Nebraska barely had to show up Saturday night to score its ugly upset over Oklahoma, as the Sooner offense did everything within their power to hand the game to the 'Huskers.
(The contrast in this game and the 2008 contest between these two teams embodies either how much the style of play has changed in the Big 12 or how much the league has regressed this season.)
That's not entirely fair, because the NU defense certainly had a hand in forcing OU's numerous offensive gaffes. Ndamukong Suh and Jared Crick harassed OU redshirt freshman Landry Jones all night, leading to a host of errant throws that often ended up in 'Husker hands. The Cornhuskers' defensive backs, led by safety Matt O'Hanlon, played ballhawking coverage all night and made the Sooners pay for Jones' errant throws.
Still, aside from running the clock, Nebraska's offense contributed next to nothing in the 10-3 win. OU outgained the ' Huskers 325 yards to 180 yards for the game, with NU throwing for a total of 39 yards. Nebraska converted just one of 14 third down attempts. Nebraska scored the only touchdown on a one-yard drive in the second quarter. (At that point, Homerism's associate E$ turned me and said, "If Nebraska gets another score, I don't like OU's chances." Turned out that they didn't even need that other field goal.)
There was no real mystery to OU's awful offensive output, though. Five interceptions and three missed field goals are what three-point games are made of.
There's a reason why freshmen start at quarterback for perennial powerhouse teams about as often as Bob Stoops smiles anymore. Despite the occasional flashes of brilliance, consistency is not their strongest suit. That kind of erratic play tends to rear its head on the road in particular, as OU fans witnessed tonight.
For Landry Jones, that's a game to grow on. With another road game looming in Lubbock, Sooner Nation is hoping he grows up quickly.
Other thoughts from a wild day on the college football gridiron:
*Oregon's loss is Boise's loss, too. I really don't see Boise making a BCS bowl at this point.
*If you're Brian Kelly, does Notre Dame really look like a step up?
*Matt Barkley will likely turn out to be an outstanding quarterback for USC, but it now looks like the talk of his preternatural maturity was overblown.
*Something to consider about the struggles of young quarterbacks: At this point in the season, defensive coordinators have accrued a decent amount of film on the youngsters. They're no longer unknown quantities. People have a better idea of what they can and can't do. In that respect, the "advantage" of being new erodes as the season wears on.
*Julio Jones' explosive catch-and-run touchdown in Alabama's big win over LSU showed off why he's such a big key for the Crimson Tide offense, even when he's not filling out the stat sheet.
*Why not Ricky Dobbs for the Heisman?
*The Houston-Tulsa game is the first push for either Homerism or The Skinny in two seasons of Picks Trying Not to Suck.