With Nebraska now nothing more than a bad memory, the Utah State football team will try to focus on another Big Eight opponent - the Missouri Tigers - who will be waiting for the Aggies this Saturday in Columbia, Mo.
After watching their highly-touted offense stifled and their young defense run roughshod over in the 63-13 loss, the Aggies expect to be much more competitive this week.Missouri has had some down years recently but the Tigers are approaching the 1988 season with optimism after improving to 5-6 last year under third-year Coach Woody Widenhofer. This week's game will be the Tigers' season opener.
USU Coach Chuck Shelton wasn't happy with his team's performance Saturday, saying, "We were an up-and-down ballclub. Defensively I thought we'd do better. And we were off the mark offensively."
But Shelton expects his team will do better this week with a game of experience under its belt. And so does Aggie quarterback Brent Snyder, who managed just 187 yards passing against Nebraska.
"Now we will just have to readjust," said Snyder. "You always have to benefit from playing and get better."
Nebraska certainly seemed to benefit from already having played a game - the Kickoff Classic the previous week against Texas A&M.
The Cornhuskers looked much sharper than the previous year when they beat the Aggies by a similar score. This year the Huskers didn't commit a single turnover after losing five the year before.
"I was pleased offensively with our team's performance," said Nebraska's Tom Osborne. "I think the players did a good job of concentrating and working hard this week in practice."
The Aggies came out of the game with the usual bumps and bruises but it appears only fullback Timo Tagaloa, who suffered a knee strain, will be out this week. Shelton said after the game that the defense sorely missed outside linebacker Tom Hansen, who couldn't make the Nebraksa trip because of an ankle injury.