Sports

TIME OUT with Joe Flanagan

A chance. Sometimes that’s all a person needs.
Although I’m sure he would have preferred it happened under different circumstances, former Boone Central Cardinal Wyatt Mazour got his chance this past Saturday – and made the most of it.
After a desultory three quarters of hapless performance by the Nebraska football team at Michigan’s ‘Big House,’ Mazour entered the fray in the fourth period and immediately gave the Huskers a spark.
First a twisting reception of a pass thrown slightly behind him for a 21-yard gain and a first down (a Nebraska rarity Saturday). Followed by a tackle-breaking 17-yard run around right end for another first down, keeping alive a drive that Mazour eventually capped with his first Husker touchdown – a three-yard burst with 4:14 remaining in the contest.
Wyatt’s exploits were certainly Nebraska’s offensive highlights of day, considering the Huskers had just two scoring drives and that single touchdown in the 56-10 loss. In all, Mazour led NU Saturday with five rushes for 18 yards (unfortunately, that’s not a typo).
Wyatt’s appearance and success may have come at the tail end of a dispirited performance and done little to alter the outcome or perception of the contest, but if you’re affiliated with Nebraska football, you better grab onto anything positive you can.
Let’s just say … it ain’t pretty right now.
There has been, and still is, plenty of talk about the Huskers’ 0-3 start and Saturday’s basically non-competitive effort from just about everyone – coaches, players, the athletic director, local and national media, and fans. What’s wrong? How did it get to this point? What will fix it? How long will it take?And on and on.
When Wyatt got his chance Saturday, he let his actions do the talking. He was prepared, gave every ounce of effort he had, and generated results. Exactly what Cardinal fans witnessed many, many times.
And, when interviewed afterward, it was the same Wyatt we all knew at Boone Central – humble and focused completely on his team.
“It was a good feeling, especially in the Big House. But I mean, as a team, it’s tough to be individually happy,” he told Omaha World-Herald reporters. “I mean, it was fun to be out there and just trying my hardest, and trying to get this thing turned around. But like I said, it was tough to be happy when we played the way we did. No loss feels good.”
Indeed. There’s not much “feel good” in and around the Husker program right now.
I certainly don’t have the answers to the problems plaguing Nebraska football. I hope Scott Frost eventually does.
A good place to start might be for everyone who dons an ‘N’ helmet to follow the example of Wyatt Mazour. A young man with desire, work ethic, patience and perseverance. An athlete who is always prepared, who takes care of his business the right way and is focused on one thing – helping his team in any and every way asked.
Hopefully, this Saturday will be the start of a turnaround for the Huskers. And maybe we’ll see #37 receive offensive opportunities prior to the fourth quarter.
Couldn’t hurt.