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Pitching with Pritch...Huskers need to take care of little things in the big games PDF Print E-mail

By Larry Pritchett

Past PCHS Activities Director

 

What a difference a year makes. Last year the Huskers finished with a 10-4 record and everyone was upbeat and could hardly wait until football started for the 2010 season. The 2010 season ends with a 10-4 record and the mood is decidedly different.

The Huskers started fast this season and at one time had a 9-1 record and then promptly lost three of their last four games.

The season ended with a two-game losing streak with one of the games being the Big 12 Championship against Oklahoma and then a lackluster showing in the Holiday Bowl against Washington—a team the Huskers dominated just three months before.

Now the Huskers move to the Big 10 and a new slate of opponents. A new start, a new league, but maybe the same problems that kept them from moving into the “Elite” group of football programs where all Husker fans think the program should be by now.

The Huskers appeared to have a lot of their problems solved from last year, especially on offense with the emergence of Taylor Martinez at quarterback, but injuries and the fact that he was still just a redshirted freshman caught up with them before the season was over.

There are still a lot of things that Nebraska has to improve on before they can return to the top level of programs. One is taking care of the little things. You cannot have a dozen penalties or more each game and be successful.

The offensive side of the ball hurt themselves a great deal during the season because of “false starts and delay penalties” that killed them in the big games. The defense was pretty strong most of the time but gave up big plays in the big games that caused big problems.

It doesn’t matter what level of the sport—you have to take care of the “little things” and if you do, the “big things” usually take care of themselves.

Mistakes are killers. There is an old coaching saying that goes, “Victory favors the team making the fewest mistakes.” It is as true as any saying in sports.

The Huskers had problems all season taking care of the little things in the big games. Hopefully, they will get it taken care of for their move to the Big 10.

Bowl Games Galore

There are way too many bowl games to watch them all. I pretty much lost interest after the Husker fiasco, and actually watched way more basketball.

There were some good games and I even felt a little sorry for K-State. This is the second week in a row that I have mentioned the Wildkittens but the penalty they got for excessive celebration that caused them to go for two from 18 yards rather than three yards was certainly a controversial call, to say the least.

There were a lot more celebrations taking place in other games that didn’t get a flag. That is a rule that could certainly be taken a look at and maybe changed just a little.

Best High School Game Ever

I did go to what was probably the best high school game I have ever attended. This is just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I got to see the Malcolm-High Plains game and got to watch it with my grandson on my lap for most of the contest.

I don’t know how many games I have attended in my life, but this was Calen’s first game. His father and I think that he understood what was going on even at seven months old.

That could be a stretch itself, but other than a third quarter break for a bottle of formula, he took in his Uncle Troy’s team winning in the first round of the Malcolm Holiday Tournament last Tuesday night and clapped numerous times.

I’m not sure he understands a “pick and roll” yet, but he appeared to like all the movement up and down the court.

Now we just need to get him to work on his shot follow through a little and he will be on his way.