09.29.2010 / Huskers embarrassed by their win against South Dakota State. Blog posting by Mike Babcock, Huskers Illustrated Magazine.
Such a situation is no win, as the Nebraska victory against South Dakota State illustrates. South Dakota State competes in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, one level below the Football Bowl Subdivision in which Nebraska competes. Among the obvious differences, FCS programs offer a maximum of 63 scholarships, while FBS programs offer 85.
"For us to show up like that, at home, I am embarrassed, Pelini said."
FBS teams can count only one victory against FCS teams towards its total for bowl eligibility. So FBS teams are expected to win against FCS teams, and convincingly. When they don’t, well, there’s cause for concern, as was the case with the Huskers’ 17-3 victory. To add to the perception problem, South Dakota State brought a 0-2 record to Memorial Stadium, its losses coming against Delaware and Illinois State, also FCS programs.
With that as context, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini had this to say after the two-touchdown victory, the Huskers’ fourth of the season: “Give those guys credit. That football team out-coached us. That’s my fault. They outplayed us. That’s my fault. I didn’t get our football team ready to play. “We didn’t execute. We played bad football. Tonight, we were a bad football team, and that’s my fault. It’s squarely on my shoulders, I promise you.”
Junior linebacker Lavonte David had a different take. “As a player, I feel like it’s on us,” he said. In any case, the problem was one of execution not want-to, according to Pelini. “You have to have consistency,” he said. “For us to show up like that, at home, I am embarrassed.”
South Dakota State ran 20 plays, Nebraska only eight, in a scoreless first quarter. The Huskers scored both of their touchdowns in the second quarter, managing just a field goal in the second half.
What would have been a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown by South Dakota State’s Derek Domino early in the fourth quarter was nullified by an illegal-block penalty, before an interception by the Huskers’ Alfonzo Dennard a minute and a half later ended the Jackrabbits’ last serious threat.
The game was a “reality check,” said David, who was credited with a game-high 19 tackles, the most by a Husker since 2004, when Barrett Ruud made 19. “We expected a blowout,” David said. “That’s on us.”
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After this weekend’s performance against South Dakota State, do you still think Nebraska will win the Big 12 Championship? Come on Husker fans, let us know what you think...
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