A Chat With BYU’s Austen Jorgensen

Earlier this year, I got to know a guy named Austen Jorgensen through my day job. Austen works for a company called Nuvi. (If you happen to be in the market for a high powered social media monitoring platform, hit him up. Nuvi blows the doors off anything out there.)

After corresponding with him for a while, Austen took our budding relationship to the next level with an invite to connect on LinkedIn. (If you ever need to find me, I’m the Todd Munson wearing a McRib t-shirt.) Checking out Austen’s profile, there was a nugget of info that he’d never mentioned jumped out at me like the flipping Boogeyman.

The dude played football at BYU.

And he wasn’t just on the team. He was a hoss linebacker and a major cog in the Cougars’ defense for the duration of his career which culminated with the 2013 season. After a momentary geek out session, I fired off an email demanding to know why he had kept such a vital piece of information under wraps. From there, we had a pretty serious college football brodown and I got him on the hook to do an interview ahead of BYU’s date with destiny in Lincoln.

In talking talking football with him, the similarities between Utah and Nebraska life became strikingly familiar.  Austen grew up on his family’s ranch, helping to raise high end cattle that becomes the best steak you’ll ever eat. (His rather bold claim was as much of a beef as our conversation had.) Like many Husker families, Austen’s younger brother Colby followed his lead to BYU to experience the pride of playing for their home state school. This spring Colby transitioned from tight end to linebacker and was having a very solid fall camp until he unfortunately fractured his neck during practice.

So… on that uplifting note. Let’s get to the interview.

BIG RED FURY: I wish we could kick things off on a much lighter note but how is Colby doing following his surgery? Is his wife and your family doing OK? Is there anything Husker fans can do to help?

AUSTEN JORGENSEN: I wish we could start a little lighter as well, but luckily Colby is doing well. He’s walking and he is going to be alright after all this. His wife is hanging in there strong and being a great support for him (even though they’ve only been married a few weeks now). There have been a few Husker fans that have reached out to local news sources and others to show the support and love for Colby already. That kind of continued support goes a long ways.  More than people even realize I think.

Growing up were you and your brother pretty competitive with each other? What was it like having him join you in the Cougar program?

Colby and I weren’t in competition much because of our age difference.  But, you know we were going at it on the basketball court and throwing down living room wrestling matches!  Clearly that big brother strength gave me the advantage. Haha. It was really cool to have him come on the team with me and play though. I was pushing for his success and wanting him to be a part of the program with me, so that was a fun experience.

You were pretty heavily recruited out of high school, with Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Cal and Notre Dame to name a few. Did you always know you were going to choose BYU and what was it like playing for your home state school? (Not to brag or try to make your interview about me but in high school I did receive a couple pamphlets about playing Division III baseball so I know all about the recruiting process.)

Haha. You definitely know the feeling. Not even sure I need to cover this question then, my man. Haha. BYU was the first to approach me and offered me on the spot my junior year and I committed right there. I was born and raised in a super small town here in Utah (Mt. Pleasant) where not a lot of people received college attention, let alone a Division 1 athletic scholarship. Both my parents went to BYU for a short time, so I was familiar with their program the most. Honestly, I had no clue what I was doing in the recruiting process, but I did know that I wanted to go to BYU from a pretty young age. Right after the initial commitment to BYU is when the floodgates opened with the other team’s recruiters.

Bronco Mendenhall has the best name for a coach since Vince Lombardi. How was it playing for him?

If you think Bronco is a great name, you should look up the names of his children and brothers! Ha. It was intense playing for Coach Mendenhall. He has a strong personality towards the game and intent on making you the best with intense practices and workouts.  He’s really passionate about the defense, especially with his background, so he focused on our side of the ball a lot. His intense motivation on the defense being as perfect as it can be helped us have some of the top rated defenses nationally for the 5 years I played there. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Bronco’s children are named Raeder, Breaker, and Cutter. Yes, the guy is pretty much raising his own brood of American Gladiators.)

BYU bumped off some pretty big teams and took a lot of others to the wire during your career. What was it that made you guys such a tough opponent that could go toe-to-toe with anyone?

