Tag Archives: austen jorgensen

Nuvi Don’t Lie. The Huskers’ Season is a Disaster.

Nearly every week this season, my Mondays have started with finding an email with the subject line “Sorry, man” lurking in my in-box.

Those emails come from my buddy Austen Jorgensen. You might remember his interview where we chatted about his days as a BYU linebacker and he all but predicted Cougars’ shocking win over the Huskers. (Still can’t believe he called that one.)

These days Austen works for a company called Nuvi which is a high powered social media monitoring platform used by a wide range of companies to track how their brand, new product, or movie, for example, is performing in the “social space.”

If you think it’s time to bust out the tinfoil hat, don’t sweat it. This is not NSA level stuff we’re talking about here. Nobody cares about your militia having a bake sale this weekend. However, if you recently tweeted about how much you love a new TV show or are mad at Chipotle for that pesky E. coli outbreak, someone out there knows about it.

So this leads to this Monday’s email when Austen suggested that I check to see how the Huskers’ season is looking through the eyes of Nuvi. He might have just been trolling me in an attempt to get me to wallow in the slop of quantifiable misery but it was good idea either way so I pulled some data from Nuvi and here are some of the highlights.

Or should I say depressing lowlights?

To keep things simple and to keep this site from turning into the social media version of Baseball Prospectus we’ll be comparing week one to last week’s debacle at Purdue. (Note: Click any chart to view full-size.)

HUSKERS PRESEAON MAP

Things look good for Husker Nation leading up to the season opener against BYU. Positive (green) and negative (red) sentiment is calculated based on a series of keywords. Chatter that can’t be classified is considered neutral (blue). Based on what we’re looking at, Nuvi indicates optimism is high for the 2015 season.

Here’s a slightly broader look.

HUSKER PRESEASON WEEK BEFORE

Then just a couple days later…

MIKE RILEY SUED

No, Global Thermonuclear War did not break out. This is what the it looks like when your team’s new head coach is sued for allegedly fostering an environment in which a sexual assault was allowed to happen. As you’ll see, the negative sentiment shot way up. Just as a gauge, you’d pretty much have to be the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department to run all the way in the red.

That giant red circle that wiped away most of the East Coast?  That was a tweet from Sports Illustrated that came from their NYC headquarters. The bigger the circle, the bigger the reach and impact.

MIKE RILEY SUED SI TWEET

Then, here’s what happened when the wait was finally over and the Huskers got the season started against BYU. The image below covers about an hour and a half of chatter. See if you can pinpoint when the Hail Mary occurred.

BYU HAIL MARY

And here’s a map of the post game reaction. The fire Mike Riley tweet from Lost Letterman was quite popular.

BYU POST GAME

Below is a list of the day’s big winners as far as Twitter goes. Considering how many Husker fans hung on every moment of Gabrielle Union’s visit, it’s not a shock that her twitter account received nearly twice as much attention as Sports Illustrated. I do say that it warms the cockles of my little heart to see Tunnel Walk of Shame was the most viral.

BYU POST GAME 2

Now, let’s skip ahead  a couple months and five frustrating losses later to examine the current landscape for Husker Nation.

This is what it looked as the Huskers lost to Purdue. 55% negativity is this season’s all-time peak of despair. (So far.) Compared to the season opener, the reach of the chatter is over 10 times higher. Why? Because the big outlets had plenty of time to tweet throughout the game as the Boilermaker beat down reached its inevitable conclusion. Lucky for the Husker brand, not may people shared this news as the “spread” was more than 3 times lower than the jaw dropping ending to the BYU game.

HUSKERS LOSE TO PURDUE

At least the mood quickly dissipated as Husker fans suddenly became too drunk to tweet.

ESPN TWEET AFTER PURDUE

Here’s the day as a whole.

PURDUE OVERVIEW

And here’s the build up and fallout of the Huskers’ worst loss since that time they were beaten by Hawaii before Hawaii was even a state.

Darren Rovell
Darren Rovell dropped some major shade even by his standards. The only thing that kept him from a clean sweep were the thumbs of God.

PURDUE POST GAME TWEETS

What’s most telling about this list is how the volume of chatter about the Huskers has dwindled and what remains shows this latest loss has become a national story.

Or dare I say national laughing stock?

Here’s hoping things turn around tomorrow and beating Michigan State makes Nebraska run green with joy.

Share

Sunday Morning Hot Takes: BYU Edition

Welcome to our first edition of Sunday Morning Hot Takes where we’ll be delivering a fresh, steaming pile of hot takes following every Husker game.

So… how ’bout that BYU game?

If you’re reading this, congratulations on making it through the night to see another sunrise. I haven’t yet ventured outside but I’ll go out on a limb and say that the sun has kept its 4.5 billion year streak of being where it’s supposed to be going for a least one more day.

Granted, that final second of regulation ended with as much shock and horror as seeing an animal shelter get napalmed but we can get through this Husker Nation.

It’s a long season. There will be peaks. There will valleys. And there’s a pretty damn good chance that 90,000 fans will not get their hearts ripped out on the final play of a game at Memorial Stadium for a long, long time. (Or at least a few weeks.)

Mola Ram BYU
Who knew Mola Ram was a BYU fan?

Before we dive into the hot takes, we must first drop the worst humble brag ever. In our interview with former BYU linebacker Austen Jorgensen, there was a little nugget where he absolutely nailed the outcome of the game.

