I’m a lifelong Husker fan. So are my kids. My oldest is 19 years old and just started college. Nebraska Cornhuskers football has been a shell of a program for his entire life, even more so for my 17 and 14-year-old kids. While I’m glad football is on the brink of being played again, I’m having a hard time mustering up much excitement.
My blood bleeds Scarlet but is flowing at an alarmingly low rate. It’s either early onset erectile dysfunction or the deadening realization that this year will be another mundane slog to mediocrity for Dear Old Nebraska U.
The past two decades have shown glimmers of hope at times but nothing sustainable or decent ever materializes. Woof. I’m reminded of some poor kid hoping this is the year dad finally gets his shit together.
In that spirit, here’s what kind of father figure every coach since Osborne has turned out to be.
Fearless Frankie Solich
The man who was supposed to maintain the glory of the Mighty Big Red exposed holes in the hull. Much like Osborne, Frankie had 70’s dad vibes. Reluctant with compliments but when they came they meant something. Could have been able to make it work but he might have fucked one of your aunts and was never at Thanksgiving again. Heard he went on to a very happy life with an uglier wife.
The smooth talking salesman who tried to talk your mom into butt stuff. Hated his previous wife so much you thought he might settle for your family. Never really fit in but was fun to make fun of around the house. Bought you some shiny toys but you knew he’d never last.
A fiery, rust-belt, take no bullshit but will have a beer with you dad. Almost made it work but blew it when it really mattered. Too many Coors Lights and wrecked the Buick on the way to your birthday party. Shouting matches with Grandma and Grandpa at Christmas. He’d have your back in a fight but he probably started it to begin with. Why are mommy and daddy fighting? Had to go.
Hip-hip golly gee whiz! Could have been the one to ride it out with mom into retirement. Hopes you’re doing ok and really sees you going places, kid. Tried to move his family into town but they never really wanted to be here. Still sends you birthday cards. Never made mom wet. When the lights were off, she imagined he was Bo.
The Golden Boy. The Chosen One. THIS guy HAS to be it. Instead he’s stubborn, selfish and somehow a young guy stuck in the nineties. Keeps talking about how Grandpa got it done. Wonders why everything around the house sucks. Surely can’t be him. Mom knows she should leave but suffers from low self-esteem and isn’t sure she could do any better.
If you search ‘Huskers’ on eBay, a bunch of things that don’t need to exist happen to show up for sale. So whether you are looking for a new jacket for October tailgating or some artwork for the man cave, get ready for gameday with my eBay round up. In honor of Ryker Fyfe, here are the top 17 Husker items up for sale.
Why you should buy it: You shouldn’t. If you sit next to me in these, I’m going to hate you. They take more than one space. You are at a football game, I have faith that you can survive for a few hours without cushions.
Hey there, remember us? Hope so because our off-season hiatus is back off, again. We trust you’ve been having a great summer, staying cool, never changing, and catching a boatload of that Pokéyman.
Before we resume our usual Husker high jinks, we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Micek, a five star recruit who’s joining the Big Red Fury squad this season.
If you’re a regular participant in #Huskers Twitter, there’s a good chance you’ve seen her hot takes and observations on game day. If you haven’t, follow her here. Leslie is a world-class smart-ass, probably knows more about the Huskers (and sports in general) than you do, and can pound Bud Heavies with the best of them. (Actually, she’d probably put you under the table.)
Since there’s really no way to improve upon an intro like that, let’s get to her interview.
You hail from the land of Kool-Aid, aka Hastings, aka Tom Osborne’s hometown. What was it like growing up in the southern corner of the golden triangle that is Nebraska’s tri-cities area?
Perfect. Nebraska is a great place to be a kid, you can always be outside with a relatively low chance of finding any real trouble. I played with a lot of fireworks, rode my bike a lot, and constantly bothered all of the neighbors. I moved in 3rd grade, but my dad still lives there so I go back a lot and do Nebraska things like go fishing and attempt to learn how to play pitch. Not many people can say they were at the very first Kool-Aid Days back in 1997 (or something like that). And yes, that’s a real thing.
