Bo Pelini is executing an extreme makeover on Nebraska's defense and program.
Photo by Aaron Babcock/Hail Varsity

Tell Us If You Think Beating Mizzou Will Become a Watershed Moment for NU

By NU Athletic Communications

Randy York's N-sider

To "Respond to Randy" click on the link below and choose "Randy York's N-Sider" under "Area of Interest" on the new screen. Please include your name and hometown and share your thoughts on the importance of Nebraska's come-from-behind win over Missouri. Your ideas may be published at the bottom of this column.

Of course, it's premature to call Nebraska's win over Missouri in a Thursday night rainstorm a watershed moment. Then again, maybe when all is said and done, the 27-12 triumph will be considered a critical point that marks a change of course or a turning point in the Huskers' fabled football program.

If you don't attend home games at Memorial Stadium, you may not have noticed the years that scream at you every time you look at the West Stadium . . . the list that recognizes Nebraska's conference football championships . . . the list telling us that our last Big 12 title was 1999.

Some would say that Nebraska has been looking for a win like this one since Colorado rained on our 10-0 parade in 2001 - a lopsided loss that kept the Huskers out of the Big 12 title game that season, but in a national championship game that only continued the freefall, especially defensively.

Yes, watershed moments demand historical context because they imply a dividing line - a moment in time that marks a momentous transition . . . a time that forever changes the attitudes of those who have especially good reasons to notice.

And using that definition, I can't help but think about the irony of a possible watershed moment in the midst of a full-day's downpour of rain . . . a moment when everyone had every reason - at least for three quarters - to think things hadn't really changed at Nebraska.

Think Kansas fans saw a bit of watershed in a rain that wouldn't quit and a Husker team that wouldn't quit either? How about Oklahoma fans? If Nebraska can transform a 52-17 loss to Missouri in Lincoln into a 27-12 win in Columbia one year later, why can't a 62-28 loss to the Sooners in 2008 in Norman become a similar reversal in 2009 in Lincoln?

Pelini Would Be the Last to Get Ahead of Himself

We interrupt this column to inform you that Bo Pelini, in his second season as Nebraska's head coach, would stop the writer right here, not to mention everyone reading what he's about to say.

So before you fully buy into this premise of a watershed moment, please consider these two important points:

-- Bo doesn't "get into" bold, broad-sweeping statements because he knows they can't even be considered until at least seven more questions - called regular-season games - are answered.

-- The Missouri win is "just part of the process, part of where we are," Pelini said. "We're not going to address or handle this win any different than we do any other week."

So it's on to Texas Tech, where Pelini plans to "fix a lot of things that need to be fixed" and the Huskers can "get better as a football team."

Still, let the record show that Bo has been somewhat of a miracle worker already, transforming Nebraska's defense from one of the nation's absolute worst in 2007 to what Husker quarterback Zac Lee Thursday night called the nation's best defense in 2009.

Move over, Ty Pennington, the emotionally charged host of one of television's most popular shows. Even you couldn't execute an Extreme Makeover of this magnitude as fast as turbo-charged Bo can.

Emotion, Passion, Belief Fuel the Transformation

Make no mistake. Emotion, passion, belief - and any other noun you want to throw in there - are the fuel for Nebraska's quick-fire transformation, a turnaround that is being fully choreographed by Pelini with full support from his talented and dedicated staff.

All who had doubts Thursday night, fess up and fess up now. How many of you were ready to wave a white flag after three quarters of an unproductive offense in a rain that washed away every bit of the confidence you'd gained in Pelini since he arrived?

Don't lie and while you're at it, erase those nasty text messages you were sending to friends and family insisting that Lee needed to be replaced by a true freshman.

Remember Husker "loyalists", you may read and watch everything you can about your favorite team, but coaches, very smart coaches, tell their players to focus on the process and compete every day. And unlike you, they watch players, evaluate film and make every decision in the best interests of the team.

True, Zac Lee has struggled in a couple of tough college football venues this season, but he found his groove Thursday night at the same time most of us were losing hope.

