Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Long Cold Night in Kansas City

The tone for tonight's Big XII Championship Game was set in the first three plays:
  • An ill-advised trick play on the opening kickoff, with the reverse putting the Huskers in a hole deep in their own territory.
  • Maurice Purify fumbles after making the reception for a short game.
  • Oklahoma takes advantage, scoring in one play.
The rest of the game, the Huskers played catchup, but time and time again, the Huskers would make a crucial mistake. 5 turnovers? Having the Sooners bottled up with a 3rd and 11 from their own 1 foot line, and then letting them go 99 2/3 yards in the next 9 plays?

My initial thought is that the difference between Oklahoma and Nebraska was in execution, not talent. The Blackshirts played admirably, and the offense moved the ball well at times. But for the most part, Nebraska shot themselves in the foot time and time again, and Oklahoma took advantage of it.

Prime example? In the third quarter, Nebraska lines up for a 42 yard field goal. It's blocked, and Oklahoma returns it for a touchdown. But Nebraska lucked out because the play was nullified by another Husker mistake: a delay of game penalty. So on 4th and 7, Nebraska decides to go for it, but gets called for a false start. 4th and 12 now, and Nebraska takes the safe route, and Rickey Thenarse downs the punt at the OU 1. But Oklahoma drives the field and scores to take a 21-7 lead.

Don't let anyone try to tell you that tonight's game was lost because of talent, it was lost because Oklahoma executed and Nebraska didn't.

Any doubts now why Bob Stoops was coach of the year?


AJ said...

Oklahoma's virtue of their numbers this year...state they are better than yours.

I see what you're getting're just wrong.

Sorry. Those guys can play defense, and don't have the DB and linebacker issues that you do. The Huskers were saved a big margin loss by the outstanding play of the front four. If Moore and company don't play as well against a team averaging 180 ypg rushing...then you get pounded.

I don't see it as execution, but what do you expect? It's me you're talking about here. :)

Husker Mike said...

Oklahoma's defense is superior to Nebraska's, but Nebraska's offense was superior to Oklahoma's this season overall. In fact, Oklahoma might have one of the best defenses in the country.

Nebraska's defense stepped it up huge last night, but the turnovers on offense killed Nebraska last night. Some of those turnovers were forced by the Sooners, but not all. If Zac Taylor doesn't woefully underthrow Nate Swift, that's a Husker touchdown instead of an interception. That's a huge swing, and that's execution in my book.

AJ said...

Disagree. It was a great play by a fast free-safety who read Taylor's eyes.

Also, don't lose sight of the blocked Field Goal that was called back by a split second. That was a huge play that got lost because of the downed punt.

Jon Johnston said...

We played much better than I thought we would - with the obvious exception of the turnovers. I was surprised at how well both of our lines played.

We held them to less than 50 rushing, outgained them, out-nearly everythinged them, but again, turnovers kill.
Should be interesting to see how we fair against Auburn.