Winning. The teams of the mid 90s set me up for a lifetime full of disappointment. Thanks a lot, Tommie Frazier. Sometimes I get on YouTube and watch things like this- –
–it doesn’t help. I think I thought Nebraska was supposed to play in the championship every year. I mean, they are supposed to, they just don’t.
What’s your all-time favorite moment in your history as a Husker fan?
A couple of years ago I sneaked onto the sidelines of a game at Northwestern. My friends had media passes and passed one back to me. I got to witness my boys Ameer and Randy Gregory up close and personal. It was awesome, until they figured out at the end of the third quarter that I wasn’t supposed to be there and kicked me out. I tried to say I lost my badge but the security guy wasn’t having it. It was just fun to know that I could yell at Bo if I chose to…I didn’t. By the way, that Northwestern stadium is pathetic.
Not many fans can say they’ve had a Husker coach send them their own HUDL highlight of their sideline freakout. See if you can spot Leslie going nuts at Northwestern.
What’s the one loss that still sticks in your craw the most?
One?? Besides the obvious big losses, some personal memories have to include that very special BYU game last year. I decided last minute to go with my mom. I needed to be part of Mike Riley’s first game. I needed to be there. I did not need to see that BYU Hail Mary. Also, a special memory from the UCLA game in 2013 taught me to never make fun of my friends and their team until the game is over. The 18 point comeback by UCLA was brutal, I ended up being at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood from 9am-2am that day.
EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s a 17 hour(!) shift at a sports bar.
Who’s your all-time favorite player?
I’m bad at favorites. I would say either Tommie Frazier or Lawrence Phillips. There is a video compilation on YouTube of Lawrence Phillips running all over everybody for like 5 minutes.
He was just unreal. His story is heartbreaking but I find it very interesting. I think he is tied to be my favorite but he is the most interesting to me. Hope the upcoming 30 for 30 does his story some justice because I don’t think people know or understand the whole story of his life.
What’s your outlook for this season? Do Mike Riley and company have you feeling optimistic?
HCMR and Co. have me pumped. They are recruiting really well and the energy is contagious. As Phil Steele said, the Huskers were 5 plays away from being 11-2 last season and has them as his No. 2 most improved team this season. To be honest it’s the best time of the year, the time to be delusional and say the Huskers are going undefeated. Everybody tweet to me after the Huskers first loss and remind me that I’m a moron (but I see them at least getting to the playoffs, their schedule is pretty good, minus the Ohio State part).
What are your feelings on the phrase “Run the damn ball?”
I scream it at my TV enough that I suppose I like it.
You went to a “certain college” that was a former conference rival to Nebraska. You don’t have to name it, but was it like being a Husker fan behind enemy lines?
It was always fun to bring people from the school that will not be named to Nebraska for the games. They knew I wasn’t there permanently and referred to me as a tourist. I enjoyed showing them around Lincoln and introducing them to my Nebraska friends, and of course the local Runza. They always had a good time and the trips usually ended with us staying awake in the Cap City long enough to see the sunrise. It was quite a different experience for Nebraska fans making the trip to Columbia, they have some unwelcoming fans. I remember a story about some Mizzou fans letting all the air out of some Nebraska fans tires.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Um, I think you just named the school.
Rank the following Big Ten teams from least to most hated: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin.
I’m an equal opportunity hater. I hate them all. Also, I have never understood the root for your conference stuff. If Nebraska loses, why do I want their competition to win? No thanks. Sorry to break it to Ohio State, but I will never be cheering for them.
Which one of the following Husker media types would you most like to have a beer with? Dirk Chatelain, Sam McKewon, Mike’l Severe, Tom Shatel, Steven M. Sipple.
Probably Tom Shatel because I don’t follow him so he hasn’t gotten on my nerves yet.
You’re one of the fortunate people who can claim being both a Husker fan and a Dodger fan. How would you say the two fan bases compare?
