There is a different vibe in Huskerland heading into tonight’s Nebraska and Wyoming game. I don’t know if it’s due to Bo Pelini changing how he is doing things or just feeling more comfortable playing in The Big Ten, but this team seems like a group ready to conquer the world. There is a unity amongst them that I have not seen in a long time, maybe as far back as the Frank Solich Era.
Of course you expect players and coaches to be on the same page going into the season. If they weren’t optimistic there would be cause for concern. The words “grind” and “get better” have been spoken by just about everyone. What I sense is more than that. It’s something more substantial, more genuine.
The offense is poised to break records. Tim Beck has a senior at quarterback who knows every wrinkle that the offensive coordinator has drawn up. The receivers and running backs provide Taylor Martinez more weapons than he ever has. The offensive line is the best The Nebraska Cornhuskers have had since Bo Pelini took over the program.
Pelini has said that the team has not talked about how last year ended. He has emphasized that it’s a new year, new team. It might not be a topic of conversation, but I guarantee it’s been on their minds. Defensively there are only a few remaining starters that were slashed by UCLA, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Georgia. There is a new crop of fast, hungry play-makers ready to prove they are worthy of Blackshirt status. They fit the mold of Bo Pelini’s vision of a Big Ten defense. People doubt them, the media does too.
When people doubt you there are a few things that can happen. You can listen to them and doubt yourself, over thinking your every move. The pressure can build and you can be consumed with thoughts of failure and let it drive you in the wrong direction. Things can snowball out of control in a bad way. We have seen this from the Huskers over the past few seasons. Critical decisions and confusion that end up costing the team a win, or worse yet, resulting in blowout losses
Another way to respond to the criticism of others is to shut them up. While there are many ways to do that, the easiest route is to win. Winning has a way of making people forget about all of the mistakes of the past. You see, winning breeds winning. It helps you turn the page on the disasters that keep a program from reaching it’s full potential. Self confidence grows and so does your trust in teammates. You buy into the coaches schemes.
We were limited, as always, to footage of the team practicing during fall camp. We have only had sound bytes and watched post practice interviews from the coaching staff and players. Everyone seems to be on the same page, and that shows progress. If this team can put together the mental and physical aspects of the game this team could be special. The schedule sets up well for Nebraska and the roster is full of athletes that could do great things. It’s a brand new season with new opportunities knocking on the gates of Memorial Stadium. All The Nebraska Cornhuskers have to do is execute. The march to The Rose Bowl starts tonight against Wyoming.