Category Archives: Big Ten

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.

Share

Nebraska vs Iowa Recap: A Butt Punt Special Investigation

Things got off to a rocky start for the Huskers to begin the second half against Iowa.

First, Bo Pelini struggled to unwrap a piece of gum.

Bo Pelini Gum

Then, there was the Butt Punt.

BUTTPUNT  Full Speed

Then, Husker Nation was immediately all like-

Of course Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain was quick on the draw with a below the belt tweet while the Huskers were at their arguably lowest point of the season.

Too bad the character limitations of Twitter didn’t allow Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain to more accurately describe what happened on the Butt Punt, which is A Nebraska native scored a touchdown thanks to standing in the right place at the right time when a fellow Nebraska native rocketed a punt off the helmet of his teammate.

(And on a note Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain would ever bring up, a Nebraska native on the Huskers’ defensive line is currently enjoying the season on his life.)

We’ll have more on the selective accuracy issues of Omaha World-Herald Dirk Chatelain later this week but until then, we’re going back to the Butt Punt.

Despite what Matt Millen said, the Butt Punt wasn’t a Butt Punt at all.

Butt Punt was a Back-Of-The-Head-Punt.

BUTTPUNT2
Wonder what Zach Hannon was thinking when a Thunder Leg special plunked the back of his head?

Here’s another angle.

BUTTPUNT1
If you look close, you can see Sam Foltz’ soul leaving his body as he is chokeslammed to the turf.

And not to be dicks but we hate to see the fruits of late night drunken GIF making go to waste so here’s one more.

BUTT PUNT SNAP
Don’t forget, Thunder Leg was the one who forced the Iowa fumble in the first quarter so cut the dude a break. Even with the Butt Punt his highlight to blooper ratio is off the charts.

So, about the game that Husker Nation either loved or hated depending on whether or not you like your team more than whoever is coaching it.

This is what we said in our preview.

Ideal Scenario: The Huskers summon whatever pride they may have left and show Iowa who’s the boss for the third time in four years. On the flip side, if the game gets ugly for the Huskers, may it be the meltdown to end all meltdowns.

If there was ever a moment to set the stage for the meltdown to end all meltdowns, it was a touchdown scored off a Butt Punt to give Iowa a 17 point lead.

Did the Huskers wilt under the embarrassment and pressure?

Nope.

Tim Beck flipped to the dogeared YOLO section his playbook and Huskers young and old stepped up on both sides of the ball to will their team to victory. It was a total team win that sent nine Husker fans into as much of a frenzy that could be mustered in an empty bar on Sunset Blvd the morning after Thanksgiving.

Before you mock our low turnout, the level of Husker fandom present was probably higher than most watch sites. Along with one mediocre blogger, there were not one but two champion podcasters. (Subscribe here and here.) Plus, Ryan from the Cobcast made that little film Through These Gates which would make an excellent holiday gift for any Husker fan ; )

So what’s next for Pelini and company? Who really knows? Half the internet says the guy is already fired. The other half says there’s no way you can fire a coach with his record.

Then there’s a tiny sliver of the internet (possibly confined to just this little corner) that almost wishes Bo would hit eject and peace out to greener pastures on his own accord. Imagine the reaction from the Boleavers if he set up shop at Florida and promptly took the Gators to the top of the SEC.

The guy certainly has his pros and cons. Do we love him? Nope. Do we hate him? Nope. We’ve never met the him so that’s about all the opinion we can have. But we would  shake his hand, offer to buy him a beer and remind that not every Husker fan is an internet Athletic Director.

Whatever happens with this Huskers team over the next few weeks remember, the reason why you’re a fan is because of the team- not just a single individual.

 

Share

So long Losers: Your Huskers vs Gophers Senior Day Preview

Senior Day has finally arrived for an unlucky group of 13 Huskers who were never able to escape the gravity of mediocrity. Over the course of four seasons, they  stumbled their way to a 36 – 14 record (so far). That’s a paltry winning percentage of only 72%  and a full a 11% lower than Tom Osborne coached teams.

If Bo Pelini and company and are truly focused and committed to  building a program that wins championships, Senior Day shouldn’t be a celebration but a chance to tell these 13 non-achievers to hit the skids. As a final parting gift to fans, Kenny Bell should insist his name be wiped from the record book for stealing the records of a man who had what it took to win not one but two National Championships.