I think they both are similar because they have very dedicated and loyal fan bases. It’s pretty easy to be dedicated for 12 games a season for football fans but I meet Dodger fans that watch 162 games a season. I would like to think that’s what Husker fans would be like if there were that many games. They are both also very knowledgeable fan bases. I think Husker fans know more than the average football fans, especially regarding recruiting. Dodger fans are the same way, they are very educated about their team and their opponents.
I’ve always thought of LA as sort of like a United Nations of college football where you’ll go to a bar and see many different colleges represented. Is there a school’s fans that you find almost likable and is there a group that you find completely obnoxious?
I don’t know about a likable fan base but as soon as I thought of an obnoxious and unlikable fan base, my first thought was The U. They are all unbearable.
How would you say the overall college football knowledge base of an average Nebraska fan compares to other college football fans?
Husker fans blow everybody else out of the water in the category. I don’t know a lot of other fans that follow the recruiting process so closely. When I talk to other college football fans they don’t usually know who they are after and don’t attend any of the camps. Nebraska fans are big football dorks and will attend almost anything. I drove an hour and a half and through a fire in Calabasas to a Nebraska satellite camp last month and didn’t think twice. But speaking of recruits… Darnay Holmes, please come to Nebraska.
On those rare occasions that Nebraska loses, what’s your mood like after a game? How long does it take you to recover?
Such a rare occurrence that I can’t remember the last time that happened. But for future reference, nobody should contact me the rest of the day.
Who’s your number one QB if you’re building a team? Tommy Armstrong, Eric Crouch, Tommie Frazier, Joe Ganz, Taylor Martinez.
You go Tommie Frazier 100% of the time. As Tommie Frazier says “T Fraz, he was too smooth, he was too fast” in this classic rap song by Terrel Farley and Tommie Frazier:
Would you rather have one Ndamukong Suh or two Peter brothers anchoring a defensive line?
It’s had to turn down two DTs on the greatest college football team of all time, but when Suh is the other option. You pick Suh. Plus he is the size of two people but only one scholarship. That’s a bargain.
Amigos or Taco John’s? And what’s your go-to order?
Amigos. I love their chips and cheese and their crisp meat. The crisp meat is like a crispito from school lunches, I’m sure nobody will know what that is either. But I could really go for some Potato Olés right now.
How would you explain a Runza to someone who’s never heard of one?
This actually comes up a lot. I say its kind of like a cheeseburger baked into a roll. But better. Then I just usually talk about the mini corndogs and fries and people are on board.
Finally, let’s say you have a Kool-Aid stand out in the desert and from over a sand dune appears Bo Pelini, He’s been lost and wandering for days. How much would you charge him for an ice cold and refreshing glass of Kool-Aid? (Hypothetically, you’d have a square reader and he’d have a black AMEX.)
He better hope there is another Kool-Aid stand around.
Not to worry, we have you covered with an assortment of Husker themed valentines. There are a dozen to chose from and dare we say they are perfect for expressing your true feelings to your Big Red sweetheart.
Feel free to poach whatever valentines you like… right click, screenshot, whatever floats your boat. You can also find a gallery on the Big Red Fury Facebook page that is perfect for sharing.
There’s no bolder move than chucking up a #YOLObomb when you only need three yards. If you want to go big this Valentine’s Day, Tommy Armstrong has you covered.
Jordan Westerkamp is a receiver, get it? Yes, this is our version of the Choo-Choo Chose Me.
And while you’re here, check out our new Westerkamp highlight reel.
Perfect for when Cupid steals your heart… or your bike.
Michael Rose-Ivy’s valentine will hit you like 1/8th of a ton of bricks. Remember that time Mikale Wilbon actually got to play and he looked really good?
Vincent Valentine is ready to help you erase any doubts about commitment issues and let your boo know that you’re in it for the long haul.
This digital Valentine was made with all-natural, allergen-free pixels.
Unlike Nate Gerry, you won’t get ejected for delivering this fierce, yet perfectly legal valentine.