Playing the big opponents and going head to head with them became a challenge that was exciting and fun. The biggest thing that helped us compete with those programs was our mindset. It was preached and an overall feeling on the team that we could play with anyone, no matter the size of the school or team we were playing. Also, we knew we were going to be prepared and bring it as hard as we could every game. The way the defense trained gave us confidence and the mindset that we were going to bring it and hit you as hard and fast as we can while staying fundamentally sound!

Austen Jorgensen Andy Dalton
Austen takes down Andy Dalton. You may know Andy as the guy who doesn’t get Rex Burkhead the ball enough. You can see Austen harassing Andy starting at 2:45 in this video

Mike Riley, Nebraska’s new head coach, comes from Oregon State. Anything in particular that stands out about playing the Beavers?

I do remember that the Beavers mixed up the run and pass quite a bit. One particular play I remember looking for on defense was the front side guard and center lead blocking around the edge for a speed option play. For some reason I remember a lot of counter plays and them trying to play a little bit of smash mouth run game. But, I could be mixing up different games into the fading memory bank over here. Haha.

What was your favorite game that you played in?

Even though we struggled against Utah for most of my years, I absolutely loved playing up at their stadium. I loved playing within the hostile environment and feeling the entire stadium roaring against you. For some reason that was a huge rush and drove me to play better. The runner up to playing the Utes up there would be the game where we smashed the Longhorns up here in Provo. That game was a rush!

You went off against Georgia Tech in a 38-20 victory your senior year. What can I relay about that beat down to my father-in-law who happens to be a GT alum when we visit over the holidays?

You can pass on to him that I hated that game honestly! Haha. No one likes playing defense against a power/speed option offense. The slightest wrong step on defense and you’re out of place for the offense to get a big play. Also, you can let him know that that game was the ultimate “career ending” game for me. The chop blocking form they use for taking out defensive lineman and linebackers is what took my knee out and I had to get surgery just a couple weeks after that game. Kind of a depressing way to end that question. Haha.

Husker fans take a lot of pride in being good hosts to visiting fans. (Seriously, they do. Except for maybe Wisconsin which has been testing the limits of graciousness.) With this being BYU’s first visit to Lincoln, what should Nebraska fans know about the culture of BYU football and Cougar fans that could make them feel welcome? Any special cheers or greetings?

BYU fans act in a similar manner as Husker Nation I believe. They try to be welcoming and accommodating (except to Utah fans. Kind of goes without explanation, haha), so I think the two fan bases will get along. I’m not aware of any particular cheers or chants that would be welcoming. One that doesn’t feel very welcoming and I would suggest not be used is the classic “F— you BYU”.  Although it does rhyme and is kind of catchy, it doesn’t give off the most welcoming vibe. Ha.

What’s your prediction for the game? (Just in case you haven’t been following the Huskers, here’s a quick scouting report: along with a whole new coaching staff and schemes, their most explosive offensive weapon will be out and they seem to be doing their best with making sure they have as many suspended players as BYU.)

It’s hard not to play favorites or have a biased opinion and go with the alum choice of BYU here. But, BYU has done a good job of losing some key players to injury as well as suspension, so that makes the decision a little tougher. Also, the home game advantage in Lincoln is very real. Tough for me to predict a score, but I’ll stick to my bias opinion of BYU pulling off an upset there in Nebraska, with a tough down to the wire game. (Hopefully there’s no hard feelings after this? Ha.) (EDITOR’S NOTE: There won’t be any hard feelings but what you described is basically the worst possible outcome for the Huskers.)

Finally, because Husker fans never got to experience the joy of beating Texas at home during Nebraska’s time in the Big 12, how great was it to take the Longhorns to the woodshed on your home turf?

This really was one of my favorite games to play in within my football career. The atmosphere of that night game was unlike any game I had been a part of. I don’t know how to explain the excitement and overall joy of manhandling the Longhorns. It’s a feeling that I’ll have to hold on to and if anyone would like to understand it further, just imagine winning the lottery, but on a much, much lower scale that doesn’t actually make you rich. Haha.

Austen Jorgensen
Austen Jorgensen helping take the Longhorns to the proverbial woodshed.

 

 

 

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Hey Everyone! It’s Game Week.