At this point in the season, why even let the seniors play when those who will be back in 2015 could be on the field getting valuable experience?

Before you declare the idea of Bo pulling the plug on an ultimately fruitless season to be hogwash, think about all the times you’ve ever hit reset on a video game before getting your ass fully kicked. Benching the seniors in favor of fresh meat with a desire to win is the same damn thing, just in real life. Those chumps had four years to get it done and couldn’t. So what’s the big deal if they don’t play the last three games?

You want to see a competition at quarterback? Give Armstrong, Fyfe, and Stanton each a quarter and whoever plays the best gets the fourth as a reward. You want crisp and precise plays? Run them again and again until they get it right. Clearly the practice squad isn’t putting up enough of a real world test so why not use meaningless games as practice?

Sure, the Huskers could go on a roll and win out the season but really, who does an 11 – 2 record impress? Only losers who don’t have championship standards.

If your blood is starting  to boil right now or at the very least you’re having a WTF? moment, congrats. You can keep reading.

To those of you who found this blatant trolling to be brilliant, out of the box thinking, please go find a different corner of the internet to waste your time.

This is a site for Husker fans who stick together in all kinds of weather no matter how lopsided the score. We’re with these guys all the way, just as long as they don’t do something dumb like showing their wiener to a convenience store clerk.

Scouting Report: Minnesota is just like Wisconsin except not as good. So get ready for a few flashbacks to last week. The Golden Gophers own the Huskers in the overall series 30-22-2 but have only won twice since 1959 with their most recent wins coming in 1960 and 2013. (We’ll go ahead and pretend last year’s game didn’t happen.)

Golden Gopher head coach Jerry Kill is pretty much his team’s biggest story. Unlike “former rising star” Bo Pelini, Kill’s 24-24 record at Minnesota is already the stuff of legend. Last season his team notched an unprecedented eight wins! This year, Coach Kill has thankfully gotten his health in order but he’s still a dick for abandoning his previous post at Northern Illinois team ahead of the Humanitarian Bowl for the greener pastures of Minnesota. Remember how Pelini stuck with LSU until after they finished the job of winning a national championship?

Bo Pelini Drunk
Bo Pelini, a man of his word.

Confidence: It’s the word of the week for Husker beat writers. Depending on your source, either Tim Beck needs to regain confidence in his play calling or he needs to give Tommy Armstrong a shot in the arm, ideally his non-throwing one because that cannon needs all the help it can get to be properly re-sighted and calibrated.

Here’s hoping they spent some quality time listening to Matt Foley.

Honestly, it’s a coin toss as to what kind of Huskers team we’ll see on Saturday.  The Huskers are either going to live out Carl Spackler’s wildest fantasies or get a golden shower from the Golden Gophers on their home turf. Let’s just hope it’s the former.

Ideal Scenario: The Huskers get the win, sending the seniors off on a positive note and go undefeated at home for the first time since 2012. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It just has to get done. It’d be great to see Ameer bust off one more long run at home and see Kenny Bell haul in one last #TommyBomb. Players like those guys don’t come around often and it’s been a real treat to see them play. Btw, did you know all 13 seniors will have graduated by December? Pretty impressive.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 8 – this is an all-time high. With the game on ESPN and last week’s meltdown still a gross, oozing wound, don’t be surprised if ESPN has a camera just for Bo.

Question That Needs an Answer: Can the Huskers rebound or will they shit the bed a second week in a row?

 

Share

What if the Huskers Had Beaten Wisconsin?

The dark clouds of the college football apocalypse have settled in hard over Nebraska this week thanks to the Huskers getting taken behind the woodshed by the Wisconsin Badgers.

In just 42 brutal (and record setting) minutes of football at Camp Randall Stadium, all the anxiety, anguish, and rage that had been (mostly) contained by a (mostly) solid season finally breached the dam, causing all hell to finally break loose among Husker Nation.

Days later,  the body blows and nut shots keep coming at Bo Pelini and the team. On Tuesday Omaha World Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain administered an atomic purple nurple of his own by illustrating how Pelini’s D can be just as horrid as the unspeakable Kevin Cosgrove’s.

But the question we have is this: Would Husker Nation really have been any happier with a win at Wisconsin?

While the obvious, no duh answer is a resounding YES, there’s more to it than that.

Let’s take a journey to an alternate dimension where the Huskers came away with a victory over the Badgers.

