Published Thursday, September 27, 2012 AT 11:15 AM / Updated at 11:20 AM
Mad Chatter, Sept. 27
Dirk Chatelain Omaha World-Herald

As you probably know by now, Wisconsin defensive end David Gilbert skewered Taylor Martinez last night. Typically, bulletin board material comes in the form of a sentence, maybe two. Gilbert just kept going.

“The one game he didn’t play very well in they lost to UCLA. You’ve got to look at who they’ve played. You’ve got to look at who they’ve played. We’re definitely going to bring it. It’s Big Ten season. All that is out the window and it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is we’ve got to line up and we’ve got to hit him.”

“It still looks like he’s skipping rocks out there to me. But that’s not my concern. That’s probably more a concern of the defensive backs. My concern is hitting him. I don’t care what he throws like. I’m not trying to let him throw at all.

“He still can’t throw. I’m just going to say it. He still can’t throw. He’s not going to beat us with his arm.”

Here’s 10 takes on the best pre-game trash talk I can remember since Steve Taylor went off on Oklahoma in 1987.

1 — Should Wisconsin really be mouthing off? Didn’t Wisconsin almost lose to Northern Iowa, Utah State and UTEP? You know how many sacks Gilbert has in four games? One.

2 — Gilbert is wrong on one point. Martinez has indeed improved. Just as important: his receivers have improved dramatically. I’m not sure the Badger secondary has the wheels to keep up with Kenny Bell and Co.

3 — Remember, there’s a reason Wisconsin is so confident regarding Martinez. Taylor played his worst game of the season in Madison last year. He threw three interceptions in a span of four possessions. And the Badgers befuddled him by sitting back in a zone and daring him to pick them apart. You’ll see more of that zone Saturday night.

4 — You gotta admit, “skipping rocks” is pretty funny. Credit Gilbert for creativity.

5 — If you know anything about Bret Bielema, Gilbert’s comments aren’t a huge surprise. Bielema consistently walks the line between confident and arrogant. As a journalist, I like it. And I think Gilbert’s words are partly a reflection of his coach’s personality.

6 — Why don’t we see good bulletin board material anymore? I miss it. What’s the harm in sounding off? I don’t buy this idea that you’ll motivate your opponent. Sometimes, maybe. But in other cases, you can distract your opponent — or at least raise doubts in his head.

7 — Will Martinez play better or worse because of these comments? It’s possible he’ll try too hard to prove Gilbert wrong, playing right into Wisconsin’s hands. I think, if anyone, it motivates Nebraska’s offensive line to keep Martinez clean.

8 — There’s someone else it motivates. The crowd at Memorial Stadium. This was gonna be a big game anyway. But with alternate uniforms and Tom Osborne’s announcement and a national TV audience and now this, well, it’s bound to be a little crazy Saturday night.

9 — I would love to know how exactly Martinez learns about these comments. Twitter? Facebook? A stranger in class? A coach? Hopefully we’ll find out after the game.

10 — Gilbert’s words put Husker fans in the unfamiliar position of defending Taylor Martinez’s throwing motion. Weird. “It’s OK if we make fun of him, but you can’t!”

>> Harvey Perlman surprised me when he twice said Wednesday that Nebraskans don’t fully appreciate what Tom Osborne represents.

“A walk that would take five minutes usually takes him 20 because of all the people that want his autograph or to say hello,” Perlman said. “I think we probably don’t recognize in Nebraska the extraordinary respect that he’s held nationally not just in intercollegiate athletics, but in other venues as well.”

And again:

“When Tom Osborne walks into a room, he represents something,” Perlman said. “It’s not just three national champions. That’s what people in Nebraska don’t understand … It’s the sustainability of excellence over a long period of time. It’s integrity.”

I disagree with Harvey. I think Osborne’s integrity — not his record — is precisely why he’s so revered in Nebraska. I’ll have much more on Osborne in Friday’s Chatter.

>> Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com explores the issues plaguing the Big Ten. He even interviews Jim Delany. To Delany’s credit, he doesn’t hide from reality, nor does he suggest it’s a quick fix. I’ll say this: Delany privately must be putting a lot of stock in Urban Meyer. Ohio State can change the league’s national perception, starting next year.

>> How’s this for an interesting nugget (from the ESPN story): “The Big Ten … hasn’t had a quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL draft since Penn State’s Kerry Collins in 1995.” That is nothing short of jaw-dropping.

