Published Saturday, September 1, 2012 AT 8:53 PM / Updated at 11:01 PM
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 49, Southern Miss 20
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Losing the lid

As if the new helmet rule isn’t annoying enough, it just makes it worse when the referee has to stop and make an announcement each time. Both teams seemed well-versed in the process; as soon as a player’s helmet popped off, he hurried off the field without having to be told. The only time the action stopped was when the ref had to tell us what we already knew.

Catching some chemistry

Liked what I saw from Nebraska’s receivers, and that was in the interview room. One by one, they congratulated each other on the day. Kenny Bell couldn’t stop gushing about senior Steven Osborne’s two catches, including a touchdown. Bell said the receivers have a very friendly yet intense competition. There’s a lot of good chemistry there. If they continue to catch the ball like Saturday, the running game will roll and this will be the best offense in the Big Ten. It might already be.

Good sign

Only two penalties and no turnovers (though Southern Miss dropped what looked like an easy pick-six). That’s not easy to do in an opener.

Bad sign

Giving up a 100-yard kick return and Brett Maher missing two field goals of 44 and 41 yards. NU’s kickers have spoiled us. But kickers get in slumps, too. Let’s hope that isn’t the case here. Meanwhile, NU’s kick coverage is such that Maher should just boot it through the end zone.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at


  1. Mike says:

    We still look plenty soft in the middle of the defense. Not much of a rush, and they pushed us out of our lanes all day. Not looking forward to a scrambling QB, they must be licking their chops. We need some studs on the defensive front.

  2. hskrpwr13 says:

    Agree on all counts.

    1. Moe says:

      Geez. They played an unknown offense, held them to 13 points and allowed only 260 yards. Southern Miss won 12 games last year. What’s with the negativity?!!!

  3. Waskel Wabbit says:

    Martinez looked, well, great! The defense still looks terrible. Could you imagine the defense against an equal or better team? It would be a slaughter, which would lead the offense to play catch up…you know…just like last year! Another 8-4 season, if we’re lucky! Special teams? What was so special about them? They looked worse than the defense, and that’s saying something. All in all a good opening win. Don’t expect Martinez to perform like that all season. Just look at his history.

    1. Pheasant Huntin Fudd says:

      Think you got it all pretty accurate – our defensive line might as well stand up and wave, didn’t see them penetrate at all. And T-Tragic throws to the sky (i.e. hail marys) will not work against better secondarys. Wonder how UCLA’s D stacks up …

  4. Kevin says:

    Wow this is incredible NU loses we get 1000 negative comments, NU wins we get5 ? What a shame. I guess all the Barney Cotton, Tim Beck, and TAylor MArtinez… I guess if u can’t say something negative they can’t say anything at all. Good job yesterday Big Red

  5. ArkHusker says:

    Is there a law against us putting 8 men in the box? Thats the only way we can stop mobile QBs…which we still cant do. We put all our emphasis on secondary but the people up front on the line are average at best. If Whaley is the best on the DL we are in trouble…how many sacks did he botch?