In this wholly hypothetical game, we’ll pretend the Huskers won 31 – 17 with all the elements of a solid Husker victory being present and accounted for-

Tommy  went 15/25 and 200 yards and 2TDs.
Ameer ran for 120 and a score of his own.
The Blackshirts added a TD off a scoop and score fumble recovery. AND held Melvin Gordon to under 300 yards rushing.
Drew Brown eased doubts with a 45 yard field goal right down Broadway.

A wave of jubilation immediately follows the game as two years of Badger induced shame and misery is released by the Husker faithful. It is a wholly cathartic moment. Tim Beck is a genius! We never doubted Bo Pelini’s system! The ink is barely dry on the requisite “The Skies the Limit for the Huskers” columns before the first seeds of doubt are planted.

It starts with a contrarian tweet here. A piss in your Cheerios Facebook post there.

Big deal. The Huskers beat a team that lost to Northwestern.

The Badgers scored 17. Plan on Ohio State doubling that- if we can get past Minnesota and Iowa.

Wake me when the Huskers’ biggest win isn’t against a barely ranked team with two bad losses.

We’re still not going to make the playoff.

Our win would have looked so much better if Miami could have held off Florida State.

A few hours later, a snarky column by a certain Omaha World Herald staff writer is published that pinpoints a dire Husker week spot- 2rd down inefficiency on running plays to the short side of the field with less than a minute remaining when going into the wind during the second quarter. It’s such a bizarre nit to pick that fans rally to the defense of the team and coaching staff, righting the good ship Husker Optimism.

And then the College Football Playoff rankings are released.

Even with a convincing victory and a strong Miami effort against Florida State, the Huskers are the lowest ranked one loss team hovering just outside the top 10 and well out of playoff range.

Those same fans who weren’t impressed with the win in the first place are suddenly full of rage at the level of disrespect shown to the Huskers and Big Ten. Angry emails are sent. Calls are made to sports talk shows. An old-timer writes his Congressperson demanding an investigation. Family vacations to Disney World are canceled in a vain effort to keep money out of SEC territory.

HUSKER FAN VENN DIAGRAM
Husker fans diagrammed.

Even if the Huskers won out and finished the regular season 12 – 1, there’s a better chance a one loss TCU team (that doesn’t even have to play a conference championship game) would  snag the final playoff spot leaving the Big Red out in the cold and f-ed in the drive-thru by Texas and the Big XII yet again. In the inaugural year of the College Football Playoff, Husker Nation would have set a high bar for what it means to be a butt hurt fan base.

On the flip side, there’s still a chance the Huskers could lose out and finish the year 8 – 5, snapping that streak of 9 win seasons that didn’t mean much anyway. Just imagine if that happened. That’s six or seven SOLID weeks of justified complaining. Without a September loss or leaked tape this season, that would really make up for lost time on the bitching front.

Long story short, if there’s one thing Husker fans love as much as finger banging their egos with a winning football team, it’s getting to piss and moan about a losing one.

As hard as it can be, just sit back and try to enjoy the ride.

It will be over before you know it.

Share

Recap: Badgers Bugger Bug Eaters in Backbreaking Blowout

If Melvin Gordon, eventual Heisman Trophy winning running back of the Wisconsin Badgers, needs a nickname, we suggest calling him “The One Man Gangbang” because he ran a filthy, nasty train on the Huskers.

Gordon jammed the ball down the throats of the Huskers’ defense to the tune of 406 yards, or just 26 feet less than the friggin’ Empire State Building, if you prefer to have your record breaking yardage totals presented in terms of skyscrapers.

Seriously, the Huskers would have had an easier time containing Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson than Melvin Gordon.

In his Heisman Trophy winning season, Jackson ran for 1,786 yards and averaged 6.6 yards per carry on 278 rushing attempts. After his plowing of the Huskers, Gordon has amassed 1,909 yards on only 223 carries, an average of 8.8 per.

He still has at least three games to go.

Sure, you could try to spin that and say, “Well, the Huskers went up against a special, once-in-a-lifetime player and came out on the wrong side of history. Them’s the breaks.”

