Chuck Chmelka described last week as a 'whirlwind' based on all the media attention his team received. I can only imagine what word he'd pick for this week. On Saturday night his Huskers (411.75) picked up a second win in as many weeks against Ohio State (404.15).
"The truth of the matter is we just had okay practice [last] week," explained Chmelka. "We got a couple guys sick and it was a short week. I just wasn’t sure about anything, really. Then the guys just put it together and that’s what I love about the team this year. They’re different than last year as far as just muscling and banging out routines, it’s fantastic."
I suppose that's what happens when you're coming off a year where you accomplished something you haven't done since last millennium. "I think what we did last year was a huge stepping stone into this season and then we have eight seniors, so they were all there for last year’s big stepping stone and they’re not done yet, they want more."
The scene from Saturday night's meet against Ohio State (photo via @TheIronN on Twitter)
It's not even the seniors that Chmelka is most impressed with, either. For him it's the second, third and fourth guys in each lineup that are making a difference. Guys like freshman Griffin Kehler (top-two finishes on FX & PB) and Josh Martin (VT - 2nd).
What does Chmelka tell his team amid all the recent, well-deserved attention they've received? "Everything stays the same and whatever you read, just worry about yourself and the process we have and don’t get caught up in anything else."
Simple advice on the surface. Check out some highlights from the Huskers' day here.
The Buckeyes issues lie in a different area than that of the Huskers. With Sean Melton (co-B1G Gymnast of the Week) & Alec Yoder anchoring the back-end of almost every lineup, there is no problem there. The pair posted some eye-popping numbers Saturday night with Melton's 15.15 on rings and Yoder's 15.5 on pommel horse.
Yoder's 15.5 on PH leads the nation (photo: Jess Frankl)
Instead, it was the front-end where Ohio State was hurt most on Saturday. The Buckeyes were forced to use a couple of more inexperienced competitors given the absences of Seth Delbridge and Max Andryushchenko.
The good news is that OSU will get the week off before heading to Ann Arbor for a meet against their arch-rival, Michigan.
Illini Take Care Of The Sun Devils At Home