Published Wednesday, Jan 1 at 6:20 pm
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 24, Georgia 19
By / World-Herald Columnist

Lot to like: The guts of Tommy Armstrong. The understated brilliance of Ameer Abdullah; I think he could have the same impact as Ndamukong Suh in a senior year. Tim Beck taking the deep shots from near his goal line. The pop pass to tight end Cethan Carter and the use of the tight end in general. Finally, the Nebraska fans who showed up here. I don’t have a number, but it was a good showing.

Not so much: The interception by Tommy Armstrong — threw it behind Kenny Bell, timing was off, but he’ll get more reps with the first team now that Taylor Martinez is gone. Bowl rematches.

Harry Grimminger Player of the Game: Jason Ankrah and the defensive line. Georgia has some …

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Published Sunday, Dec 8 at 10:25 pm
Last Call: Sunday night edition
By / World-Herald Columnist

Nobody asked me, but….

1. The Gator Bowl feels like a letdown. But what’s worse: getting passed over by the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl or being upset about it?

2. A trip to the desert would have been nice, as would an old Big Eight rematch. But let’s put this in perspective. If Husker fans are upset about being dissed by the BWW bowl, then you are in a place you don’t want to be. Perhaps you should be upset that NU was in that position to begin with. Don’t lose to Iowa or Minnesota. Do what Michigan State did. No reason why Nebraska should not be able to do what MSU did this year.

3. What happened? I think it was this simple: the …

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Published Friday, Nov 29 at 5:59 pm
Tom’s Takes: Iowa 38, Nebraska 17
By / World-Herald Columnist

Lot to like: Ron Kellogg’s guts. The adjustments and play-calling on the first drive of the second half. For Iowa, the playmaking of quarterback Jake Rudock, with several good downfield throws. And the Hawkeyes’ run defense, especially the active linebackers.

Not so much: The unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Bo Pelini. The pass protection for Kellogg and failure to pick up late blitzes. Letting a punt drop when you should have caught it; catching a punt when you should have let it go. Last but not least, calling a fake punt on your own 32 — after Iowa had called a timeout to watch for the fake punt. Yikes.

Harry Gimminger Player of the Game: Jeremiah Sirles. It’s a sentimental pick, because he’s one of my …

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Published Thursday, Nov 28 at 11:34 am
Thanksgiving Tailgate
By / World-Herald Columnist

I’m thankful for family, friends and readers. And mostly, for my beautiful wife, who is stronger than I could ever be.

And, absolutely, thankful for football.

1. Nebraska 24, Iowa 21: A Hawkeye win would not be an upset. But I think RKIII is going to give us a Senior Day to remember.

2. Ohio State 34, Michigan 14: Hard to see a blowout in this series, but Michigan offense is pretty brutal right now. Uncle Urban will try to leave an impression in his first trip to the Big House.

3. Wisconsin 45, Penn State 17: Next stop: South Beach.

4. Michigan State 21, Minnesota 14: Next stop: Ohio State.

5. Kansas State 35, Kansas 21: This is KU’s Super Bowl. But this is still Bill …

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Published Saturday, Nov 23 at 9:11 pm
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 23, Penn State 20 (OT)
By / World-Herald Columnist

Lot to like: Ron Kellogg’s day, particularly some of the big throws he made under pressure. Ameer Abdullah’s would-be 62-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. That would have looked nice on the All-America and Doak Walker résumé before the zebra stripes took it away. Pat Smith making back-to-back field goals into the swirling wind in overtime. And Nebraska’s defense snuffing out the rollout attempt by Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg on third down in overtime. Kenny Bell’s 99-yard kickoff return.

Not so much: The fumbles by Abdullah and Kellogg. The first took away a likely Husker touchdown. The second set up Penn State for a go-ahead score early in the third quarter. They added up to a 14-point swing. If they don’t occur, perhaps …

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Published Friday, Nov 22 at 4:49 pm
Tom’s Friday Tailgate, Nov. 22
By / World-Herald Columnist

Live, from rainy Pittsburgh, where the first thing to greet me at the Pittsburgh Airport was a life-size statue of Franco Harris catching the ball in the Immaculate Reception.