Thankfully, Lee had a whole locker room of teammates who knew he was ready to break out.

"We all trust Zac. We knew once he calmed down, we were going to be real proud of him," said Niles Paul, who caught two of Lee's three fourth-quarter touchdown passes. "He showed what a real man's about. He went through some adversity, and he still made the big plays."

Ndamukong Suh says he never lost hope that the offense would emerge when needed most. "They came through like I knew they would," he said. "At some point in this game, we knew they would come along and be where they were supposed to be."

Suh Knew It Was a Wrap After First Touchdown

When Suh saw Lee hit Paul on a post route and get into the end zone for the first touchdown, "I knew it was a wrap," Suh said. "I knew we were going to take care of this win. They got us rolling, and there was no looking back."

Nebraska's defensive gem - in line with the Huskers having the nation's best scoring defense - "gave us a chance to do what we did offensively," Lee said. "We have guys who never give up, and I think that showed. We knew we were going to get our chance, and we'd better be ready to take advantage when given that chance.

"I love our defense," Lee said. "They keep us in every game. They're doing a great job. There's no better defense in the country."

Pelini isn't ready to go that far, but he acknowledged the defense kept Nebraska in position to win so Lee's first touchdown pass could jump-start an offense that he said had spent the first three quarters "sleepwalking."

"We just didn't play well," Pelini said. "It wasn't just any one guy. It was a unit. When you're in a game like that and conditions were what they were, you got to get a spark, and that post route got that spark. And we took off from there."

Greg Sharpe, the voice of Husker football, asked Pelini in the locker room if his first team a year ago would have been able to come back in a game like Thursday night's.

"No, I don't think they do," Pelini said candidly, making sure that he recognized last year's seniors for "setting the table" and developing a culture that enables "our program to be what we want it to be."

That's the closest Pelini came to acknowledging even the possibility of a watershed moment.

Nebraska-Colorado Game in 1990 Was Eerily Similar

But consider this. Thursday night's game on ESPN was eerily similar to a Nebraska-Colorado game 19 years ago on ESPN - a game that was played in an equally cold and rainy downpour in Lincoln.

Nebraska led that game, 12-0 after three quarters, but Colorado scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to win, 27-12, on the road, no less.

Let's see, could that score possibly have any more irony than it already does?

Yes, and here's the kicker: That Colorado team rolled into Lincoln on Nov. 3, 1990, ranked ninth in the country. Eric Bieniemy overcame five rain-soaked fumbles to score four touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat the third-ranked Huskers.

The once-beaten and once-tied Buffs went on to split the 1990 national championship with Georgia Tech, which beat Nebraska in the Citrus Bowl while Colorado edged Notre Dame, 10-9, in the Orange Bowl.

If CU could ride its defense all the way to the top, you wonder if Nebraska could defy similar odds now.

Even though a lot has to happen before beating Mizzou can be described as a watershed moment two decades later, the important thing is this - it should be fun finding out.

Respond to Randy 

Voices from Husker Nation

In my line of work, a watershed is an area of land whose borders are high points - maybe ridge lines where all water or precipitation that falls within the watershed drains to one pour point. A watershed moment would then be a flood of some magnitude. Do I agree if the Missouri win was the "flood of the season", literally, quite yes, but no it is not the highlight for these Cornhuskers. The Missouri game shows the mettle of this team and of these fine young players. Did they give up? No, they didn't. Were they fighting uphill in the wind both ways? On the road, in driving rain, against a formidable 4-0 rival who has whipped us in the past, it was a good ole Big 8 rivalry against two teams who both wanted to win. It showed that Nebraska can bend, dig deep, play great defense and win as long as everyone believes. I am quite proud of them. With this attitude, they can fight uphill, against bigger odds and continue to be successful. I will be cheering for them as always. Go Big Red. Thom Garday (1983 NU Alumni) National Hydraulic Engineer, US Department of Agriculture