Step aside Cupid, Thunderleg Foltz is delivering this one.
It’s not stalking if you know it’s true destiny.
Sorry, Tommie. We had to do it.
Relationships are a tricky business and sometimes there’s a person you just can’t quit.
When the Huskers jumped out to a 21 – 0 lead over Rutgers, all was finally feeling right in Husker Nation. Our watch site that had been so tense for so many weeks finally felt like a nice, relaxing place to spend a Saturday afternoon. It was a very welcome change of pace and many laughs and assorted good times were being had.
Then Tommy Armstrong had to go and chuck up enough YOLO BOMBS to make the game a momentary nail biter. And somewhere out there, Taylor Martinez had to smile knowing that he had taught his young Padawan so well.
All in, it was refreshing to see the Huskers mostly cruise to their first stress-free win in since playing at Minnesota nearly a month ago. Now all that’s left is to wreck to Iowa’s dream season unless the Hawkeyes don’t wreck it themselves first. On with the hot takes…
Ex-Bo Friend Update
Bo Pelini went on a little rampage yesterday as his Youngstown State Penguins couldn’t hold a 17 point lead against North Dakota State. It was a loss that effectively ended the Penguin’s chance at the postseason. Naturally, the Omaha World-Herald couldn’t contain its glee and nearly forgot there was a Husker game to cover.
We've added even more video of Bo Pelini yelling at refs and getting penalized during YSU's last-minute loss: https://t.co/2A7LwHxg79
Nice of the World-Herald to use a photo from Youngstown State’s game at South Dakota as click bait for their home game against North Dakota State.
Not to even going to try to defend or justify Bo’s actions but Youngstown State did get jobbed on the pass interference call. One can only hope his latest sideline detonation is all part of his master plan to become the next pitchman for Xanax.
Some gifs just because…
One can only assume Carl has had counseling since the last time he stalked a sideline with his brother. He walked away like a champ.
This is exactly where Pelini reached peak rage.
And Bo couldn’t say no to coming back for a second helping.
Our Score Prediction
We said Huskers 38, Rutgers 10. Totally would have nailed the 38 if it weren’t for Josh Kalu’s fumble return that was wiped off the board.
Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch
While there were few hiccups, Riley was not hungover from Michigan State.
NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH
2: The Huskers are now riding their first win streak of the season.
12: With his trio of INTs against Rutgers, Tommy Armstrong has already tied his total from last season with 12. It will be interesting to see how his final stats shake up. Aside from a huge drop in rushing yardage, he’s nearly identical to 2014.
30:01/29:59: The Huskers ended the game with a two second time of possession advantage over Rutgers. Kooky.
98/90: Imani Cross followed up the signature performance of his Husker career against Michigan State by tacking on another 90 yards at Rutgers. While Cross has broken the century mark once in each of his previous three seasons, he’s never had back-to-back games with as many rushing yards.
Check this out…
2014: 109 yards against Illinois. Did not play the following week against Michigan State. In his next two games after than, he ran for 14 yards against Northwestern and 28 against Rutgers.
2013: 105 yards to open the season against Wyoming. That performance was followed up with 14 against Southern Miss and 19 against UCLA.
2012: Cross had his first 100 yard game at the expense of Idaho State but did not play the following week in the Huskers’ comeback against Wisconsin. Then at Ohio State, he rushed for 13 and followed that up with 3 and 4 against Northwestern and Michigan.
Here’s hoping Imani gets his yearly 100 yard game when Iowa comes to Lincoln.
167: How many more yards Jordan Westerkamp needs to become the Huskers’ first 1,000 yard receiver. Might be a good time for him go through the hassle of being able to order Domino’s via pizza emojiso he can start buttering up his roommate Tommy Armstrong.
If you’ve never heard, those dudes live together.
And if you’re a regular reader, there’s a good chance we used that as a closer before.
Welp. It certainly didn’t take long for Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain to earn himself a mention around these parts.
