Game Day Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Fresno State Bulldogs

When the Cornhuskers and Bulldogs last met, a true freshman named Ameer Abdullah saved the day for Nebraska.

What will he do as a senior?

Huskers vs Bulldogs
Confidence: Um… Go Big Red? — Coming off last week’s “miracle” win against McNeese State, who really knows which Husker team will show up in Fresno? Couple that with the fact that for some reason, this trip to the Grand Island of California has been hyped as the ultimate trap game (despite Fresno State being a disastrous 0-2), the best my Magic 8-Ball can do is request that I ask again later.

Scouting Report: Derek Carr, the Fresno State QB who gave Nebraska fits back in 2011, is now slumming it with the Raiders and Taylor Martinez, the QB who gave everyone fits, is getting ready to embark in a career in real estate. The great Fresno State welfare scandal is a distant memory. Pat Hill, the coach who instilled the Bulldogs’ anytime, anywhere attitude grew out his sweet mustache and went back to building choppers.

PAT HILL

Meanwhile, Bo Pelini is still roaming the Nebraska sideline though the Bo-Must-Go crowd has already smashed the record for earliest torch lighting after last Saturday’s game 2 debacle.

Three years after their inaugural meeting, it’s safe to say the Cornhuskers and Bulldogs are facing each other for the first time all over again.

One player who wasn’t around back in 2011 (or even much this season) is Imani Cross. With the Bulldogs’ horrid run defense set to key in on Abdullah, Cross could be the Huskers’ secret weapon.

Plus, it would make his mom really happy if her son got more touches.
Sharon Cross
Seriously. This is Imani’s mom and she’s laying down what everyone but Tim Beck seems to know– unleash the kraken.

Ideal Scenario: 10-15,000 Nebraska fans do what they do best and swarm tiny Bulldog Stadium, neutralizing the home field advantage. Tommy Armstrong transforms into TOUCHdown Tommy by figuring out how to put a little air under all those near-miss deep balls he’s been chucking up. The Huskers score though the air and the ol’ ground and pound en route to a comfortable win that none of the whiny blue hairs get to see thanks to the late start time and their inability to figure out a DVR and/or a VCR. And last but not least, the Blackshirts make their presence known by making it a long night for Fresno State QB Brandon Connette.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: No line this week. This is either going to be one of those games where Bo is either all smiles or goes full Texas A&M. Besides, we won’t be able to confirm because we’ll be in attendance and have no idea how to find CBS Sports Network in that haystack of 500 cable channels.

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Big Ten Impotence Rankings

“Dr. Delany. Paging Dr. Delany. You’re needed in the emergency room.”

“What seems to be the problem, nurse?”

“It’s the conference. It’s choking on something.”

“Well let’s have a look. Let me stick my fingers in here a moment… Ah-ha! Here’s the problem.”

“What is it, doctor?”

“Donkey balls. It appears the conference has been sucking on them.”

I originally intended to do a week 2 “power” ranking for the Big 10 Conference, but after seeing how each team looks hell-bent on proving who is the most namby-pamby, I’ve decided to respect their wishes and rank the conference teams according to inadequacy.

So here goes.

WEEK 2 BIG 10 IMPOTENCE RANKINGS

1. Northwestern (0-2)

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It’s the Wildcats who have swung the limpest of dicks so far this season. Featuring the nation’s 113th ranked scoring offense and 80th ranked scoring defense, Northwestern has lollygagged out to an 0-2 start to the year. They first headed to Berkeley and got golden-showered on by the Golden Bears — a school that went 1-11 last year — and then came home and lost to Northern Illinois. Granted, the Huskies are used to beating Big 10 teams by now. But still, it’s goddamn Northern Illinois.

2. Purdue (1-1)

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The Boilermakers have gone one for two in their attempt to pad their win total via a gauntlet of Michigan directional schools. It looked like a brilliant strategy, in week #1 at least. But Central Michigan is no Western Michigan, evidently.

3. Ohio State (1-1)

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Week 1 showed that things were definitely amiss in Columbus without Braxton Miller in the driver’s seat. Week 2 proved that Ohio State is nothing more than pellets for a flock of Hokies.