Welcome to the best Monday of the year.

Game week has finally arrived.

Just a couple months ago, it seemed like this day would never get it here. Now, every day is suddenly like Hanukkah except our daily gift is that we’re 24 hours closer kick off.

While this might be a good time to start spinning our Husker dreidel and try to predict what the future may hold for Mike Riley’s first squad, we’re not going to do that.

There’s so much optimism that abounds with first game week of the season that we’re not about to harsh that mellow with any doom, gloom and/or reality.

For college football fans, spring is blooming in the prologue of fall.

Even the World-Herald’s Tom Shatel is riding in business class on the Husker happy train. His Sunday column pitching the concept of positive football was very welcome surprise.

While the previous guy’s favorite go-to line (after “next question,” of course) was “trust the process,” we’d like to go ahead and revise that phrase to fit Mike Riley.

Move over, trust.

It’s time to ENJOY THE PROCESS.

There’s no clearer example of that philosophy than the Huskers team photo for 2015.

Huskers Team Photos 2015
Your 2015 Nebraska Cornhuskers, ladies and gentlemen.

Look at Mike Riley (front row, dead center) smiling like a guy who ended up in more unlikely situation than his fellow Alabama alum Forrest Gump. (For the record, Riley would have missed the Gump era by a few years.)

Here’s a closer look at the guy.

Mike Riley Smiling
Seriously, Nick Saban doesn’t even smile that big when he wins a championship.

There’s no doubt that Riley knows this season is going to be a heck of a ride no matter how it shakes out. We might as well follow his lead and do our best to enjoy every twist and turn and unexpected loop.

 

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2015 Oregon Ducks Preview

This site did not get hacked. We really are running an Oregon preview.

With Oregon being the team that the majority of Husker Nation covets… what with their explosive offense, head coach in-waiting Scott Frost, and those fancy pants non-adidas uniforms, there’s no denying the Ducks are the cat’s pajamas so it makes perfect sense to give a glimpse of just how much greener the grass grows in Eugene.

Plus, there’s that whole thing about the Ducks being Mike Riley’s Oklahoma, K-State, Colorado, Miami, and Wisconsin rolled into one AND Oregon just happens to be the marquee non-conference match up for the next two years. And let’s not forget about this season’s common opponent Michigan State.

So, in an effort to help Husker Nation to decide if we should start quaking in our collective boots about next season, we enlisted the help of Jason Selby, a junior at the University of Oregon and a contributor to FishDuck.com, the go-to site for Oregon sports. (Think HuskerMax without the doomsday vibe in the message boards.)

Jason was kind enough to write a preview for us. Our only word of warning is read it at your own risk. If you think the Ducks are going to have a drop off following the end of the Marcus Mariota era, guess again. Like the Huskers of yore, they don’t have to rebuild. They just reload with fresh young talent.

Take it away Jason…

If you asked for my opinion on the Ducks offense coming into this season immediately after the brutal loss to Ohio State in the College Football Championship Game, I would have been concerned.  Losing Marcus Mariota made everything seem difficult again – fans were happy for him, but worried about the team.  Questions about who the quarterback was going to be formed a thick cloud over what was still a very talented offense to be.

The Spring Game on May 2 helped answer a lot of questions.  Long-time Mariota backup Jeff Lockie commanded the offense, throwing for 223 yards and three TD’s.  When asked after the game about Lockie’s performance, head coach Mark Heflrich said, “He played well.  As far as being ‘the guy,’ he has done everything right.  He has had an awesome spring.” Former Eastern Washington star QB Vernon Adams Jr. has graduated from his alma mater with a year of eligibility remaining, and is now officially a Duck. We’ll see how long Lockie can hold up at the top of the depth chart.
(UPDATE: Vernon Adams Jr. has been named Oregon’s week one starter.)

Jeff Lockie
With that #8 guy now in the NFL, Oregon’s offense could be helmed by longtime understudy Jeff Lockie. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

Adams has been off limits to media and will remain so until he sees action on the field, which is in line with Oregon’s policy that no first year players (even if they’ve have years of experience) are allowed to speak to the press until they play. While his play making ability during fall camp has been impressive, Adams is self-admittedly behind Lockie when it comes to mastering Oregon’s complex playbook.

