And while gross and not sportsmanlike, it's not really "dirty". (Until the offenders own up to this, I suggest that the team not get their post-game snack after the Texas Tech game.) When I first heard of the charge, I figured it had to do with Zac Potter's personal foul after hitting Daniel early in the first quarter. But while it was a helmet-to-helmet hit, it wasn't late at all. In contrast, while reviewing my recording of the game to find the Potter hit, I noticed a Sean Weatherspoon late hit on Joe Ganz, who had just fired a touchdown pass to Nate Swift. Weatherspoon, who wasn't flagged, took two steps and launched into Ganz helmet first. No flag, either for initiating contact with the helmet or for the late hit. One late hit doesn't make either team "dirty" however.
It was a rough night for the officials, who also failed to stop the clock when Nate Swift caught a pass and ran out of bounds with 1:05 left in the first half. A couple of questionable calls involving Denario Alexander. In the first quarter, getting a pass interference call on Anthony West even though the only way he would have caught the ball was out of bounds. In the second quarter, Alexander could have been flagged for offensive interference on Armando Murillo's interception attempt.
But don't get me wrong...the officals didn't cost the Huskers this game. The Tigers stomped the Big Red fair and square. Nebraska needs to get the penalty situation ironed out...and quickly. When you have 14 penalties and go minus-two on turnovers against a great team like Missouri, you're begging for a 52-17 butt-kicking.
Wow...14 penalties? Enough is enough, gentlemen (and I use the term loosely). That includes the staff as well. Time to start playing smarter out there.
I've got to be honest here. There has been absolutely zero buzz about UNO hockey this offseason. Even the media and coaches picked them eighth in the CCHA in the preseason polls. But suddenly, some buzz started to come out of the team itself. First head coach Mike Kemp:
Then senior Dan Charleston:
"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."
The biggest criticism of UNO hockey in recent years is that the Mavs have been fast, but vastly undersized. Best example is the 9-2 squashing that Boston University put on the Mavs in the 2006 NCAA regional. Bigger and faster? If that's for real, and not some preseason marketing hype, this could be exactly what UNO hockey needs.
"We have a really fast team, a lot faster than the last three teams I've been on here with the Mavericks."
UNO might also get some promotional marketing out of Governor Sarah Palin once the election is over. (Heck, she says "Mavericks" enough that they've made a drinking game out of it!) Last night, Palin gave a speech in downtown Omaha at the run-down Civic Auditorium and was awarded one of UNO's cursed black sweaters from the Mavs horrible 2003-04 season where they finished dead last. Hopefully, she'll wear it proudly! Of course, I'm sure that'll go over well in her home state with University of Alaska Nanook fans...especially when UNO heads to Fairbanks in mid January.
(Two Palin comments in a week? Is this suddenly becoming a political blog?)