Austen Jorgensen Prediction

ON WITH THE HOT TAKES!

Mike Riley: Two things are clearly apparent: 1) He does not rattle under pressure and he certainly had his fair share on Saturday. One can only imagine he keeps a screaming chamber in his basement.

MeditationChamber-ESB
A visualization of Mike Riley’s top secret screaming chamber.

2) Even at 62-years-old, his heart his clearly in tip top shape. Yes, he slumped over when the refs signaled touchdown but he walked off the field under his own power. Even as cold blooded as he is, Bill Snyder would not have survived that ending.

Coach Riley’s calmness must be contagious because it even carried over to Husker Twitter. These tweets were from when things weren’t exactly going right.

Behold the calmness and rational thoughts!

Tommy Armstrong: Holy crap did he look sharp. Yes, he had a few low points (and one crazy pass that gave Husker Nation a T-Magic flashback) but overall he clearly bought into what Danny Langsdorf is selling. Our DVR mercifully stopped recording with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter but his pass to Brandon Reilly the final time the Huskers had the ball was a sight to behold and his best pass of the game. He put the ball exactly where it needed to go. Tommy just needs to remember he has a pretty fast set of wheels underneath him and be a little quicker when it comes to deciding to tuck the ball and run.

Danny Langsdorf: Hey man, the Huskers are kind of known for running the ball. Maybe you could add some more of those plays next week? And that number 32, he’s kind of a beast. Maybe call his number a few more times. Oh, but it was really cool when you mixed up some of the old stuff following Nate Gerry’s interception. Do more of that and Husker fans will love you long time.

Jordan Westerkamp:  Another season opener. Another jaw dropping catch. Say what you will about Adidas, but they at least know how to make a jersey that stays in one piece.

Jordan Westerkamp Catch
The Huskers got their first points on this season on this nice little stretch play. Please, tip your server.

Mark Banker’s Defense: Every time I started writing a stupid tweet (note to self: you can save drafts) that said Mark Banker was an anagram for Kevin Cosgrove, the Blackshirts adjusted and got a stop. They’ll figure out how to stop a Hail Mary eventually. 

Sam Foltz: Best wishes to Thunder Leg for speedy recovery. It was really great to see the Huskers pay tribute to him by not punting and scoring a bunch of points instead for a while there in the second half but how about Tyson Broekemeier stepping up huge when the Huskers truly needed to punt?

Tanner Mangum Granted, he’s a freshman who graduated high school in 2012 but he’s still a freshman playing in his very first game. On the road. At Nebraska. And he walked off Tom Osborne field swinging the biggest pair of stones of the day. Hopefully the BYU equipment team will get him a helmet that fits now that he’s officially a legendary quarterback and switch the letters on his jersey so that his last name magically becomes Magnum. If you’re gonna have eyebrows that look like a pair of Tom Selleck mustaches you might as well play the part. Plus, how sweet would it be if he took the field to the theme from Magnum?

TANNER MAGNUM
Tanner Mangum is 6’3″ but stands 5’3” with the over-sized helmet.

KEEPING IT CLASSY: Thanks to our handy guide to drinkin’ in Lincoln for BYU fans blowing up on BYU Twitter earlier this week, we sort of became unofficial ambassadors of Husker Nation. We’re thrilled to see that Husker fans were living up to their reputation. Good job, everyone.

BYU TWEETS

FINAL NUMBERS:

17: The number of are you still alive? text messages I received from various family and friends in the minutes and hours that followed the game.

6: Points left off the board by missed field goals. Drew Brown will get it back on track. Maybe it’s not too late to get Alex Henery on-board as a volunteer coach?

0: Number of concerned texts I received from my otherwise lovely wife. When I told her about the heartbreaking outcome, she chuckled before saying, “Wait, I thought they always played a high school team so would always won their first game? Did they lose to a high school team?”  She grew up an LSU fan, btw.

38 – 24: Our score prediction as modeled by one of Hollywood Blvd’s Spider-Men. With the Blackshirts holding and the offense rolling, this prediction was lining up to come true.

Spider-man Hollywood Blvd

STUFF THAT’S NEITHER A NUMBER OR A HOT TAKE:

Unsung Hero of the Day: My KMASHI battery. While it may not be as sleek and slender as a ridiculously overpriced Mophie, it’s built like an offensive lineman and will take your mobile device from zero back up to full power many times over on a single charge. I can’t remember the last I even charged the thing but even with one bar it charged my phone twice yesterday. Plus, it has 2 USB ports so you can help out a friend in need. Best $13.99 you can spend.

Hilarious Twitter account you need to follow (especially if you’re also a soccer fan): Throwball for Brits.

Finally, the award for Most Click-Baity Headline of the Day goes to the otherwise rock solid Hail Varsity crew.

The “featured” tweets belong to Faux Pelini, the Huskers, Hunter Radenslaben, Sam McKewon, the Huskers, Dewayne Wade, Tim Miles, Todd McShane, and Ron Kellogg.

I’m sure they’re all thrilled and flattered to see their tweets in virtual print. Next time, try to feature more people like Hunter. Might help your engagement.

Share

A Chat With BYU’s Austen Jorgensen

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

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

The dude played football at BYU.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was your favorite game that you played in?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Share