The Ducks get a dynamic scoring threat in Bralon Addison back from an ACL injury that caused him to miss the entire 2014 season.  Along with Addison, the Ducks have Byron Marshall, Devon Allen (hopeful to return from an ACL injury), Darren Carrington (suspended from the Championship game because of a positive marijuana test), Dwayne Stanford, and a slew of freshman talent that are sure to find roles in the offense throughout the season.

Heading into fall camp, Oregon’s high flying receiving corps was expected to complimented by a heavy run based attack but that plan hit a snag when it was announced that 5 star running back Thomas Tyner would be out for the season following a shoulder injury.

With Tyner out, sophomore Royce Freeman looks to retain his title of Oregon’s feature back which he rightfully earned after Tyner was out for a stretch during 2014. Freeman had an incredible freshman campaign (Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year) that saw him run for 1,365 yards, and 18 TDs.

Royce Freeman
Sophomore running back Royce Freeman will again shoulder the load for the Ducks’ ground game. (Photo Credit – Craig Strobeck)

In a recent interview with FishDuck.com writer Daniel Kantor, Ducks linebacker Rodney Hardrick praised the Pac-12 freshman of the year: “He reminds me of some guys we played last season, not going to name any names.  He is such a great athlete; it is exciting to play against him every day.”

Look for red shirt freshman Tony Brooks-James to be Freeman’s top back up with Kani Benoit and possibly receiver Byron Marshall rounding out Oregon’s rotation of running backs by committee.

Even with Oregon’s 1b running back out for the season, the amount of talent that this offense has is enough to make coaches in the Pac-12 dizzy.

Oregon Defense

 Last season, the Ducks gave up close to 430 yards per game, including a total of 2,481 yards on the ground.  However, the defense finished at No.31 in the country with 23.6 points per game.  With an offense that averaged over 46 points per game, the defense just needed to survive in order to win.

The disparity caused by the actual amount of yards given up, compared to the amount of points allowed, is due to the opportunities that the defense created for itself.  Much like Florida State did in the Rose Bowl, teams marched down the field on the Ducks, but made one mistake, leading to a very costly turnover.

This year’s defense will have to deal with replacing massive defensive end Arik Armstead, who was drafted with the No.17 pick by the San Francisco 49ers.  Very talented senior DeForest Buckner, along with 5-star recruit Canton Kaumatule look to solidify a defensive line that underachieved on many levels last season.

DeForest Buckner
DeForest Buckner probably doesn’t get a lot of run, DeForest, run heckles. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

Losing All-American defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will be tough for this team to overcome.  Guys have been stepping up from all over, and it’s still unclear who will steal the show.  Charles Nelson, who many got to know for his play making ability as a freshman wide receiver last year, has made the switch to defensive back to help the depleted unit.

Charles Nelson
Charles Nelson-  Oregon’s version of DPE. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

The defensive woes last year came from the inconsistent play of the linebackers.  This was made very evident in the thrashing that Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott handed out to the tune of 246 yards, and three TD’s.  Returning linebackers Joe Walker, Danny Mattingly, Tyson Coleman, Christian French, and the aforementioned Hardrick must work on securing more tackles and giving up less big plays.

Joe Walker
Oregon linebacker Joe Walker. Not to be confused with Nebraska’s Joe Walker. (Photo Credit – Kevin Cline)

Much like the offense, the defense has the players it needs to be successful – it’s all about finding the right combination.  In an interview with Chantel Jennings of ESPN.com, defensive coordinator Don Pellum said, “We lost some terrific players, but I think overall in terms of depth and experience, we are far ahead of where we were a year ago.”

I’m Buying the Ducks in 2015

 I am betting big on the Ducks this year.  I expect the Ducks to reel in 11 wins during the regular season, with the most difficult match up being at Michigan State week 2.  A late season match up against USC comes at the perfect time, as the Ducks will look to cement its top dog status in the Pac-12.

The immense amount of talent that this team has will certainly be exciting to watch.  It will be interesting watching the offense operate without Marcus Mariota, but there comes a time where every program must move on.  This will be another exciting year for the Oregon Ducks.