We swear, our game plan going into a season filled with such hope and optimism was to leave the guy alone. Besides, what nits could Dirk find to pick on a team lead by a soft spoken guy who can’t stop smiling and hasn’t even played a single down?
That we even had pondered that thought shows us just how much we underestimated the power of Dirk.
Never again will we ever doubt the size of Omaha World-Herald staff writer Dirk Chatelain’s marbles.
His stones know no peer.
No ranchero can contain his heuvos.
Forget Bruce, Dirk’s spirit animal is the late, great Bon Scott.
From everything we’ve heard, Youngstown is Ohio’s version Jasper, Missouri and the fact that Dirk strolled into town and didn’t end up scattered around Youngstown Auto Wrecking (you may know it as Ohio’s largest salvage yard) is a testament to just how far we’ve come as a society when a person no longer wields enough power to make someone disappear for good.
And kudos to Dirk for handling the whole incident like a boss. It’s like he took our advice to heed and did one better by going full Travis Bickle with truly next level stalking. The most amazing aspect is how he kept his visit completely under wraps until dropping yesterday’s bombshell. There were no spy photos tweeted out from his rental car showing Pelini at mid-field and he didn’t strap a Go-Pro to his head to secretly record the meeting .
In this illustrated example, Dirk is played by Homer and Pelini is played by Apu.
Dirk simply strolled onto the Shaw Sportexe PowerBlade HP+ turf at Stambaugh Stadium like the Pope of Chili Town and did what no other member of the Nebraska sports media had the stones to do.
Now, Dirk, if you could only learn to drop the mic and move on with your day, that would help boost your reputation as a neck snapper and a check casher immensely.
These lame Twitter spats are doing your burgeoning street cred no favors.
When you move away from Nebraska, either by choice or by lynch mob, there will be things you miss.
Topping my list are Potato Olés, those golden discs of deliciousness from your good buddy and mine, Taco John.
After the news broke about how much loot Bo Pelini would be officially raking in to not coach the Huskers, my mind did not race towards the inevitable figures of what $6.54 million breaks down to in terms of a monthly, daily, hourly, or even by-the-minute salary.
Nope, I had a larger figure to fry.
Specifically, how many Potato Olés could Pelini purchase with his $6.54 million don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out parting gift?
Would it be enough that Bo could be like Scrooge McDuck swimming in money?
Finding this magically delicious number was going to be a challenge on two fronts.
1. The closest Taco John’s to Los Angeles is in Reno, NV. This is the Deep Space Nine outpost of the Taco John’s empire. Even though it’s closer to me than all the others, a 1,000 mile round trip journey was going to be a bit much.
2. The alternative would be to simply call a Taco John’s. My fair hometown of Grand Island proudly boasts three locations, one of which has a phone number published online. I opted out of this option because I couldn’t think of anyone that would chap angst-ridden teenage fry cook’s hide more than some moron calling out the blue to bother him about Potatoe Olés.
Luckily, Facebook, aka the the lazy journalist’s best friend, came to the rescue.
A short while later, the answer was found, thanks to my good buddy Joshua. He even included a photo of himself and Bo for extra credit.
OK, so what we’re working with.
Large Potato Olés = $2.59 (We’ll assume Taco John gave Pelini a quantity discount and covered the tax.)
Large Potato Olés = 46 Olés (That’s the number Joshua got so we’re running with it as the average.)
$6,540,000 / 2.59 = 2,525,095.56 large orders of Potato Olés. (We’ll go ahead and round that up.)
Thanks to the wonderful powers of magic, it’s easy to see exactly how some of you have used the Google when it comes to finding this little corner of the Husker internet. Most searches were bland and normal, some were a little crazy, and a few are worth immortalizing.
These are the top 25 Google searches that have lead people to Big Red Fury.
25. husker fanny pack
Pity the fool who got one of these for Christmas.
24. scott frost girlfriend
Don’t know who Scott is currently dating but on more than a few occasions I did witness him cruising for chicks in his Wood River letterman jacket at the Conestoga Mall way back in the day.