I don't think the win over Missouri is a "watershed" moment. I'm swollen with satisfaction over the win, but would have said the win over Virginia Tech was a watershed moment. There is still a lot of football left to play. Let's see how this season finishes and judge the success and direction of the program after the season is complete. I want to see how NU fairs against OU. This may turn out to be a season of pleasant surprise, but let's wait and see :-)  GO BIG RED Ron Zeilinger, Huntington Beach, California

Under the conditions of the temperature and rain, neither offense was productive for the first three quarters. The defenses were equally challenged by two offenses that can be very explosive. So where does the credit go? The credit goes to the entire Husker team and coaches for staying the course because in my heart, I knew we would make something happen. Lee had us moving at the end of the 3rd quarter, and the offensive line gave him time for the early pass in the 4th that ignited the entire Husker Nation. Who stepped up next?  Suh and his defensive counterparts, again!  Great game coaches, players and fans.  By the way, Suh is the Man!!!!!!!!!  Dave Retzlaff, Salina, Kansas

I was just waiting for a turnaround in the game. With the Huskers only down by 12, I just didn't think they would lose. The defense played inspired football, led by Suh and his linemen buddies. The pressure on Missouri's offense was relentless. I think it may be a bit premature to say Nebraska is back, but I believe they are on the right track. Pelini and staff are a breath of fresh air, no nonsense, fundamental coaching and caring about the student-athlete. This is the recipe for success. GOOOO BIGGG REDDD!!!!  GO BIG RED! Joe Stephens, Sioux City, Iowa

All Husker fans hope it was a watershed moment. When everything went so wrong in the first three quarters, our team didn't give up. They simply refused to lose and put together a memorable 4th-quarter effort to come from behind and beat a good Missouri team. Congratulations Husker football!  John Risley, Cambridge, Nebraska

I think the Huskers played great and showed a lot of character in coming back. The fact that Helu stayed in through a shoulder injury makes me proud to be a Husker fan. I've watched the highlights 10+ times and after that play, you can see his arm go a little limp, but he hides it. That's what makes this Nebraska. GO BIG RED. Haley Cox

Bo has brought the defense an awful long way in a very short time. The Mizzou game was a great example of how a great defense can help you win a big game in tough weather and a hostile environment. We never gave up on them Thursday night, and the Blackshirts got it done. With the character and heart the whole team has displayed, we knew good things were going to happen. We are back. Go Big Red. Mark Murphy, Boynton Beach, Florida

I must admit that I was one of those who had lost much faith by the fourth quarter. My son and I had exchanged a couple of emails that were, shall we say, not too complimentary!!  However, now bouyed by that incredible comeback, I think we are on the road to an 11-1 season, which, of course, means beating Oklahoma on Nov. 7. My son from Wisconsin and my wife and I will be there, cheering on this fine team, and the fine coaches that are headed by Coach Pelini. Don Benson, Littleton, Colorado

I had to pinch myself this morning to make sure I really saw what I thought I saw last night. Amazing game. Not sure if I've ever seen a game switch so quickly or seen a passing game show such signs of brilliance after three quarters of frustration. Although I won't get credit for this, I had to do a lot of blocking and tackling in my living room while watching this game on my new big screen. Amazingly, the big screen survived. Jim Johnston, Mitchell, South Dakota 

Of course it was a watershed moment in Bo's rebuilding effort. Not only did his team finish the game, they fought through all the penalties, the screw ups on special teams, a rainstorm that severely hampered the offense, was 12 points down to a rated team on the road, and STILL came back and won by 15 points! That is TRUE GRIT!  Congrats to Bo and his coaches and the team. Cindy Bethel, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

Speaking of eery comparisons, I like to compare what we're seeing here to what Bob Stoops did at Oklahoma in 1999 and 2000, taking them to a National Championship in only his second year, riding an extremely dominant defense, and a young, but very talented offense (outside of a fifth-year senior quarterback) and most eerily of all to me, a brother as defensive coordinator. It seems like college football destiny for two of the best programs in the country to ride the same train to the top where they can be there again, together. Wes Svoboda

