October 21, 2008

Huskers not overlooking match-up with Baylor

In the minds of many fans, Saturday's win over Iowa State was the start of Nebraska's return to the ranks of the Big 12 Conference's elite. With a trip to take on No. 4 Oklahoma just two weeks away, the Huskers have a chance to take an even bigger step towards solidifying that resurrection.

What's been somewhat overlooked in all the hype, though, is this weekend's little showdown against Baylor. Overlooked by some fans at least.

For the players, Saturday's match-up with the Bears is just as important as any game on their schedule. In their minds, the Huskers haven't earned the right to overlook any game this season.

"We haven't really talked about Oklahoma at all," senior linebacker Cody Glenn said. "We just know that Baylor is a really good team and they have pretty good athletes, so it's not a team to be overlooked by any means… We're not in a position to overlook anybody. We're 4-3, so we have to take every game one game at a time and play everybody like they're No. 1 in the country."

Though the potential is there to look past a team that is just 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference in favor of a game with a top-5 team the next week, the Huskers seem to be keyed in completely on pulling out a win over Baylor.

Senior quarterback Joe Ganz said head coach Bo Pelini hasn't had to worry about the team's focus heading into this weekend's game, as the Huskers are well aware of the importance Saturday holds in terms of the Big 12 standings.

"He doesn't need to tell us," Ganz said. "We know we're not good enough yet to overlook teams. We know Baylor is good. They've got a good offense, good defense and great athletes on their team. We're not overlooking anyone."

The Huskers are undoubtedly living up to the old adage of playing one game at a time and not looking any further than the next week, but that apparently wasn't always the case this season.

Junior receiver Menelik Holt admitted that NU might have chalked up its first three games of the year as victories before the season even started. Though the Huskers were able to get by with that mentality with three straight wins over Western Michigan, San Jose State and New Mexico State, three straight ensuing losses served as somewhat of a reality check.

The Huskers are currently tied for second in the Big 12 North at just 4-3 and 1-2 in the conference, and just a game behind Kansas for the division lead. With the goal of a Big 12 title still in reach, Nebraska knows there isn't any room for error.

"That was something we probably did before the Virginia Tech game, but we still came out with wins," Holt said. "I think everyone knows now every single win is very important, especially in the Big 12 North right now because everybody's almost tied up right now besides Kansas… I think everyone knew we're going to play (Oklahoma) this year and we're excited about it, but we're definitely focused on Baylor.

"We've got to get another win. Winning felt good. We're going to try and make that happen again."

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