Wally's View
from the cheap seats

2003 Game Predictions and Commentary

The 2003 Cornhuskers finished 10-3. GO BIG RED!

Other seasons from the cheap seats: 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998

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Preseason prognostications on 7/15/03
9-3 (8-4)

Oklahoma State - Win.
There's no way the Pokes win in Lincoln this year. NU will be a
10+ point favorite at kickoff and will beat the spread. Bank on it.
Utah State - Win.
Penn State - Win.
PSU loses too much from last year's team. NU by 14+ in Lincoln.
Southern Mississippi - Win.
A difficult place to play but Nebraska wins late in a low scoring, close game.
Troy State - Win.
Close early, Huskers win by 17.
Missouri - Tossup.
A close game against a good MU team. NU by 7.
Texas A&M - Win.
Dollar Bill's return to Lincoln will not be a happy homecoming. NU by 14+.
Iowa State - Win.
ISU's win streak over NU ends at one. Seneca, we hardly knew ya.
Texas - Likely loss.
Texas is loaded and will be too much for the Huskers in Austin.
Kansas - Win.
Kansas State - Likely loss.
I hate to say it but this may be KSU's year. Then again,
Bill Snyder has yet to win a title at KSU. Any title.
Colorado - Tossup.
Playing in Boulder is difficult but don't be too shocked if Nebraska wins.
Either way, there will be police in riot gear and couches burning in the streets.

Predictions are posted the week prior to gameday

Wally's prediction: Nebraska 35 Oklahoma State 21
Actual score: Nebraska 17 Oklahoma State 7

Aug 30th in Lincoln 1 2 3 4 F
Oklahoma State 7 0 0 0 7
Nebraska 3 0 14 0 17

Wally's fearless prediction:
The 2002 OSU Cowpokes barely beat Nebraska's worst product in 40 years on their way to an 8-5 finish.
They managed one road win against a lowly Kansas team and have been annointed a program on the rise.
Note: going 8-5 after finishing 17-27 the previous four seasons technically qualifies them as a program
on the rise. The OSU fans have already penciled in a win at Lincoln this year as they look past Nebraska
on their way to games against Wyoming, SW Missouri State, SMU and Louisiana-Layfayette. Those fans
are in for a rude awakening as the winning streak ends at one. The Huskers start the season with a bang.

Series history: Nebraska leads 35-3-1
Last game: 2002, OSU won 24-21 in Stillwater
Last OSU victory: 2002
OSU's record in 2002: 8-5

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
Good Lord. I love Jammal but he couldn't pass an eye test with binoculars. If Sandro DeAngelis
thinks he has paid his dues he ought to demand a refund. A win is a win is a win, but the
Husker offense still has a long way to go. The Blackshirts ruled the day in shutting down the
vaunted OSU 'triplets' and Bo Pelini has put his mark on this defense with an exclamation point.
I liked what I saw in the second half but the NU offense has to make any Cornhusker fan shudder.

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 45 Utah State 14
Actual score: Nebraska 31 Utah State 7

September 6 in Lincoln 1 2 3 4 F
Utah State 7 0 0 0 7
Nebraska 6 9 13 3 31

Wally's fearless prediction:
Who really cares besides me? This is a preseason-type game that I'm glad I didn't
have to buy tickets for. Utah State comes to Lincoln for a payday and an asskicking.

Series history: Nebraska leads 7-0
Last game: 2002, NU won 44-13
Last USU victory: Never
Utah State's record in 2002: 7-4

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
Another impressive performance by the Blackshirts, another lackluster one by the NU offense.
The dumbing down of Nebraska's offense is now complete as coaches try to compensate for
some obvious weaknesses. A very nice debut for Joe "not ready for primetime" Dailey. He
may not be ready to shoulder the load just yet but showed much promise as the quarterback
of the future. True freshman David Dyches earned a starting spot today. Will this be a trend?

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Nittany Lions
Wally's prediction: Nebraska 24 Penn State 10
Actual score: Nebraska 18 Penn State 10

September 13 in Lincoln 1 2 3 4 F
Penn State 0 10 0 0 10
Nebraska 3 6 6 3 18

Wally's fearless prediction:
I believe itís safe to predict that Penn State will not hang 40 points on the Huskers again this year.
No disrespect to JoePa and his boys but the Blackshirts will be out to prove that last year was a fluke.
The Nits are in a bit of disarray after an embarrassing loss to BC as the youth and inexperience of PSU's
O-line was exposed. This is a payback game for the Huskers and it's time for them to make a statement.

