And Texas is BACK -- just ask ESPN -- after winning a game at home against Notre Dame, a 4.5-point favorite. On with the show, where we'll jump in with some randomly quick thoughts. A win where Nebraska held serve (first-ever PYB tennis reference) against a crappy Fresno State team deserves nothing more.
- Local media outlets fawned, as always, over Nebraska's proven mediocrity, claiming Terrell Newby's performance was a 'night-and-day' difference from 2015. That, when even a casual fan can see he's the fourth-best running back in a four-man rotation and that he simply doesn't have the juice. Statistics support it. Newby ran for 5.1 yards a carry, while his two backups ran for more than six and seven yards a tote, respectively. Add that to rave reviews for Ross Dzuris, who did nothing for PYB but bring back flashes of Mike Petko. We'll watch the tape later today to make sure he's not the next Grant Winstrom, just in case we're being hasty with our negativity.
- We were glad to see De'Mornay Pierson-El not involved in the game, sent to timeout after fumbling a handoff in the first half. All the while, Jordan Westerkamp keeps getting the call to run back and ensure NU's punt return game remains a non-factor. Considering special teams can sway games in a team's favor, we're happy that Nebraska continues to ignore that phase of the game. Jason Garrett would be mortified.
- Most concerning in our eyes was the lack of explosiveness on the offensive end. Very few home-run hitters, especially at running back. With Tommy Armstrong throwing just 10 passes, who knows about the receiving corps.
- That said, we were also glad to see that tight end Cethan Carter caught zero passes.
- The Big Ten Conference made a statement Saturday, winning three games against MAC opponents and losing JUST one. #BIG
- Nebraska lined up in a cheesy extra-point formation, allegedly something they'd installed to maximize Sam Foltz's athletic ability. After his death, they opted to keep it in. Following NU's touching delay-of-game tribute, followed by Fresno State's declining of that penalty, what better way to repay an opponent's classy gesture than by going for two with a 34-10 lead. DOUBLE EXTRA POINT! DOUBLE EXTRA POINT!!
- Nebraska defenders racked up two targeting penalties, and one ejection. Both were bullshit. Luke Gifford's was for patty-caking the Fresno quarterback, and Aaron Williams' was for hitting a defender in the shoulder on a crossing route inside the 10-yard line. Williams was also justifiably flagged for his embarrassing post-hit flexoff. PYB was under the impression that NU was going to use rugby techniques to solve all tackling woes this season. Guess not.
- Devine Ozigbo was the best Cornhusker running back Saturday night, running for 103 yards on 17 carries. NU will still need to find a change-of-pace back that can score from distance.
- PYB hopes punter Caleb Lightbourn improves quickly, or a weak special teams unit will become a full-blown achilles heel.
- Kieron Williams looked good, playing fast and with fury and hitting with authority. NU will need that in all 12 games, as well as in the Big 10 Championship and the two BCS playoff games.
- Lamar Jackson got torched on multiple occasions. He looked athletic, however, and PYB hopes for rapid improvement from the freshman cornerback. Hell, he can't be worse than Nebraska's recent crop of defensive backs, so there's hope there. As a whole, the defense looked more capable and faster -- we'll see how that plays against a mediocre team in the coming weeks.
- Random question: How can all 100+ teams in college football have the "Best Fans in College Football"? Is it for the same reason that every religion believes in its God, even though there are thousands of religions worldwide. We're fucking confused.
All for now. Enjoy your holiday.