Big 12: San Jose State Spartains

Pelini faces first big challenge vs. Hokies

September, 24, 2008
 Bruce Thorson/US Presswire
 Bo Pelini's Cornhuskers are 3-0, but they have yet to be truly tested on the football field.

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Bo Pelini's aura among Nebraska fans remains smoking hot after three games.

Books and polkas were written and enough T-shirts were printed to stock a small army before the new Nebraska coach's first game. That legend has only grown as the Cornhuskers have started strongly.

Early victories over Western Michigan, San Jose State and New Mexico State have boosted Nebraska to a 3-0 start. But the Cornhuskers still have as many questions as answers heading into Saturday's game against Virginia Tech.

"We're anxious to see how good we actually are, and I know everybody else is around the state, too," Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz said. "I think this is a good time to have the game. We're all wondering how good we can actually be and how we play against elite teams like this."

Ganz might be stretching his definition of an "elite team" just a little, considering the Hokies' less-than-imposing body of work so far. But the game is coming at a good time as the Cornhuskers prepare for a difficult start of Big 12 play that will include games against Missouri and Texas Tech in the first two weeks of conference play.

Pelini is careful not to embrace Saturday's game as a measuring stick for his program.

"Every game is important for us and this is just the next one," he said. "That's our attitude as a football team -- that Virginia Tech is just the next challenge for us."

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