Forget Baylor, Let's Focus on the Huskers!
October 21, 2001
by Jason Waganer
Does anyone really care that Baylor got a moral victory Saturday afternoon in Norman? Does anyone really think the Sooners weren't looking forward to next Saturday's showdown with the third ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln? I didn't think so. So let's do what the coaches and players are doing, and forget Baylor and focus on the much anticipated battle of the Big Reds.
I know there are a few concerns that the pitiful performance against Baylor showcased. Like the Sooners horrendous offensive line play. But let's not over-evaluate it. The Sooners were playing with two inexperienced linemen for much of the game and were playing with a quarterback getting his first start. Let's hope it was a mirage and that the coaches will fix the apparent problems. If not, next week will be a really long afternoon for Sooner QB Jason White. Below are a few of my early thoughts and notes on the upcoming game with the Huskers.
* Next week, a streak will definitely end in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers currently have the nation's longest home winning streak at 19 games and the Sooners have the nation's longest winning streak overall at 20. Something's gotta give.
*ESPN College Gameday will make its third appearance at an OU game this season when it airs Saturday morning from Lincoln. Analyst Kirk Herbstreit has picked the Sooners both times this season while his counterpart Lee Corso has picked against the Sooners both times. Corso recently said he's not picking against the Sooners anymore. But don't worry about a jinx Sooner fans, the only time Corso has actually picked the Sooners was last year against the Huskers. And you know what? He was right.
*The Sooners suffered injuries to couple of offensive linemen Saturday night. However, both are expected to play in next weekend's big contest. The Huskers also had several key injuries during their 41-31 win over Texas Tech. The Huskers suffered injuries to two offensive linemen, their starting fullback and one of their starting defensive backs. The Huskers were also without their starting tight end and their backup fullback. Most are expected to play next week, but we'll keep an eye on the situation.
*Husker Senior quarterback Eric Crouch is now 32-5 as a starter, becoming just the 19th quarterback in Division I-A history to record 32 wins as a starter. He ranks one win behind Tommie Frazier on the Nebraska school-record list. Crouch is also the NCAA Division I-A record holder for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, passing Ohio's Kareem Wilson's (49).
*Crouch threw one interception last weekend against Tech, but the Red Raiders dropped several more that they had legitimate shots at. One would think that the Sooners' talented defensive backfield wouldn't drop them. The Red Raiders allowed the Huskers to rush for 335 yards (105 yards by Crouch). The Red Raiders entered the game as the 109th ranked defense against the run. The Sooners are one of the nation's best. It's going to be fun to watch that critical battle Saturday.
*Tech had tremendous success throwing the ball against Nebraska's offense. The Red Raiders completed 34 of 64 passes for 373 passing yards. Nebraska played mostly man coverage against the Raiders and shouldn't be expected to play the Sooners any differently on Saturday which could lead to some big plays. Tech also rushed the ball 17 times for 67 yards (which includes four sacks). That adds up to 440 yards of total offense for the Tech offense. Maybe Nebraska was looking forward to OU too, but if not, the Sooner coaches are probably chomping at the bit.