Great article! I will admit that I was one of the doubters at the end of the third quarter, but it was pretty hard not to.  With our lack of productivity against ranked teams on the road, it seemed like another down moment.  But after that third quarter, it all changed.  They showed us they have heart and confidence, which has been missing since the Colorado game in 2001. After this game, Husker Nation (including the players) now has confidence. It's a huge turning point for Bo and his revival of our program.  Suh for Heisman & GO BIG RED!! Tyler Williams

This might not be a monumental moment, but it is most certainly a turn in the right direction. As a Husker alum, I can remember the toughness of the NU defense of the early '70s. This team shows the same desire. As long as the offense can move the ball and score in the red zone, this year's team can go a long way. GO HUSKERS. Kurt Lancaster

After paying $100 so far this year to watch the Huskers develop, there was no way I was turning off the 1st HD game that was free, despite the first three quarters. Admittedly, I was calling for Cody's christening, as Zac Lee seemed ineffective, missing open receivers and hesitating when there were yards to be gained by running. I admire Pelini for sticking with him and giving him a chance for a comeback like that, although I heard Cody was warming up on the sideline. That fourth quarter was one of the most enjoyable Husker moments I have witnessed in years. I was at the game in Columbia when the streak ended. Ironically, it was a similar night weather-wise.  The best part for me was seeing Helu stay on the field after obviously hurting his shoulder to get the TD that sealed it. I think that moment represents the difference between this team and teams in the past six years. And it all is due to Pelini and Co., along with Tom Osborne's leadership. I'm looking forward to the Texas Tech game. We will really know if the team has turned the corner by how they handle themselves after a win like that. Rich Borman, Redlands, California

That was one of the greatest games I have seen in a long while. I will admit that after 4 hours of standing in pouring rain I was very upset with how we played the first 3 quarters. But the Huskers were able to pull it out with excellent defense and our fan support at the game did a great job of lowering the confidence of the Tigers and their fans. Our defense is becoming stellar, and we are all looking forward to the progress of our talented offense. As Bo has said many times, it is all about execution. If we can keep up the energy and momentum we could be well on our way to an 11-1 season. Let's carry the momentum into next week against Texas Tech. GO BIG RED!!!! Eric Campbell

Bo is doing a wonderful job. The Blackshirts are the Blackshirts again now. I am a diehard Husker fan, and I always will be, so mark my words ... the Huskers are back, and they are back to restore the order in college football. John Pender

The victory at Mizzou epitomizes the great Husker tradition! Teams don't win the Big 12 or national honors because of a single facet of the game or a few skill positions. Nebraska showed true grit by giving 100% on defense all the time and especially when the offense struggled. The Huskers may not be top 10 yet, but if championships were awarded for heart and effort, the Huskers would be at the top of the list. I'm hopeful that this is the beginning of another great era in Husker football. Dave Huff

I am not sure it could be called a "Watershed" game because I'm not sure how good Missouri actually is, but it may be a turning point in this season. In a hostile environment, in horrible weather conditions, Nebraska came back from a 12-point deficit to beat Missouri by 15 points. I think it shows the spirit and the commitment this team has to not giving up and doing its best for the entire game. We will see what the rest of the season brings....GO BIG RED. Michael King