Except for the fact that Gordon put up the following numbers in his other games this season-

LOUISIANA STATE – 16 rushes/140 yards/9.0 YPC
WESTERN ILLINOIS – 17 rushes/38 yards/3.0 YPC
BOWLING GREEN – 13 rushes/253 yards/19.5 YPC
SOUTH FLORIDA – 32 rushes/181 yards/5.8 YPC
NORTHWESTERN – 37 rushes/259 yards/9.8 YPC
ILLINOIS – 27 rushes/175 yards/6.6 YPC
MARYLAND – 22 rushes/122 yards/5.6 YPC
RUTGERS – 19 rushes/128 yards/7.1 YPC
PURDUE – 25 rushes/205 yards/8.4 YPC

Then there’s his line against the Huskers-
NEBRASKA – 25 rushes/408 yards/16.4 YPC

Gordon’s record setting night was so brutal to watch in real-time that this nutshot compilation only scratches the surface of the pain the Huskers and their fans endured at Camp Randall Stadium.

It’s one thing to get your ass kicked but an entirely different story to get whupped up on in the same manner as the Huskers in that 52 – 24 pasting. It doesn’t matter if you lose by a single point or four touchdowns, a loss is still a loss but there comes a point when you just gotta ask, WTF is wrong?

Even if the Huskers would have lost by a field goal, the fire Pelini because he can’t win the big ones train would still be chugging along at full steam. That’s a given. The only time the guy ever caught a break with a loss was against Texas in ’09. But still, there comes a point when you gotta wonder why so many of the signature losses involve total woodshed ass kickings where the team and coaching staff just shutdown.

Even a day later, tying to put what transpired into words that aren’t an incoherent mess of all caps swearing is proving rather difficult so we’ll just let the YouTube do the talking for the rest of this recap.

Last night, the Badgers and Melvin Gordon were King Kong Bundy and the Huskers were Little Beaver.

The only difference is Melvin Gordon’s avalanche looked more like this.

Exhibits A and B for putting a better fight than the Huskers:

The Black Knight

Scratchy

Exhibits A and B for not melting down as bad as the Huskers

Richie Tenenbaum

The Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Until the Huskers can (hopefully) find some redemption against Minnesota, it’s going to be a long week. Remember, you weren’t on the field. You weren’t calling the plays. You had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of the game.

It’s not your fault.

Share

Breaking Badgers: Your Huskers vs Wisconsin Preview

If there was ever a time for the Huskers to summon the ghosts of Big Red past and kick the ever loving shit out of a team, it is now.

Here’s the brutal truth. Five minutes after joining the Big Ten, Husker Nation got scared and has been ever since. There’s no denying it. Even in the rock bottom Bill Callahan years, Husker fans may have felt a lot of dread but they never displayed the outright fear that is so palpable today. You can feel it week in and week out in how all the beat writers craft their stories framing Nebraska as the underdog no matter the game. And you can definitely see it on full display deep in the bowels of Huskermax.

It’s time for the Huskers and their legion of fans to remember who they really are, go kick some ass, and take a few names along the way.

In the immortal words of Ric Flair, to be the man, you gotta beat the man. And this week that man is named Bucky.

This year the Freedom Trophy is at stake for the first time. Fans have been moaning about this being a thinly veiled attempt to manufacture a rivalry. The Huskers and Badgers are going to be squaring off every year for the foreseeable future so why not put a little something at stake? Nebraska fans making the road trip to Madison could do their part  to make help this a memorable rivalry if everyone by celebrated the Huskers’ victory by stealing a porch couch on the way out of town. Imagine the reaction. They beat our football team and stole our shitty couches? Oh, it is on.

Speaking of Madison, for everyone butt hurt about rude Badger fans, three words- grow a pair. My very first football game experience was walking across Nebraska’s former Third City to attend the big Barr vs Walnut showdown as an 80lb seventh grader. If my nerdy 12-year-old self could make it through the junior high version of The Warriors unscathed, there’s no reason fans can’t handle the heckles of some drunken Badgers. If you can’t think of a good comeback, keep “Go eat some cheese” in your back pocket. Yes it’s dumb and yes sounds just like the “Go eat some corn” you’ve heard a million times and that’s just why it might work.

If you’re still not sold on the rivalry here you go.

Reasons to dislike Wisconsin

1. The Badgers’ turnaround as a college football program was modeled after Nebraska. We won’t even get started on the knock off uniforms.
2. Wisconsin is the only state in the union where your first DUI is a mere traffic violation.
3. All the goddamn mosquitoes.
4. Pabst was sold to the Russians.
5. A carney once ripped me off in Wisconsin Dells.

