Those may be baby bulls that run out for Nebraska's defense on Saturday. But they won't be pampered.
When I asked Nebraska coach Bo Pelini on Monday if he had a timetable for when his group of young bulls would grow up this season, Pelini said, “Saturday.”
Pelini also hasn't instructed offensive coordinator Tim Beck to pull back on the up-tempo offense in order to slow the game down for the defense.
“No, we're not doing that,” Pelini said. “Nothing's going to be different. We want to play our game. I expect our defense to play well, keep up.
“Now, obviously, you want to be smart about it. If they (defense) just got off the field on a long drive, you don't want to have a 17-second drive. We'll go by the situation. But that's why we have different tempos we play at.”
There will be a learning curve for the defense, potholes and such along the way. But I like that approach. No training wheels. High expectations. Dare to be great. That's how you learn to be great.
» Nebraska volleyball coach John Cook asked an interesting question last week: Historically has there ever been a bigger month for University of Nebraska athletics? The Pinnacle Bank Arena, East Stadium expansion project and Devaney Center renovation all will be completed at about the same time. I'm sure somebody could find another month or time in history, but not in terms of facilities or growth. In some ways 2013 is the beginning of a new era. Kind of amazing to think about.
» It's hard to imagine there will be another expansion of Memorial Stadium. Given the distracted state of the modern sports fan, armed with flat screens and smart phones, it would be almost foolish for any college or professional entity to consider further expansion.
So Memorial Stadium might be a finished product, at least as a shell. That's fine. The East Stadium addition is magnificent. It's a perfect bookend to the West Stadium. Both additions blend in with the classic old stadium, which turns 90 this year. NU could do a brochure on how to modernize an old battleship stadium.
Brochure? Sorry. I meant do a website or Facebook page. Brochure is so 1920s.
» Now, what about that Bob Devaney statue in front of the East Stadium?
» Give credit to Creighton soccer coach Elmar Bolowich for playing UNO's young D-I program. A lot of coaches wouldn't do it. Bolowich doesn't have to do it. He's in a no-win situation. The game is good exposure for UNO. A rivalry between the national soccer name and the little guy just getting on his feet would be good for the sport. It will be interesting as CU adjusts its nonconference schedule to the strength of the Big East to see if UNO finds a place as a regular-season game.
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» Hearing KOZN's Gary Sharp on Monday say he wasn't buying into the hype of Indiana football made me wonder: What happens first? Indiana football makes a bowl game or Nebraska basketball makes the NCAA tournament? Send your answers to Tim Miles.
» A reader wanted to know about Bo Pelini's health, citing Pelini's scare last September in which he was taken to the hospital during the Arkansas State game. I'm nothing but a public servant, so I asked Pelini about it on Monday. The coach said he was in “great shape” and “ready to go.” So there you go.
» All the reports out of Iowa football camp said C.J. Beathard had the big arm, but Jake Rudock was more steady and familiar with the offense. Probably no surprise that coach Kirk Ferentz picked Rudock to start the Northern Illinois opener. When was the last time you had a season opener this big, Hawk fans? A win could put some good karma into the program. A loss to NIU at home? Don't even think about it.
» Wasn't it just yesterday that Iowa Western quarterback Jake Waters picked K-State? On Monday KSU coach Bill Snyder returned the favor and picked Waters to start against North Dakota State on Friday. Snyder's a noted juco lover, but he's extremely picky about his quarterbacks. This was high praise for Waters. I'm eager to see how the former juco star does against NDSU, one of the top FCS schools coached by Craig Bohl.
» A reader on my lunch chat asked me for a Wyoming prediction. I had to say I don't do Nebraska game day predictions anymore. Sorry, I tried that back in the 1990s. What a deal. You could have had a monkey with a computer and a cigar do it back then. Every week it was Nebraska wins by this, by that. One of my national cronies joked that one week I would probably go with “Nebraska 45, 1972 Dolphins 10.” He was half-right. I'd give the Fins at least 24 points.
» The Cox Classic put on a good show Sunday, but I couldn't help but think about the bad timing of having two major contracts (Champions Run and Cox Communications) run out the same year as the U.S. Senior Open. For those who have asked, Lincoln and Firethorn could certainly get a Web.com Tour event, but it wouldn't be the one in Omaha. Lincoln would have to start its own tourney, board, director, volunteers and sponsors, etc. The Cox Classic would not move to Lincoln.
» Troy Martin, Omaha's caddie on the Champions Tour, made an exciting career move recently. He's going to work for Nick Price, the three-time major winner, beginning next month in Hawaii. Nice job, Troy. Literally.
» One of my favorite people is leaving Nebraska. Jeff Culhane, who has hosted “Sports Nightly” on the Husker Sports Network, will be the play-by-play voice for West Virginia baseball and women's basketball. Which means he'll be back in the Big 12, and back at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. More important, back at Earl's Rib Palace. I'm jealous of that.
» Speaking of BBQ, I finally found Phat Jack's in Lincoln. I give it five stars. Very good groceries.
» One more and I'm outta here: I made the anxious journey to the white tees last weekend. I thought I would feel a major guilt trip but I didn't. I know many golfers older than this old swinger are too proud to move up. But it sped up the game for me and I had more fun. In fact, double bogeys have never been more fun.