Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Night Beer: Chalco Dreams Fading Away

Ugghh...what a crappy evening this has been. Internet acting up, car acting up, phone calls from work. But enough of my misery...

Sarpy County administrator Mark Wayne finally came out and admitted that Sarpy County may not be able to build a baseball stadium after all. It's the classic catch-22. The stadium is going to cost much more they forecast, and they competing against Omaha. Omaha is planning on some sort of professional baseball, and businesses don't want to commit to Sarpy County's plans. Problem is that MECA and the Royals aren't talking much these days as both are holding out to see what the best deal is going to be. Right now, it looks like a two horse race between downtown Omaha and Sugarland, Texas, with Sarpy County stuck in neutral.

My co-authors over at CornNation surprised me by naming Bo Pelini their "Big XII Cob of the Week" today. I guess the honeymoon ends after three games. To be sure, the team struggled on Saturday night, but honestly, how badly would Virginia Tech have beaten the 2007 Huskers? Jon points out the "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" penalty, but I'd argue that the impact of that penalty is vastly overrated. The killer was the original late hit flag, which turned 4th and 3 at the NU 35 into 1st and 10 at the NU 20. Yeah, 1st and 10 at the NU 10 made it a little easier to score, but the original late hit was the demoralizing blow. One could even argue that it left a little more time on the clock for the Huskers to mount a comeback.

I gave serious thought towards nominating Shawn Watson myself, as I felt the problems on Saturday night started on offense. The decision to abandon the running game early in the first quarter dug the Huskers into a 9-0 hole. Some people said that we "couldn't" run the ball against the Hokies, but the stats show otherwise. Here are our first quarter rushes from our I-backs: Castille for 4 yards, Lucky for 4 yards, Helu for 4 yards, blocked punt, interception, Helu for 9 yards. Second quarter: 2 I-back rushes, 15 Joe Ganz passes/scrambles. Yeah, that's a balanced attack. But I felt that Watson deserves a little more opportunity since it was really just his fourth game as the "true" offensive coordinator.

UNO's hockey squad was picked to finish eighth in the CCHA this season by both the coaches and media. Probably fair, since there aren't a lot of reasons to rate them higher. UNO's defensive corps was rather green last year, and it showed last season. This season they'll have a little more experience. This season, the Mavs will need one or both goaltenders to finally step their games up to the next level. Mike Kemp sounds optimistic going into the season:
"We're going to be a different looking team from what we've been the past few years. We're bigger and stronger, but we've also been able to maintain a lot of our team speed. We're excited to get going, definitely."
If he's blowing smoke, UNO hockey could be heading back into the doldrums they found themselves from 2001 to 2003. If he's speaking the truth, things could get exciting on the ice this fall.


Ron said...

I couldn't find an email address so I'll comment. Good luck to the Huskers in their shot at the National Championship. I put a link to your site on my Nebraska page at Heavyweight Football Champs. I won't link it here but you can google it to find out more. At that point please feel free to delete this post. Thanks.

Ryan said...

Husker Mike,

Tend to agree with you on the onus for last weekend's loss falling more on the offense than the defense. Couldn't believe the difference that it made when Watson moved Ganz back under center after running him out of the shotgun for the second quarter. That is when things started happening on offense. With him being in the shotgun the line didn't show the speed to keep up with the ends and Ganz had nowhere to bail out to. Once he moved him back under center, the line could just let the ends go upfield and Ganz had some escape routes when there wasn't an option to go to with the pass. Hopefully, Shawn learned a few things. I still think that he should be on the sidelines instead of sitting up in the box. Gives the coordinator a better feel for his players' mentality and makes it a little easier to adjust on the fly!!!