11.15.2010 / The Huskers Head to College Station for a Show Down with the Aggies. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine
Never mind that Kansas came to town ranked 87th nationally in total offense. The Jayhawks did things offensively they had not done in previous games, things Nebraska had not seen, things (that) to the naked eye may not be obvious, Husker defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said following the 20-3 victory.
"Coach Bo Pelini said, I thought it was a really solid performance. You do not hold somebody to under 100 yards without playing good football."
“But it requires our guys to adjust, to fit things very differently, coverage wise and run wise.” The Huskers adjusted, did they ever, limiting Kansas to 87 total yards. “We were spot-on today,” said Pelini. “I can’t think of a mistake we made, in terms of our run fits.”
And the Jayhawks’ inability to run the ball created serious problems for their quarterback, Quinn Mecham, who went into the game with 17 consecutive pass completions, dating to the second quarter of the previous game, a dramatic, come-from-behind 52-45 victory against Colorado. Mecham completed his first two passes to extend the streak to 19. But he would complete only one other, finishing 3-of-13 for 15 yards, with one interception.
Oh yes, he was sacked six times, two each by Jared Crick and Lavonte David. “I’m very impressed, but also I knew we could do that,” Crick said. The key was stopping Kansas on first and second down, leaving third-and-long situations. “We’re a scary group come third-and-long,” said Crick, who finished with nine total tackles.
Husker cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who missed the previous game at Iowa State because of a concussion suffered against Missouri, intercepted the Mecham pass. Defensively, “front to back, we executed well,” coach Bo Pelini said. “I thought it was a really solid performance. You don’t hold somebody to under 100 yards without playing good football.”
In contrast, Nebraska’s offense was inconsistent, finishing with 397 yards and the 20 points against a Kansas defense that ranked 90th nationally – and 107th in average points allowed. The offensive inconsistency didn’t provide extra motivation for the defense, however, according to Crick. “We’re always motivated,” he said. “We’re a very motivated bunch.”
The Blackshirts helped spoil former Husker player and assistant Turner Gill’s return as Kansas head coach. And they helped pull Nebraska closer to a return trip to the Big 12 Championship game at Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 4. Nebraska needs one more victory to lock up the North Division. “I honestly didn’t know that ‘til right now,” Crick said when asked about it.
His concern is the next game at Texas A&M, and “A&M only,” he said. “Can’t say much more about that.
For more great content on the Huskers, check out Huskers Illustrated Magazine, Huskers Illustrated or babcockandbabcock.com.
What did you think of the Huskers game this past weekend against Kansas? Any predictions on who will win the Big 12 South- Oklahoma or Oklahoma State? Come on Husker fans, post your comments NOW!