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Meet Student Correspondent Hayley Archer

A new feature for Big Red Fury this season is the addition of Hayley Archer, a senior Broadcasting major, as our first-ever student correspondent.

Last spring I put out a call that this humble site was looking to hire a student contributor to write up game recaps based on what they experienced from their spot in the Boneyard. As a marginally responsible adult, I thought it could be a good way to pay forward some of the opportunities I received while a student at UNL and add a little flair to this joint.

I had a solid idea of who I was looking for and received several great applications from some pretty thoroughbred Husker fans. Then Hayley’s submission swooped down from the sky like a Pegasus.

I was hoping to snag a Jammal Lord-like combo of talent and enthusiasm for the Big Red and ended up with an Eric Crouch.

Seriously, she’s gonna be great. Check out our Q & A to get to know the newest member of the Big Red Fury team —

OK, so tell us a little bit about yourself. Kidding. That’s a horrible question. We’ll cut to the chase. You’re from Minnesota but you’re a die hard Husker fan, how did that happen?

Honestly, I get asked this question and I’m still not sure what the answer is. I had fallen in love with the UNL campus in the few times I had been here, so I ended up coming here for school and becoming a Husker fan all just kind of happened.

What’s been the response by your friends and family after the last couple games against Minnesota?

Well, for the first game that I was here for, we won and I didn’t hear anything from anyone except my dad who naturally just played it off like it was no big deal to him. The next year, my phone (that was about 3 years old at that point) ended up freezing from all of the notifications that I got from everyone — both football fans and non-football fans. This past game I didn’t really get the same response from the Gopher fans, mostly because I think they felt bad about what happened with my phone the year before. Minnesotans are too nice.

Hayley Archer
Student contributor Hayely Archer. Look for her reports from the Boneyard for every home game and maybe even a few away games.

Once you took the plunge into becoming a Husker fan, did you do anything to get up to speed on Husker lore such as binge watching classic highlights on YouTube?

Don’t tell my mom, but I actually accidentally missed one of my classes one day from binge watching things on YouTube. Full games, highlights, interviews, everything. I’ve been (a little) more responsible about it, but I still love learning more about the history of the Huskers.

Your first game, who did the Huskers play and what was the experience like?

My first game was quite the experience. It was the first home game my freshman year — Southern Miss in 2012. This was back when they let students get their tickets checked at both gates, and since both my friend and I had no idea where we were going, we ended up getting lost inside the stadium and sitting in the first 10 rows of East Stadium. The entire experience was chaotic trying to figure out what all was happening with the students, but it was still quite the experience. I actually didn’t find out that I was in the wrong spot until the next game when my friends brought me to South Stadium.

Favorite game day ritual?

I have a pair of game day socks that I wear (almost) every game. They’re not lucky or anything, because we’ve still lost when I wear them, but for some reason I still wear them. Except I forgot them for the B1G Championship game…. So I’ll take the blame for that one. Sorry guys.

All-time favorite game moment?

I’ve had so many but I think I’m going to have to go with the two cliches — the Hail Mary and being able to watch Jack get his touchdown at the spring game. Both still give me goosebumps every time I watch them, and I still haven’t been able to watch Jack without at least tearing up.

With the Hail Mary, were you sitting in your usual spot and what was the reaction like around you? Was that the loudest it’s ever been for you at Memorial Stadium?

For the Hail Mary I was in South Stadium since I was only a sophomore at the time. I was somewhere in the front ten rows, which was pretty typical for us. Within a few seconds after the catch, everyone else was magically in the front ten rows as well, since everyone was jumping up and down and falling and whatnot. It was pure chaos and excitement everywhere. I hugged like eight people that I had never met before. But despite the excitement from everyone, I’d still have to say the loudest that I’ve ever seen Memorial Stadium was at the 2012 game against Wisconsin. That was absolutely insane.

You’ve never missed a home game. Have you ever had to do anything crazy to keep your streak alive?

I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in two years, now going on three. Since I have my own apartment now, my parents came down here to celebrate last year, and I’m sure they’ll probably come down this year too.

On that rare occasion when the Huskers lose, what’s your mood like following a loss?