Confidence: Confidence? I’ve been listening to The Sword in heavy rotation since Tuesday. There’s no way I’m not going to show up to our watch site and eat nachos and yell at the TV like a boss.

With regards to the Huskers, here’s hoping the bye week plunge in the College Football Playoff poll put a chip on their shoulders that will carry them through to the Big Ten Championship Game.

In other words, this needs to be Huskers’ attitude.

(Apologies for the obligatory UHF post but hey, it just came out on Blu-Ray this week!)

Scouting Report: Ooooh… Wisconsin could use a different quarterback from play to play. Big deal. That’s just another QB for Randy Gregory to torment. For him it will be 2 for 1 day at Camp Randall Stadium. Don’t be surprised to see Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy get in a sideline slap fight over whose turn it is to go in and get creamed.

Macho Man Randy Gregory

Ooooh… Wisconsin has a Heisman contender in running back Melvin Gordon. Come at the Blackshirts, bro. He’ll be a refreshing break from having to deal with Ameer and Imani at practice.

Ooooh… Wisconsin’s offensive and defensive lines are forces to be reckoned with. Tell those thigh rubbers a Groupon for cheese curds just dropped and see how fast they find a way to waddle off the field.

Ooooh… Wisconsin has the Jet Sweep in their playbook. Um, that could pose a problem.

For a detailed breakdown of the Badgers that includes actual statistics, check out Corn Nation.

Ideal Scenario:  Somehow, someway the Huskers get the win and that way is by dominating on both sides of the ball. Over on D, Randy Gregory finally has his Ndamukong Suh Big XII Championship Game with his sacks coming after the Blackshirts shut down the Badger running game.

On the offensive side of things, the Huskers put together a mistake free game and the question about Ameer’s durability never comes up because it doesn’t have to. He runs wild and free for a couple big TD’s but otherwise doesn’t spend too many plays going between the tackles. In a flash of brilliance that impresses even his most passionate haters, Tim Beck keeps the Badger D off balance and guessing by running a lot of plays out of the seldom seen Diamond Formation. Imagine the havoc a backfield of Tommy, Imani, Ameer and De’Mornay could wreak.  Last but not least Kenny Bell finally and deservedly breaks Johnny Rodgers all-time reception record.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 7 – Not gonna lie. This game could get rough and ABC/ESPN will be all over it.

A Question That Needs an Answer: Is Ameer 100%? We. Will. Find. Out.

Share

A Wisconsin Horror Story

This is a story about the time Nebraska played Wisconsin for the Big Ten Championship.

It’s a night Husker Nation would love to forget but the gruesome events that transpired on December 1, 2012 will be forever seared into the collective psyche of the unfortunate souls who witnessed the massacre at Lucas Oil Field.

While I was lucky enough to not see a single second of the game live, I felt nearly every Badger gut punch in real-time.

On that fateful night, two of my favorite things collided. It was a classic case of the unstoppable force vs the immovable object. In one corner you had the Huskers’ showdown with Wisconsin and in the other, my biggest cyclocross race of the 2012 campaign. It was getting late in the season and I was locked in a vicious battle for a mediocre ranking in a mediocre division. It was a race I couldn’t afford to skip. (Full disclosure: amateur bicycle racing has about as much at stake as a slow pitch softball league.)

My race started at 5:15, the same time as kickoff. With a little luck, I could make it to the watch site in time for the second half. The only snag in the plan was the weather. It was as bad as it could get for Los Angeles in December, low 50’s and rain flying in all directions. Thanks to a couple of ill-timed crashes late in the race, I plummeted out of a spot comfortably in the top ten and crossed the finish line in a battered 21st place, soaking wet and covered in mud from head to toe. For the record, it was a very hard fought 21st place. I didn’t quit and kept racing to the end.

As soon as I recombulated myself, I made a beeline to the car and dug out my phone to get an update on the game.

36 new texts were waiting for me. Immediately, my mind start racing about I how could possibly fill all the requests for Rose Bowl couch space without ending up divorced.

Then I started reading the messages.

They started out hopeful. Some Huskers! and GBRs! around kick off. My brother sent me a pic from his seats at the game. An enterprising buddy who knew of my personal crisis recorded T-Magic’s ridiculous touchdown run off his TV and sent me the video.

