Monday, September 22, 2014

Toast the U

Thanks to a lack of viable internet connection at our shitty Residence Inn, you'll have to forgive the lateness and the formatting of the below. The content, though, is as great as always:

PYB kicks off this fine Sunday, fortunate enough to get the Eagles and Redskins on local television. Inevitably, this means three full hours of shit talking from DeSean Jackson as he torches his old team during what should be a win versus the Washington Redskins and Super Statue Kirk Cousins. He sucks as a quarterback but is awesome since he gave an overrated speech at the Big 10 media event a couple years back. If Philly was smart enough to gameplan to neutralize Niles Paul, they may have a chance. 

On with the show:

As Husker Nation rejoices today, we feel somewhat unsatisfied. Somewhat flat. Is it the product of another late Eastern Time Zone kickoff or one borne of a win that looks good on paper but was an average performance made to look like a gem by adding some history, some window dressing, a big-name team and a couple in-game skirmishes? Right now, it matters not, as Nebraska is 4-0 after holding on to beat Miami 41-31. We’ll find out in two weeks. For now, enjoy it…the Huskers are the class of the Big 10. The hottest fat chick. The least slutty slut. Here we go:

--Ameer Abdullah: 229 yards. 6.5 yard per carry. Stud. Nebraska Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck was (finally) smart enough to keep pounding the football at the Hurricanes with his best player. To gut the fat Miami pigs up front. Same formula NU used 20 years ago. Novel concept. Nebraska’s program is stuck in the past in so many aspects. This should be another one. Next task for Beck and Co.: Get Abdullah off the kick return team so he doesn’t have to leave the field in favor of the lead-footed Imani Cross. Furthermore, an elite athlete should never have to leave the field after an eight-yard run.

--Tommy Armstrong: Solid performance, outside of the two turnovers. His fumble should have never happened, as he could have easily avoided contact. The interception was a bad throw, but the play was a worse idea. PYB, after watching the disaster against McNeese State, is pretty sure the wheel route should have been stricken from the playbook. Instead, it was brought back to life Saturday for no apparent reason.  PYB is an Armstrong fan. He needs to get better, and his coaches need to get better at protecting him from doing too much and highlighting his attributes. He ran tough Saturday and got a win when he could have melted. We’ll take that any day when compared to his limp-wristed predecessor.  (On a semi-related side note, Taylorina Martinez is now doing real estate in Orange County. Perfect profession for a brain-dead, no-talent asshole. He’ll fit right in in both a professional and geographical sense.)

--Defense: Bo Pinelli’s Blackskirts forced three turnovers and actually four if not for a bullshit roughing the passer flag that negated an interception. Trevor Roach made Nebraska Wesleyan rue the day that it didn’t lock him up earlier in the recruiting process when he forced a Duke Johnson fumble. Josh Mitchell scooped up the bouncing football and returned it for a touchdown, in what was likely a game-saving play.

Let us not forget that NU had a thin three-point lead with Miami driving at midfield and the Hurricanes holding all the momentum. The ‘Skirts surrendered 31 points and 435 yards to a team with a freshman quarterback that gained just 314 yards in a 31-13 loss to Louisville two games prior. The final Miami touchdown was a disappointment. True freshman Josh Kalu tried to line up fourth-year junior Daniel Davie and he still got torched.

So, the defense hung in there but we can’t shake the feeling that there are some major fucking holes with this unit. Not enough speed – watching Corey Cooper chase ball carriers is horrifying. Suspect coverage from the defensive backs on a too-consistent basis. Little impact from the linebackers, outside of easy-to-see, repeated errors. No hitters. Lack of depth due to injury/weed smoking/poor recruiting. With a lot of youth gaining experience, we’ll reserve final judgment for now, but major concerns are abound.

--Fights: Nebraska and its fans got their panties in a collective wad when Miami did what Miami does, especially since they aren’t any good at football anymore. They baited NU down into the mud where the pigs live. The very thing that Tom Osborne warned his 1994 team against in the Orange Bowl happened. Instead of ignoring the foolishness, Private Pinelli’s troops humored the Hurricanes and fully engaged them in their studio gangster ways. Waste of time. Loss of focus. Potential momentum changer. A lack of leadership and institutional control at its finest. Any junior college team can pick a fight. JUCO coaches make $30,000 -- not $3 million.

