NU’s Second Game Will Be McNeese State’s First

Most teams in college football played their first games last weekend, but there were exceptions.  McNeese State was among them.  It's been said that teams improve the most between their first and second games of the season.  If that's the case, the Cowboys could be in trouble.


Troy State found themselves in a similar position against Nebraska back in 2001.  NU had already played an opener against TCU, while the Trojans were playing their opening game of the season.  TSU was playing their first game as a member of Division I-A (which we'd now call the FBS), so in that sense they were very comparable to McNeese State. 

If there was any rust, it didn't show early.  The Trojans jumped out to a 7-0 lead after an NU fumble on a punt return gave Troy State a short field.  The Huskers then mounted a drive that was all rushes, mostly by Dahrran Diedrick to tie the game.  NU then picked off a pass and Eric Crouch did the rest with a big run and a long pass to Wilson Thomas.  The teams traded punts before the Huskers forced a fumble and returned it for a score.  Crouch and Diedrick combined to drive Nebraska to a 28-7 lead but Troy State answered to close the gap to 28-14. 

From there the defense and special teams took over as NU capitalized on short fields from big punt returns to make it a 42-14 final.  The Huskers finished with 330 yards rushing, 127 yards passing, 8 sacks and a three forced turnovers.  They held Troy to negative rushing yards and 165 total yards.    

The major difference might be that Troy State wasn't coming off the kind of offensive season that McNeese State had in 2013.  McNeese State averaged 40 points per game a year ago while allowing 28.  TSU had scored 27 per game and allowed 16 back in 2000.  Osi Umenyiora  was a standout defensive end for the Trojans.  The Cowboys must replace their quarterback, top rusher, and top receiver.  They still bring back a small running back that averaged over 7 yards per carry and another big back that scored 12 touchdowns with fewer than 90 touches.  They still feature some of their top deep threats as well.

McNeese State can still be a dangerous team.  Hopefully, some first-game rust keeps them from being completely sharp.  Maybe, having a game under your belt isn't a huge advantage.  Then again, Notre Dame screamed bloody murder about it in 2001 when the Huskers were playing their third game and it was the first for the Fighting Irish.  NU jumped out to a 27-3 halftime lead in that one before hanging on for a 27-10 victory.

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Comments 6 comments so far

N just needs to worry about N.
The W will take care of itself.

And otherwise E doesn’t give a S.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Only downside of this game will be breakfast burritos and beer instead of burgers and beer!  Go Big Red!

McNeese St. will be a pushover.  Their first game of the season?  Good luck cowboys in stink’n Lincoln!  Fresno State will be lucky to stay within 4 TDs of NU, unless Beck and BOP decide to go pass happy and ignore the fact they can (and should) run the ball all night long.

I like the comparison to the 2001 team, but that Husker team got EXPOSED after the amazing Oklahoma game in Lincoln and going 11-0.  I know this is not the point of the article, but NU should blast McNeese St. this weekend.  Troy St. had Osi Umeniyora on that team. We all know how a dominant defensive lineman in college can change the game (Suh).

In conclusion, the relatively close game against Troy St. was a precursor to things to come for that great Husker team unfortunately. 


Well, looks like its the same old Bo and Beck show. Shine one week and lay an egg the next. Same old crap year after year

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