He closed his message by saying “It’s still early. Hope the Huskers can make a comeback.”

Wait, what? Taylor’s run made the score 14 – 7. The Huskers were only down a TD. So what. They’ve come back from much worse.

Then I checked the current score. 35 – 10 Wisconsin.

If the Huskers could get to 17 by the half, a victory for the Big Red would not be out of the picture. By the time I finished my comeback calculations, they staggered off the field down 42 – 10.

I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do. I was all packed up and ready to go watch the game but I wasn’t about to schlep over Hollywood just to be the muddy faced weirdo who randomly showed up for the second half.

In a daze, I walked back over to our team’s area on the race course. There would be beer there. I was greeted by a teammate who went to CU and was in the stands for the Huskers meltdown in 2001. “I saw the score. Sorry man. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just brutal.”

We then hugged it out as only people who understand the misery of college football can do.

Texts continued to pour in. Even friends who couldn’t pick a Husker uniform out of a police line up were checking on my well being.

We’re at a bar and saw some scores on the TV. Nebraska’s your team, right? Hope you’re OK. If you need anything give us a call. We’re here for you.

Hey dude. Holla back so I know you’re still with us. Suicide is never a good option.

Stay strong buddy. It’s only a game.

Sorry about the Huskers. Do you have any connections for Rose Bowl tickets?

What happened to the Huskers? Sorry we keep racking up the score. Not.

 That’s what revenge is all about!

Do you have any room at your place if we come out for the Rose Bowl? We promise we won’t wear any Badger gear in the house.

As luck would have it, half my family hails from Wisconsin. Most are UW alums and all are avid sports fans. Packers, Brewers,  and the Badgers and apparently not just for basketball.

I never heard a peep out of any of them about Badger football until Nebraska first met Wisconsin as a member of the Big Ten. Once they blew out the Huskers on their home field, the floodgates opened. Seriously, they could teach a class on Reddit about how to troll for maximum effect.

When Nebraska returned the favor the following year, I took the TO high road and didn’t say a word and neither did they. Unfortunately, their silence just meant they were working on material for the championship game.

It got so bad I turned my phone off midway through the third quarter and didn’t turn it back on until sometime Sunday afternoon.

A text from my brother was waiting for me. It was short. Simple. And to the point.

Dude. I was so depressed I went back to the hotel and ate a $60 steak with my bare hands.

And fuck those cheeseheads!

Can’t wait to see how Saturday plays out.

GBR.

Share

Recap: A Steaming Pile of Purdue-doo

Let’s count the ways things did not go the Huskers’ way against Purdue-

Ameer gets taken out of the game (and possibly longer?) after he gets crushed by his own lineman trying to recover a botched snap on 4th and goal from the Purdue one yard-line.

(Feel free to count snap issues and goal line inefficiency as individual problems if you are so inclined.)

Roommates Tommy Armstrong and Jordan Westerkamp were on the wrong page to the tune of two interceptions.

A Blackshirt  interception turned fumble essentially gave Purdue eight downs from inside the Huskers’ 30 yard-line.

True freshman kicker Drew Brown missed his third field goal in four attempts.

Now let’s count the ways things went right-

After all the offensive, offensive miscues, pulled boners, and Tim Beck over-thinking, the Huskers still won handily.

The Blackshirts held Purdue to 14 points the same total the Boilermakers notched against Notre Dame. Don’t forget they hung 31 points on Michigan State.

Two blocked punts.

Bo Pelini got a sideline penalty and it wasn’t due to taking a swing at an official!

When a 21 point victory over Purdue can feel like a loss to Iowa State, you gotta take a step back and admit that’s a good problem to have when moving into November with an 8 – 1 record.

As frustrating as the game was to listen to (for the record, I still haven’t watched a single highlight), it’s hard to get that upset.

Nine games into the season, we still haven’t seen this edition of the Huskers at their best and we certainly haven’t seen them at their worst. The pendulum has swung in both directions all year long without reaching one extreme or the other. If you think they reached a new low against Purdue, congrats on having a very short memory.

Will playing above average with spurts of greatness and stupidity be enough to beat Wisconsin in Madison? Who knows?

November is shaping up to be an entertaining month so sit back and try to enjoy the ride as best you can. There aren’t many teams that can claim to have an equal chance at making the playoff as making the Meineke Car Care Fight Hunger with Pepperoni Pizza Bowl.

