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Stream of Consciousness Notes - Cotton Bowl
Posted Jan 1, 2007

Here we go. It's the big bowl day of the year starting off with Auburn's 17-14 Cotton Bowl win over Nebraska. Check back after each quarter for Pete Fiutak's Stream of Consciousness Notes for the Rose and Fiesta.


By Pete Fiutak
Welcome again to my pretentious, goofy and self-serving stream-of-consciousness thoughts and notes on the big games, the broadcasts, the ads and the teams for the attention deficit disordered. E-mail me with your own thoughts and notes and what you'd like to see. 


- You'll have to forgive me. I'm still trying to get my ire down riveting episode of Judge Hatchett, the lead-in to the Cotton Bowl. Clarence Darrow had nothing on the guy who tried to defend himself in the deadbeat dad suit. "She was all up in my business," doesn't normally get you out of having to support your kid.
- Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger. (Heavy sigh) Must ... remember ... we're paid by ... Fox. Must ... remember ... we're paid by ... Fox.
- I'm glad Fox has the BCS for obvious reasons, but I'm not fully prepared for the number of promos we're all going to have to endure over the next several games.
- Well that didn't take long. Ads for 24 and House right off the bat.
- Oh no ... Pat gaffe number one. Bill Callahan didn't win the Super Bowl with Oakland. This is going to be tougher than I thought.
- It appears to be cold. That's the thing everyone forgets about why the Cotton Bowl isn't a BCS game; it's not warm in Dallas in January. Corporate types like to entertain in warm weather.

First Quarter
Nebraska on its own 20
- The old Nebraska team would've run all day on this smallish Auburn defense. The quickness of the Tigers might be too much for the Husker spread, especially when it runs wild, so it'll be interesting to see how the team can get into a rhythm right away.
- Oh no ... Pat gaffe number two. How do you mispronounce Purify's name? I'll be good ... I'll be good ... I'll be good.
- The Tigers have to tackle better than they have early on. Marlon Lucky is breaking tackles right and left.
- We're only three minutes in and Pat has already played with Lucky's name three times. (Heavy sigh).
- Brandon Jackson's broken hand must be worse than originally talked about. Fortunately for Nebraska, Lucky is effective early.
- The Nebraska offensive gameplan has been terrific so far. Everything's working.
- How do I know I'm old? I actually understood an AIG ad, and it's relevant to my world.
- This is exactly what Auburn doesn't need; a long, sustained, effective drive to start the game.
- The much-maligned Husker offensive line is creating space early on. Auburn's linebackers are being forced to do everything. Will Herring is all over the field early.
- Touchdown Nebraska on a great pass from Zac Taylor to Nate Swift. That was way too easy a drive. Taylor has been razor sharp right off the bat.
- 2006 Capital One Bowl flashback alert for Auburn ... 2006 Capital One Bowl flashback alert for Auburn.
- How do I know I'm old, part two? The Nissan ads with Black Sabbath's Iron Man annoys the crap out of me. How do you turn the volume down on this thing?
- American Idol ad number one.
Nebraska 7 ... Auburn 0

Auburn on its own 21
- Will Auburn panic early? It has to get Kenny Irons and the the running game going right off the bat so Brandon Cox doesn't have to be the offense.
- The time off between the regular season and the bowls is critical. Irons appears quicker than he has since opening day.
- Nebraska has the defensive front to dominate. This should've been among the best in the nation at getting to the quarterback, but it slightly underachieved ...
- ... as I write that, Adam Carriker swarms all over Cox to stop the drive.
- I criticize because I care. Pat and Brian are better when they're not trying. When they're just doing banter, they're interesting.
- Ugh ... Iron Man again?! It's New Year's Eve Day. The Advil hasn't kicked in yet.

Nebraska on its own 37
- The Nebraska offensive line is dominating early on. The offense is mixing up its plays extremely well.
- And then disaster strikes. Taylor rockets a throw too hard, David Irons makes a play, and Karibi Dede picks it off. Auburn has to get a touchdown off this.