I definitely stand out because I definitely still have my Minnesotan optimism. It’s always the “we’ll get them next time!” or “if we just work on this, we’ll be great!” Unless it’s against Wisconsin, because that one’s personal.

As an “outsider,” what’s a favorite quirk that you’ve noticed among Nebraskans both as people and as Husker fans? (My wife is from Louisiana and she laughs whenever she hears the word ‘pop’ and chanting Go Big Red, three times every time, drives her bananas.)

I haven’t really noticed too much that’s different between Nebraskans and Minnesotans, but being from Minneapolis and being around so many small-town people has been pretty interesting. Overall though, I think I stand out more to Nebraskans, because apparently I have an accent and my love for hockey is “weird.”

If you could share a Runza with any current player who would it be? (And if you say anything bad about the hallowed Runza, this conversation is over.)

Well usually my go-to answer would be Kenny Bell, but he doesn’t count anymore. I’m probably going to have to go with Sam Foltz. He seems pretty cool and we’re both Vikings fans so I’m sure we’d get along great.

If you could share a Taco John’s Six Pack and a Pound with any former player who would it be? (And if you say anything bad about John and his delicious tacos and spicy potatoes this conversation is over.)

I feel like after my last answer I have to go with Kenny Bell. He’s been my favorite player since my first game here. But I also think it’d be pretty interesting to be able to sit down and talk with Suh.

If you could travel back in time (is there still a time machine on the roof of Oldfather Hall?) and witness any moment in Husker history what would it be?

I know it’s kinda lame to choose something that I’ve already experienced, but I would give anything to be able to go back in time and relive the Wisconsin game in 2012. The atmosphere of Memorial Stadium was unreal, and there is literally nothing I love more than seeing the Badgers lose.

So… does your dislike of Wisconsin simply stem from years of Vikings/Packers games?

Growing up in Minnesota I feel like you’re taught to hate all Wisconsin teams before you’re taught to cheer for Minnesota teams. I was never a huge Gopher fan for football when I lived there, but I still loathed the Badgers. I’m just glad Nebraska finally feels the same way.

Awesome. People out here in LA don’t understand that states can have serious beefs with each other.

Especially with border battles haha.

What’s your outlook on the season? Are you expecting instant success or are you OK with a bumpy road?

I have high hopes for this season, but I am more than okay with a bumpy road. It may take a year or two for Mike Riley to really get the team that he’s envisioning, and once he gets a couple of his own recruiting classes in here , I think he’s going to do some pretty great things.

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Behind The Scenes At The Boneyard Bash

With just two weeks before football season and countless lost freshmen looking for something to do and people to meet, there seemed to be only one solution to everyone’s problems: open practice at Memorial Stadium at the first-ever Boneyard Bash.

Memorial Stadium
It’s good to be back. Soon, this place will be rocking.

Around 1:45  Saturday afternoon, I arrived at Memorial Stadium with a handful of the sport directors for The Iron N. Granted, I have no responsibilities when it comes to my minimal membership in the club, but much like all of the new freshmen on campus, I refuse to go to an event alone.

While we set up the tables of free t-shirts and koozies inside, a line of students quickly formed outside of Gate 24. Thirty minutes later, a flood of over 1,500 students poured in to the stadium. From wide-eyed freshmen wearing their lanyards around their necks to seniors claiming front row seats that were rightfully theirs, there was a good mix of different students in attendance.

Line of Students
Moments after this photo was taken, I was nearly trampled by the rush. Hope you enjoy it.

Suddenly caught in front of a Pamplona bull run of students, all I could imagine was how this was (almost) exactly how Mufasa died in The Lion King. (Editor’s note: Spoiler Alert!) I retreated back to my usual game day seat in the front row of the East Stadium student section and watched the never ending sea of students fill over two entire sections of seats.

The Boneyard Crowd
Obligatory photo of the ‘No Photos’ warning while students piled into the hallowed midfield seats.

Once the crowd had settled in, Mike Riley (looking sharp in a Boneyard t-shirt) spoke with students. I was able to overhear more than a few people mention how “adorable” he was, which is probably the polar opposite of any word students had used to describe Bo in previous seasons.

