Did you really, like, really, really think the Huskers would be undefeated and the 7th ranked team in the nation heading into the Wisconsin game?
If the answer is yes, congrats. You might be qualified to be an expert contributor to this site. Our preseason predictions for the Huskers were nothing but Ws… until things potentially go off the rails next week in Columbus.
But let’s focus on tonight in Madison.
This is game is exactly what we all wanted. The only way it could be any better is if Wisconsin wasn’t already softened up by Michigan and Ohio State. Taking down an unbeaten (and surely top 5) team would quiet any complaints about the Huskers’ weak schedule. Still, joining the Wolverines and Buckeyes in the elite club of Badger pummelers isn’t too shabby.
The Huskers are long overdue for a win against Wisconsin and there’s no better place to do it than their home turf.
On a Saturday night.
On Bob Ross’ birthday.
The greatest American painter who ever lived would have turned 74 today. While I never saw him celebrate a victory by his college football team, there’s no doubt he would have been a hip hip hooray kind of guy. Then he’d go right back to being the chillest rascal who ever lived.
Is it going to be disappointing in the unlikely event that the Huskers lose? Hell yes. Will the Earth stop spinning? Only for a few days.
Until that happens though, let’s enjoy this one as much as possible.
Husker Nation is living the dream right now and there’s no reason for one game to turn things into a nightmare season.
The deck is going to stacked against the Big Red in Camp Randall Stadium but do you know who’s going to be standing strong on the Nebraska sideline like a happy little tree refusing to buckle during a mighty storm?
By now we should all accept the fact that, like Bob Ross, Riley is completely unflappable. Granted, an errant YOLObomb is a little more severe than a happy accident but there’s nothing he hasn’t seen before. If the shit hits the fan we can rest easy knowing he’s not going to lose his. And that’s going to make a huge difference this time around.
Things might get a little hairy but we gotta let the game play out for a full 60 minutes, especially if we want to get to the part where the Huskers have been owning the last 15.
If there’s ever a Husker game you have to miss, go ahead and circle Purdue as a bonus bye week.
The Huskers’ 27-14 win over the Boilermakers started off with a bang thanks the combo of Kieron Williams pulling down an interception game’s opening play that was immediately followed by a 22 yard touchdown run by Tommy Armstrong Jr. on the Huskers’ first offensive snap.
From that moment, the game devolved into a somewhat stressful snooze fest. This is a match up that no one, including the Huskers, seems to care about. Our local watch site, Sycamore Tavern (formerly known as The Happy Ending) was nearly as empty as it was last year when the 3-6 Huskers limped into Ross-Ade Stadium with Ryker Fyfe under center.
The biggest takeaway from the latest chapter of this not-so-storied rivalry that gives national media giggle fits is that these Huskers simultaneously have the ability to find a way to win (somehow) while being able to incite mass hysteria among their fans.
I don’t want to say I was planning on the worst when Purdue went into their locker room with a 14-10 lead at halftime but I did spend the break stress eating an ice cream sandwich the size of a Personal Pan Pizza.
Let’s hope these last two weeks are nothing more than a mid-season lull as the players and coaching staff couldn’t help but be distracted by what looms ahead.
Kudos to OG Fanny Pack Spider-Man. He’s been the only costumed weirdo this season to take enough pride in his work to insist on multiple takes.
NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH
1,680: For the most fleeting of moments yesterday, the Huskers were on pace to hang 1,680 points on Purdue. Then the Boilermakers figured out it’d be better if their quarterback threw the ball.
98: Out the 239 points the Huskers have scored so far this year, 98 have come in the 4th quarter. And it’s probably worth mentioning that Husker opponents have scored a grand total of 13 points in the final period.
7:22: The Huskers’ 4th quarter time-of-possession advantage. Their TOTAL advantage for the game was 6:38. Last week against Indiana, the Huskers held the ball for 11:16 of the final period. If the other team can’t get the ball it’s going to be really hard to score. This is a brilliant strategy.