23. mike riley affair
Wait… what? Does Coach Riley have a secret sidepiece a la Frank Solich?
22.tim miles dumb
After this week’s loss against Iowa, Coach Miles is probably more frustrated than dumb.
21. wisconsion badger racoon selfie
Have you ever seen so much confusion in only four words? There may be two Os in Goose but there’s only one O in Wisconsin. We’ll just leave it at that.
20. selfie de old yeller
Not to sound like a broken record but have you ever seen so much confusion in only four words?
19. faux pelini knock knock joke about new head coach If you have to turn to the Google to find a knock-knock joke that was made on the Twitter, how are you able to even dress yourself in the morning? This search was so bizarre Faux had to know about it.
18. nebraska cornhuskers suck
17. dirk chatelin writer omaha world herals paper
From this point forward, the World-Herald will now be referred to as the World-Herals and Dirk Chatelin is the evil twin of Dirk Chatelain.
16.usc song girls at the holiday bowl
15. holiday bowl usc cheerleaders
14. usc song girls holiday bowl
13. holiday bowl 2014 song girls
12. song girls usc nebraska
When in doubt, boobs in sweaters get the page views. Every time. Thank you for reading this far. Song Girls are your reward.
11. analysis of the bad news bears
Uh OK. Through the lens of 2015, the original Bad News Bears is a wonderful time capsule, capturing a bygone era where causal racism, drunk driving, and beating kids in public were all socially acceptable. Its underlying theme of valuing fun over competition and doing the best you can remains true to this day.
10. forum huskermax www tunnel walk shame
After a long season, all Husker sites start looking alike.
9. gif jake cotton knocked over by jedi husker
Poor guy will never live that down.
8. which husker player recorded bo meeting
That’s a secret we’d all love to know. Maybe the Omaha World-Herals’ Dirk Chatelin will tell us some day.
7. bear riding a shark
Seriously. This one warms the cockles of my heart so much.
6. mike riley gotta make dur
Mike Riley gotta make dur what? Big bucks? Playoffs? Dur-licious tacos?
5. mike riley is full of shit
I respectfully disagree. Coach Riley seems like a very nice and sincere guy.
4. is ron brown going to be able to stay coaching at ne after peleni let go
You very easily could have been reading a list of the top 25 Google searches for Ron Brown. This was by far the best.
3. does bo pelini hate dirk chatelain
Think we all know the answer to that one.
2. is bo pelini on the cusp
How little did we know.
1. peace out bitches pelini
What do you think Pelini is up to right now? Not trolling. Just curious.
It was only fitting that the seven years of the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska remained a thrill ride down to the last damn second.
In a Holiday Bowl match up against USC that very few pundits gave the Huskers any chance of winning, the Big Red showed up ready to play and ready to honor their departed and beloved coach.
There would be no Hail Mary magic this time around but the stage was set for amazing irony when Holiday Bowl officials put a final second back on the clock after a review proved Kenny Bell scrambled out of bounds with a tick to spare on the penultimate play.
While the record books will say the Huskers came up three points short, those guys played their hearts out and Pelini’s remaining staff proved their mettle on the sidelines. Every single one of them gave a reason for Husker Nation to stay proud.
Nebraska handled USC except for where it mattered the most.
The result of their efforts was arguably the most Pelini like game of the past seven years and it was the only one that had Bo watching from parts unknown.
Explosive plays, mind boggling miscues, clutch defensive stops, a momentary sideline meltdown thanks to Coach Kaz, and a never say die attitude- all the signature elements of a Pelini lead team were present and accounted for.
Kenny Bell added one more touchdown reception to his record-setting Husker career.
Three out of the Huskers’ four losses this season ended with Nebraska still in position to win at the very end. While the near-miss 19 point 4th quarter rally against Michigan State will be hard to ever top, Nebraska didn’t flinch when down 45 – 27 with 2:24 left to play in the 3rd quarter.