Watching college football over the years has shown that hiring a new football coach is not a guarantee that your football program will get any better. In fact, the odds of it getting worse are probably greater than the odds of success. I remember back in the '70s, many Husker fans were ready to fire Tom Osborne because he couldn't win more than nine games a season. Any honest Nebraska fan out there over the age of 60 will have to admit that we were pretty tired of coming up short every year. Thankfully, the university stuck with Tom and one of the greatest college programs of all time was built (started, of course, by Bob Devaney). I don't think anyone should blame Bo for Zac's first 3-quarter performance because knowledgeable fans know that a good coach will stick with his quarterback as long as he can (for a bunch of reasons). Hopefully, Zac came of age at Missouri last Thursday night. On one hand, you could say that it was indeed a watershed moment for Bo and the Huskers. But on the other hand, when a coach who knows how to build a successful program (or turn one around), you would typically see steady progress. Last Thursday was an example of that.  We almost handed it to Virginia Tech two weeks ago, but couldn't quite get the job done. So, with a little extra experience, practice, and intangible stuff kicking into gear, we climbed one more rung toward the top of the ladder. Let's remember, however, that as great as Devaney was, it took him until his ninth season to win a national championship. It took Tom until his 22nd season to win his first national championship. Right now, Husker fans should be happy with just getting back into the national spotlight. Randy Armstrong

Yes, I was getting nervous after the third quarter ended, but I kept seeing little sparks of hope, and I was just waiting for the break. Thank you, SUH, for the interception!!! I was so proud of our defense and the way they hung in there. I was so happy to see how the defense was an encouragement to the offense; to me, that shows a strong commitment to TEAM Huskers, not individual Huskers. Yes, we still have penalties and silly mistakes to eliminate. I can remember if we got more than two penalties, we thought our team was not playing up to potential. I am sure that we will get back to very few penalties once again soon. I really think our team spirit is surfacing and once there, we will have a very, very, very good team. GO HUSKERS!! Alice Fisher

Will beating Mizzou become a watershed moment for NU? I say yes! Although this is a stepping stone, it is a major stepping stone and the kind of improvement that we can definitely build on. This win will give the Huskers the confidence to step up and say we can and will Get R' Done!! This game also shows we have some talented playmakers that can make things happen when we need it most! I say break out the Blackshirts!!! This defense has earned it, Bo. Handing out the Blackshirts will set these guys on FIRE! We have the right players, and now we have the right coaches and staff. I say: let's do this thing!  Go Big Red!!! Tim Vanderford, Benkelman, Nebraska

Yes, the win over the Missouri Tigers will be a mark of Nebraska on its march to becoming the powerhouse that it was during the Tom Osborne/Bob Devaney coaching eras. For me, that comeback from behind over Missouri was as awesome as the win over Miami when Coach Osborne won his first national championship. Robin Wisner, Fort Dodge, Iowa

The win was great, but I am sure I was not the only one who was frustrated most of the game. It was good to be able to finish a game, unlike Virginia Tech. Our offense has to improve a lot before I feel comfortable saying we have turned the corner and are steamrolling ahead. Certainly the best news is seeing the Blackshirts back, even if they haven't got them yet. The Pelini brothers and other defensive coaches have them playing very well. It's a long season ahead, and it has to be one game at a time. Our offense has to run the ball consistently. I haven't seen that yet. Again, the win was great, but now it's back to work! GO BIG RED!!! Roger Willers, Moorhead, Minnesota

While it was a great win and showed extraordinary fortitude, I believe it is too early to describe the game as a watershed moment. I do appreciate the irony of calling a gut-check game played in a downpour, in front of a hostile crowd in a puddle, a watershed moment, though. Keep up the good work. Joe Hlavacek, Payson Arizona

I'll admit, I was about ready to give up when it got to the 4th quarter, and we had less than 100 yards of total offense. I don't know what changed, but it was like they flipped a switch, and the offense looked like a different team. They looked confident, started catching passes, and the Missouri players looked like they lost hope. Our defense was amazing, as usual, and kept us in the game until the offense took off. I was so proud of the guys and how they hung in there and pulled out that win. Our coaching staff is doing a great job. Go Big Red! Lennae Seevers

Yes, with the win over the Tigers, Big Red is back . . . one-day-at-a-time. Shawn Horst, Fullerton, Nebraska

What a great showing by the Blackshirts! I think it is time for Bo to give those young men the Blackshirts for this year! Wow, what a performance to keep us in that game until the offense got a break! Way to go Big Red! Phenomenal game and keep it rolling one week at a time!! Jason Christensen, Lincoln, Nebraska

