Huskers still smarting from last meeting
There is something oddly fascinating about a team scoring 70 points in a single college football game. Something intriguing.
A 40- or 50-point performance, especially in the world of today’s high powered offenses, can be explained away as a sign of the times. Even the occasional 60-point performance, in most cases, will go laregly overlooked by the majority of the population.
But 70 points — a total reached just twice during Big 12 conference games last season? That’s something else altogether.
When a team reaches the 70-point mark, as Kansas University did against Nebraska in a 76-39 victory in Lawrence last season, people are going to hear about it. And if you are a member of the team that happened to give up said number of points, as Nebraska senior linebacker Cody Glenn is, it is not something that easily can be pushed from memory.
“We understand what happened last year,” said Glenn, whose team no doubt will be looking for revenge when the Jayhawks and Huskers match up at 1:30 p.m. today in Lincoln, Neb. “We’re not going to let it happen again. Coming off a loss like that, we really want to come out and make a statement.”
In surrending their most points in school history, the Huskers allowed Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing to throw for 354 yards and a school-record six touchdowns in 2007, as the Jayhawks rattled off 48 first-half points. After going three-and-out on its first offensive series of the game, Kansas scored on 10 of its next 11 possessions, and, during one second-half stretch, scored 28 consecutive points.
But asked whether last year’s outcome will have any bearing on this year’s game, coaches and players on both teams seem confident that it won’t.
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, who is in his first season with the Huskers and wasn’t present for last year’s blowout, said earlier this week that while the 2007 game might provide a little motivation heading into this weekend, his players haven’t wasted much time dwelling on it over the past 12 months.
Earlier this week, meanwhile, Huskers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh told the Omaha World-Herald that any extra motivation for this week’s game stems simply from wanting to beat a fellow Big 12 North team.
“It’s not because of what happened last year, although some people maybe do have some revenge they want to get,” Suh said. “But we play them every single year. If you want to say there’s vengeance, we have vengeance for them every single year.”
Still, it’s hard to imagine that no thought whatsoever has been devoted to the shellacking Nebraska players suffered last season.
And on the eve of today’s encore, at least one person isn’t buying the idea that last year’s game will provide no extra incentive for the Huskers.
“There was a rumor, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I heard that they got a sign up in the locker room with the score because they felt it was something that they wanted to correct,” Kansas cornerback Justin Thornton said. “So you know they’re going to show up ready to play. A lot of those guys are going to come in with a chip on their shoulder for the simple fact that they came down here and played the way they did.”
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