Instead, the Red Storm responded with a big score of their own, a 65 yard #TommyBomb to Jordan Westerkamp barely a minute later. Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck never strayed from his playbook or his quarterback.
Thanks unwavering confidence and the stone hands of the USC secondary, Tommy Armstrong ended the night with a better stat line than Cody Kessler. As Mike Purrriley pointed out, the Blackshirts held a 70% career passer to under 60%.
As the game transitioned from shoot out to heavyweight slug fest in the 4th quarter, we did our best to just sit back and enjoy the final twists and turns of the Pelini roller coaster. The Huskers had nothing and everything at stake in their final 15 minutes of their season and, for some, their careers at Nebraska. Playing for just for the sake of playing is when any sport is at its most pure.
While the 4th and 3 that came up short and effectively ended the Huskers’ chances at winning will go down as one final boneheaded move by Tim Beck in the eyes of many arm chair coordinators, we have to say the call was sound, if not for the logic but for the symbolism.
With USC no doubt keying in on Abdullah (save for that defender locked in on DPE like a heat seeking missile), giving the ball to anyone but Ameer wasn’t bad entirely bad thinking. Instead of being furious that Ameer was lead blocker on the play, think of it as a Husker legend paving the way for a future Husker legend.
And if it makes you feel any better, USC did the same thing in the 2006 BCS Championship against Texas. Facing a critical 4th and 2 with 1:49 remaining, temporary Heisman winner Reggie Bush stood on the sidelines as LenDale White (who fumbled on the previous play) was stuffed by the Longhorn defense.
The Huskers may have closed out the Pelini era with a loss but the future is bright.
Just wait ’til next year.
Go Big Red.
Like everyone else, we were pretty far off base with our prediction.
“Honestly, this game could go either way with a blowout for either team being the most likely outcome. It’s hard to imagine the Holiday Bowl going down to the wire so we’re gonna stick with our way early prediction of a 38 – 17 Husker victory.”
We are so dumb.
Apparently Mike Riley left after the third quarter with a tuckered out grandson on his shoulder. Even by flaky Dodger fan standards, that’s leaving awfully early.
Someone please tell him that in Nebraska it’s still socially acceptable to leave your grandchild locked in the car as long as you leave the radio on and crack the window.
If the 2 point conversion to Kenny Bell looked familiar, it’s because you saw Nebraska win at Michigan State in 2012 with the exact same play.
It’s fitting that the epilogue to the crashed and burned Bo Pelini era at Nebraska will be written on the same field as his career’s finest moment- the 2009 Holiday Bowl.
Things would only be downhill from here for Bo Pelini.
What followed that 33 – 0 victory over the Arizona Wildcats was the most hopeful time of Pelini’s seven seasons at Nebraska. It was the perfect salve to the one more second debacle against Texas and had Husker fans licking their chops at a run for a National Championship in 2010.
That season began with the Huskers ranked #8 in the polls and unknown redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez lined up in the shotgun at quarterback. His jaw dropping speed lead the Huskers to a 5 and 0 start and a national coming out party for Martinez in a Thursday night match up against Kansas State on ESPN.
Nine days later, the wheels would fall off the Big Red Express when the unranked and hated Texas Longhorns came to Lincoln and left with a 20 – 13 victory. In that game, the Huskers’ offense was absolutely stuffed with the lone touchdown coming off a 95 yard return of a pooch punt late in the game by Eric Haag. Martinez was benched as senior and 2009 starter Zac Lee entered the game for a rare appearance.
In retrospect, all the the negative aspects that would be a hallmark of Pelini’s tenure bloomed on that day.
(Screengrab via Huskermax.)
A month later, Pelini’s temper would take the national stage as he gave Martinez the ass-reaming of his life against Texas A&M. By Sunday night Martinez was already enrolled at UCLA (if message boards were to be believed).
A month after that, Martinez and the Huskers limped through a 19 – 7 loss against Washington in the Holiday Bowl- the same Huskies team that Nebraska destroyed 56 – 21 back in September.
