Bevo's Roundup - The reports of Texas' demise have been greatly exaggerated

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Nebraska quarterback Cody Green displays the faded red wristband reading "0.01" on one side and "Finish" on the other, that he and his teammates have been wearing all season, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, in Lincoln, Neb.

Sorry, Nebraska. Things don't always go as planned.

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Oops, wrong photo. This is from last December, but it was the same Cornhusker deer-in-the-headlights-look on Saturday.

Awesome. That is all I need to say.

Game quotes:

"Pull out the book. There's not many people who win here," Brown said.
"You can't compare me to Vince or Colt," Gilbert said.
"We wanted to get that taste out of our mouthes," Acho said.
"We had fun. Tough times bring out a team's true character."

We want you to have a lot more fun this season, Sam.

The Omaha World breaks down the game quarter by quarter.

Mack Brown is worth every penny.

Now we know why Mack Brown gets paid $13,700 a day to coach football at Texas.

The $5 million man's season was on the brink Saturday. Three weeks ago, his team lost by 22 points at home to UCLA, a game in which the opponents accused the Longhorns of quitting.

Two weeks ago, UT made every mistake known to organized football in losing to Oklahoma, falling out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in 10 years.

Out of that tumult, Brown and his staff concocted a game plan so sound that it made his team look like the one that should have been ranked No. 5 after a 20-13 thumping of Nebraska.

Garrett Gilbert found his stride.

Who knew quarterback Garrett Gilbert had wheels? Before the Nebraska game, Gilbert had 24 carries for just 14 yards. Against No. 5 Nebraska, Gilbert rushed 11 times for 71 yards, outdoing Huskers redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez (13 carries for 21 yards). But even though Texas fans will be singing Gilbert's praises all week, it's interesting to note that his passing stats weren't stellar. Gilbert went 4 of 16 for just 62 yards.

But the magnitude of this win was huge for Gilbert.

"I told him, 'You won your first big game today,'" Mack Brown said.

They hinted they were going to let Gilbert loose.

The Longhorns hinted last week they were going to turn Garrett Gilbert loose.

Funny thing, though. They neglected to mention it was going to be with his feet.

What Texas unveiled Saturday might not be the second coming of Vince Young, but the strategy for Gilbert, the Longhorns' sophomore quarterback, was enough to bamboozle Nebraska.

No one saw it coming.

Once per week in practice, Garrett Gilbert is allowed to run. Those rare carries usually last a long time, Texas safety Blake Gideon said, only because no one realizes Gilbert has the ball.

But as the Longhorns prepared for a game billed as the crossroads of their season, they put their faith in Gilbert’s seldom-utilized feet. Not only did slumping UT think it had a way to stop No. 5 Nebraska’s ultra-hyped mobile quarterback, it thought it had a way to unleash an unlikely one of its own.

And as surprised as Gilbert’s teammates were to hear of the game plan, they were just as excited to make it work.

"Any time we see Garrett running," running back Fozzy Whittaker said, "everybody gets a heightened sense of emotion."

Texas QBs have done it before. Maybe it really shouldn't have been a surprise?

It really shouldn't have been a surprise to see Garrett Gilbert running all over Tom Osborne Field.

Texas quarterbacks have a propensity for scrambling to daylight or running through creases.

Yippee! The offensive line did their part.

Garrett said he has no problem letting his legs do the work.

"I feel comfortable running it," he said. "It was probably just a little bit bigger part of the game plan this week. The offensive line did a great job of opening up some creases and we were able to find some yards."

It was slow and painful.

This was a slow bleed. A nick and a cut that turns into a flow, then in the end, it's a hemorrhage.

Texas puts on a soul-crushing performance in Lincoln on Saturday, with a 20-13 bloodletting that drained Big 10-bound Nebraska and its faithful.

And the reason for this latest Longhorn impaling was obvious: the defense that wore white.

Lost in all the bluster about one second back on the clock, the "Red Around the World" rally and making a statement on the way out of the conference, the entire college football community seemed to have lost sight of the most important component of this UT team: that nasty, overlooked defense.

The Horns found salvation in third down conversions.

The Longhorns weren't really world-beaters during a 20-13 victory at Nebraska that snapped a two-game losing streak, but they made some key conversions on third down.

The Huskers did not.

Texas converted 7 of 16 third-down plays (43.8 percent), Nebraska just 5 of 16 (31.3).

Texas is better than their record.

"We've been disappointed," junior safety Blake Gideon said. "I think that was the biggest emotion the past two weeks. We know we've made a lot of little mistakes that have cost us victories. We're a better team than that. We showed that today."

Texas D earned some stickers.

