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Kicking the Tires--Nebraska

Lord, this has been a long day.  I apologize in advance for any mistakes or typos.  I'm writing this while enjoying a glass of Rebel Yell (thanks, BearMeat and cola, and I've been reading and writing about Japanese baseball all day.  Yeah, I'm fried...

Numbers that won't mean anything on Saturday but are fun to look at nonetheless...

Total Offense
K-State 36th
Nebraska 28th

Total Defense
K-State 42nd
Nebraska 112th

Scoring Offense
K-State 20th
Nebraska 56th

Scoring Defense
K-State 44th
Nebraska 106th

Passing
K-State 16th
Nebraska 15th

Rushing
K-State 83rd
Nebraska 72nd

Notable Individuals

K-State
Josh Freeman, 237/373, 2,521 yards, 12 TDs, 10 INTs
Jordy Nelson, 90 receptions, 1,222 yards, 8 TDs
James Johnson, 127 carries, 734 yards, 5.8 yards, 9 TDs
Leon Patton, 73 carries, 315 yards, 4.3 yards, 3 TDs

Nebraska
Joe Ganz, 28/54, 441 yards, 5 TDs, 4 INTs
Maurice Purify, 40 receptions, 570 yards, 6 TDs
Marlon Lucky, 178 carries, 847 yards, 4.8 yards, 6 TDs

Just like last week, there isn't much comparison on paper.  But upon further review, I'm still worried sick about this game tomorrow.  Not just because it's Nebraska, which makes it a huge game for me personally, and generally as a rivalry game.

No, it's more than that.  If K-State fails to come out of Lincoln with a victory, it will be worse than just losing to a team that is on a historic losing streak.  Primarily, it will absolutely ruin our chances at looking at this season as progress over last year.  Lose this game and we're 5-5, which means we cannot finish better than 7-5...and we'd have to beat Mizzou to do that.  What's more, if we can't get this game, we have every reason to believe there is something very wrong with this team, because Nebraska's players have flat-out quit.  They showed a little spark against Texas, and jumped at KU early, but they don't look like they really care.  Even more, they are playing in front of their fans, who have been abusive at the stadium and on the playground.

This game is huge to us, and not just because it's Nebraska and we'd have to hear their fans say "you couldn't beat our worst team since Truman (the President)!" if we lost.  This game can get us to bowl eligibility, and give us a very good shot at guaranteeing a bowl by getting to a seventh win against Fresno State.

There are two things that concern me about this game, one tangible and the other intangible.  First, the tangible: the Husker running game.  OK, they're 72nd in the nation and their best back is averaging 4.8 yards.  But Joe Ganz is a relatively mobile quarterback, and our defense has been pitiful against the run lately.  Even worse, we lost nose tackle Steve Cline to injury last week.  We badly need to get out to a lead on offense to try and force Bill Callahan to throw the ball, because I will probably have a nightmare tonight about Marlon Lucky running wild.

The other, intangible factor is the classic "Senior Day" fear.  As Husker Mike mentioned in his predictions at [http://www.cornnation.com Corn Nation, if this Husker team was going to start playing pride, that should have happened a while ago.  On the other hand, strange things happen on senior day, see Iowa State/Mizzou last year...although that was also Dan McCarney's last game, too.  On the other hand (I guess I've already used both hands, not sure where you go once you do that), K-Staters saw how little a senior day can matter in 2004, when the Cats blew a big 4th quarter lead against Iowa State in Darren Sproles' last home game.

What is going to happen tomorrow?  I don't know.  I suppose I could write "K-State wins" on one piece of paper and "Nebraska wins" on another sheet of paper, put them up on my dartboard, and throw darts while drinking my Rebel Yell, and that would probably be about as accurate as any projection I could make.  I have confidence that we 'should' be able to win, but I can also see every reason in the world why we could lose.  Should the latter occur, be prepared for a meltdown of epic proportions here tomorrow.

To relieve the palpable tension that has enveloped this blog, I give you the following montage...

We shoot for the stars, through difficulty...

...while Nebraska plays with its "Penis of the Plains."

Sorry, that was lame, but like I said, I'm tired and uncreative right now.  You're stuck with it.