You know, I thought having better internet access at home would enable me to write on here more often. I had every intention of following through on that, but I've realized that my writing (and the frequency of it) rises and (especially) falls with the Huskers. When it's spring, or when the Huskers are doing well, I write more. It's hard to say much about the latter part of that, because I've only written about NU since the spring of '07. We all know that since that time that the Huskers have been anything but good. When we lose, and especially when we lose big, it's tough to write about. It's like finding out your girlfriend is cheating on you: you still love her, but you don't want to talk about how the bitch tore your heart out. The disappointment is always palpable, but this last week was just brutal. It's not that I expected us to beat Mizzou. I knew that Chase Daniel would be lethal. I knew Maclin would run wild. But still, I held on to the false hope that with proper coaching and Memorial Stadium behind them, that the Huskers would at least slow down the Tiger attack and keep it respectable.
No such luck.
For the second year in a row, we got our asses beat by Mizzou on national television. Adding insult to injury, Daniel accused a still-unnamed Husker player of spitting on him, also calling our entire team "dirty". While the spitting is inexcusable, at least we were punishing their QB consistently, even if it was after he had already thrown the ball. The question is, how do you get to the QB if he throws the ball in less than 2 seconds?
It's a problem that Pelini is no doubt addressing this week in preparations for Texas Tech. I don't even want to think about what's going to happen in Lubbock. Obviously, the same crap we were preaching about last week (ball control, keeping the opposing offense off the field, running the ball, etc) applies to this week as well....the question is, will it actually happen this time? I'm not getting my hopes up. Our run game is, in a word, awful. I don't care how many quotes I have to read from people saying "It was really close, we're one missed assignment away" and s*it like that. You know why? Because those are excuses, and to quote a wise man, they're like assholes because everyone has one. If it was really one missed assignment, how does it seem to happen on every damn play? We seem to be amazingly consistent at just missing a big play.
For a few weeks now, a lot of people (myself included) have bitched and moaned that maybe if Helu had more of Lucky's reps that we would start being more effective. Well it's become blatantly apparent that the running backs are the least of our problems. Whether it's the gameplan, the mindset of an offensive line that has been accustomed to dropping into pass blocking for the past four years, or whatever, something has to be done to fix the running game or we will continue to get our asses kicked by the high-octane offenses of the Big 12.
So where do we go from here? I was one of those people who thought 8 or 9 wins was realistic this year, but anyone who has seen the Huskers the past couple of weeks knows that bowl eligibility is really what we should be shooting for at this point. I'm not sure whether Iowa State has improved that much or Kansas just had a rough week, but all of a sudden the match-up in Ames doesn't look like a sure thing anymore. At least we still have Baylor on the schedule.....though it seems that they are steadily improving as well. I really don't know what to think anymore. But when fans are half-joking about selling their fandom, which my brother did (though he quickly brushed it off) after the Mizzou loss, it's become apparent that this is going to be another rough fall. The bright side tomorrow? At least with the Red River Shootout and LSU-Florida going on tomorrow, the attention should be off of us for the most part.
Like Andy Dufrense, I am clinging to hope like it's all I have, because we are going to need it to get through this season and the cold winter ahead. I still believe we have the right guy, I still believe that the football Gods will again smile upon us, but it won't be this year. That said, if there was ever time to steal a game, tomorrow would be it. Well, that or in Norman in a couple of weeks......