Series history: Nebraska is 5-7 against Penn State
Last game: 2002, PSU won 40-7
Last PSU victory: 2002 in Happy Valley
Penn State's record in 2002: 9-4

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
Winning ugly sure beats losing ugly. The Huskers dominated in every category except scoreboard as the
offense put Nebraska in a hole once again and led to Penn State's only scores. The Blackshirts were
outstanding and will keep this team in every game they play. Problems scoring in the red zone will
continue to frustrate coaches and fans until NU can do something besides hand off up the middle.

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Golden Eagles
Wally's prediction: Nebraska 27 Southern Mississippi 10
Actual score: Nebraska 38 Southern Mississippi 14

September 25 in Hattiesburg 1 2 3 4 F
Nebraska 17 0 14 7 38
Southern Mississippi 0 7 0 7 14

Wally's fearless prediction:
Why are there three one-loss teams ranked ahead of Nebraska? Because Nebraska has not been tested yet
and has beaten three weak teams in the comfy confines of Memorial Stadium. This road trip will be telling.

Nebraska has the makings for a very successful season (everything is relative, folks. Remember last year?)
but the Cornhuskers still have a whole lot left to prove. They are capable of winning every game on their
schedule but I wouldn't be so bold as to predict that result. I will predict a win over an out-manned USM team.

Every team that NU will face has proven themselves vulnerable but the Huskers need to continue improving
every week and step things up a notch to take advantage of it. It starts on thursday night. One game at a time.

Series history: Nebraska is 1-0 against Southern Mississippi
Last game: 1999, Nebraska won 20-13
Last Southern Miss. victory: N/A
Southern Mississippi's record in 2002: 7-6

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
The Cornhuskers roared into Dixie like a pack of Big Red carpetbaggers and handed the Eagles a rare
loss at 'The Rock'. It remains to be seen if Nebraska's road woes have been cured but this win is a
positive step in that direction. Jammal Lord had a breakout game that will silence his critics for a day or
two. Okay, one day. It's becoming cliche to say that this was an outstanding Blackshirt effort but it was.

Can you feel it? Do you sense the difference in these Blackshirts? It isn't anything that you can put a finger
on but 'IT' is definitely there. Not cockiness, but attitude. The swagger is back and boy how we've missed that.
What a difference a year makes. In the immortal words of Demorrio Williams: "'Shirts, baby! 'Shirts!"

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 41 Troy State 7
Actual score: Nebraska 30 Troy State 0

Oct 4th in Lincoln 1 2 3 4 F
Troy State 0 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 3 7 13 7 30

Wally's fearless prediction:
I love Troy State. These guys will play anyone, anytime, anywhere. They just won't win very often.
But the Trojans did beat Marshall, who beat Kansas State, who beat California, who beat USC....
What does this all mean? Beats me. I just know that the Cornhuskers will be 5-0 heading into Columbia.

Series history: Nebraska leads 2-0
Last game: 2002, NU won 31-16 in Lincoln
Last TSU victory: Never
TSU's record in 2002: 4-8

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
No surprises here. Defense good, offense not so good. NU won by 30 but fans will complain anyway.
That's just what we do. The bottom line is that Nebraska is 5-0 heading into the conference schedule.
Saint Bo has these plowboys fired up! The Big 12 North title is ripe for the taking, so let's take it.

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 24 Missouri 7
Actual score: Nebraska 24 Missouri 41

October 11th in Columbia 1 2 3 4 F
Nebraska 7 3 14 0 24
Missouri 7 7 0 27 41

Wally's fearless prediction:
This game was shaping up to be a lot more interesting before Missouri lost at Kansas.
Still, Brad Smith and the Tigers will bring their best game for Nebraska. Containing Smith
and limiting turnovers will be keys for the Cornhuskers who will bring the nation's #1 ranked
defense into Columbia. This isn't the bumbling, Bohl-led Nebraska defense from last season
that still managed to limit a high powered Missou offense to 13 points. These are the BO-SHIRTS!