One guy can't stop Taylor Martinez. It takes 11. And Texas' defense did it like no other team had done it yet this season, limiting Martinez to just 21 yards on 13 carries and 4-of-12 passing for 63 yards. The unit didn't allow a touchdown in the Longhorns' 20-13 win in Lincoln and looked like the team we thought they'd be in the preseason. Kudos to coordinator Will Muschamp, who quipped after the game, "I'm the same idiot who called the UCLA game."

One last time. A fitting end to the Nebraska-Texas games.

One more time, Texas came to Nebraska's Memorial Stadium and manufactured a win where few do. A two-game losing streak came to a halt just as the season was slipping away. A team that had seen all aspects of its game questioned responded with a strong effort against the nation's fifth-ranked team. Athletic director DeLoss Dodds stood on the field afterward with many of the red-clad Nebraska fans still in the stands after a 20-13 Texas victory.

"This is a good way to end it," Dodds said.

Your questions have been answered.

DID THE HUSKERS GET THE LAST LAUGH AGAINST TEXAS?

It was the same ol', same ol' for the Children of the Corn, who probably can't wait to get to the Big Ten, just to avoid seeing burnt orange for the foreseeable future. Texas ends its Big 12 series with the Cornhuskers with a lopsided 9-1 record, including four victories in Lincoln by a total of 16 points.

Pack your bags and get the hell out of Dodge.

OK, Nebraska, you're excused.

Pack your bags, leave a forwarding address and meekly head out to the Big Ten. We will not mention the screen door.

Your season's not over, of course. Hardly. And maybe you and Texas will meet up again in the Big 12 championship unless Bo Pelini starts sticking pin cushions in his DeLoss Dodds doll, resorts to exorcists or hires away Will Muschamp and Greg Davis.

Just pray that you don't, Nebraska. Pelini would rather face the Ravens.

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Texas players celebrate their 20-13 win over No. 5 Nebraska in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010.
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Do you believe in Magic?

If you're talking about T-Magic — Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez — no. Coming off a huge 241-yard rushing performance against K-State, he was stifled by the Longhorns: 13 carries, 21 yards, 1.6 average. And his passing game suffered too (4 of 12, 63 yards).

Martinez, who had started to generate some Heisman Trophy buzz, was benched in the second half for Zac Lee, last year's starter.

And the best quotes from yesterday?

"We knew he was really good, and we knew they were really good," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "But we didn't feel like they had played players, other than maybe Kansas State, like we had."

"When we were doing things to beat ourselves, you can fix those. When the other teams are just better than you are, you need to change your schedule."

Nebraska changed their schedule.

 

Meltdown in Lincoln

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This wasn't about retribution at all.

Defensive Lineman Jared Crick added,"the feeling after that game leaves a taste in our mouths that we'll never get rid of. Maybe this week we can get some retribution but we're not really thinking of it like that."

The win slipped through their fingers. Literally.

As bad as it was that Nebraska couldn't move the football Saturday, the larger problem might have been the missed opportunities.

I-back Rex Burkhead went down the left sideline for what appeared to be a sure 30-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter. Receivers Niles Paul and Brandon Kinnie waited for balls thrown in places that could have produced TDs of 11 yards in the third quarter and 38 yards in the fourth quarter, respectively.

All three, and others that could have been caught, ended up on the Memorial Stadium turf.

"I think if we make those catches," Paul said, "we win that game."

Mack Brown warned you, but you didn't listen.

The one thing Texas coach Mack Brown was fairly certain of back in August was that his defensive coordinator had a special group of players.

Brown even dropped strong hints that he wouldn't be surprised if the Longhorns ended up with the best defense in the school's storied history.

Texas had a great big surprise for Carl Pelini. (Love this story photo.)

Texas (4-2, 2-1) took over Saturday with a somewhat surprising approach, using its quarterback to establish a ground attack before then settling into its traditional spread attack. By the time Nebraska had a response, it was too late.

The Cornhuskers met a defense on Saturday.

But Texas' defense presented a markedly greater challenge than teams like Washington (102nd nationally in total defense) and Kansas State (82nd). The 'Horns made it clear how different a day this would be for the redshirt freshman quarterback right from Nebraska's opening possession, when Alex Okafor drew Martinez into an intentional grounding call seven yards in the backfield, and Emmanuel Acho stopped Martinez one yard short of a first down on a 14-yard scramble -- his longest run of the day.

"Early in the season, we have a tendency to get so high and so low on some teams," said Brown. "We knew [Martinez] was really good, but we felt like maybe he hadn't played teams with players like us, guys with great foot speed. We also knew he was a redshirt freshman in his first big game."

This was entertaining.

For the day, Martinez finished with a lackluster 4-for-12 with 63 yards.

The QB was a clunker.

The best way I saw Texas winning in Lincoln actually happened. The Huskers QB had a clunker.

So much for all that Heisman talk this year.

A shakeup in the national rankings is due Sunday, when a new batch of polls and the first Bowl Championship Series standings of the season comes out.