>> Nebraska or Wisconsin? Who do you think the Big Ten is rooting for? My first instinct is Wisconsin, because if the Badgers fall apart, then Purdue is left to wave the flag for the Leaders Division. The Big Ten, in that scenario, may send an 8-4 or 7-5 team to Indianapolis. Yikes.

But I believe that Nebraska, unlike most Big Ten teams, actually has a chance to be good this year. To rise to a Top-10 level and give the Big Ten national credibility. Sure, the Huskers lost to UCLA. But they also have enough offensive talent to impress casual fans around the country. For that reason, I think it’s better for the Big Ten if Nebraska gets hot.

>> Montee Ball should not be playing Saturday, Steve Greenberg writes.

>> Pat Forde’s weekly college football column is always must-read. Especially when he examines the best and worst values in the game. Kirk Ferentz is featured prominently.

>> Bruce Feldman’s weekly top 10 focuses on the season’s biggest surprises.

>> Joe Posnanski on the Monday Night Football debacle. And Bill Reiter on how fan revolt ended the officials’ lockout.

>> Roy Helu is out for season with turf toe. Dang. The concern with Helu has always been his health. I’m not sure he’s durable enough to have a long NFL career.

>> Texas A&M is expanding its stadium to more than 100,000. Sorry, Aggies. That won’t help you win in the SEC.

>> Doug McDermott talks to ESPN.

>> Finally, a Creighton reunion in Atlanta: Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver are both Hawks. I was lucky enough to moderate a discussion at the FCA Cornerstone Celebration last year. Tolliver and Korver were both panelists, along with Ryan Sears and Josh Dotzler. They’re as thoughtful and articulate as any athletes I’ve ever been around.

I was a big Hawks fan growing up. I loved Dominique Wilkins — he should’ve been a Dream Teamer and he should’ve won the 1988 Slam Dunk Contest! Tolliver and Korver don’t jump like the Human Highlight Film, but they’re a good reason to start following the Hawks again.

About Dirk Chatelain

Dirk Chatelain is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and general assignments. You can follow Dirk on Twitter (@dirkchatelain) or email him at dchatelain@owh.com

Comments

  1. ATX HUSKER says:

    The Big 10 may not have had any QBs drafted in the first round since 1995, but I’m pretty sure Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and now Russell Wilson don’t have a problem with that…

    1. Reezy says:

      BINGO!!!

  2. Gumpa says:

    A few thoughts on what Osborne means to Husker football. I read somewhere yesterday, ‘now that Osborne has retired, everybody can get back to revering him’. That best sums it up. I have talked to countless younger folks who dont like Osborne. They say that we all give him a pass and he gets away with letting the athletic program fall to mediocrity. I dont agree with any of that crap, nor to the other things the younger crowd tries to bully past the elders they should respect.

    Having said that, I too wonder how in-tune Osborne has kept with the technology and trends of the younger crowd. Does the AD have any input in getting students to develop some cool game day traditions for the student and others to get the crowd excited? Will a younger AD bring about positive change for the youth?

    Finally, count me among those who have to check their spiritual rule book to determine just how far they can go before they are accused of idol worshiping. If you dont have something nice to say about Osborne, then dont be talking to me. Think of it this way. 25 years from now, Osborne will be compared to few others, and will always have the reputation of doing it the right way, in every situation. And I can say that we knew him when he first got started.

  3. A Dose Of Reality says:

    Dirk, thanks for your work-always enjoy your Mad Chatter but my oh my, you say “since Steve Taylor went off on Oklahoma in 1987?!?!” you were how old? what 4?? maybe 5… let’s not try and pretend you have vivid memories of that but hey if you honestly do, more power to you!

  4. Gumpa says:

    The times that TM makes most mistakes is when he takes a deep breath and then tries to do to much. We saw it again in the third quarter aqaist Arky State. Pelini went off to the hospital, every was on an emotional rush, Taylor came out, put the game on his shoulders and turned the ball over a couple times. So, having said that, hopefully, somebody will get into his head so that he knows he does not have to do to much!!!!

    1. Gumpa says:

      Let the team respond to the trash talk. Let Taylor focus on doing the little things that keep the offense moving.

    2. Tripduz says:

      I do agree with the initial direction of your post. When TM tries to single handedly take over it leads to mistakes. But that can be said about nearly every athlete in any form of competition. When a pitcher in baseball tries to strike every one out by throwing heaters eventually one gets knocked over the fence. Instead throw the pitches a batter has problems with or that lead to pop ups and ground outs. When a soccer player tries to take it upon himself and out dribble an entire team it usually ends up stolen or leaving teammates out to dry. It’s called stayin within the system and trusting your team.