Nebraska 28, Penn State 24: Senior Day. Beaver Stadium. The Nittany Lions will be a tough out. You have to figure there’s a little Michigan State revenge thing going on here, too, since NU has beaten the blue and white the last two seasons. It’s hard to guess how the emotions will play on both sidelines; PSU can’t go bowling and NU is looking at Tampa or Tempe. But I know that Ameer Abdullah is going to suit up. That’s all I need to know.

Iowa 24, Michigan 17: Seven wins and turning the caravan toward …

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Published Saturday, Nov 16 at 9:23 pm
Tom’s Takes: Michigan State 41, Nebraska 28
By / World-Herald Columnist

Lot to like: Nebraska’s physicality on both sides of the ball. The offensive line more than held its own against this vaunted defense, and there had to be a sideline of red faces beneath the shiny green helmets when Imani Cross burst up the middle and outran the secondary on a 51-yard touchdown. Defensively, Nebraska’s front seven is feeling it, and it took all of the clutch throws Connor Cook could muster to put this one away.

Not so much: Nebraska’s idea of a punt return. Look, if you don’t want to go after a blocked punt, especially with some of the maximum protection schemes back there, fine. But then go down and set up a return. Bo Pelini seems content to do neither. It’s …

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Published Friday, Nov 15 at 10:46 am
Tom’s Friday Tailgate, Nov. 15
By / World-Herald Columnist

Wow, 65 degrees tomorrow, 2:30 p.m. kick. What a perfect day to be outside in College Football Town, USA. See you there.

1. Nebraska 17, Michigan State 14: It was brought to my attention last week that I picked Michigan to beat the Huskers, and you-know-who won, and my response was, “See? It worked out perfect.” Nobody believed it. Believe this: there’s something going on with this football team, the one that couldn’t tackle Minnesota. This one will be one of those Big Ten manhood games and I don’t know how Nebraska’s going to block the Green Machine. But I think it goes down to a late turnover, a last-minute field goal, and a home crowd that treats this like Oklahoma. I also can’t pick Michigan …

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Published Sunday, Nov 10 at 11:22 pm
Last Call: Big Husker weekend includes best win of Pelini era
By / World-Herald Columnist

1. Has there ever been a better weekend for Nebraska athletics? Husker hoops, men and women, open the Pinnacle Bank Arena with wins. Football win at Michigan. Women’s soccer wins Big Ten tournament. Volleyball team beats Wisconsin and Minnesota on the road.

The folks in Lincoln may not want to share the love, but you could throw in UNO hockey being in first place in the NCHC after a split with North Dakota, Creighton’s season-opening win and Maverick hoops taking Iowa to the mat before losing. That’s a full weekend.

2. So I wrote that Saturday’s win at Michigan was the best win of the Bo Pelini Era. That did not exactly have the historians scrambling for the media guides, but World-Herald beat man Sam …

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Published Saturday, Nov 9 at 9:31 pm
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 17, Michigan 13
By / World-Herald Columnist

Lot to Like: Tommy Armstrong’s cool playmaking on the fourth-quarter touchdown drive. Tim Beck staying with the run. Beck’s instincts on the two big plays on that drive, including the open pass to Kenny Bell. If that play hadn’t worked, the wolves would have howled at Beck for not running. Those kids on defense, bowing up for a second straight week, allowing just three points after two fumbles in NU territory. Bo Pelini and his coaching staff. Under immense pressure and scrutiny, they didn’t lose these kids the last two weeks. They have them right where they want them.

Not so much: For my Husker friends who detest booing, I’ll say it: I didn’t like the booing by the Michigan crowd and I’m glad that’s …

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