--NU fans: Memorial Stadium, for once, got loud. There’s nothing like deep-seated racism to bring out the venom from Ma & Pa Kettle in the West Stadium. There’s nothing like portraying a hapless, second-tier Hurricane player as a gangster to help get Granny in a lather as she declares her hate for Hip Hop Hogwash as an excuse to deride people of color that don’t play for Nebraska, wear dreadlocks and stand for anything else she hasn’t heard of in her 85 years listening to KFAB. Hell, we even saw the Behind-the-Head Bones Throw from a clueless fan late in the game. Unfortunately, we're still without a DVR and couldn't capture the image. Take our word for it -- it was pure chaos in Lincoln -- and if you don't believe it -- just ask any Nebraska fan!

--Cross: Can we put this career to rest now? It’s the humane thing to do.

--David Santos: He had his first notable performance as a Cornhusker. He'll need several more this season if his defense intends to trade its skirts for shirts...

--Tight ends: After a big week last week, they had zero catches yesterday. Less tight tend, more wheel routes. Apparently, they blocked well. We’re fine.

--Run game: As mentioned above, running the ball and sticking to it had amazing results. It’s called an identity. It’s called doing something over and over so that you eventually learn to do it well. It’s called getting a win without playing perfect football. Pound the fat, unconditioned opponent until you break their will then slash the throat. Maybe Beck can bask in the glory of this win long enough to quit dodging the media -- it never worked for NU's last quarterback or any successful player or coach for that matter.

So, it’s a win. It’s 4-0. Illinois is next. They suck. We’ll have at least a small gauge of Nebraska’s chances to have a meaningful season in two weeks against Michigan State. Sure, the Spartans’ quarterback is overrated and is a pocket passer. Both of those factors usually mean success for Bo Pinelli teams. 

MSU even provided a half game’s worth of resistance against Oregon (who almost lost to Washington State last night). Maybe this conference isn’t so fucking bad. Indiana won on the road against SEC-juggernaut Missouri yesterday. The Big 10 is back, and it’s here to stay!

Anyway, we’re still ho-hum after last night’s win. We received this text when asking why we felt this way. It pretty  much sums it up in about 2000 fewer words: “Until we win a game that means something I won’t celebrate like we did something great. We should beat Miami in Lincoln – they are an average team with a freshman quarterback. If we win at Michigan State and Wisconsin, I will celebrate. But any other game on our schedule we should win, and that’s my problem with the program – everyone is satisfied with the season now just because we beat an average Miami team. It’s just sad.”

We agree wholeheartedly, but also think our ambivalence to this win is part of a larger malaise sweeping college football. Florida State lost its rapist quarterback and almost lost in Tallahassee to Clemson until Clemson pulled a Clemson, which proves that the college game is now mostly about who has the best one or two superstars (which we’ve seen be the case since Reggie Bush and Vince Young). North Carolina gave up 70 to East Carolina. Utah gutted Michigan in Ann Arbor. Mississippi State dominated LSU in Baton Rouge. Ohio State was idle and should move up 15 slots in the rankings and into the top five.

The shit is watered down. Arguing about Jameis Winston for three hours on College Gameday is more important about analyzing Xs and Os. Getting a sideline reporter’s take on women’s rights trumps game analysis. It’s all a sideshow. Hey, it must be the money….

We interrupt this column to let you know that Niles Paul just dropped a Kirk Cousins pass and cost the Redskins a first down. Don’t blame Paul – he has small hands. 

On that note, we’ll ride into the sunset. We’ll await all the overhype for the Ryder Cup and watch the USA contingent act just a little bit too intense while Europe beats the shit out of them and has much more fun doing it. They’re fine!

Thanks for reading….PYB

PS - The rad 'Vette above was spotted in person Sunday, and its owner wins Douche of the Year.

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