      I don’t agree with the Ark St reference (UCLA would have been a much better choice). The first TM turnover was a blindsided sack caused by Cotton missing a block. TM was crushed on that play and never saw it coming but not necessarily his fault or trying to do too much. The second turnover was a miscommunication between TM and the RB and its hard to say whose fault that was. Neither was caused by Taylor trying to do too much in my opinion.

      1. lynchmobb says:

        I agree, aky state had nothing to do with Martinez

  5. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    Harvey needs to retire with Oz, that goofball is losing his mind, someone needs to do an intervention.

    1. Gumpa says:

      How old are you? Just curious.

  6. Frank says:

    Stop. Feeding. Bielema.

    1. Jake says:

      I agree, hes fat enough.

  7. Savage Husker says:

    Probably the first time I’ve read Dirk have TMs back. Not that he needs to write about sunshine and roses to please me, but refreshing nonetheless. Second, smack talk is huge motivator. if you can play better than your opponent gives you credit for, for me, it made me want to humiliate that team/player even more. Not by talking about it, but by showing them on the field. Nothing like going out there and proving yourself and looking that player in the eye, knowing you don’t have to say anything, but seeing how he made himself a fool. I hope that’s what TM and the rest of the Huskers do Saturday night.

  8. Chuck says:

    Dirk, have you forgotten Warren Sapp’s smack talk before the ’94 Orange Bowl? That was classic stuff between him and Zach Weigert going back and forth. Sure seemed like a little extra motivation for that team…

  9. Robert Johnson says:

    Best Husker smack…how about Charlie McBride throwin da bones? Getting smack from a 60+ year old is classic. True attitude, and his players played with attitude

  10. A Fan says:

    Fine with trash talk. It’s part of the game… and if you back it up, it isn’t trash talk. Gilbert is wrong if he thinks Martinez is not better at throwing the ball this year. He is. But is Martinez better at not making mistakes when the heat is on? He didn’t look good against UCLA in the 2nd half… when they applied a lot of pressure. I imagine Wisconsin will take note of that.

    1. Ted says:

      I agree with you,T-Mart didn’t look against UCLA. However, lets hope, that if the Badgers decide to bring the pressure, Beck makes the right call, and puts T-Mart & the Offense in a position to counter the pressure. Beck didn’t against UCLA, plus, how many drops did our recievers have in that game?

  11. z23 says:

    Finally time to see if the Huskers are any good. UCLA was just another annoying mental breakdown (90% of the time we lose a big game it’s a mental thing), and the other three games didn’t tell us anything.

  12. Steve Westra says:

    I also recall Broderick Thomas talking smack before we went on to lose to Oklahoma with those all red uniforms.

  13. PE says:

    If our offensive line holds, we will beat them easily. And I think Taylor Martinez WILL beat them with his arm…why not? He’s got the best passing effiency rating of all QB’s in the B1G. I think he’s an excellent passer. There is no way these fools can keep up with Kenny Bell and Jamal Turner. Then we’ll beat them with our legs, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Taylor then beat them with HIS legs. Kinda like the cherry on top of the cake.
    Can you imagine the momentum we’ll have if we really trounce them on National TV going into the Ohio State game? If we can put it all together and play the way this team can, we can win all of our games. No one is unbeatable on our schedule this year. No one. Not with the firepower we have. Check out these stats: it shows where were ranked in these catagories nationally…
    Rushing – 5th
    Pass Efficiency – 10th
    Total offense – 9th
    Scoring offense – 8th
    Pass defense – 20th
    Pass efficiency defense – 23rd
    Sacks – 5th
    Tackles for loss – 13th
    Kickoff returns – 26th

    1. Mark Twain says:

      There is the truth, there are lies, and there are statistics.

      Stats dont mean much when you get hit in the mouth. Maintain those standings all year, then pound your chest. NU 17 Wisky 24. NU 13 OSU 21.
      TO left so he wouldnt have to fire Bo. War Wildcats. The real NU

      1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

        This team doesn’t practice together, how can they put it together?
        Unfortunately Mark is on the mark……

    2. WakeUpHuskerFans says:

      Hello!

      We played NOBODY other than UCLA.

  14. Twan3484 says:

    I wonder if this trash talking by wiscy follows the big ten “brotherhood” or “code” that Bielema is always talking about. This is a must win for us, and for Bo. I’ll settle for a win no matter how many points it is but if we have a chance to tack on a few points, I would love it. Especially with the way Bielema ran up the score every chance he got last year.