Mike Riley Addresses The Boneyard
Head Coach Mike Riley addresses the crowd before getting the Boneyard Bash started.

The players were out on the field as De’Mornay Pierson-El whipped some donuts on the sideline in his cart. Needless to say, I think he’s doing pretty well after his surgery.

Throughout the scrimmage, prizes such as gift cards and video game consoles were being given away to numerous students who checked in to the event on The Iron N Rewards app. The new app allows students to check in at various events to earn points to go towards different prizes. Despite currently sharing the first place title (not to brag), I didn’t win any of the giveaways. I’d also just like to take a moment to let the other seven students currently in first place know that they’re going down and I will win the free textbooks. Not that I’m competitive or anything.

Unfortunately since the event was still technically a practice, no photos or videos were allowed. I’m sure in that same nature they wouldn’t be too crazy about going into detail on what I saw on the field, and after seeing Bo’s interactions with the media, I’d rather try to stay on the coaches’ good sides. But I will say that with what I saw, I have high hopes for this season.

Editor’s Note: If the action on the field during the Boneyard Bash was anywhere close to the action in this Boneyard Bash, the Huskers might just be alright. Now the question is, which Blackshirt is going to step up and claim Grave Digger as a nickname?

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The Season Isn’t Over Until It Starts

Hey there dear reader(s)! Remember us? The blog that said it was going on hiatus until August 3rd? Well, with the first game of the season kicking off next Saturday, it’s time we make our staggering return to mid-level glory, new website or not.

Lucky for us, the guy we hired to redesign our site finally found a new Adderall hook up (his old one bolted off to college) so his productivity levels should be returning to normal any day now and he swears he’ll have our updated site ready before the season opener against BYU.

Kickoff is still at 2:30, right?

But enough about us. Let’s get to the reason why we’re all here- the Huskers.

Since we last left off, the Huskers have had their share of drama. Fortunately, most of it was just of the silly kind and not the a-linebacker-stole-a-truckload-of-bikes variety.

To recap —

Wisconsin running back Corey Clement talked more trash than a sanitation engineer convention (hiyo!)when he said the Huskers were a flip phone compared to the Badgers who embodied the far superior and sleeker iPhone.

This in turn caused the Nebraska sports media to unholster their flip phones and furiously text reaction tweets to 40404 as fast as their thumbs could T9 their way to coherent thoughts.

Meanwhile, we mined our kitchen junk drawer, unearthed a Motorola lounging in a weathered Cell Phones for Soldiers shipping bag (hey, it’s the thought that counts) and cobbled this gem together.

Badgers Huskers Flip PhoneGet it? 5 x CHAMP. Are jokes from a month ago still even remotely funny?

Not long after Husker Nation’s big flip out of the summer, the first fall camp of the Mike Riley era was underway and optimism for the season was running high…

UNTIL COACH RILEY ANNOUNCED THAT De’MORNAY PIERSON-EL INJURED HIS FOOT AND WOULD BE OUT FOR 6-8 WEEKS.

Faster than DPE can take a punt to the house, Husker Twitter went straight to DEFCON 1. 

Meanwhile, Husker Facebook was surprisingly rational and borderline optimistic.

Husker Extra Facebook Reaction
Could these comments be a sign that Coach Riley’s inherent mellowness is spreading like a virus among the Husker faithful?

To learn more about DPE’s injury, listen to Dr. Rob Zatechka’s always interesting Husker Doc Talk podcast. Plus, you’ll get to hear a bonus story about Dave Rimington’s love of Burning Man.  (Seriously, WTF?)

While losing an All-American who figured to be a key cog in the Huskers’ offense  is not exactly an ideal start to the season, the important thing to remind yourself is that it hasn’t even started. To put things in the parlance of Vacation, the O.G. National Lampoon version, not this summer’s turd of a reboot, we’re still lost in St. Louis our way to the proverbial Walley World.

The script for the 2015 Huskers’ season has yet to be written and not even a million football savvy monkeys armed with a million typewriters and a communal copy of Chris Brown’s great new book The Art of Smart Football could predict how the season will play out so we might as well do our best to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.

GBR!

ps: Check it out. We made a pump up video.

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