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Cotton Bowl Post-Game Thoughts

Although it might be hard to believe, I was actually semi-pleased with our game. Certainly, it was frustrating to lose. Again. Make no mistake--I was disappointed with our loss. Still, I think that we proved that we can play with anyone--remember that Auburn was the only team to beat national-championship contender Florida this year, and the only team to beat two BCS bowl teams (LSU was the other). Also, I think that we were the better team on the field--the only two touchdowns they were able to get were from 14 and 9 yard drives, while we went 80 and then 73 yards for our touchdowns. Other than the gifts we gave Auburn, we shut them down offensively. Nevertheless, the points are the only thing that matter, and Auburn won fair and square. It kind of feels like we won the popular vote in a presidential election but lost the electoral college vote.

On the positive side, I think that this game may leave our players with a hunger for next season similar to what happened when Nebraska lost the '93 National Championship. The next year, our motto was, "Unfinished Business," and that team went on to win Nebraska's first national Championship in twenty years. "Unfinished Business" might be a great motto for the 2007 Huskers as well!

A few things:

  • Zac Taylor started off with a great game, but then kind of withered as the game went on. Unfortunately, this seems to have been a pattern this season. I am a huge Taylor fan for what he did for us, so I'm really sorry that he couldn't have a stellar day to end his career. I hope that he goes on to great things.
  • We definitely did better at stopping Auburn's run than Auburn did at stopping ours. We held them to 67 yards, and we were able to squeak out 104 yards. It was a defensive day, but I think that our defense proved to be the better one on the field, holding a top-ten team to 111 yards total offense.
  • I was right about the trick plays, but that ended up being a killer for us. I'm not as mad as some about the call--we have been very efficient at our trick plays all season, and, if it had worked, we would all be lauding Callahan's genius. I'm not exactly sure, but I think that Shanle had a lot of room to run if he could have held onto the pitch.
Next year, we should be much improved. I'm looking forward to seeing how well we can do. Our players are already predicting a BCS bowl game with a shot at the national championship. With our great recruiting class (currently ranked #8 in the nation), a frustrated hunger through off-season training, and one more year to implement everything that Callahan is trying to do, I think that our players might be right.

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