At the helm for the Huskers in Saturday’s Holiday Bowl is the much maligned Barney Cotton. After the game, he’ll leave the Huskers (for a second time) for his new gig as UNLV’s Offensive Coordinator. With the exception of John Garrison and Charlton Warren, the futures for the rest of Pelini’s staff are up in air. The seniors have one final game together and the underclassmen will likely finish their careers as Mike Riley’s players.
About the only thing left for the Huskers to play for is pride. Pride for their team. Pride for their teammates. Pride for their coaches who deemed them worthy of playing for Nebraska.
Pride can be a dangerous weapon, especially with a healthy Husker squad and an offensive coordinator off his leash.
Scouting Report:USC started the 2014 season with a 52 – 13 win over Fresno State. Two weeks later, the Huskers muzzled the Bulldogs 55 – 19 while USC lost on the road to Boston College 37 – 31. The Trojans’ three other losses came at the hand of Arizona State, Utah, and UCLA. Their crosstown showdown was the only game the Trojans lost by more than a touchdown, falling to the Bruins 38 – 20, a game in which the USC defense got flustered and all but gave up in the second half.
The Trojans’ most notable wins of the season came against Stanford, Arizona on the road, and a 49 – 14 punch out of the Fighting Irish at home. In case you’re wondering, they did beat Mike Riley’s Beavers 35 – 10 in LA. Like the Huskers, the Trojans have the potential to run with anyone- if they can harness it.
The Trojan offense is lead by junior Quarterback Cody Kessler. He can sling the ball but he isn’t exactly fleet of foot having “rushed” 52 times for -149 yards. On the season, he’s been sacked 30 times.
An immobile quarterback has to have Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis licking his chops, right?
USC may have the better team on paper but the reality is there is truly only one edge the Trojans have on the Huskers heading into the Holiday Bowl.
Sorry, Scarletts. All the glitter in the world is no match for the simple white sweaters that are a trademark of the USC Song Girls.
And that’s about all the “serious” preview you’ll get from us.
In our defense, we did reach out to our friend Mick, an LAPD Sergeant and quite possibly the Trojans biggest fan. Seriously, he’s “The Dude” of USC football right down to his tattoo of Tommy Trojan holding the severed head of Notre Dame’s mascot whilst standing on the beaten pulp of UCLA’s Bruin.
This is the entire transcript of our chat.
What is your prediction for the Holiday Bowl and who are the USC players the Huskers need to watch out for?
Before we even had a chance to even think of being offended by such an epic brush off, we realized Mick had to already be in San Diego making his tailgate preparations and had no such time for silly questions. We’ve been his guest at USC games a few times over the years and aren’t kidding when we say he’ll show up at 6am to stake out his tailgate spot for a game that doesn’t start until 7pm.
Ideal Scenario: The Huskers close out the Bo Pelini era with a bold exclamation point with a fun and dominating performances on both sides of the ball reminiscent of the 2000 Alamo Bowl- arguably the Big Red’s most fun bowl game of the 21st century. A Kenny Bell to Ameer Abdullah touchdown pass would be absolute gravy.
Look for Tim Beck to empty his playbook with enough #TommyBombs to reenact Operation Linebacker I and II. That is of course when Ameer isn’t running wild on the Trojan defense.
On the other side of the ball, Randy Gregory and Jack “The Beastmaster” Gangwish will pin their ears back and give Cody Kessler a late Christmas gift of a world of pain. USC may get a couple of deep balls early but don’t be surprised when Papuchis stays calm under pressure and readjusts once he realizes no one is going to scream at him on the sideline.
Honestly, this game could go either way with a blowout for either team being the most likely outcome. It’s hard to imagine the Holiday Bowl going down to the wire so we’re gonna stick with our way early prediction of a 38 – 17 Husker victory.
Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 3 — ESPN will surely start the game with a montage of Bo’s “finest” moments.
Question That Needs an Answer: Will Barney Cotton finish his Cornhusker head coaching career undefeated?