Series history: Nebraska is 59-29-3 against Missouri
Last game: 2002, Nebraska won 24-13
Last Missouri victory: 1978, 35-31 in Lincoln
Missouri's record in 2002: 5-7

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
There was a full-blown meltdown in the fourth quarter. Who let Craig Bohl back on the sidelines? Of course,
the defense tends to get tired when you turn the ball over five times and hand the opponent a short field
and 21 points. The Cornhuskers looked like the fumbling, bumbling 2002 version tonight in almost every
respect. If Kansas beat this Mizzou team then the Cornhuskers had better be dreading their trip to Lawrence.
The race in the Big 12 north is wide open. The winner gets an invitation to Kansas City for an asskicking.

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 35 Texas A&M 21
Actual score: Nebraska 48 Texas A&M 12

October 18th in Lincoln 1 2 3 4 F
Texas A&M 3 0 3 6 12
Nebraska 20 0 14 14 48

Wally's fearless prediction:
You know your team is having a down year when a win over Baylor is cause for celebration,
but Aggies will be Aggies. Texas A&M is 3-3 coming into Lincoln, with wins over teams that
would make even Bill Snyder blush. They bring a balanced attack and a mobile QB like the
one that gave the Blackshirts fits in Columbia. But this game is in Lincoln and the Aggies
aren't nearly as good as some would have you believe. NU will redeem themselves. When the
'fans' who jumped off the bandwagon last saturday try to get back on, I say we run them over.

Series history: Nebraska is 7-2 against Texas A&M
Last game: 2002, Nebraska won 38-31
Last Texas A&M victory: 1998, 28-21 in College Station
Texas A&M's record in 2002: 6-6

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
The Blackshirts rebounded after an uncharacteristicly bad 4th quarter in Columbia and forced a
record tieing eight turnovers against the Aggies. The offense was anemic but the Blackshirts
ruled the day once again. Joe Dailey gave the Husker fans a glimpse of the future when he laid a
perfect pass in the hands of Isiah Fluellen. The only conference team that can beat NU is themselves.

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 48 Iowa State 7
Actual score: Nebraska 28 Iowa State 0

October 25th in Lincoln 1 2 3 4 F
Iowa State 0 0 0 0 0
Nebraska 21 7 0 0 28

Wally's fearless prediction:
Iowa State is 4-11 since beating Nebraska on that dark day in Ames in 2002. They are about to be 4-12.
The Cyclones have no offense, no defense and no special teams but they do have scoreboard on the Huskers.
Until Saturday afternoon, that is. This game will get ugly and the fans should get a long look at Joe Dailey.

Series history: Nebraska is 78-14-2 against Iowa State
Last game: 2002, Nebraska lost 14-36
Last Iowa State victory: 2002, 36-14 in Ames
Iowa State's record in 2002: 7-7

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
The revenge tour continues but the Nebraska coaches are looking to the future, not the past. I'm not a coach.

Gameday report and stats

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 24 Texas 21
Actual score: Nebraska 7 Texas 31

November 1 in Austin 1 2 3 4 F
Nebraska 0 0 0 7 7
Texas 7 7 3 14 31

Wally's fearless prediction:
The offense needs to take care of the basics and let the defense control the game. Win
the turnover battle, eliminate stupid drive-killing penalties and mix in a few big plays
to keep Texas on their toes. Oh, and a few clock-eating, smashmouth drives to spell the
Blackshirts would be really nice. Is that too much to ask? A big win on the road is overdue.

Series history: Nebraska is 4-5 against Texas
Last game: 2002, Texas won 27-24
Last Texas victory: 2002 in Lincoln
Texas' record in 2002: 11-2

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
Everyone from the towel boy to the governor needs to be fired after this one. You know the head coach
needs help when he gets outcoached by Mack Brown, the worst gameday coach ever to stalk a sideline.
Yikes! This was by far the worst offensive effort by Nebraska in decades. It was uglier than a blind date
from a leper colony. Sorry, that was really lame but so were the Nebraska Cornhuskers today.

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 31 Kansas 14
Actual score: Nebraska 24 Kansas 3

November 8 in Lawrence 1 2 3 4 F
Nebraska 3 7 7 7 24
Kansas 0 3 0 0 3

Wally's fearless prediction:
One of Nebraska's few remaining streaks is on the line Saturday as the Jayhawks
try to end an era of futility against their northern neighbors. KU is a much-improved
team this season and coach Mangino has the program on the right track, but this is a
streak that will stay alive for another year. Their fans won't care - it's basketball season.

