for Jerry Tagge scored also. NU went on to win 38-6 and beat Bear Bryant for the first time in three tries. Nebraska had won its second National championship in two years!!!!
Caleb Walker had some key plays from Nebraska and Drake Beranek ignited the crowd with a three. There were only 6000 at the game tonight. Hopefully with the victory the men's team attendance will grow.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Let's start with turnovers. Cody Hawkins can throw the ball but he is nimble-quick and NU should have a lot of good things happen when we put pressure on him. Hopefully we won't be flagged for some of the hits because we will have a lot of them. Fumbles and interceptions. We should have at least four of them tomorrow. Yes NU will turn the ball over once or twice but four or more for Colorado will be more than we have been getting. Last week it was zero.
Cody Green is a little scary but he is definitely better than this writer has previously given him credit for. We have never lost a game when Cody Green starts and we won't this week. I just hope we don't run the same running offense we have been running. Run power football. Set up in an I formation and run the fullback now and then. THROW TO MIKE MCNIEL!!
The crowd will be loud and fired up. Last week's game got everybody's adrenalin going. Tom Osborne has asked for our support. A couple of early Colorado turnovers will have this crowd rockin.
Last week's mess is over with and after this game, we will forget about the events for a few days.
Look to Nebraska to win 37-10.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Count me as a big fan of Lions 'BY JEFF SEIDEL
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST
Over the years, I have grown to hate several professional football players.
OK. Hate is a bit strong, and I used to put my kids in a time-out if they ever used that word. So my bad, put me in a time-out, and let me explain.
Years ago, in my first lifetime, I covered the NFL. I was the beat writer for the . I went to all their practices and games, and I know this might sound like a dream job, but it was harder than you might think, mainly because, um, for most of the time I was in Minneapolis; my fingers were frozen together because is so close to the North Pole.
Being a sports writer can make you hate sports because the relationship between the news media and the players is like a bad marriage. Basically, the players looked at sports writers as vultures, a characterization I can't dispute.
One time during the off-season, I was on deadline and needed to interview a player, but he was in a rush. Another writer and I were brought into an off-limits area, and we interviewed the player as he showered. Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub.
I held my tape recorder into the steam, praying I wouldn't drop it. And he was one of the good guys. Other players were jerks. They wouldn't even talk when they were fully clothed.
Over time, I grew cynical about all professional athletes.
But that quickly changed after spending some time around , up close and personal, and best of all, it didn't involve a shower.
A few weeks ago, the rookie showed up at my son's football practice. Seriously. Suh is friends with one of the players' dads and he came out to watch. "Good luck in the playoffs," Suh told the boys. "I'm going to try to catch one of your games."
Of course, I didn't believe him.
Then something surprising happened. A few weeks later, Suh came to a game. He sat in the front row on a cold , cheering for a bunch of 9- and 10-year-olds.
"Come on ref," a voice screamed. "You suck pickle juice!"
Whoops, that wasn't Suh. He's too classy. That was me.
Anyhow, Suh bought all the boys hot dogs and hot chocolate. Granted, this guy makes a gazillion dollars a year, but the gesture was touching. And I stood there thinking, this guy is seriously cool.
"He is all about the kids," said parent Terri Markray. Her son Tyler talked some trash to Suh. "Did you see my touchdown?"
Suh just smiled. It's like he has turned into an honorary member of the Lakes Area Hawks.
After the game, Suh walked onto the field and the team circled around him. "You did a great job out there," Suh said. "You played hard."
The boys were in awe, looking up at this giant. Suh patiently signed autographs and posed for pictures. It was just a small moment, but it was real and genuine, an amazing opportunity to see a different side of a pro football player.
And now, I have an admission to make: This old, cynical, crusty reporter has turned into a big fan of a man named Suh.
Contact Jeff Seidel: or email@example.com
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Texas A & M is a team we better be at our best playing this week. They are a "hot" team with their new quarterback. They are dangerous. If Martinez is healthy and he is able to run like he did before the injury, look to Nebraska winning 35-24.
Of course, if we play like we did against South Dakota State or Texas or our offense struggles like they did against Kansas, watch out. We will be 9-2 when we play against Colorado. So if Nebraska plays like they can, we will win in a close one. If we don't, it's loss number two. Texas A & M is too good to not be at our best.
Our head coach said some disturbing things this week. Let's start with the him saying he really didn't care much for the tradition we had with Kansas. He wasn't around for much of it so it doesn't seem to matter to him. Wasn't that one of Bill Callahan's problems was he didn't understand tradition.
He was correct that the fans weren't very excited at the game with Kansas. The reason being there wasn't much to get fired up about on the offensive side. This writer doesn't understand the last couple of passes at the end with the first team on the field either. What was the point?
Sometimes the refs might be right also. They can't be wrong on every play. Why yell at them constantly. My guess is the result is more flags. It is human nature to get back at those that are constantly nagging about everything.
I think our defensive coaching is great but for us to be looked at by other schools, other fans, and referees as a second class team is embarrassing for this Nebraska fan. I'd rather take another loss here and there than to feel like we can act anyway we want because we think we are better than them. We pay our coaches a ton of money to represent Nebraska. Let's earn our money.
On offense we need to run more power football. Our offensive line is pretty good and what will it ever take to let the fullback run the ball. That's tradition. That's Nebraska football. Throw to Mike McNeil. He's OPEN and probably our best receiver. WE have a great football team. Use the weapons.