Just so we’re all on the same page, the official start time for the Cornhuskers is 8pm Eastern Time. That means 7pm back in the land of Runza.
And for this blog, it means one stressful night because the Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles will be squaring off against the St. Louis Cardinals at the same time.
Johnny Stanton demonstrates how Dodger Blue and Husker Red can be a winning combo.
I’ll be at the Dodger game armed with an AM radio to get the sweet, sweet sounds of Vin Scully in one ear, a hopefully functional Huskers app to get the sounds of Greg Sharpe and Matt Davison in the other plus an iPad to watch the game.
If you’re keeping score at home, the last time a Dodger playoff game went up directly against the Cornhuskers was on this very day six years ago.
It was much simpler back in the pre-Twitter era of 2008. Putting yourself in a cone of silence wasn’t impossible, it was downright easy. With the Husker game on the DVR back at home, all I had to do was not check the college football scoreboard on my trusty T-Mobile flip phone. If I remember correctly, I may have even turned my phone off for the entire game.
It wasn’t until we were bouncing back to the car after the Dodgers had swept the Cubs under the rug that I noticed I had a voice mail from a college friend living in Chicago. Thought she was calling to talk smack about the Dodgers slaying her Cubs but nope. She called to vent about the Huskers getting curb stomped by Missouri and ruined an otherwise brilliant plan. If I remember correctly, that game was erased without watching a single play.
And with that one quick message, all the the joy was sucked out of that Dodger victory.
No matter the outcome of the Dodgers’ postseason run, its emotional roller coaster is but a mere bunny slope compared the K12 that is the Huskers’ season. That is the power of Husker fandom.
So, on to tonight’s big showdown –
Confidence: The Cornhuskers enter the Big Ten’s marquee match up as a solid underdog but the Big Red needn’t fear Michigan State. If the Huskers can execute, there’s no reason they shouldn’t win. (That being said, I won’t be wearing red tonight so as not to be mistaken for a Cardinal fan.)
Scouting Report: Outside of their loss at Oregon, the reigning Big Ten champions have yet to play a team of note with Jacksonville State, Eastern Michigan, and Wyoming rounding out their non-conference schedule. Michigan State has a hoss receiver in the 6’3″ Tony Lippett but the Huskers’ secondary has already gone down that road with Miami’s Phillip Dorsett. If they can keep him and his size at bay, look for it to be a long night for the Michigan State passing game. Michigan State’s defense could give the Huskers fits early on but look for Tim Beck to make continue his hot streak of making good decisions and find a way for the Huskers to move the ball.
Ideal Scenario: The Cornhuskers take the mental toughness that was forged against Miami on the road and stay meltdown-free. Ameer Abdullah gains traction on a possibly wet field and leads the Husker charge in prime time. A strong showing edges him to within striking distance of Marcus Mariota in the Heisman discussion.
Tommy Armstrong breaks off a couple of key runs and takes care of the ball through the air, burning Michigan State deep at least once.
On the Blackshirt side of the ball, Randy Gregory has his coming out party. If the defensive line and secondary can keep things locked down look for Gregory to be turned loose leaving Husker fans to ask, Ndamukong Who?
Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: Four. Look for ABC/ESPN to try to create sideline drama anytime they can.
A Question That Needs an Answer: Which Husker receiver will have a big catch on this trip to RoboCop’s home state?
This Brook Berringer strike to Reggie Baul back in 1995 against the Nick Saban coached Spartans made the pain of a very severe hangover instantly go away.
How huge was Jamal Turner’s game winning catch? My brother was so pumped he called me. A month earlier when his first child was born, he sent me a text.