defense couldn't stop NU
In this world gone mad, where
Texas A&Ms offense rules and Nebraska cant win on the
road, a maddening fog descended on Kyle Field late Saturday night and
brought, of all things, clarity.
The world hasnt gone mad. Nebraska just disappeared for about
half a season.
Jamaal Lord suddenly looked like Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier. True
freshman David Horne began running like a true Nebraska I-back. And
the Big Red handed A&M a loss, something that hasnt always
been such an event.
All of it left Kyle Field in a fog (if you stayed at home, and many
of you did, you missed the fog), and now the Aggies are left to wonder
one thing. OK, two things.
Why did Nebraska choose this week to turn back into Nebraska? And where
has the Wrecking Crew gone?
Nobody can answer the first one. Nebraska has not been Nebraska this
season. Nebraska wasnt even Nebraska late last season.
Popular opinion around Aggieland this week suggested otherwise, but
lets be honest. The Cornhuskers dont lose to Iowa State
and Oklahoma State. Ever. The Cornhuskers dont fall out of the
Top 25. Ever.
Nebraska has done all of that, including losing its last five road games.
And even after beating A&M on Saturday, the Cornhuskers are still
in danger of having their worst season in like a million years ... or
Forget trying to figure out why Nebraska played like Nebraska on Saturday.
That the Cornhuskers acted like their old selves points to A&M,
not Nebraska, anyway.
In fact, it points to the Wrecking Crew.
A&Ms defense had its worst performance of the season, and
thats saying something. Considering how poorly A&M defended
against Texas Tech earlier this year, they Aggies have now proven that
they cant stop the run or pass.
Tech torched A&M for 474 passing yards, and Nebraska rushed for
381. Worse, Nebraska chalked up two (count them ... two!) 100-yard rushers.
Lord gained 159, and Horne had a career-best 128. Dahrran Diedrick added
85 yards and probably couldve busted the century mark considering
he averaged 5.7 yards a carry.
Overall, Nebraska gained 497 yards or more than it managed against
powerhouse programs like Troy State, Utah State and Missouri earlier
Should it matter that Tech and Nebraskas offensive outburst came
at Kyle Field? Maybe.
Should it matter that A&M played without defensive end Ty Warren
on Saturday? Ask the Cornhuskers. They went without their best rush
end, Chris Kelsay, so youll get no sympathy from Big Red.
And if Saturday is the best the Wrecking Crew can do, expect no sympathy
from whats left of the schedule. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and
Texas are certain losses if A&M cannot resurrect its defense.
A&M needs defense? That eerie fog shouldve come with its own
horror-film soundtrack. Fog and organ music from an old Vincent Price
movie wouldve been fitting considering how strange a year its
Think about it. First A&M finds an offense and now this.
In the good old days, Aggie fans could sit around and debate which Wrecking
Crew performance was the best of the year. Not anymore.
Technically, A&M gave up more yards to Tech, but Saturdays
effort against Nebraska game is worse because it happened on the ground.
The Aggies came in allowing just 76.9 rushing yards per game, good for
fifth in the nation. They held Virginia Techs Untouchables
(Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones) to 99 yards total and had gone like a million
without allowing a 100-yard rusher.
They allowed two and almost three on Saturday, and like Kyle Field,
the Wrecking Crew is beginning to lose its luster. Three home losses
this season are killing Kyle Fields reputation. The Kliff Kingsburys
and Jamaal Lords of the Big 12 are killing the Wrecking Crews.
Earlier this year, the Aggie defenders said they wanted to be the No.
1 unit in the nation. Many of us believed it was possible.
After all, anything is possible. Or was.
. Robert Premeaux Jr.s
e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org