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Husker fans losing sleep over B1G loss PDF E-mail

You no doubt have seen the movie "Sleepless in Seattle?" Well, Saturday night’s main feature was titled "Sleepless in Nebraska."

The Husker Blackshirts, who gave up 70 points and a school-record 539 yards rushing to a 7-5 Wisconsin team, made a lot of folks in our state lose a lot of sleep following their meltdown.

It hurts. It hurts a lot. The loss sets the program back big-time. And it’s of no comfort listening to a coach in his post-game press conference not offering up a clue.

It hurts because the Huskers should be the team heading west to Pasadena with an 11-2 record, not the Badgers.

It hurts because Husker Nation was given the notion that Nebraska was on the cusp of being relevant again nationally.

And it hurts because Bo’s 29 seniors, all his players, failed miserably to lead this team to a B1G title.

Win this game and the Huskers are Top 10 material, at least on paper. Win this game and in only their second year in the league, they raise the banner as Big Ten champions. Win this game and the ghosts of Texas and Oklahoma in championship games all but disappear.

Oh sure, you could say the pressure was all on Nebraska and Pelini. Wisconsin? Heck, they had not a thing to lose as the third-best team in their division. They certainly played like it.

They threw caution to the wind and had fun. They were the more physical team. The Huskers? Same old, same old, and the defensive line got pushed around big time.

Speed on the edge? All Wisconsin, and Nebraska’s tackling was grade-schoolish.

But I’m not telling you something you don’t already know.

My question is, why isn’t Nebraska more consistent in their play, and where did our emotion and enthusiasm go? Nebraska had a three-year starter at quarterback; Wisconsin a senior who had started three games.

Away from home the Huskers just don’t have it. In Lincoln they feed off of the home crowd and play a much more physical brand of football, but away from home that all disappears.

Oh sure, they won close ones at Northwestern, at Michigan State and at Iowa, but how good are those teams? Remember, this is the B1G.

I’ve said all along that I’m just not sure how good this year’s team is, and Saturday night’s performance proved it. Badly outcoached, outflanked and outplayed sums it up.

So year two is pretty much in the books. Yes, the schedule gets easier and Nebraska will play eight home games next season. But there’s a matchup against Georgia on Jan. 1 down south that scares the living daylights out of me.

Any reason to think the defense won’t give up 70 points twice in a row?

Defense wins championships. Just watch how Notre Dame will do against Alabama.

Somehow, some way this program needs to find a spark when they play away from Tom Osborne Field. They need to play like SEC teams: with heart, with guts and with glory and quite frankly, they need to show more positive energy, from the head coach on down.

Bo was asked by a newspaper reporter following the loss where his program is right now. He didn’t answer. Or at least couldn’t.

Is that because he thought the question was silly, or was it because he simply didn’t know? I wonder how much sleep he got on Saturday night.

 

DAVE BRADLEY

can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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