8: Eight different Huskers caught the ball Saturday afternoon and none of them were named Westerkamp or Carter. Hopefully they’ll both be back soon.
9: With his one carry for one yard performance, Mikale Wilbon has matched his total rushes from last season with nine. So far, he’s gone for 75 total yards at a brisk 8.3 yards-per-carry. (Last season he was good for 35 at 3.9). Maybe by the time he’s a senior he will no longer be a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
With the Indiana Hoosiers lurking in the shadows, the Huskers’ fall break is over with a vengeance.
DUN… DUN… DUN.
Hey there… remember this site? The one that seemingly fell off the earth faster than Barb after the Huskers rolled Illinois?
Well, there’s a good story behind that if only I could remember what happened. To keep it brief, I went to see a concert the Tuesday evening of bye week and somehow had a random blackout episode (for the record I was still on my first beer) that sent me to the ER with a rather gnarly concussion. Now that I’ve regained enough brain power to form mostly coherent thoughts, it’s time to get back to what’s really important.
The Huskers rolling into Indiana and snapping some Hoosier necks like they have the power of telekinesis.
Since we last checked in, the Huskers slid into the Top 10 thanks to other teams losing which has raised the question if the Big Red is really a contender, especially with their signature win coming against an Oregon team that’s now experiencing its worst season since their days of getting blown out at home 70-21 was a regular thing.
Look, it’s not the Huskers fault that they pummeled the Ducks so hard they ended up more mentally roasted than Eleven’s mom. That’s just a potential side effect from having Mike Riley’s team on your schedule. Get used to it.
Even still, pundits are worried Indiana is going to be a trap game. This is the same Indiana that is currently 3-2 with a loss to Wake Forest and is coming off a 38-17 beat down by Ohio State. Granted, the Hoosiers’ most impressive win of the season came against Michigan State in overtime but let’s not overlook the fact that Indiana won thanks to the fact that the Spartans suck this year and T-Magic’s brother Drake got called for a game changing leaping penalty (WTF?) during a field goal attempt.
Big deal if Indiana doesn’t huddle. That just means there’s going to be less time for Michael Rose-Ivey and Nate Gerry wait before they get to tackle someone again. The only worry for the Blackshirts is if Chris Jones gets a blister from making so many interceptions. Hoosier QB Richard Lagow has thrown seven in five games. Meanwhile, our boy Tommy is holding steady at two. (He had six through five games last season.)
Illinois clearly did not get the memo that this game was supposed to be a cake walk into the Huskers’ bye week.
After surrendering an opening touchdown on a 13 play, 75 yard drive, the Fighting Illini (along with some timely contributions from the Huskers and Bad Tommy) proceeded to send Husker Nation spiraling down into that deep, dark hole where last season’s bad memories are buried.
For three anguishing quarters, the 15th ranked Huskers looked a lot like the team that spent 2015 finding new and painful ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Then the 4th quarter started and the Big Red hitched their wagon to Terrell Newby. The senior running back answered the call and put together a career-defining game. He scored two of the final period’s three Husker touchdowns and sealed the game with a 63 yard blast that had him pulling away from Illinois defenders like he had little NOS tanksin his non-Yeezy Adidas.
By the final whistle, the Big Red faithful breathed a sigh of relief at what turned out to be a very tense false alarm as the new and improved “find a way to win” Huskers cracked the code on Illinois.
The upcoming bye week will hopefully give the slew of injured Huskers (Jordan Westerkamp, Cethan Carter, and Devine Ozigbo were Saturday’s casualties) a chance to heal. Westerkamp’s non-disclosed injury (likely a shot to a kidney) sent him to the hospital to get checked out but he was soon released. If he’s back on the field in time for Indiana it will be interesting to see if he’s wear some additional padding. Those hot pants he likes to rock really don’t offer much in terms of protection.
Let’s get to the fun stuff.
Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch
Going for it TWICE on 4th down at a time when merely getting a field goal would have been a perfectly acceptable call gets Mike the AC/DC treatment the week. This new look salty and vicious Mike Riley is turning out to be a lot of fun.
A note about Fanny Pack Spider-Man’s performance: He was paid $6 for approximately 30 seconds of work. (Keep in mind the going rate on Hollywood Blvd is a buck or two a photo but we’re a big time operation.) The first thing he did was complain that he wasn’t being paid enough for his efforts. He then proceeded to completely brick it. Oh well, at least everyone was wrong on the one.
Seriously, why hasn’t 311 ever done a collab with the Huskers (aside from the part where they’re 311)? Someone needs to get P-Nut on the horn about this out of respect to the band that gave the world Omaha Stylee.
Randy’s Legendary Block One More Time Just Because
42: Did you know that Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Jordan Westerkamp have a secret roommate who can also catch touchdown passes? Senior Tre Foster seemingly came out of nowhere (or at least Illinois’ defense completely forgot about him) and hauled in a six yard touchdown pass to give the Huskers a little breathing room. Since his redshirt freshman year, Foster has caught exactly one pass per season. His career stats after today- a pair of six and nine yard receptions and two touchdown catches, his first coming against BYU last season.
69.5: As wild as he was today, Tommy completed nearly 70% of his passes going 16/23 with one mind numbing interception. He threw for 220 yards while the Huskers gained 219 on the ground on 49 attempts. Hope Throw the Ball Guy and Run the Ball Guy are happy with those numbers.
10: How many different Huskers caught at least one heater from Tommy.
16:01: The Huskers’ time-of-possession advantage. For lack of a better word, that is bonkers.
0: Guess there’s no reason to punt when your coach has the stones to go for it on 4th down.
22: Illinois converted 22% of their third downs. Meanwhile, the Huskers moved the chains at a 71% clip.
17: The number of 4th quarter carries for Terrell Newby when he pulled a Greg Jennings and put the team on his back. His gutsy performance against Illinois will be one that Husker fans never forget.
Last weekend in Chicago was a blast and I feel sorry for everyone who missed out on the fishbowls at Kirkwood. Then there was the actual game, which I have hardly heard about because before the game, they played the National Anthem. (I fully support our players kneeling for their beliefs and am glad they have people talking, even the stupid ones, because those idiots prove why they are needing to take a stand). But yes, there was an actual game played and it hasn’t really been talked about. The Huskers won. They are 4-0. You read that correctly, 4-0!!!!! I haven’t been this happy since the day Bo got fired (November 30 will always be a personal holiday).
Side note: There was a Northwestern player that really stood out to our group. #46 SB Eric Lutzen. Kid had energy for days and was the only Wildcat that I saw never give up. He cheered his team on more than anybody in that stadium. I need this kid to get some playing time. He’s got the most important intangible of all: heart. Get him out there, Fitz.
A LOOK AT ILLINOIS
Lovie Smith was hired at Illinois so people would know the name of one person associated with the program. The last time Illinois won in Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge was president. The year was 1924. The 2016 Illinois squad is coming off two losses from Western Michigan and North Carolina. If I were a betting woman, I would guess that ESPN will remind us of their big win in the first week against the powerhouse that is Murray State. 52-3. A win like that will take it out of you for the next two games so the losses just make sense.
They are probably coming off their bye week and rolling into Lincoln HOT and ready for a piece of the Blackshirts. Just kidding. I might not even go into the game this weekend because it’s going to be so sad to watch. I can tell you the coach’s name, but I can’t name one player on this Illinois squad besides their QB Wes Lunt.