**On a completey unrelated note, the Purdue game was the first time I listened to a Huskers’ radio broadcast from pre-game to post-game in its entirety since Ball State was a missed field goal away from an upset in Lincoln.

Video streaming didn’t work so well out in the middle of nowhere but Greg Sharpe and Matt Davison came through crystal clear. (The only trick is using the TuneIn Radio app rather than the unfortunately unreliable official Huskers app.)

FullSizeRender
This was our view during the game.

Greg and Matt really make a great team. Greg deftly rides a fine line between the legendary Kent Pavelka’s I’m-about-to-have-an-aneuyrsm  level of enthusiasm and professional polish, balanced out by Matt’s nuanced observation and appropriate level of dread when needed.

If you’re ever in the mood to kick it like it’s the 20th century, give those guys a listen sometime.

Share

Purdue Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

For the second consecutive year, we’re going to be away from the comforting bosom of our neighborhood watch site on Purdue weekend.

In 2013, the Huskers traveled to West Lafayette and rolled an 1 – 11 Boilermaker team 44 – 7 in a game that was decided well before halftime. It was a great, stress free Saturday, especially the part where I was able to venture out of the tiny bubble of free hotel lobby WiFi and spend the rest of the afternoon lounging on the beach.

This year we’ll be in nestled in the mountains in the new age hippie paradise of Ojai (with a requisite side trip to the nearby premium outlet mall).

In a season where the Huskers have been rolling, the Boilermakers come to Lincoln with a semblance of momentum and the proverbial elephant in the proverbial room looming larger than ever.

That elephant would be the Huskers’ seemingly annual crapping of the bed against a lousy team. With that in mind, Purdue’s visit suddenly adds suspense and anxiety to the mix. It’s like Husker Nation is one big traumatized family on pins and needles when they realize it’s been far too long since dad has come home piss drunk. A Husker meltdown is imminent. It has to be.

Or does it?

Confidence: Like any woman who has ever thought she could change her man,  the Huskers are wearing their new look and attitude well but have the potential to regress back to their old losing habits in a heartbeat. (Then again, that could be the years of psychological damage talking.) If Nebraska can get through this one with a W, they just might have turned a corner for both the season and the program.

Scouting Report: Purdue, the Indiana university that is neither Indiana or Notre Dame, is located in Tippecanoe County. Tippecanoe, as we all know, translates to “place of the succor fish people.” In our hearts, the Boilermakers will always hold a special place for ensuring Kansas State’s dream season of ’98 had a nightmare ending.

KYLE ORTON PURDUEIn Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer, distinguished Purdue alum Kyle Orton explained how he wore number 18 as a tribute to Brook. It’s amazing how one little anecdote can instantly make a guy unhateable.

More seriously though, Purdue is a 3 – 5 team the Huskers can’t treat lightly. A week after Nebraska manhandled Illinois, the Boilermakers bumped off the Illini 38 – 27. They followed that up by playing Michigan State to within a touchdown until Boilermaker QB Austin Appleby threw a game sealing pick six with 1:29 to go.

The pessimist could look at that and conclude that the Spartans aren’t that good and Purdue is better than Nebraska. We’ll go out on that fragile limb of optimism and say Michigan State played poorly because they were still rattled from their oh-so-near miss against the Huskers the week before.

Long story short, Purdue is finally starting to click. Check out Hail Varsity for all the stats to back up that statement. Then again, they’ve also lost to Central Michigan, Notre Dame, Iowa, and Minnesota.

Ideal Scenario: The Huskers cruise into their bye week ahead of their big showdown with Wisconsin. Ameer, Kenny, Tommy and Randy all do their Ameer, Kenny, Tommy and Randy things. I don’t resort to hiding from my wife by holing up in a premium outlet bathroom stall and faking the worst dump of my life just so I can watch a too-close-for-comfort game in relative peace and agony.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 5 — Don’t expect the ABC/ESPN/SEC Network faction to cut him any slack, especially with Ed Cunningham in the broadcast booth.

A Question That Needs an Answer: Will Imani Cross ever score again? He hasn’t notched a touchdown since the Illinois game a month ago.

Share

Recap: Huskers roll, Dirk Chatelain trolls

Even in a lethargic, let’s-just-get-the-game-over-with-and-set-some-records-along-the-way 42 – 24 victory, Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain found a way to stir up unnecessary drama.