Series history: Nebraska leads 82-16-3
Last game: 2002, NU won in Lincoln 45-7
Last KU victory: 1968, KU won 23-13
KU's record in 2002: 2-10

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
Cory Ross had a breakout day as the Cornhuskers extended their winning streak over Kansas to 35.
Thirty five years.
Kansas made plenty of mistakes today and the Blackshirts ate them up like Mark Mangino does
at an all you can eat buffet. A very good road win for Nebraska but come on, it's only Kansas.
The Huskers need to finish their sweep of the sunflower state next saturday against Kansas State.

Gameday report and stats

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Wally's prediction: Nebraska 21 Kansas State 20
Actual score: Nebraska 9 Kansas State 38

November 15th in Lincoln 1 2 3 4 F
Kansas State 7 0 10 21 38
Nebraska 0 7 0 2 9

Wally's fearless prediction:
The last time the Wildcats won a game in Lincoln, LBJ was in the White House, a
man hadn't walked on the moon and the current KSU players were only a glimmer
in their parents' eyes. The Beatles were still topping the charts and well, you get the
picture. But you can throw out the winning streaks and series records when KSU
comes to town because this one will be a barnburner. Kansas State is playing their
best football of the season and is fired up. Whichever team holds on to the ball wins.

Series history: Nebraska is 71-13-3 against KSU
Last game: 2002, KSU won 49-13
Last Kansas State victory: 2002, 49-13 in Manhattan
Kansas State's record in 2002: 11-2

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
You know you're in trouble when the television announcers are calling out the plays before
Nebraska runs them. Option right used to be a move on my date at the drive-in but Barney/Frank
have managed to ruin even that memory. Hats are off to the kitties, although HCBS could have called
off the dogs in the 4th quarter but he was apparently too busy exorcising thirty-five year old demons.

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2003 record: 5-6

Wally's prediction: Nebraska 24 Colorado 21
Actual score: Nebraska 31 Colorado 22

November 28th in Boulder 1 2 3 4 F
Nebraska 7 14 0 10 31
Colorado 6 9 7 0 22

Wally's fearless prediction:
There are only three things I know for sure about this game. Win or lose, Colorado
coach Gary Barnett will whine, the Boulder frat boys will get drunk and start a riot,
and couches will be burned in the streets. Other than that, all bets are off. The Buffs
need a win to reach .500 and become bowl eligible and they're always up for Nebraska.

Series history: Nebraska is 42-16-2 against Colorado
Last game: 2002, CU won 28-13
Last Colorado victory: 2002 in Lincoln
Colorado's record in 2002: 9-5

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
A huge win for the Cornhuskers, but is it enough to save Frank's job? Not if certain
'boosters of substance' have their way. Solich deserves another year to recruit the
pieces to fill out a young but talented team. Time will tell if he gets that chance.
The fate of Husker Football is in Pederson's hands. I hope the cure isn't worse than the illness.

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2003 record: 8-4

Wally's prediction: Nebraska 31 Michigan State 24
Actual score: Nebraska 17 Michigan State 3

December 29th in the Alamo Bowl 1 2 3 4 F
Nebraska 3 14 0 0 17
Michigan State 3 0 0 0 3

Wally's fearless prediction:
The Cornhuskers have another game this season? Distractions aside, there's more football to play.
The key for the Blackshirts will be to contain Spartan QB Jeff Smoker, who isn't particularly mobile,
but who can get hot and burn defenses as he did at times this season. Michigan State must stop Nebraska's
running game and avoid interceptions to have a chance. I predict that they won't be able to do either one.

Series history: Nebraska is 4-0 against Michigan State
Last game: 1996, Nebraska won 55-14
Last Michigan State victory: N/A

Wally's view from the cheap seats:
Message to Steve Pederson: Bo Pelini sure looked great wearing that headset! The Blackshirts
played inspired defense tonight and shut the pie holes of Smoker and the smack-talking Sparties.
They kept yapping in the second half even as they were being soundly beaten. Maybe they were
bragging about their 8-4 season, which qualifies as a finish worthy of clowns and a parade in Lansing.

Congratulations and thanks to the Husker seniors who played their final game in scarlet and cream.
Especially to Jammal Lord, who had a record-setting season and career as a Nebraska Cornhusker.
Who could have predicted that Jammal would have more passing yards than Smoker did in this game?

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