Auburn on the Nebraska 10
- Irons is the man, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to get Cox into the ball game with a play action throw or something simple.
- One Irons run. One play action fake. Touchdown pass to Carl Stewart.
Nebraska 7 ... Auburn 7

Nebraska on its own 20
- The Huskers shouldn't shy away from what worked on the first drive. It was simply a bad luck, bad play that turned the game around. Getting the momentum back shouldn't be a problem with a long drive like the first one.
- ARE YOU (bleep)ING SERIOUS?! MORE IRON MAN? I'm buying the Lexus, not the Nissan. Your ad didn't work.
- Krista Voda ... the name of a Fox sideline reporter or Led Zeppelin's final album? Discuss.
- World's fastest first quarter? That sucker flew by.
First Quarter Score: Nebraska 7 ... Auburn 7

Second Quarter
- Auburn has to start generating pressure. Taylor has had too long to throw.
- The Nebraska line is still dominating. The running game is working well up the middle.
- And there's Quentin Groves. The Tigers finally got to Taylor and the play blew up.
- Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. Why is Nebraska trying a goofy fake punt play deep in its own end zone. Not only didn't it work, but Auburn has the ball on the Husker ten. There was absolutely no reason to do that now, and it wasn't going to work if Auburn was bringing any sort of a rush. Poor play call, poorer execution.

Auburn on the Nebraska 14
- Uh oh ... Cox is audibling. I guarantee this won't work.
- Irons gets stuffed for one yard.
- Nice throw from Cox to Courtney Taylor, but Taylor landed hard. Auburn can't lose him.
- "The Southeastern Conference: Equipping Tomorrow's Leader's Today." You couldn't get more generic if the ad was filmed in black and white.
- OOOOFFF. Irons got popped at the goal line. Nebraska might be making mistakes, but it's hitting.
- Touchdown Stewart, but it was close. The Tiger offensive line got the Husker front four on the ground.
Auburn 14 ... Nebraska 7

- I'll say it. The girl on the coach eating the Grilled Stuft Burrito in the Taco Bell ad is hotter than an overly made up Carmen Electra.

Nebraska on its own 27
- What is Callahan doing? A reverse? Either the Nebraska coaching staff doesn't believe it can win this game straight up, or the it spent way too much time tinkering.
- Let me speak for all the old school Husker fans out there ... RUN THE BALL, RUN THE BALL. It's working; stick with it.
- I'm not a believer in the SEC speed myth, but Auburn is all over everything Nebraska wants to do when the plays are slow to develop.
- What a shock. Nebraska runs Lucky and gets a big gain. Don't mess with what works.
- The first Brandon Jackson sighting. He had no problem getting wide.
- Wrong. Auburn got tagged with a facemask penalty, but it shouldn't have been a 15-yard call.
- Ten mile wide hole. The Auburn defensive line got tossed aside and Jackson scored on an easy run. Nebraska doesn't have to be cute to move the ball.
Auburn 14 ... Nebraska 14

Auburn on its own 15
- Auburn has to prove it can get a few first downs. The two scores were generated by the defense and special teams, but the offense hasn't shown anything yet.
- Uh oh. Cox is audibling again. I guarantee this won't work.
- He chucks the ball out of bounds to avoid a sack.
- Three and out. Auburn isn't doing enough to get Irons the ball where he can do something with it.

Nebraska on its own 35
- Nebraska has Auburn crossed up. All the various plays might not be working, but the Tigers seem like they're guessing a bit. Eventually, the aggressiveness will prove costly if Nebraska catches them overpursuing.
- Three and out. Not one run up the middle.

Auburn on its own 17
- Irons up the middle ... stuffed. He's getting no room whatsoever to do anything.
- Cox is sacked. The Husker defensive line is doing a fantastic job, but the secondary is also part of the problem for Auburn; Cox has nowhere to go.
- Cox is sacked again, this time by DB Andre Jones. Yet another three and out.
- Auburn's offense never really showed up on a consistent basis all year, and it certainly didn't make the trip to Dallas.

Nebraska on the Auburn 43
- Pat messed up Maurice Purify's name a second time calling him Purifee.
- Finally, Auburn came up with a stop on a running play up the middle.
- Pat ... I'm trying here. That wasn't Auburn's first sack of the day. Pat Sims ripped though and flattened Taylor.
- 1985 New York Giants flashback ... Pat saying Simmmmmmms.

