Tag Archives: cornhuskers

Nebraska at Fresno State – A tale of 562 yards and 450 Miles.

The drive from Los Angeles to Fresno is nearly the exact same distance as driving from North Platte to Lincoln.

It wasn’t until things were put into easily digestible I-80 terms that my friend Brent and I realized that we’d be horrible Husker fans if  we didn’t sack up and make the trip to the Grand Island of California and see Nebraska take on Fresno State in a game that could either be a nightmare of a trap or a chance for the Big Red to flex some muscle on the road.

Luckily for Husker Nation, this game turned out to be the latter.

corn
The drive to Fresno featured a few roadside cornfields which helped set the mood for game day- especially when palm trees are cropped out.

We hit the road around 1 on Saturday afternoon and made it with plenty of time to spare.  On the recommendation of a friend of Brent’s, we stopped off at BC ‘s Pizza and Beer and were greeted by some surprisingly pleasant, neck tattoo having folk who whispered Huskies in a slightly menacing way whenever walked by their table to battle the Find-a-Word game that was posted up in the men’s room.

brain teaser
You’re not seeing double. Megadeth can be found twice.

Of course a few Husker fans were at BC’s as well. The wait staff  was happy for the business. Apparently Fresno State fans were nowhere to be seen all day long.

And of course, those same Nebraska fans who sat the next table over would end up having tickets right next to us when we got to the stadium. Can’t even make something like that up. But at least we could talk pizza until kickoff.

Unlike the Huskers’ other games in the Golden State so far this century, Bulldog Stadium isn’t quite the hallowed venue as the Rose Bowl or Colosseum but was surprisingly much nicer than San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Then, again a vacant lot with some lawn chairs and a flat screen at each end zone would give Qualcomm a serious run for its money.

With a capacity of just over 41,000 the small stature of Bulldog Stadium made it easy to see just about everything without even really trying.

Our first stop of the day was crashing the Abdullah  family tailgate.

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ameers uncle
Ameer Abdullah’s family all wore #8 jerseys with their role in the family on the back. They were all some seriously good people and were having a blast. It’s easy to see how Ameer grew up to be such a solid guy.

Then we walked towards the gate just in time to see the Huskers heading to the field.

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Tommy Armstrong and Ameer Abdullah ready to go to work.

ameer tommy kenny
What’s up Kenny Bell?

At kick off it was hard to tell just how many Nebraska fans made the hike to see the Huskers in Fresno thanks to both sides wearing red. Based sheer volume though, it was clear Husker fans were out in force. The Husker Power chant was never in danger of getting shouted down.

Kickoff
The Huskers take the field to start the game.

As a whole, Fresno State fans were decent hosts. It helped that the collective wind was taken out of their sails less than two minutes into the game. About the only thing to complain about was their overall lack of imagination. On the way into the stadium, the best heckle a group of Bulldog fans could muster was calling anyone wearing Huskers gear ‘Cornfed.’

The  guy you see below- his signature move was repeatedly thanking the hundreds of Husker fans surrounding him and his lady for wearing red- because that meant all the Nebraska fans were really rooting for Fresno.

happy fresno fans
This photo was taken at the exact moment Fresno State still had a glimmer of hope.

With the game all but decided in the first quarter, the evening turned into a sweltering party for fans of the real Big Red- especially when Fresno State loyalists decided to go home at halftime. Even if it was just for one night, this was a glorious return to the ass-kicking Nebraska teams from the days of yore.

The highlight of the game for this guy was making a new best friend. My little buddy is in 4th grade and knows more about football than 99% percent of the people out there.  Seriously, this kid needs his own show.

my buddy

Among the highlights of his observations-

On Tommy Armstrong-
“I like to call Tommy Armstrong Tommy Legstrong because he’s such a good runner.”

On David Santos’ rather curious decision to bat a punted ball out of the end zone resulting in a safety for Fresno State-

“David Santos is crazy. I bet he drank a 12 pack of Mountain Dew before the game.”

On Fresno State’s kicker shanking a field goal attempt-
“The Fresno State kicker plays golf with his feet.”

On Randy Gregory being Randy Gregory-
“Randy Gregory sleeps in a cage because he’s so dangerous. They only feed him bread. If he had protein he’d be unstoppable.”

His answer to a multiple choice Fresno State themed question that was flashed on the Bulldog Stadium “JumboTron”-
Bo Pelini’s Cat!!!”

tired fresno fans
This photo was taken long after Fresno State abandoned all hope. Kudos to this dude and his lady for sticking it out until the bitter end.

When the beat down finally ended and post game handshakes were exchanged, Kenny and Ameer each took the long jog over to the Nebraska end of the field to  salute the fans who stuck it out until the final whistle- a move that was all class.

ameer endzoneAmeer’s salute from our seats.

ameer postgame
Rolling deep with the Abdullah family out of Bulldog Stadium.

husker truckIf only we could have bummed a ride home in this bad boy. Getting back home at 4am is for the birds.

 

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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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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.”

D'Joun Smith
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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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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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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Ameer Abdullah Gets Extra Slippery With New Adidas Jersey

Over the weekend the Lincoln Journal Star let Ameer Abdullah’s slippery new secret weapon out of the bag.

Ameer Abdullah addias guacamole jersey

By all accounts Abdullah will be the first running back in college football to wear adidas’ new line of guacamole injected gear. If you thought he could slip through a hole like a greased pig before, wait till you see how he does slathered in $68 worth of guacamole upgrades at Chipotle. How adidas was able to keep such an innovative, technological achievement under wraps until a just a week before game day is some Skunk Works level secrecy.

Or, upon further review, this spy shot could have been recycled from the Gator Bowl against Georgia- a game highlighted by mud, a ridiculous 99 yard bomb, and a hard-fought Husker victory over a worthy SEC opponent or an injury riddled SEC-also-ran, depending on your world view.

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