By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
‘Canes Take Huskers
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A lot of folks, myself included, felt the Huskers didn’t deserve the right to play in this year’s Rose Bowl. For reasons almost too great to number, they proved us correct. The ‘Canes brought their A-Game to Pasadena and ran away with a 37 – 14 victory and sole possession of the National Championship. WR Andre Johnson ran through the Black Shirt defense for 7 catches for 202 yards and 2 TDs to cap his Co-MVP performance. Not to be outdone, TE Jeremy Shockey pulled in 5 receptions for 89 yards, 1 TD; and RB Clinton Portis ran for 101 yards, 1 TD.
The captain of this mighty ship was QB Ken Dorsey. Although he was snubbed for the Heisman Trophy, Dorsey walked away with the more important trophy, the Sears National Championship Trophy. With his 19 of 33 for 350 yards and 3 TD performance, Ken left little doubt as to who the other recipient of the Co-MVP award was on Thursday night.
All too often when we talk about team speed, we’re referring to the offense. We have visions of swift running backs and agile wide receivers. The defensive effort by the ‘Canes should help to refocus our attention. From their front 4, to the LBs, to the DBs, the ‘Canes were simply too quick for Nebraska. They stretched out the vaunted Cornhuskers’ option attack and when they were able to run north and south, they hit them quickly and they hit them hard.
Nebraska QB Eric Crouch was held to 131 yards on 21 carries and 5 of 15, passing for 58 yards, 1 interception. As a team, the Huskers were held to 266 total yards (58 passing, 208 rushing), while giving up 2 sacks and 1 interception that was returned for a touchdown.
During halftime, I listened to the Oregon Head Coach Mike Bellotti and I really felt for him. Why? His team dismantled Colorado (Big 12 champs) 38 – 16 in the Fiesta Bowl, yet he had to sit and watch a team that didn’t even qualify for the Big 12 Championship Game take an ‘arse whoopin’ at the hands of Miami.
While lamenting Coach Bellotti’s plight, I had visions of a Division I-A college football playoff. What if the BCS games that were played this week were only the 1st round in a playoff? What if round 2 consisted of match-ups between LSU (Sugar Bowl Winner) vs. Miami (Rose Bowl Winner) and Florida (Orange Bowl Winner) vs. Oregon (Fiesta Bowl Winner). Could you imagine the hype that would be generated from these match-ups? All 4 teams scored over 35 points in their 1st round BCS match-ups (LSU 47, Miami 37, Florida 56, and Oregon 38). I can see everyone looking beyond the 2nd round match-ups and salivating over the possibility of a Florida-Miami showdown for the national championship. ‘Canes and Gators and $$$$$. Oh my!!!
Well, for this season I’ll have to be content with an undefeated season by Miami and the satisfaction of knowing that the greatly overrated Big 12 got blown out in their 2 BCS games by an average of 22.5 points. ‘Canes and Oregon Ducks, thanks for the late Christmas gift. Only two things have made me smile more: 1) the crowd shots of the Husker fans in denial during the Rose Bowl, and 2) the 2-4 record of the over-hyped Big Ten, and the 3-5 record of the overblown Big 12 during bowl season. BTW – Speed kills!!!