An old Ohio State alum can probably tell you what it’s like to sit through a four-loss season, Buckeyes. Because that looks to be where you are headed.

4. Michigan (1-1)

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Notre Dame ended your series like a disinterested ex-lover. Then proceeded to take your house, your car, your dog and your manhood. The clock may be ticking on Brady Hoke’s tenure in Ann Arbor.

5. Indiana (1-0)

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The Hoosiers had little problem with in-state nemesis, Indiana State. But being the only game on Indiana’s resume thus far still puts them higher on the impotence scale than a pair of Big 10 losers. Getting stopped by the Sycamores on fourth down twice inside the red zone doesn’t help, either.

But hey, the alternate uniforms sure are dandy!

6. Michigan State (1-1)

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Sparty went out to Eugene with one single mission. Show the world that the nation’s top-ranked defense didn’t merely build its resume on the dubious backs of an offensive bush league.

And how did that go?

Well, if surrendering 500 yards and 46 points is your idea of making that statement, then mission accomplished.

7. Wisconsin (1-1)

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Does a 34-point win over Western Illinois do anything to lessen the pitiful display of Wisconsin’s wet-noodle-tackling, lame-duck-tossing blown 4th quarter against LSU?

No.

8. Rutgers (2-0)

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Not a bad start for the Scarlet Knights. As long as giving up 1,000 yards to winless Washington State and Howard doesn’t worry you. No cause for concern in Piscataway. Right?

9. Minnesota (2-0)

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Out-yarded by both cream-puffs so far this season. Good thing the Gopher defense is killing it in the take-away department.

10. Iowa (2-0)

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Pair of shitty wins over a pair of shitty opponents.

11. Illinois (2-0)

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A guy with the first name of “Wonderful” put a scare into the Illini on Saturday. Western Kentucky was supposed to be an easy win for Illinois, but the Illini needed all of 21 points in the 4th quarter just to get some breathing room.

12. Penn State (2-0)

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Within spitting distance of being the League’s best team is a program that isn’t even eligible for the post season.

13. Nebraska (2-0)

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Okay, Nebraska narrowly escaping overtime against FCS school McNeese State does come with a few caveats. The Cowboys — a team filled with Power 5 conference transfers — are thought to be contenders for the FCS National Title. They even shellacked South Florida last year, giving McNeese State the distinction of having the largest margin of victory by a FCS school over an FBS team ever. We can also assume that, given a second chance by Armstrong, the 98-yard pick-six would not have happened and Nebraska mostly likely would have taken a 28-7 lead into half time. Even with a shitty 10-10 second half, that’s still a 21-point win. A large enough gap to keep the Huskers from tumbling out of the AP Top 25.

But, alas, the 98-yard pick-six did happen and Nebraska did tumble out of the AP poll. So swallow those caveats like caviar, Huskers. Your performance against McNeese State (particularly in the second half) lands you second fiddle to:

14. Maryland (2-0)

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That’s right. These crab-cake-eating, Old-Bay-dipping, Blair-Witch-chasing Johnnie-come-latelies are the froth atop the Big 10 septic well. Just two weeks into the season and the Rust Belt Conference — home to no less than 4 college football Blue Bloods — has been shown up by a team whose sole purpose is to quell the grid-iron lust of Ravens fans one day prior to when REAL Maryland football gets played.

Congratulations.

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Game Day Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs McNeese State Cowboys

Do the Cowboys have the horses to hang with the Huskers for four quarters? Huskers vs Cowboys
Confidence: HIGH – Then again that could be due in part to still being drunk from last night.  Will be wearing  last week’s shirt with wrinkled and musty pride just as soon as I dig it out from the laundry hamper.

Scouting Report: Not to fear, conspiracy theorists. That sneaky Kenyan Muslim Obama didn’t quietly add a 51st state and name it McNeese after his beloved Oppressive Socialism professor at Harvard.

McNeese State is located in scenic Lake Charles, aka True Detective part of Louisiana, and is basically the UNK of the Louisiana State University system. My friend Amy, a Lake Charles native who coincidentally was on True Detective, says McNeese State is locally known as Ryan Street High- and that’s not a compliment.