Following Nebraska’s win over Rutgers, Bo Pelini rightfully called out his team for lack of execution. With a little more attention to detail, the Huskers could have easily doubled their 18 point margin of victory and given the backups some valuable playing time. Instead, they shot themselves in the foot enough times to still have the starters on the field at the final whistle.

While you expect the Huskers to show improvement from one week to the next, sometimes their progression stalls and the end result is a “blah win” which ultimately should never be anything to complain about.

Even our watch site had trouble getting motivated for the game. In our defense, 9am kickoffs on the West Coast are for the birds. Couple that with the game being on ESPN2 and a normally robust turnout plummeted to just a couple dozen who could barely bust out a Go Big Red. Games like this have all the fun of a Catholic mass at 6pm on a Sunday night. Everyone in attendance just wants to get communion and get the hell out.

Husker Watch Site
Rutgers scores a late touchdown and not single Husker fan throws things at the screen. This is how little anyone cared.

In a game where Ameer Abdullah ran for 225 yards on just 19 carries (11.84 YPC) and broke the Husker record for all-purpose yards with 341, Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain’s biggest concern is why Tim Beck didn’t call more running plays. (It should be noted that the Huskers finished with 297 yards on the ground.)

From his column:

Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain: “Do you understand the frustration when (Abdullah) rips off two for 50 and you throw it three straight times the next possession?”
Beck: “No, I don’t.”
Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain: “Really?”
Beck: “No. You think every time we hand him the ball, he’s gonna run for 50? What if he runs for 2? Should they get frustrated, too, ’cause he didn’t run for 50? Is that the line’s fault then? Or is it his? Did he miss it? Or is it a bad play call because we should’ve ran the other way?”

Josh Harvey from Scout has the audio of the whole conversation between Beck and Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain posted on his site. It’s worth a listen if you want to hear a master troll at work. Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain comes off so whiny with the “Really?” that he makes Luke Skywalker sound like Samuel L. Jackson.

Now let’s go back and examine Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain’s big question from above.

Ameer’s first 50 yard (53 if you want to get technical) touchdown run was preceded by him rushing for 7, 2 and 5 yards. The entire drive was four Ameer rushes and took 1:31 off the clock.

The next time the Huskers got the ball, their first play from scrimmage was this 16 yard strike to Jordan Westerkamp.

Had the the Rutgers defender not sent Westerkamp’s spleen into his kidneys, he may have gone all the way for a score.

Then, on the very next play, Ameer runs 48 yards for his second touchdown in barely three minutes. You might say Tim Beck set up this run with the previous PASSING PLAY.

Over the span of two drives that milked all of 2:03 off the game clock, Ameer carried the ball 5 out of 6 plays and scored two touchdowns.

So, the next time Nebraska got the ball don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, the Rutgers defense will be on the lookout for #8?

Starting from their own 41 and up 21 – 7, here’s how those three passes that Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain was all in a huff about went down.

1st Down- Chucked out of bounds about ZIP Code away from DPE.

2nd Down- Caught by Alonzo Moore at the sideline but Moore was out-of-bounds by a sliver of a heel. Had the game been in a tighter situation, the play could have been called for a review. If it were ruled to be a completed pass, the Huskers would have been looking at third and 2.

3rd Down- Kenny Bell gets tossed off the field by a Rutgers defender. Tommy Armstrong then proceeds to throw a perfect strike to said defender for an INT.

Hmm… Sounds like Tommy Armstrong could use some work on his passing. With the Huskers up by two touchdowns in the dregs of the second quarter, why not give him some throws? Or does that make too much sense for Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain?

His readers seem to think it does-

Dirk Readers
However, one Top Commenter chimed in to give credence to Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain’s claim that people are frustrated by the lack of running.

Ronald Scribner
Yes, Ronald. It is beyond frustrating that every day can’t be like 1994 where vaginas were still hairy and wide receivers were used more for their blocking ability than catching skills. Heaven forbid that Bo Pelini and company could recruit receivers who can block AND catch.

Note Westerkamp’s pancake and Sam Cotton being such a nuisance that the Rutgers defender resorts to grabbing a double handful of jersey in a futile attempt to catch Ameer during his first touchdown run.

Funny how both those guys caught touchdown passes later in the game.

 

 

 

 

Share