One more reason to like college volleyball: There isn’t a lot of trash talk that goes on.
Nebraska and Stanford on Wednesday night will play one of the biggest volleyball matches this state has seen, and it will be about the volleyball.
Not about “hair dryer guns” on a whiteboard.
That pregame message in the Stanford locker room before last year’s NCAA championship match in Minneapolis got out, thanks to an NCAA photographer. Some Husker fans protested loudly. And the Stanford team felt bad enough that they volunteered to do community service in Lincoln this week, before Wednesday’s game.
But the No. 1 Huskers have enough on their plate this week than to worry about last year. Like, that new No. 1 ranking. And, the No. 2 Cardinal.
“It’s sports,” said Lexi Sun, NU’s junior outside hitter. “We didn’t really read much into it. I think we were more focused on losing the match, I don’t think we thought too much of it.”
But is there too much public access to private sanctuaries like locker rooms? Even an old-schooler like John Cook says it’s a sign of the times.
“Whatever you do, whatever you put out there, somebody is going to take a picture of it,” said NU’s coach. “Doesn’t matter if it’s in your locker room or you on your phone, you got to be careful with that stuff.
“It’s (Stanford’s) deal. We haven’t talked about it, thought about it.”
Like the lady said, it’s sports. And we should be treated to a great night of it on Wednesday.
- Cook said the alternative black court that the Huskers used last weekend will be back for the Stanford match. It’s stunning. It’s hard to believe there’s a better looking volleyball court anywhere.
“Going to leave it out this week just because it’s going to pop on TV,” Cook said.
Cook is also embracing the term “Blackshorts” for his team, since he stresses defense. And why wouldn’t he? Cook reminded me on Monday that he used to be a high school football defensive coordinator back in the day. In fact, that’s how he got into volleyball. That San Diego high school DC job required that Cook also coach volleyball.
- This old-school scribe may have mentioned that watching senior nose guard Darrion Daniels wear No. 79 was a cool tribute to the O.G. 79, Rich Glover.
OK, that was Daniels’ phrase.
The one he used when he got to meet Glover two weeks ago.
It happened after the South Alabama game, Daniels’ first at NU. Glover, the 1972 Outland and Lombardi winner and All-American, was in the Nebraska locker room and asked to meet the new No. 79.
“It caught me off guard. Somebody said, ‘Rich Glover is here and he wants to meet you.’ When he said, ‘I’m Rich Glover,’ my mind clicked and I started thinking about his name out there under the scoreboard, and all the pictures on the wall.
“I said, ‘Oh, crap. It’s the O.G. 79.’ ”
That is, the original 79.
Daniels said that Glover offered praise and some pointers, such as using his hands more. And not to hold the block and wait to see where the ball was going but immediately let go and find the ball.
“He said he enjoyed watching the whole D-line, and told us not to back off,” Daniels said.
- One of ESPN.com’s early bowl projections has Nebraska vs. Florida State in the Quick Lane Bowl. Say it ain’t so, Bobby.
- ESPN’s “College GameDay” looked great in Ames on Saturday. But Eric Church for guest picker? I thought Dan Gable would have been a better choice.
Actually, as it turns out, they should have had Jim Cantore do the honors. That’s a weather joke, folks.
- If you have to explain the joke, it didn’t work. Then again, I am a dad.
- As he reminded on Monday, Scott Frost is not going to apologize for having big plays on offense in place of the occasional long drive. No need. That’s the offense’s identity. But also, this Husker offense isn’t going to be able to grind it out anytime soon. The offensive line isn’t there yet. But, assuming they stay healthy, could the line be ready to run off some long drives by, say, November? That’s when Wisconsin and Iowa come to town. Which means we’ll find out.
- Here’s one more story from the 1994 Pipeline column that ended up on the cutting room floor. Former Nebraska center Aaron Graham on walk-on quarterback Matt Turman in the 1994 Kansas State game:
“Matt Turman comes into the huddle the first play and Brenden (Stai) says, ‘Just take the snap and do what you do — we’ve got you, right?’ ” Graham said. “The play came in and I remember Matt putting his hand on my shoulder so I would bend down and people could see him call the play in the huddle.
“The ‘Turmanator’ has a special place in the heart of the Pipeline because that dude was fearless. If he was scared, it certainly didn’t show. This was his shot and he knew it. You had the best running back (Lawrence Phillips) in the country and the best offensive line. That’s how he looked at it.”
- What have we learned from two weeks in the NFL? Patrick Mahomes may have as many TV commercials as he does touchdown passes. And the folks in Denver have a different definition of roughing the passer from those in New Orleans.
- Reminder: Dirk Chatelain will be at the Omaha Press Club at noon on Wednesday to discuss his book “24th and Glory.” Lunch and great stories will be served.
- One more and I’m outta here: Farewell to Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek, the narrators of my college years. Thanks for the tickets to paradise and letting the good times roll.