Don’t let the ghost town of a Wikipedia page fool you,  the Cowboys do pack a wallop. Apparently they’re the 5th ranked FCS team and absolutely destroyed South Florida 53-21 last season- the largest margin of victory by an FCS team over and FBS team ever.

Ideal Scenario: First and foremost, 9am kickoffs for us West Coasters are for the birds. Here’s to hoping for a nice, mellow game. The sound at the watch site won’t be cranked too loud, the breakfast menu might have a new addition or two, and Imani Cross gets all those carries he missed out on last week and shoulders the load for the Cornhuskers en route to an easy victory. Maybe the refs keep a running clock in the fourth quarter so that everyone can get on with their Saturday asap.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 3 this game could be the last chance we have to see Pelini smile until Purdue steams to Lincoln November 1st.

Then again, Bo could be in Perma-Rage by the time November rolls around.

 

 

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D’Joun Smith says Huskers got lucky against FAU

“We didn’t lose the football game; we just ran out of time.”
— Vince Lombardi

In a display of bravado that would make The Black Knight and Kim Jong-un giddy, Florida Atlantic cornerback D’Joun Smith says the Owls would win a rematch against the Huskers.

“If we go back to Nebraska again I still think in our hearts, and I think we all think that, we are going in and beating them,” Smith said. “They sure weren’t faster than us. We had way more speed than them. They just capitalized on our mistakes.”

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D’Joun Smith tries to escape the clutches of Jamal Turner and bring down Ameer Abdullah with an arm tackle.

This Ameer Abdullah touchdown run was just one of many scoring plays the Huskers made en route to a clearly fluke 55-7 trip behind the proverbial woodshed.

How many mistakes can you find? And please, let’s be polite. FAU’s D line getting blown off the ball and spread wider than when Moses parted the Red Sea isn’t a mistake. It’s more of a poor life decision due in large part to choosing to become an FAU Owl.

Lucky for D’Joun, he and his flock (wait, do owls even flock?) of Owls can get redemption when they square off against #2 Alabama this weekend. If they can keep the Crimson Tide under 40, maybe they can make a case slightly stronger than the one North Korea made when they claimed to have beat Portugal in this year’s World Cup.

At the very least, you’d think that the FAU video department has at least one student intern who could make the FAU’s official highlight reel against the Huskers have a little more spark even if that meant adding star-wipe after star-wipe and a rocking soundtrack from KORN.

Seriously, whoever uploaded this video this was so ashamed they didn’t even include a description. They just posted it without comment.

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Did caps lock rage lead to changes for the Huskers?

Early Monday evening Steven M. Sipple put this little nugget out in to the world…

Coincidentally or not, these upcoming changes on the Huskers special teams come on the heels of Husker fan Orienthal J Newburn Sr. dropping some serious all caps rage on not one, but two of the Omaha World Herald’s Facebook posts over the weekend. Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 9.29.25 PM

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Could all caps and wanton use of punctuation be the key to catching the attention of Bo Pelini?

Maybe @FauxPelini was right all along.

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Game 1 Recap: The Huskers give FAU a Hot Carl

The cover was pulled off the 2014 edition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers yesterday and what hid underneath showed all the potential of classic Husker football muscle.

Like a 1970 Firebird being taken out of hibernation, the Huskers had a rough few minutes before blowing out the cobwebs en route to a 55-7 win over FAU.

Between the offensive penalties and FAU seemingly moving the ball at will, there was just enough anxiety early in the first quarter to have fans checking the tightness of their seat belts before the season long roller coaster took its first big plunge.

But the plunge never happened. The Huskers clicked. The gunk was flushed out of the carburetor and the team’s 6.6 liter engine roared to life and left 784 yards of rubber (and a few FAU Owls) on the road.

On the offensive side of the ball, everything that could go right, did go right and on these rarest occasions, it’s only fair that much maligned offensive coordinator Tim Beck gets ALL the credit for what happened on the field.