Auburn on its own 8
- Nebraska is getting some major league luck out of its punting game. The rolls have been great.
- Finally, Irons is getting rolling. It's too little too late with less than a minute in the first half, but this is a good tone-setter for the second half.

- Nebraska has to be going in wondering how in the world it's not up 28-0. Auburn has to be ecstatic this sucker is tied after getting thoroughly dominated.
First Half Score:
Auburn 14 ... Nebraska 14

Third Quarter
Auburn on its own 48
- Auburn can't play any worse offensively. Any production will be a plus, especially in the passing game. Brandon Cox has to start throwing some short to midrange passes just to prove he can do something.
- Irons, Irons, and more Irons. He's finally getting a little bit of room to rumble.
- Auburn gets its first third down conversion of the game. And there was much rejoicing.
- The offense had better start showing something new in a hurry. The Nebraska front seven is starting to tee off against the run.
- Irons fumble ... no way this can be overturned. There's just not a good look.
- I hope I don't jinx this, but Baldinger's been great so far. No screaming, like he does with the NFL, and there's no unnecessary hyperbole.
- The play stands. And there goes any Auburn momentum.

Nebraska on its own 37
- It'll be interesting to see if Auburn tries to take more chances defensively. It appears obvious that the offense isn't going to manufacture many points on its own.
- Nebraska has to run quick-hitting plays. All the slow-developing ones are getting blown up instantly.
- Zac Taylor on the run ... that's not going to work.

- O.K., I'll be the one to say it. This is an awful game. It's boring, poorly played, and generally uninteresting. These hardly look like two of the nation's elite teams. Pat just read a promo for 'Til Death. That's what this game feels like.

Auburn on its own 20
- An Auburn deep pass! An Auburn deep pass! Hazzah! Hazzah! There was a bad pass interference call, but at least Cox showed he could throw it more than three yards. The Nebraska secondary can be burned, but it hasn't been tested.
- That really loosened up the D ... Irons stuffed for minus-two yards.
- Cox makes his best throw of the day on a 19-yard play. I'm going to be totally unprofessional and not look up the spelling here, and since I've never even come close, I'm going to wing it just to see how close I can come. It was caught by
Prechae Rodriguez(?).
- My biting comments might have woken the Tiger s up. Courtney Taylor made a big play on great leaping catch. Cox is picking on Courtney Grixby.
- Uhhhhhh, what happened? Cox threw it to the end zone, it looked like Grixby and the receiver each came down with it, the producer cut to a shot of someone eating a funnel cake, and there still hasn't been a definitive call. It looked like an interception at first, but who knows?
- Why isn't Auburn throwing into the end zone over and over again? The Tiger receivers should be able to snag any jump ball.
- Third and 20, and Cox throws a miserable pass that went nowhere.
- John Vaughn from 42 yards. This is about as far as he can nail it consistently.
- Hits it. Nebraska has to be wondering how it could possibly be behind.
Auburn 17 ... Nebraska 14

Nebraska on its own 28
- Want ... cookie ... fudgy thing ... left over from last night. Too ... lazy ... to ... get ... up.
- Taylor makes his best throw of the game. He rolls out to his right, throws it back across his body, and connects with Nate Swift for 24 yards. This is the last game of his non-NFL Europe football career; he has to start playing like the star he's been all year.
- Brandon Jackson is nowhere to be seen. This is all Lucky's game.
- Ohhhhh. New Mexico almost pulled out the win over Texas Tech to prolong Knight's record.
- Did Baldinger just call the Louisville quarterback Jeff Brome might be the best quarterback in the country? (It's obviously Brian Brohm.)
- GREAT kick by Jordan Congdon putting it on the one.
- It took about 50 minutes, but the Outback Bowl just got really good.

