October 31, 2008

Voices from the Scrolls: Is it still a rivalry?

You the fans asked, and the Huskers have answered. In this week's edition of Voices from the Scrolls, we've picked five of the numerous questions submitted by our readers and asked them to Nebraska's players and coaches themselves. Here are their answers:

With the upcoming game against OU this week, does the team ever look back on the history of this once famous rivalry? - HskrNation95

"Personally, I don't really think of it quite as much. For the kids who are from Nebraska and grew up watching Oklahoma-Nebraska I might be a little bit bigger deal, but for me, they're just another good team that we can go out and beat. That's the way I look at it." - sophomore tight end Mike McNeill

"I don't really know too much about the rivalry because I'm not really from around this area, but it's a great rivalry and I'm just looking forward to playing Saturday." - junior safety Larry Asante

"It does carry the importance of the rivalry once lived on here. I don't think we're maybe looking at it quite the same because we're focused on doing everything we have to do to be a better team. We're not concerned with if we're playing a top-10 team or a bottom-10 team, we just have to execute the same every game and improve every game. I do think it's a higher-profile game because it's Oklahoma, but as a team, we're going to try to look at it the same as we do every game. - senior offensive lineman Matt Slauson

"I'm sure it's lost some of its luster just because we don't play every year now, but I think it kind of means more now because you play two times and then take two years off, so it kind of gets hyped up a little more. I think we're still going into it that it's still Nebraska-Oklahoma, and obviously everyone is saying there's more importance now because of the Pelini's and the Stoops' and all that stuff. It's going to be a great opportunity for us to go down there and try to get a win against a highly ranked team. - senior defensive end Zach Potter

"It was one of the greatest rivalries of all time. It's kind of went away now with the Big 12 North and South. It's still a special game for us. We understand what went on in the past, how special the rivalry was. It's not as big of a deal as it was back then, but it's still a big deal for us. It's still huge. Guys still get really excited. Just the name, Nebraska-Oklahoma, kind of brings a chill up your spine. We understand the rivalry. Obviously, it's kind of been I guess thrown under the bus a little bit now that we don't play every year. It'd be nice to play them every year. It's one of the best rivalries in college football. Playing every two years, it's still pretty special. We still both know what's at stake. It would be better for college football if we did get to play every year, but I don't see that happening." - senior quarterback Joe Ganz

"For me personally, I don't have the greatest grasp. I have some history on Nebraska. I'm not the best in that category, but for the most part the coaches haven't really talked too much about it. I'm sure it will be coming up. We have only had one day to look at them so far. It's a great rivalry. I was here when we played them my freshman year in 2005. It was definitely a hyped up game, so I remember watching them play against us. There's definitely some bad blood there, but it's good bad blood. It's a competitive game, people like to get after each other and definitely don't want to lose that game." - junior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh

It seems as though this team plays better and more focused on the road. Do you agree or disagree and why? - RedNick

"I don't know. The last two road games we've played pretty well, so I guess maybe on the road we do play well. I don't know, I think its harder on the road personally, because being an edge player it makes it harder for me to get off the ball." - McNeill

"I've noticed that too. It's weird, but I notice it too. Maybe it's having our backs against the wall, it's the other team versus us, and all we have is just us as a family and our coaches. The Texas Tech game, Coach (Pelini) came in the locker room and was like, 'It's us brothers against their coaches and their fans.' It was basically us against the world, so I think that kind of gets guys pumped up, gets them motivated and ready to play." - Asante

"No. I know there is some evidence that has shown that. We're trying to be a better road team because we have struggled with that in past years, and winning on the road is very important for a team. I wouldn't say we're a better road team, I just think we maybe start out faster on the road because we're out of our comfort zone." - Slauson

"I don't think we play 'better' on the road. I don't really know what happens to us on the road this year, we just have played better on the road this year. Nothing against Memorial Stadium or anything, I just think guys get more focused on the road because you don't have all the distractions of being in Lincoln. You actually get out of the city, and you're not around a bunch of friends and family and stuff. On the road, we take like 70 guys instead of having all 140 guys we have here. It's a tight-nit group of guys that are really contributing, so I think we become a lot closer on the road as well." - Potter

What is the team's mindset after back-to-back Big 12 wins? Do the players feel like they can beat any given team in the Big 12 Conference right now? - unl'skers5

"I think guys think things are starting to click and things are starting to gel. We're pretty confident right now, but we still know we can be better and do better things." - McNeill

"I think we can. We've just got to play our football. We know we haven't played our best football to this point because of the busted coverages and guys making mistakes here and there. All the points that Baylor scored, after reviewing film yesterday, every single time they scored somebody was out of position or somebody blew a coverage. If we eliminate that and just play our football, I think we have a shot against any team in the nation." - Asante

"Oh yeah. There shouldn't be anyone that we can't beat as long as we take care of what we have to do." - Slauson

"We were still confident after those three losses. They were three quality opponents, and after the way we played Texas Tech, we felt like we should've won that game. Obviously beating Iowa State on the road and then Baylor here last weekend, our confidence level is high and we're looking forward to this weekend." - Potter

The Mark Manning vs. Brandon Rigoni "goal line" challenge has become an overnight sensation. Which of the football coaches would you like to see in a challenge and what should the competition be? - huskerbay

"We actually instantly went to Coach Brown and said he should challenge Coach Sanders, but I don't think Coach Sanders was up for it. The tight ends want to see Coach Brown do it, so that'd be my match-up. I think Coach Brown would be pretty good at it. I've just seen him work out and seen him stair climb, and for his age he's quite the athlete." - McNeill

"It would probably have to be the two brothers squared up against each other, Coach Bo and Coach Carl. I would want to see Coach Carl run the ball and Coach Bo try to tackle him. That's what I would want to see." - Asante

"Well, I heard Rigoni is going up against Doc Sadler in one-on-one basketball, so that might be next. Nah, I'm just kidding. That'd be kind of funny though. I think I'd like to see Doc Sadler go against Bo, doing something or another. I don't know what sport. Probably volleyball or something. I think that'd be kind of funny just seeing Coach Pelini and Coach Sadler out there running around in a single game of volleyball. I'd have to go with Coach Pelini in that one, just because of his enthusiasm and his attitude probably." - Potter

Since you and Coach Stoops are friends, and you coached at OU for a year, will that be able to help you plan for this game? - beaglehusker

"It's not going to change how I approach it. I'm sure it's not going to change how he approaches it. That is pretty irrelevant once you line up. Number one, we're not playing. That doesn't change how you do your job. I'm not playing the game and he's not playing the game. It's not like we're going to be out there banging heads against each other like we used to back at St. Pat's playing basketball. That was a lot more fierce than what we will deal with on Saturday." - head coach Bo Pelini

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!