JORDAN WESTERKAMP CATCH

In the end, this Huskers and Owls matchup had all the suspense of a Firebird vs Gremlin stoplight drag race but it was refreshing to see a season opener to be so much fun for the first time in a long while.

This was one of those signature Nebraska steam rollings from the days of yore that left the peanut gallery grasping at straws for stuff to complain about, allowing confusion and mystery to take center stage.

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A shutout would have been grand, Pyper but remember, these are college kids. It’s not all football all the time. They have to go to school and learn stuff, such as how to spell “them.” Sorry to be a spelling troll but ‘e’ and ‘i’ are nowhere close to each other on a keyboard.

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Yes it was an awesome game, Andrea.

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Amber, the final score (as noted in the third line of the very post on which you commented) was 55-7. Also, just in case the clerk at the Boost Mobile store didn’t give you the full rundown, the device you used to ask your question has the ability to answer virtually any question you may have be it about football or the mysteries of the cosmos.

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Seriously? What the F, Mary? Thanks for the kind words but are you sending someone a secret message via Facebook comment? Southwick… Big Clyde’s adopted son? Are these clues for season 2 of True Detective?

The only real nugget of on-field intrigue came on the final play of the game.

Was Johnny Stanton’s first-ever pass attempt Bo Pelini’s final FAto the team that fired his brother Carl or was it simply a chance to give a third string quarterback the chance to throw the ball on an obvious passing down?

 

 

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Game Day Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs FAU Owls

Will the Florida Atlantic Owls deflate Little Red this afternoon?

Lil Red vs Owlsie

Who?

The FAU Owls, man. From the college in Boca Raton that’s had a football program since 2001. You know, the school that fired Carl Pelini.

Confidence: HIGH – Will be wearing red in public all day long. Not even bringing a back up shirt to our watch site!

Scouting Report: FAU goes by the Owls because the land on which FAU’s campus was built is a designated Owl sanctuary. Owls are found on every continent on Earth with the exception of Antarctica and some remote islands. As nocturnal hunters, their feathers have been adapted for silent flight. Owls use their extremely strong talons to crush the skulls of their prey.

(In the paragraph above can you tell where I fell down into the wikipedia wormhole?)

Ideal Scenario:  Little to no skull crushing at the hand talon of the mighty Owls. Offensively, the Cornhuskers show some flash en route to hanging half a hundred on the board. Botched plays and fumbles are minimized to the point where fans are convinced this team is a well-oiled machine.

On the other side of the ball, the defense holds until the reserves give up a few points in garbage time causing skeptics to start fretting about the 2015 season.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups:  7. Yes, the bar is set high for a coach supposedly mellowed in the off-season but can Bo’s meds fend off a bad penalty call? And how often will the announcers bring up the Carl Pelini connection with the intimation that Bo is out for revenge?

Where’s Carl? Watching from the roof of Oldfather Hall. Wait, is Oldfather even taller than Memorial Stadium these days?

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Bo Pelini: Harsher of Mellows

Whatever you do, don’t smuggle a one-hitter into Memorial Stadium on game day lest you want to catch this look from Bo Pelini.

Bo Pelini Matthew

Coach Pelini used his pulpit at the first Big Red Breakfast of the season to go off script and speak out against the dangers of the marijuana.

As Bo enters his 7th season as head coach and weed becomes more legal by the day, why did he wait until today to go all Nancy Reagan? It was so out of left field no one even reported on what he had to say about the upcoming season.

Pity those poor grown ups who dished out some serious loot to get a sunshine enema and ended up getting lectured on the dangers of getting the munchies.

But back to the question at hand. Why is Pelini suddenly so anti-pot?

Could it have anything to do with the NFL waiting to confirm Josh Gordon’s year-long suspension  after fantasy league drafts have taken place?

What are the odds that a guy from Ohio who was named after Ohio State and Cleveland Browns running back Bo Scott would done whatever it took to be able to draft a Cleveland Browns player who absolutely crushed it in fantasy football in 2013?

I’d say the odds are about as good as red balloons flying in the sky above Memorial Stadium sometime within the next three months.

