Pitchin with Pritch: Husker volleyball on its way, football building
Way to go Huskers! I am talking about the volleyball team this time. They went on the road, faced an undefeated Illinois group that was a good volleyball team, and got out winning an important Big 10 game three sets to one.
The Big 10 Volleyball conference is loaded with not good teams but a bunch of great teams, so although this is a very big win for the Husker women, it is just one game of many that will be very difficult, no matter if they play it on the road or at Devaney.
The Big 10 has Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Penn State all in the top 10 and Purdue and Michigan in the top 20, plus Ohio State and Michigan State getting some votes for inclusion in the top 25. So getting through that schedule is anything but easy for any team regardless of talent. Those teams in the top 25 as of last week had a combined record of 74-9.
Nebraska has another very talented team this season and I would be willing to bet they will still be in the thick of things come tournament time if everyone stays healthy and the team keeps improving each week.
Husker football, on the other hand, is still struggling, and last Saturday was no different. Going 0-4 to start the season wasn’t anywhere I thought they would be but that is the situation.
We used to have a saying when I coached that “if you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’re going keep on getting what you’re getting.” Right now the Huskers are doing some good things, but they are doing a lot of things badly and they have done them each and every game.
When you have over 100 yards in penalties every game, and I will admit that a couple of the penalties were questionable vs Purdue, you have created a big hurdle to overcome in regards to winning a game. You can take away the questionable ones and the Huskers still had enough really ill-timed foul-ups that killed drives, took away interceptions, or just killed any momentum they had gained to come up on the short end of the scoring.
At one time I really thought Nebraska had a chance to win enough to be eligible for post-season play, but it is getting less likely to happen with each loss. Even with the problems they caused themselves against Purdue, they had a ton of offense yet kill themselves when they can’t make a yard when it is “Have to do it” time. The Huskers offense picked up 582 yards on 81 snaps and had 31 first downs and they lost by 14 points.
Coach Frost’s comment after the game that “We honestly look, in my opinion, like one of the most undisciplined teams in the country, and it kills me, because it isn’t like we’re not trying to hold them accountable.” I am sure there are numerous people who would agree with his assessment. Not helping is the fact it is the program’s eighth straight loss and the seventh consecutive loss at Memorial Stadium.
Last week, Coach Frost said it might get worse before it gets better. It did get worse but I still think he will get it where it needs to be to be one of the best in the Big 10 and a National title contender in the future. He inherited a program that had problems and some of them were problems with no quick fixes available. Time, it will take time. This year is a building year, victories may be few but hopefully the foundation for better times will be built.
I usually don’t say a whole lot about local sports because I don’t need the grief that sometimes comes with it. I would, however, like to publicly say to the nine players who made the trip to Kimball and played football last Friday, “Good Job and hang in there because it will get better.”
I think we have a good young man heading up the program and I would like to think we have some boys who will step up and get involved with the football program. There are some athletes who would help a bunch if they were playing.
I don’t know why for sure there are not more out because we have enough boys in high school to have decent numbers for two fall sports.
I hope that things will change and change soon. Go Plainsmen!