September 16, 2007

USC-Nebraska: USC wins. Neither team shines. But NU fans are left to wonder.

LINCOLN, Neb.- Suffice to say the Bill Callahan era has taken another step back tonight.

Almost every Nebraska fan worth his salt that you ran into this week was saying the same thing: This was the biggest game in Lincoln in years.

Well it didn't turn out to be the biggest. It did possibly turn out to be the most telling.

(Bill Callahan said in the post-game that "he loves this team and where they're at". But does the Corn Nation feel the same way?)

Nebraska got a real close view at what big time college football looked like. The kind of big time college football that they used to set the example for. USC came into Memorial Stadium and played a smashmouth brand that even a Nebraska fan could look at longingly and admit they miss. SC had some late hiccups, but won convincingly 49-31.

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: USC wins. Neither team shines. But NU fans are left to wonder." »

September 15, 2007

USC-Nebraska: What would a USC game be without a picture of the Song Girls?

LINCOLN, Neb.- USC continues to dominate this game, this time increasing its lead to 49-17 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Allen Bradford with just under seven minutes left.

Because it's always requisite viewing at any USC game, here's a quick picture of the Song Girls.

Going down on to the field to go get some post-game quotes. I'm pretty sure I know what Pete Carroll will say, so I'll go get some from Bill Callahan in the Husker presser.

USC-Nebraska: NU finally gets more points. Still needs miracle.

LINCOLN, Neb.- It's been a while, but the Huskers finally dent the scoreboard again with a one-yard dive by Marlon Lucky to close the gap to USC 42 - Nebraska 17.

It had been since the 1:03 mark of the first quarter since NU had reached paydirt. Now, with most of the student section already making for the exits, USC needs to merely run basic plays and take good care of the ball to salt this one away.

Any three-and-outs or turnovers in their own territory by the Men of Troy and I'll have to go back to saying that the Cornhuskers still have a chance in this one.

USC-Nebraska: Yawn, I shoulda offered to cover the Ky-L'ville game

LINCOLN, Neb.- USC has just shut down Nebraska here in the third quarter and will probably score again and again (as long as they stay on the ground) and build on its 42-10 lead.

Meanwhile, CBSSportsline's Dennis Dodd and ESPN's Ivan Maisel both had that wild finish of the Kentucky-Louisville game on their laptops. Only question I had about that game, isn't Louisville supposed to play "wide as the widest and deep as the deepest" in that type of situation? That's what we were always told in our initial football practices of the season. How did that UK receiver get behind the defense? Aweful.

Then again, my high school team played better defense that this Louisville team.

USC-Nebraska: Forget "Neb-Colorado of '01" this is turning into "USC-Arizona State of '05"

LINCOLN, Neb.- Sam Keller just threw his second pick in as many drives and USC made it pay with a one-yard touchdown run by Chauncey Washington. The Trojans are now up 35-10.

As you all probably have heard ad nauseum this week, Keller threw five interceptions in that '05 game in Tempe, which made a 21-3 halftime lead melt into a 38-28 Trojan win.

We're only at the 9:14 point of the third quarter, so there's still time for NU to make it interesting. But they have to play - dare I say - error free from here on out.

USC-Nebraska: Okay, this is NOT what Nebraska needed

LINCOLN, Neb.- I told anybody who would bother to listen that if Nebraska got an early turnover in either half, it would make for a tight game and give them a chance.

Well, the second half starting with a tip-and-interception by USC was a dagger to the heart of the Huskers. SC just went five plays and 33 yards to go up 28-10 at the 11:29 mark of the third quarter.

Booty went to a wide-open Anthony McCoy for the two-yard touchdown pass.

This does two things, puts Nebraska well behind the 8-ball and pins USC's ears back on defense.

USC-Nebraska: Two cool things I'd like to point out


1- Just like when I was a kid going to these Nebraska games, the stadium staff always does a good job of updating scores from around the country. Back then they announced scores on a constant basis over the stadium P.A. Nowadays they do it by having a constant running scoreboard updates at the bottom of the JumboTron. Strong work Memorial Stadium peeps.

2- At halftime, the local TV station did a "halftime weather update" on the video board. It is now 54 degrees and the drive home conditions called for a chance of sprinkles. As the Grand Island native next to me pointed out, "This is the Midwest, things could change weather-wise in a hurry."

USC-Nebraska: Halftime Ruminations

USC takes a 21-10 lead into the locker room at the mid-point of the game.

So far, we've seen two games, the one before Vincent Joseph got hurt and the one after USC finally decided to play some smashmouth football, ala the Charles White days.

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: Halftime Ruminations" »

USC-Nebraska: "Like Colorado in 2001"

Is there a reason why USC even bothers to use its passing game?

The Trojans just went nine plays and 73 yards in 3:52 to go up 21-10.

Booty threw on first down three times during the drive, but the big chunk of yardage came on simple dive plays and trap plays. Stafon Johnson went right up the gut for the final yards and paydirt.