Seriously, Bo’s rant was all Josh Gordon’s fault. Boom. Dots connected. Mystery solved.

SIDE NOTE: I played fantasy football for the first time ever last year and won a league filled with salty veterans thanks to needing a WR mid-season and picking up Josh Gordon on the basis of being the least sucky available player. That Sunday he went HAM and lead my charge from worst to first.

 

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Lincoln Journal Star Mentions Tommie Frazier. Confusion Ensues.

Earlier today the Lincoln Journal Star dipped into the Tommie Frazier well for Throwback Thursday…

Lincoln Journal Star Tommy Frazier

… and got trolled by a fan named Jan?

For me, it is impossible to not think of Billy Bob Thornton when reading that comment.

Oh, that time Tommie Frazier scored the TD?  Is there a particular one of his 36 rushing touchdowns that stands out among the others? Maybe one that was extra jukeyer, perhaps?

 

 

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From Quietly Dignified Fandom to Unabashedly Sniveling Gloater, the (de)Evolution of Husker Passion.

It’s strange the way simple pleasures can evolve when following a football program like Nebraska’s. As a child of the 1980s and 1990s, I used to luxuriate in the ample amounts of respect bestowed upon my beloved Huskers — whether it was from opposing coaches and fans or sports commentators during broadcasts — their vocalized respect always made my chest swell with pride.

But the Huskers don’t get much of that lately. Back in the day, 75% of Nebraska’s slate resigned itself to losing from the get-go. Some even considered “winning” the coin-toss a nice pre-slaughter gesture. Sadly, over this last strange decade, all that veneration has disappeared into the dustbin of history. Most teams no longer expect to lose to the Big Red. Hell, I’ll bet more than a few Cowboys down at McNeese State are thinking — make ‘em turn the ball over four or five times and we’ve got a shot!

But, with the new-found bravado Husker opponents have shown in the prospects of upcoming clashes with Nebraska, a new form of satisfaction has evolved for me in watching NU play. And that’s seeing the stunned silence from opposing fans when the Huskers pull off something amazing.

It’s the same chagrin Steve Spurrier displayed during the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. A thing of beauty precisely because Spurrier was part of that rare species back in the 1990s — the opposing coach who thought he had better than even odds against the Huskers. When Spurrier’s mirage was officially bisected by a galloping Tommie Frazier, the broadcasters treated viewers to a savory display of recompense the likes of which I’ll never forget.

Phases of spurrier

For the record, I don’t have anything personally against Steve Spurrier — the magnificent chief Cock that he is. But the sight of a smug, Coors-drinking bastard getting his hat handed to him was rare during the 1990s dynasty because the low expectations many of Nebraska’s opponents held never produced much hubris. So, ironically, one of the fruits of a lowered bar for Nebraska football is that now we get to see opposing fans (with the full assumption of a win in their pockets) shit bricks more often.

Assuming that many of you readers are like me — once quiet and dignified followers of a college football titan, now sniveling jealously in the shadows of our once-great reputation, I’ve gone ahead and assembled a gallery of some of my favorite screen shots from the past few years. This is the new simple joy our program bestows us: watching opposing fans react to something they just can’t believe.

Here a Texas fan finds her asshole tighten to a million pounds per square inch at the prospect of the Longhorns losing their BCS Championship bid at the hands of what essentially turned out to be the greatest performance of Ndamukong Suh’s collegiate career.

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Oh, were it not for that horse-collar tackle!

Here Taylor Martinez has just mesmerized a cluster of incredulous K-State backers, dashing past a slew of Wildcats and beating them to the end zone by 15 yards.

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Another amazing touchdown run by Martinez forces this Washington Husky fan to cover his eyes.

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And finally, this may look like a typical, mouth-breathing Georgia good ole boy, but — in fact — this man’s jaw is hanging a little more slack than usual thanks to Tommy Armstrong’s 99 yard touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa.

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I hope these sufficiently whet some appetites for seeing a few more stunned opponents in 2014. Personally, I hope to add some Spartans, Badgers and Hawkeyes to the gallery next time this year. Go Big Red!

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