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Tom's Tailgate Takes: After the Week of the Century, it's time for Nebraska to attack
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Tom's Tailgate Takes: After the Week of the Century, it's time for Nebraska to attack

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Scott Frost prepares for Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. — What a week. The stories were epic. The interviews fun. The escapism much needed.

Now, here comes reality, dressed in crimson and cream.

» Attack. Scott Frost said it. I agree.

Nebraska is the heavy underdog at OU’s Memorial Stadium, the football palace on Lindsey Street. It’s a place where NU hasn’t played since 2008, and hasn’t won since 1996.

That 25th anniversary of the Game of the Century was 73-21. It was ugly. NU didn’t have to try hard to score 73.

Apparently there are some Sooner fans who remember that game, and that NU’s current coach played quarterback that day and had a big hand in the score. Well, who didn’t?

It’s not hard to imagine OU coach Lincoln Riley would like a blowout win of his own, but not necessarily to avenge something that happened when he was 13 and living in Muleshoe, Texas.

All predictions say Riley will be able to name his score. And that possibility brings up an interesting question for Frost.

He could pull a game plan right out of Bill Callahan at Southern California in 2006. Hand off three times. Punt. Repeat. Get out of town as quickly as possible.

The 28-10 loss in the L.A. Coliseum didn’t hide the disgrace to football that happened that night.

The alternative is to throw everything at the Sooners and take whatever happens.

That may not hold down the score. But here’s why that’s the preferable approach:

After NU’s coach/administration made overtures about dumping this historic matchup, the last thing Nebraska needs is a keep-looking-at-your-watch game.

That would only confirm what many said about NU — including players who had nothing to do with the administration’s plan.

Better to dive head first into this pool of fire, go down swinging and take your shots along with some lumps.

That doesn't mean you don't try to establish the run. But there needs to be a certain emotion and purpose to this approach.

Nebraska’s program needs all the fight it can muster right now, along with the shot of self-esteem knowing you gave the big dog your best.

Frost should pick up where he left off last Saturday, which was stomping off the Memorial Stadium turf with attitude.

Using an option play with a back-up quarterback to score in the final minute. Lining up to kick a meaningless field goal. When Buffalo was already beat.

Yeah, there was something to be said for giving Logan Smothers some reps, along with the inconsistent Connor Culp.

But Frost was clearly miffed about timeouts that Buffalo kept calling. And he was out to draw some late blood.

A little attitude never hurt any football team, especially one looking for its first winning season in four years.

What does that mean Saturday? Possibly some trick plays. Possibly some things Frost and Matt Lubick have saved for the occasion.

A lot will depend on the availability of injured skill position players Austin Allen, Travis Vokolec and Omar Manning.

Frost is walking a fine line this week. If those three are 100%, go with it. But let’s be honest: The next three weeks, starting at Michigan State, are bigger games for this season.

If they aren't, that limits your play-making and play-calling options. That doesn’t mean you don’t fight this week. It means there’s a fine line between macho and being smart. Managing the season.

A lot of folks think they know what’s going to happen. What we don’t know is how Nebraska will play, how they’ll fight. Frost says he wants to attack, says there’s nothing to lose.

For Nebraska-Oklahoma? Go with it. And go for it.

» Hopefully, nobody will be watching rugby on Saturday.

I was at the Oklahoma 77, Missouri 0 game in 1986. The OU press box sits high — very high — above the stadium. You can see an intramural field in the distance.

On that day, there was a rugby game on that field. During the second half of the football game, Missouri radio color analyst Dan Dierdorf started calling the rugby game.

» One of the features of the OU press box used to be a scoreboard on the far wall. It not only kept the score but the rushing and passing yards for both teams.

For a lot of those Sooner games, the rushing scoreboard would light up like a pinball machine.

I also remember the OU public address announcer, who would give you down and distance and identify the players in each play. This one sounded like a southern sheriff.

After a big play when there was a penalty, he'd say, “Oh, wait. There’s yella down.”

If there’s a lot of “yella” down, could be a long day for Nebraska.

» My pick: Oklahoma 49, Nebraska 14. Not the Game of the Century, but we had the Week of the Century.


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