Auburn on its own 1
- The offense is relying on Cox to get the ball out of the end zone. This has been all about the passing game.
- Longest quarter ever?
- OOOOH. Cox just got kissed. He's getting popped, but he's hanging in there.
- Nice throw by Cox to get a key first down. Even if this drive doesn't produce anything, it's been effective in keeping the momentum from completely going Nebraska's way.
- The Husker corners can't cover the Auburn receivers. They're so freaked about getting beaten deep that they're getting picked apart on short-to-midrange throws.
- There's just nowhere for the Tigers runners to go. Ben Tate is in for Irons and isn't getting any room.
Third Quarter Score: Auburn 17 ... Nebraska 14

Fourth Quarter
- AT&T corporate cog Jose Gutierrez looks like the coldest man alive. He's rubbing his hands together like he's trying to start a fire.
- Ben Tate gets free and tears off a big run. He's going to be great once he gets the ball on a consistent basis next year.
- It's almost like the Husker defenders have a magnetic attraction to Irons. He's not able to do anything.
- Pat and Brian were bantering about how high up they are in top-of-the-stadium booth. This all-timer gem from Baldinger: "We hear the hits before we see them."
- Nice punt by Kody Bliss. That Auburn drive was better than it'll probably get credit for in the post-game analysis.

Nebraska on its own 9
- Brandon Jackson is in for Lucky.
- What happened to the Nebraska up-the-middle running game?
- As I write that, Jackson runs for a big gain that gets called back on a penalty.
- Sorry to keep harping on this, but the slow developing east-west plays aren't going anywhere.
- My kingdom for a Nebraska throw that goes more than six yards down the field.
- It's almost like the Huskers have run out of ideas. There might be lots of things happening, but the offense isn't going anywhere.

Auburn on its own 48
- Just under the ten minute mark, the Tigers can put the game away with a touchdown.
- Who in blazes is that?! Some ad on ABC for a David Arquette vehicle featured the official Hottest Chick of 2007 so far. Kelly Hu?
- And a three and out. Way to drop the hammer, Auburn.

Nebraska on its own 20
- Nebraska seems like its one big play from breaking this thing open its way, but Taylor doesn't appear to have anyone to throw to. The Husker receivers appear to be getting no separation whatsoever.
- Yet again, Taylor has to force the ball to a covered man.
- Now I'm questioning myself. Am I wrong? And if I am, I sincerely apologize for being a moron, but Pat called Maurice Purify, Maurice Purifee, for the third time.
- Yet another three and out. NOTHING remotely interesting is happening.
- Holy guacamole. Georgia Tech is just embarrassing West Virginia.

Auburn on its own 23
- Longest third quarter ever, fastest fourth quarter. Under six minutes to play.
- Auburn fumble? With the Husker offense doing nothing, it finally got a huge break. This just got a heck of a lot better.

Nebraska on its own 43
- It didn't work on the first play, but Nebraska has to go back running the ball up the middle. The passing game simply isn't working. The Tiger secondary is all over Husker receivers.
- Yup. Three straight running plays and a first down.
- 25 carries for 88 yards for Lucky. He's earned them.
- 3:20 left.
- Callahan and the Husker offense sometimes gets too cute for its own good. In field goal range, it runs a little delayed draw that got stopped for negative yards. Now it's a 48-yard field goal attempt for Congdon unless they try to go for it.
- What?! Less than two minutes to play and they go for it on 4th and 11? Congdon is good from around 40, but you have to give it a shot.
- Awful play call. Awful play. Awful series. Auburn football.

Auburn on its own 30
Two Nebraska timeouts left.
- One four-yard Irons run, one Nebraska timeout left.
- Finally, Irons shows something special getting out of a jam and running for five. Nebraska has to burn its final timeout.
- Third and two. Irons seemed to have the hole on the right side but didn't burst it throw.
- He reached out with the ball ...
- ... ball game. But they're reviewing the spot. I thought he was down before he reached the ball out, but they haven't shown a replay.
- Yup. Overturned. Fourth and inches at your own 40, you punt it. There's still :47 to play, and once you kick it, the Huskers get the ball around its own 20 with :30 to play and no timeouts.
- No returner. Another dumb move by the Nebraska coaching staff. Auburn should be able to kill a ton of time by letting it roll.
- Yup. The Tigers let it run down to :10. Call for a fair catch ant you have another :15.

Nebraska on its own 28
- Interception.

- What a strange, bizarre game. Auburn's offense does nothing. Nebraska's attack goes into the tank. Once again, the Huskers weren't able to come up with a really good, signature win against one of the big names this year, while once again, Auburn won a game with mediocre offense.

Final Score: Auburn 17 ... Nebraska 14