This may very well be a monumental turnaround moment in Nebraska football . . . ON the road, in brutal weather, made every mistake and penalty in the book for three quarters, but this team showed no matter how grim it looked, they never laid down and quit. That speaks to the "character" of these coaches and every player, to a man. Coach Pelini has some fixin' to do this week, as he indicated. One can't count on the defense keeping us in every game. Our offense needs to step up and put it on these teams early, then keep our foot on their throats. We are heading in the right direction, and don't EVER let the Pelinis leave this program. Grow old and gray in Lincoln and become part of our Husker-Mt. Rushmore: Devaney, Osborne, Pelini. T. Laurance

I don't know if I'd call the Missouri game a watershed moment, but it was sure nice to see the entire team play through all four quarters and never give up. Yes, the offense had difficulties, but Zac Lee showed poise and positive spirit. It really doesn't matter what us die-hard Husker fans think of the game. The most important thing that happened was that the team should now believe 100 percent in itself, more so now than it has in years. That's what will make this team better and keep the program moving in an upward direction! Leigh Batten

It was another great victory for the Huskers in deplorable conditions. They gave Mizzou three quarters to beat them and then they had enough and put the Tigers away. Defense was really good and will get better each week. I also believe that Lee and his receivers will get better each game. Isn't it great to have Coach Pelini and his staff at NU? Dave Poole, Bayard, Iowa.

Absolutely a watershed moment for Bo Pelini's Huskers, especially when we faced adversity in hostile territory and looked like we were completely dead until we found a spark and a way to win. This defense is back! This program is back! Michael Barber

Thanks for the excellent thoughts on last night's game. I'll admit that I was one of those ready to sit Lee down and raise a white flag, but with the way the defense was playing, something told me we had a chance. The defense can carry us, but our offense must develop more consistency in the ground game and better pass protection. To me the key from here on out is how well our offensive line develops. If they play all four quarters like they did in fourth quarter, we'll have the type of team every Husker fan wants. James P. Kelly, LaGrange, Indiana

Yes, I almost gave up hope on my Huskers, but I knew it was possible, so I stayed tuned to see the most amazing fourth quarter I've seen in a long time. The excitement was there. It was Nebraska football as it once was. Our defense was the greatest I've seen in a long time. Go Huskers ... go all the way. Get better, stronger, and make us all proud. Wayne Baker, Little Rock, Arkansas

Not a watershed moment. When the Huskers were on a downward spiral, it was inevitable that someone take their place. This does not mean that Mizzou or Kansas ever approached the level the Huskers once were. They were simply the best in the North with the emphasis on WERE. NU is not back to old form yet, but is well on the way. Accordingly, the other programs are leveling out to their rightful positions. Jim Boeche

I have to tell you about an article in last Sunday's Kansas City Star, stating that Nebraska basically will never be the same and that Missouri players don't remember the old Nebraska. My 13-year-old daughter loves the Cornhuskers. When she wore her Nebraska jersey to school before the game, she was told she couldn't ... jokingly, of course. She screamed so much and was so excited when we beat Missouri, and yes, she is so PROUD to go to school and represent the Cornhuskers here in Missouri. We all are. Carrie Beam. Kearney, Missouri

No, beating Missouri is simply expected. Beat a good South team on the road. Win a title. Begin the climb to annual national championship level. If anything it's a key moment in Missouri's future. David T. Schulz

I really enjoyed your article, and I have to admit to raising my hand when you posed the question "How many of you were ready to raise the white flag?" But I have been a loyal Husker fan for over 30 years, so even though my heart was bleeding Husker red, I couldn't tear myself away from the game. I would have have woken up in the morning with regret had I not stayed up and watched the Huskers' great comeback. My son may have to have his hearing checked, though, because I could not control the screams that effortlessly came out. I feel we have a great staff and some of the blogs I read were totally unfair. Anyone who has watched football knows that on any given day, the "best" team in the country can have an off day and lose. Gone are the days when certain teams were considered always the loser because now you see some of them in the top 25. We all have to accept the fact that the playing field is more equal than it has ever been, and there will be more close games than we want. But I know that the best fans in the nation will stand behind our beloved Huskers. GO BIG RED!! Kathy Haumont

