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September 3, 2012
As Nebraska gets ready to go on the road this week at UCLA, it's important the Huskers don't get too high on themselves after their dominating performance against Southern Miss.
We've seen this in the past few seasons after a big performance the Huskers will lay an egg the next week in a game they are picked to win.
Last season after a breakthrough win over Michigan State the Huskers lost at home to Northwestern. In 2010 after a huge win at Washington NU got all they wanted from South Dakota State and escaped with a 17-3 victory. The following week they had a strong performance at Kansas State, then played flat at home against Texas. In 2009 the Huskers had a breakout game at Missouri, then lost back-to-back games at home as double digit favorites against Texas Tech and Iowa State.
I'm not saying that's going to happen at the Rose Bowl this week against UCLA, but the trend is there. I think one point the veteran leaders on this football team need to get across this week is don't get caught up in the hype.
Saturday's offensive performance against Southern Miss was nearly flawless. There was really nothing anybody could be critical about. What that means is for the entire week the offense is going to read and hear from everyone how good they are.
The thing this team needs to remember is Saturday was only one game. Anything can happen, as we saw Wisconsin get all they could handle this past week from Northern Iowa and Iowa narrowly escape with an 18-17 victory over Northern Illinois.
The fact that Las Vegas has the Huskers as only a 4 ? point favorite also tells me the wise guys know something we don't.
On paper Nebraska should win this game. They have a veteran team with a coaching staff that's been together for five years. They are going against a staff that's only been together for one game and a team that hasn't experienced any major winning success in the last several years.
The thing we still don't know though is how will this team respond to adversity if they are faced with it for the first time on Saturday? We will know a lot more about this football team after Saturday when they are faced with some tougher situations.
Moore's return seems highly unlikely
Offensive lineman Tyler Moore's return to Nebraska seems highly unlikely at this point, even though Pelini has left the door open for him to come back.
Warchant.com, our Florida State Rivals site reported today that Moore visited the University of Florida over the weekend and plans to visit Tallahassee for a game in the coming weeks.
Speaking to a source close to the Moore family, Warchant.com reports a return to Nebraska is not in the cards and an official scholarship release from the Huskers should becoming sooner rather than later.
As of right now Florida and Florida State's coaching staffs can't have any contact with the Moore family per NCAA rules, so most of the interaction with them has gone on with Moore's high school coaches at Clearwater (Fla.) Countryside.
The only question I have is will Moore be able to play right away somewhere next season since he's currently not enrolled at either one of those schools? My guess is that's why he's taking classes at a junior college so he can get enough credits to receive his Associates Degree and be eligible to play right away as a normal JC transfer.
Trip to L.A. beneficial for several reasons
Nebraska's trip to Los Angeles for the UCLA game will be very beneficial for several reasons. Obviously for the players on the team from the Southern California area it will be great for them to play in their home town.
With so many key Los Angeles players on the roster like Martinez, the Huskers should get plenty of media coverage this week on the West Coast.
From a recruiting perspective, Friday may also allow some of the Husker coaches to make visits at local area high schools.
My guess is you may even see a few Husker coaches at quarterback commit Johnny Stanton's game on Friday night. A lot of it I'm sure depends on meeting schedules, but it would definitely make sense to at least catch a half of Stanton's game if you could make it work.
Around the state
***Omaha Creighton Prep 2014 quarterback-wide receiver duo Easton Stick and R.J. Urzendowski are two names to watch closely. The pair torched Omaha Burke and Omaha Westside's defenses the past two weeks. Stick has passed for 510 yards, completing 24-of-49 passes, while Urzendowski has hauled in 14 catches for 315 yards, helping Prep to a 2-0 record.
***Wahoo's Tyler Kavan is on a pace to shatter some 11-man football rushing records this year. Through two games Kavan is averaging 303.5 yards per game. In a 45-18 win over Boys Town Kavan rushed for 320 yards on just 25 carries. In the history of Boys Town I'd have to guess no running back has ever rushed for that type of yardage.
***Omaha North running back Calvin Strong is a name to watch for 2015. Last week the talented sophomore back rushed for 121 yards on 10 carries in a 40-0 win over Omaha South. Some might remember Strong's father Calvin Strong Sr., who was a star basketball player for both Omaha South and Father Flannigan High School's in the mid 90's. Strong Sr. once put up 42 points in a varsity basketball game as a freshman against Omaha Gross in the 1993-94 season.
***Crete's Colton Steer had 29 carries for 225 yards and five touchdowns in a 34-20 win over Waverly. Steer is a definite name to watch as a possible walk-on candidate for the Big Red.
***This is not in-state recruiting, but I consider Iowa Western C.C. in Council Bluffs close enough. Through two games the Reiver offense is averaging 80 points, and they hung 83 points on No. 15 ranked New Mexico Military Academy the junior college home of former Husker corner Zackary Bowman.
Four-star Maryland receiver recruit Deon Long had 19 catches at halftime, and finished the game with 20 catches for 246 yards to lead IWCC. My guess is NMMA could've used Bowman in their secondary that day, but it may not have made a big difference. The Reivers are for real.
Three and out
***This caught me by surprise. The last time Nebraska visited the Rose Bowl to play UCLA the crowd that day in Pasadena was only 50,299. The crazy thing is the '93 UCLA team went on to play in the Rose Bowl, but ended up losing to Wisconsin. It makes you wonder how big the crowd on Saturday will be. In 2011 UCLA's crowds ranged from 42,685 to 65,438 for their six home games. My guess is with this being Jim Mora's first home game we could see the crowd being over 70,000.
***Martinez currently leads the Big Ten in passing yards and he's the only QB in the league to throw for over 300 yards in week one. I never thought I'd see a Nebraska quarterback lead the league in passing, let alone Martinez.
***I got a chuckle out of the fact running back Rex Burkhead still ranks 10th in the Big Ten in rushing yardage, despite the fact he only took three carries on Saturday. I'm not expecting to see No. 22 play against UCLA, but you never know with Burkhead. When he broke a bone in his foot as a freshman he came back very fast off that injury in 2009.
Sean Callahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can be heard each day at 6:50 am and 4:50 pm on Big Red Radio 1110 KFAB in Omaha during the football season. He can also be seen on KETV Channel 7 TV in Omaha during the fall and each week he appears on NET's Big Red Wrap Tuesday's at 7 pm.