Shoulda heard the frustrated gasps that many of the press members let out on repeated USC running plays during that drive. One of them even blurted out "Like Colorado in 2001" after the touchdown run.

USC-Nebraska: Trojans move ahead 14-10. But what about Booty's Heisman campaign?


SC moves the ball 45 yards in five plays and goes up by four over Nebraska with 6:50 remaining in the half. The drive culminated on a 2-yard TD run by Stanley Havili.

Only problem is... all five plays were on the ground. Just like their first scoring drive, most (or in this case, all) of the yards came on the ground. Will John David Booty win a Heisman trophy with the student-body-right being the main weapon?

USC looked much better on that drive. But their defense is still looking leaky.

USC-Nebraska: Even the NU students are first class fans

LINCOLN, Neb. - After a long delay due to the injury and stretchered removal of USC's Vincent Joseph, I thought it was interesting that the students in Nebraska student section were standing and clapping as well as the rest of the stadium.

I guess they start the "best fans in the nation" early up here.

USC-Nebraska: NU moves ahead 10-7. USC still undisciplined


Let me say this, USC is getting good pressure on NU's Sam Keller, but the short, sharp passing game is riddling the Trojan D so far.

There's also the fact that USC is playing in its typical undisciplined manner - as has marked the Pete Carroll era.

- A disconcerning call on a field goal game NU a first down at the 2.
- A late hit on Keller gave the Huskers and extra 15 yards on this last drive.
- A near-disaster on fielding a punt inside the 10-yard line nearly put NU at the SC five.

This is not a good sign for Trojan fans. The fans are getting into the game more and more and other than those two long runs, the Husker defense has the right to think those were just flukes.

But a "whaddya doin'" look goes to Bill Callahan and company for moving deep into USC territory by mixing it up, then running Marlon Lucky three straight playes to stall the drive.

USC-Nebraska: Larry the Cable Guy/Will Farrell make JumboTron

Between the 1st and 2nd quarter, the video screen that is bigger than most Santa Monica house lots showed some Larry the Cable Guy and Will Farrell clips.

(Here's Larry the Husker Fan)

(Here's an even blurrier pic of Will on Talladega Nights)

Surprisingly, the loudest cheer from the crowd might've come from the clip of Farrell doing his "Need more Cowbell" clip on Saturday Night Live.

USC-Nebraska: What is "disconcerning?"

This game turning into a Big East scorefest for one.

NU just went on a 10 play, 52-yard drive to make this a 7-7 game with a minute left in the 1st quarter on a one-yard dive by Cody Glenn.

After setting up for a field goal and getting flagged for something the ref called "disconcerning" the Huskers punched the ball into the end zone two plays later

Guess that means the SC defense was imitating the "hut-hut" of the offense. And let me say, although I'm back up in the whisper-quiet press box, the stadium sounds a bit louder now. That will obviously help NU if they stick around in this game.

USC-Nebraska: Desmond Reed is right and the stadium ain't as loud as I thought it'd be.


After the Trojans swiftly drove down the field, USC reserve tailback stood up on the bench and turned to the fans in the West stands and yelled, "We don't care WHO'S house this is!"

(Okay, so I snapped this picture just after he turned back around. Damn. Sorry.)

Reed was right. SC goes 96 yards in four plays. In other words, went through the Blackshirt defense like freakin' milk. SC up 7-0.

Surprisingly, after spending the first two drives down on the field level, I found that the crowd wasn't as loud as I thought it would be. The frenzied fans of the NU-Texas game last year were much louder. Maybe the driving snowstorm helped.

USC-Nebraska: Tailgate report

LINCOLN, Neb. - Tailgates are fun. And alcohol seems to help bring out the true feelings in fans.

Just got back from a Nebraska tailgate just outside the stadium and a giant USC tailgate.

Think these fans picture here are pumped? Like something out of a KISS concert, the students waiting here at the gates of the student section were chanting "Open the F#@%in' doors!" wanting to race to their seats in the stadium two hours before gametime. Yeah, I think they're keyed up.

More about the tailgates, read on...

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USC-Nebraska: Three hours before Cornhusker Armegeddon


It's still three hours before kickoff and the Nebraska band is out practicing to a smattering of people in the stands.


This is the look of things from the press box right now, but imagine how wild this place will be with the endless amounts of red slapdashed all over the stadium. Last year's NU-Texas game was supposed to be the loudest this stadium has been since the 1978 Oklahoma game, so we'll see if it gets louder tonight.

Continue reading "USC-Nebraska: Three hours before Cornhusker Armegeddon" »

September 14, 2007

USC-Nebraska: The day before preview

LINCOLN, Neb. - This is a battle to see who hits the alarm clock first.

Both teams seem to be sleeping. Nebraska didn't light up the sky with its three-point escape at Wake Forest. And USC plodded its way through the Idaho game with its eyes seemingly at half-mast.

Both teams need a Red Bull. A Rock Star. And a couple of Jolt Colas.

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September 08, 2007

Deacons Want To "Paint It Black"

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