Beating Missouri shows that the Huskers are a force in the Big 12 again!! The close game against the Hokies of Virginia Tech was not a fluke, and we should be ranked higher than we are. Thursday night was payback for the whuppin' we took last year. The Huskers are well on their way to being a national power again!!! Bryan Rauch

That was awesome! They are on their way. Bo is doing a great job, and the players are playing like a real team. So happy! Karen Bazar

I believe we will be 7-1 entering the Oklahoma game. Our defense can play with anyone in the country. Our offense seems to be sputtering against good teams, but we will score enough to beat Texas Tech and take care of Iowa State and Baylor. The question to be answered is "Can we score enough to beat Oklahoma?" The good news is this game is in Lincoln, and we'll iron out our wrinkles by then. David Dickinson, Scottsbluff, Nebraska

Nebraska has taken another step back to where we were, helped in large part by Bo Pelini and his staff and the on-field leadership of Ndamukong Suh. ESPN showed Suh talking to Lee on the sidelines, and you knew Suh was telling him the defense had his back. It's beginning to look like a great season. GO BIG RED! Mitch Matthews

Tears! What a masterpiece you just wrote. BEAUTIFUL!!! Mitzi Murphy

It is not a watershed moment yet because, as you said about Bo, it's too soon to get ahead of ourselves. We improved a lot last year and had some really good defensive efforts, but Missouri and Oklahoma cleaned our clocks with wide-open offenses in offense-friendly weather. A real good effort on a nice day against Texas Tech would be a much better indicator that we are on our way back to our Blackshirt days than the Missouri victory was. I think they can do it. Scott Hamilton

I believe the watershed game was last year's game at Texas Tech (37-31 overtime loss). Even though last year's Virginia Tech game (35-30 loss) could have been a watershed game, I believe our players convinced themselves after those two games (a team that tied for the Big 12 South title and a team that won the Orange Bowl) that they could play with anybody. John Rownd

I think by beating a team that had struggled against the likes of Furman, it would be premature to label us as "turned around" quite yet. Ron Schaffer

We still have a long way to go before the players act like leaders of men like the '95 team did and start winning championships again. The coaches are on the right track. Despite the rain, we got it done, and a win is a win. But if this is a turning point, I'll be surprised. We still have a lot of work to do. Hank Watton

NU's win against Missouri was a watershed event for the defense, no doubt!!  However, for the team, the offense needs to have some sort of epiphany.  I do not want to throw cold water on what was a big win at Missouri, but we need to clean up some things first. John Thomason

Miami's performance this season against Virginia Tech (31-7 loss) and Oklahoma (21-20 win) may provide a clue to Nebraska's future. Ned Conger

Bo Pelini would be the first one to say that it is only one game in the Big 12, but what a turning point the fourth quarter was, and this game could be a defining moment for this young Husker team. I know that almost everyone was saying "Where is Cody Green?", and the faith that Watson and Pelini showed in staying with Zac Lee could prove monumental as the rest of the season unfolds. I don't know what happens the rest of this year, but the Blackshirts are back (come on, Bo and Carl) in a big way, and we are good enough offensively to compete with anyone. Suh is headed for major awards and certainly will be a top 3 draft pick (depending on who is drafting). In a nutshell...WE ARE BACK!!!!!!!!! Tom Gunlick

I believe that Nebraska's come-from-behind win will be the start of a GR8 season. After the horrid defeat to Missouri last year in OUR house, the team and our first-year coach went on to win 5 games and the Gator Bowl. Coach Pinkel and the Tigers are fast becoming our nemesis, but ignite the spark to electrify our team. I am looking forward to the exciting games ahead and will be booking my hotel in Dallas. Jan Wist, Omaha, Nebraska



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