Talking, stalking, you name it. The Wildcats were trying to gain every tiffany accessories psychological edge, so it was only fitting that the Huskers played a great game instead of talked about one. Speaking of irony, is there any better way to beat a Wildcat than with the Wildcat?
"Our new Wildcat formation was huge," said Husker Tight End Coach Ron Brown. "We never really got to it for the Texas game because we needed longer reps, and the bowl game gave us that opportunity. Rex (Burkhead) is just a natural at it. He ran it when he did some quarterbacking as a junior in high school (at Plano, Texas)."
Burkhead's 89 rushing yards were pivotal on direct snaps from center. The Huskers used the new formation on their fourth offensive series and were able to keep the Wildcats guessing the rest of the way because they were able to read Arizona's defensive tendencies to just the second spread formation team it faced this season (Pac 10 Champion Oregon was the other).
"This is what we want to do. We want to be a team with a ball-tiffany bracelets passing attack that is able to take shots with a good play-action game and be a team that can spread the field and use 52 yards of space," Nebraska Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson said. "If you make a defense defend 52 yards of depth, that's a lot, man. That's what we want to be, and that's what we will be. That's the way we recruited and how we're building our program."
And the timing could not have been better. Even though the bowl game is the milestone 10th win of the 2009 Husker season, it's really, in a sense, the official launch of the 2010 season, and that's why swagger is such an important word here.
There are all kinds of ways to define swagger - including many that are negative - but on Bo Pelini-coached football teams, it is viewed as a positive word. Swagger, Nebraska Football-Style, is how someone presents himself to the world and how he handles a situation. Yes, swagger can be shown in a player's walk, but that's supposed to represent tiffany cufflinks over fear, not puffing out your chest or assuming a bodybuilder pose.
Okay, maybe the Huskers stretched the lines of demarcation a time or two on Wednesday night, but you'd like to think it was more out of a sense of accomplishment and relief than any deliberate attempt to upstage an opponent.