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Shatel: The biggest reasons I like the idea of Casey Thompson playing for Nebraska
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FIRST DOWNS AND SECOND GUESSES

Shatel: The biggest reasons I like the idea of Casey Thompson playing for Nebraska

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Join Tom Shatel for the first episode of the Press Box. On this episode Tom discusses his journey as a sports writer.

First downs and second guesses:

There are three things I like about the idea of Casey Thompson playing quarterback at Nebraska.

1. The story. Thompson’s dad, Charles, is a notorious figure in Husker football history. As an unknown freshman quarterback for No. 2 Oklahoma in 1987, Charles broke Husker hearts when he engineered a 17-7 win over No. 1 Nebraska that Tom Osborne said was his most disappointing loss.

2. The Karma. Besides being the son of a former Sooner, Casey would also be leaving the Texas Longhorns to come play at Nebraska. There’s got to be some sort of double-karma blast there that should work for the Huskers.

3. At 23, he’s an old guy.

This is a most important qualification for a transfer quarterback coming to Nebraska. Nothing against four- or five-stars with laser arms, but Scott Frost doesn’t need potential. He needs now.

Casey Thompson spent four years at Texas and won the starting job in 2021. He threw for 2,113 yards and a Big 12-leading 24 touchdowns with nine interceptions.

By comparison, Adrian Martinez threw for 2,863 yards but 10 fewer touchdowns and one more interception.

Getting the ball over the goal line is a must. But again, this can’t be about stats.

It’s about immediate fit. Scott Frost must find a quarterback who can pick up Mark Whipple’s offense in 15 spring practices and 20-plus fall practices before boarding a plane for Ireland.

This is not the time for someone learning on the job or hand-holding. The team must win several in 2022. Frost got a veteran coordinator and play-caller. Now get a veteran at quarterback.

Thompson can pass or run effectively, and it will be up to Whipple which one he leans on.

Dear Coach Whip, Big Ten defenses have a hard time with running quarterbacks. They have no problem with sitting ducks in the pocket.

There’s a matter of Thompson being 4-6 in games he started at UT. But after watching how Steve Sarkisian’s team played all season, you can’t put that on the quarterback.

Thompson will see better defenses in the Big Ten — and from Brent Venables at Oklahoma — than he faced in the Big 12. But his talents give Whipple a lot to work with. Neither should be fazed.

Thompson at Nebraska has a chance to be something good. And it’s time for some Sooner Magic and Longhorn Karma to come around 10th Street.

» As for NIL opportunities for Thompson — paging Casey’s convenience stores.

» When I think of the kind of impact a quarterback must have on Nebraska in 2022, I think of Joe Ganz in 2008. Got any eligibility left, Gator Bowl Joe?

» Chalk up Tuesday’s loss at Villanova as a lesson in Big East basketball for Greg McDermott’s young students. And a reminder that Jay Wright is still the headmaster of Big East basketball.

Wright had his team playing more aggressive defense and cutting off lanes to the basket, while his Wildcats flew inside on offense for offensive boards and got physical. It was a stark contrast to the game in Omaha when Nova settled for too many 3-pointers.

» Speaking of basketball, Fred Hoiberg’s charges are playing better and with a bit more energy. And it’s clear a formula is taking shape for the rest of the season.

Get the ball to Derrick Walker inside. Get Bryce McGowens driving to the hoop. Make baskets. Pick up fouls. Make free throws.

The ball needs to move inside-out. Most of all, it just needs to move. And yes, the ball must go through the basket.

It’s a lot easier to do that inside than out.

» My daughter the hoops player and I watched Amy Williams’ team dismantle Michigan the other night. What a joy to witness. Toughness and grace on display.

Then Jaz Shelley hit a 3-pointer from the media parking lot. Kate, don’t try that at home.

» John Madden was my favorite. When he passed, a lot of old images came racing back — including the day the NFL and TV legend stopped in the Old Market for cigars.

That was September 2002. Madden and the Madden Cruiser were heading home to California after a Monday Night game in New England when the big bus suddenly pulled up in front of S.G. Roi cigar store in the heart of the Old Market.

“My son Michael was in the store with me,” Chaz Kline, owner of S.G. Roi, recalled for me on Thursday. “John Madden walks in and my jaw about hit the ground.

“I remember watching him and listening to him the night before. His bus pulled up right outside. A crowd gathered around it. It was surreal.

“He went to Overland, went shopping. I spent 15 minutes with him talking about cigars and football. It was an absolute thrill.

“I remember shaking his hand. His hand was so big. The true NFL legend. Just extremely nice.”

A man of the people, indeed.

» The next time you see Kevin Costner at the College World Series, and he happens to have Cole Hauser with him, and Hauser is carrying a cooler...

Do not let them in your tailgate.

Yes that’s a “Yellowstone” reference, and I’m just happy that I’m finally watching a show at the same time as everyone else.

Next up: Ozark.

How about a Yellowstone-Ozark crossover event? Think about the fun of having Beth Dutton with Ruth.

» One more and I’m outta here: Do I look any different? I’m a TV guy now.

That is, I have a World-Herald video now. I taped my first “Tom Shatel’s Press Box” this week and had a blast. Even better: my face didn’t crack the camera's lens.

Watch for it on Wednesdays. I’ll have some commentary on the stories of the day, tell some old stories, and show off some stuff like my Omaha Racers basketball.

Yes, signed by Steve Idelman himself.


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