A pre-shock took place Saturday right on the Heisman Trophy fault line.

Nebraska's Martinez was so ineffective he was benched in favor of backup Zac Lee as the Huskers were upset by Texas.

Maybe Martinez just needs to grow up.

But what kind of leader? When the going gets tough and defenses shut down the zone read, what will Taylor do?

After Martinez got yanked Saturday, he spent most of the second half alone on the sideline, arms crossed.

When the offense huddled for a timeout, he didn’t. When teammates reacted to a bad call, he didn’t. When they pumped fists, he didn’t.

Nebraska kicked a field goal, cutting the lead to 20-6. Lee walked to the sideline and picked up a headset. Cody Green grabbed another headset. Martinez stood behind them, listening to nothing but crowd noise.

In the fourth quarter, his expression didn’t change when Lee converted a fourth down and it didn’t change when a penalty nullified it and it didn’t change when Brandon Kinnie dropped a fourth-down pass.

Ricky Henry walked to the sideline and threw his helmet to the ground. Injured Jesse Coffey smacked his crutches against a metal bench. Lee came off the field and soon started encouraging teammates for one final rally.

Martinez blended in to the background.

Nebraska wasted a lot of time this past year. So much for all that built-up Cornhusker passion.

Bo Pelini says the outside influences did not factor, that emotion played no role Saturday for Nebraska and that the Huskers again lost to Texas only because they failed to make plays.

A mountain of evidence from this 20-13 UT win suggests another conclusion: that NU wanted it too badly.

How about a hug?

Group hug.

That's about all that's left for Husker fans after another kick in the teeth from their reviled enemy in burnt orange.

For 10 months, people in Big Red country had highlighted this clash, speaking about it with as much bluster as Nebraska nice will allow.

Texas in Big Red's house. Bring those big belt buckles over here, Horns. It's going to be different this time.

But the message on those hot-selling T-shirts around town did not come true Saturday. No REDemption here.

Just another round of woulda, coulda, shouldas.

"It stings any way you cut it," said Husker running back Roy Helu.

Texas wins 20-13. You've seen the movie before.

So sorry. Texas kinda messed up Nebraska's big plans.

Thanks to Texas, the number of undefeated Big 12 teams in the top 10 -- for now, anyway -- is trimmed to one: Oklahoma, who kicks off against Iowa State in a few minutes.

Undefeated Missouri and Oklahoma State are looming near the top 20, but Nebraska's national championship run is officially derailed.

It just makes you stronger, according to Bo Pelini.

"We'll let the fans and everyone else feel sorry for themselves and feel sorry for what happened. You have to take an experience like this and let it make you stronger. If we do that, we'll respond the right way."

Go ahead and vent. You'll feel better.

Nebraska State Paper has some post-game snapshots:

Well, there's just too many damn plays – fumbles, bumbles, stumbles and Longhorn rumbles - so here's the image: Big 12 commish Dan Beebe beaming in the press room at halftime, holding brief court with a bunch of national writers while the pumpkin that is the Big 12 turned back into a chariot for one afternoon right before his big, beefy grin.

And another: Niles Paul, walking back to the locker room after the final gun, ripping off the gloves that have betrayed him at the wrong times in his career, tossing them away for kids to pick up as souvenirs.

And another: Taylor Martinez, the redshirt freshman sniper of a quarterback who's supposedly so cool under pressure, getting taken out of his second game in three, standing by himself near the bench, armed crossed, glum look, after Zac Lee – hello again! - took over for him in the third quarter.

You might want to delete this from YouTube. SOON.

We have 20-13. We don't need your respect. You whiny, annoying, corn shucking... We really do wish you all the best.

Let it go, people. Omaha World article from October 14th. Yes, just three days ago. More whining about how Texas runs the conference.

Step back to mid-December 1995.

The Big 12 was less than two years into existence, and still seven months from competition. The final wording for some of the league's major bylaws was up for a vote.

That's when Texas threw a hissy-fit and threatened to quit.

It's true. The Longhorns said they would withdraw if their ideas on initial-eligibility standards for incoming freshmen didn't become policy. (Interestingly, the person assigned to draft those proposals was then-UT President Robert Berdahl.)

Texas didn't want Big 12 schools to recruit athletes who didn't meet minimum standards in regard to certain core high school courses and scores on college entrance exams.

Nebraska and most of the schools from the old Big Eight had accepted such non-qualifiers. The four schools from the old Southwest Conference didn't, but had lower standards for junior college transfers than the Big Eight, and had more access to such athletes through the extensive Texas junior college system.

It's called academic standards. Texas has them.

So, how are you feeling about that Red Out now? Kinda silly?

 

And finally...

Mrs. John McEnroe says good-bye.

Enjoy your time in the Big Ten, Cornhuskers. Roll Left!

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