Monday, September 28, 2009

The Red Recap

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Last Week’s Opponent: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns. The Cajuns are coached by Rickey Bustle (seriously) and are one of the traditional dregs of college football, despite their fancy nickname. For example, they are 0-22 all-time against LSU, with a total of 25 points scored. They haven’t scored a touchdown against the Tigers since before the Huey Long governorship (1924).

Last Week’s Result: 55-0 win. It was an all around arse-whooping, which was perfect for the 300th consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium. The real red was wearing throwback uniforms (as were the cheerleaders) from 1962, the year the streak started. To put that in perspective, 3 Kennedy sons were alive and Northwestern was #1 in the nation (in football, not field hockey). Zac Lee was quite efficient, going 15-18 for 238 yards and no picks. Cody Green, the QB of the future, went 7 of 8 for 62 yards and ran for another 22 yards and score. He’s big, he’s fast and he’s not Jamaal Lord.

This Week’s Opponent: Bye. That doesn’t stand for Brigham Young East, folks. That means that Nebraska doesn’t play a game this weekend. Let’s all hope the boys don’t get hurt or run into the fuzz during the off week.

This Week’s Predicted Result: Not applicable, but you can tune in later this week for my overall college football picks. Please note, that they are guaranteed to be completely wrong.

Current Season Outlook: The thunderheads are rolling across the Nebraska plains as conference season starts on October, 8th at Missouri.

Predicted Bowl: Alamo

Wisconsin Badgers

Last Week’s Opponent: Michigan St – The Big 11’s most schizophrenic team rolled into Mad-town sporting a 1-2 record after defensive implosions against Central Michigan and Notre Dame. MSU left Madison with the 71st best pass defense, 78th scoring defense and 105th pass efficiency defense. Oh, they also turned the ball over 4 times. Good luck stopping Mythigan this week.

Last Week’s Result: 38-30 win – This game wasn’t even that close, MSU scored two late TDs to bring it within 8, but UW dominated for most of the game. That late mini-collapse continues to show that the Badgers have trouble closing out teams, which can only be a direct reflection on their coach. UW used a patient, punishing and efficient offense to put MSU away (kind of). UW has scored on all 16 red zone possessions this year, with 14 of those scores going for touchdowns. I don’t care who you are playing, those are impressive numbers. No one in the nation is better than the Badgers in the red zone. They better be, because the defensive is awful. The Badgers are 78th in total defense after facing Northern Illinois, Fresno St, Wofford and Michigan St. They are 73rd in rush defense, 80th in pass defense and 102nd in red zone defense, giving up 8 TDs in 13 trips.

This Week’s Opponent: @Minnesota – UW football team, this is a charter plane. It will take you from Madison to Minneapolis in about 30 minutes. I know you don’t do this very often, but you will play a football game in another city, in another state. The field is still 120 yards long and about 53 yards wide, just like our home gym in Hickory, I mean, home field in Madison. There will be 50,000+ people at the game and most will be wearing maroon and yellow. They won’t like you, but they are Minnesotans, so they’ll be nice. They’ve suffered through Jessie Ventura, the Wellstone crash, Carl Pohlad and the Kevin McHale, so they are a pretty jaded bunch. We only have to do this a couple more times this year, so don’t worry, we’ll be back in Madison soon.

Now, on to Minnesota. Stop Eric Decker, the honky WR, and you’ve stopped the Gophers. He’s a tough SOB and a great college receiver. Their run game is rather pedestrian (long run of 25 yards) and QB Adam Weber has 5 picks this year. Minnesota has played a vastly superior schedule (@Syracuse, Air Force, California, @Northwestern), so they will be the more battle tested crew.

This Week’s Predicted Result: Minnesota wins 24-21 – Minnesota’s experience in close games against stiffer competition will carry them to the victory. I’m very interested to see how many Badger fans buy their way into the game. Tickets are sky-high ($150+ online) for a game pitting teams headed to lower-tier bowls.

Current Season Outlook: There’s been a bit of a break in the clouds for UW, but the stronger half of the hurricane looms. They better beat Minnesota or a 1-3 Big 11 start is imminent with a trip to Columbus and a home date with Virginia Tech West (Iowa), following that.

Predicted Bowl: Alamo – yes, I am predicting a NU-UW bowl match-up


Devil's Threesome said...

Please note that the pic of Memorial is from the vantage point that Reid and I will have for the NU-Oklahoma game on Nov 7th. Please snow, please, please snow.

Master Reid said...

Ah yes, where the seats come with complimentary O2 tanks. But the Runza is still going to cost ya.

Devil's Threesome said...

Behold the majesty of Memorial Stadium! I really hope the OU game is a night game. If we can slip past Mizzou and Texas Tech, it very well could be a Gameday game, though it faces some stiff competition from LSU @ Bama & Ohio St & Penn St