Nobody in the country has watched an Illinois game this season. Probably not even the players because their play would suggest they are not watching film. Looking at their depth chart:
Anyway, the biggest Nebraska concern is a situation with the offensive line. The situation being that both starting guards are now out. RG Tanner Farmer was injured against Northwestern and is out against Illinois.LG Corey Whitaker, who replaced Farmer during the game last Saturday, will again be in for Farmer against Illinois. It looks like Cole Conrad, a sophomore walk-on, will be the backup tackle, center, and guard. Don’t read that last sentence again because it is scary. WR Alonzo Moore will also be out against Illinois. The good news is that this is Illinois which should be like a bye week, followed by an actual bye week, so there should be time for some of these guys to recover.
With Michael Rose-Ivey, DaiShon Neal, and Mohamed Barry, joining the silent National Anthem protest happening at stadiums around the country, some of Husker Nation’s finest felt the need to dust off their Twitter accounts and give Rose-Ivy a piece of their minds.
Not that any of them can really afford to be giving brain matter away.
Before belly flopping into the cesspool of the worst of what Husker Nation has to offer, here are a some quick thoughts.
1. What Rose-Ivy, Neal, and Barry did is incredibly courageous. Even if you disagree with their methods, you can still respect their conviction to kneel for what they believe in. These are the kind of guys any team should be proud to have. When was the last time you believed in anything so strongly you were you were willing to deal with fallout of having an opinion that might be far from popular?
2. For those who are surprised that Mike Riley “allowed this to happen” here are two facts: 1) His freshman year at Alabama was 1971, the first year the Crimson Tide had African-American students on its roster. 2) He’s lived in Oregon for most of his life and drove a Prius, of course the hippy is going to allow a protest to take place.
3. That “stand for those who served for your freedoms” argument. A little refresher: The US military was segregated from the War of 1812 up until the Korean War. That’s nearly 140 years of bullshit and just one small sliver of the varying degrees of bullshit African-Americans have had to put up with in this country. Maybe you’d feel a little different about things if your grandfather wasn’t allowed to storm Omaha beach because of the color of his skin? Besides, the vast majority of those who serve do so knowing they are protecting the freedoms of everyone, not just those who they agree with. It’s the American way.
4. Thanks to a police officer who was my Cub Scout den leader and baseball coach for many seasons, I grew up with the belief that cops were among the best of the best and people who could always be trusted. As someone whose adult crimes consist of a trespassing ticket after a late night dip in Lincoln’s Woods Pool during college and a citation for riding my bike while listening to headphones, even I can tell officers have become more aggressive in the last decade. On more than one occasion I’ve been flat out threatened by LAPD officers for offenses as harmful as crossing the street or looking at them too long. I’m not kidding. Still, the vast majority of officers are great people and I’m proud to have several as friends. But all it takes are a few bad apples to ruin the bunch, like this one, or this one, or this one or this one.
Now that that’s out of the way. Let’s get to the main event. I found these tweets by scrolling through Micheal Rose-Ivey’s mentions all the way back to kickoff of the Northwestern game. I can tell you with good authority that at least 9 out of 10 Husker fans who tweeted to him have shared nothing but encouraging words and support.
And there are these dipshits…
UPDATE:Tylor finally wised up and locked down his account. Good thing screengrabs last forever.
Might as well get the worst of the worst out of the way. This smegma with a Twitter account has yet to delete this sweet meme. If you look at Tylor’s timeline, you’ll see he’s doubling down on everything he says. Please give him my best. He already blocked me for this tweet. When you’re a white guy living in Central Nebraska maybe you should recuse yourself from the national debate about racial relations and let the grown ups talk?
@Rose_IveyNB15 @Coach_Riley I would like to sit down with both of you and have a dialogue regarding last night taking a knee please respond
Fine, Northwestern. You want to be known as the NU of the Big Ten, you can have it.
Even if you Wildcats haven’t been consistently average since the Pappy Waldorf era, those two little letters are all yours. From this day forward, the NU of the Big Ten that is able to boast five National Championships, three Heisman Trophy winners, and a sellout streak running 350 games strong will be henceforth be referred to around these parts as the NU-Tang Clan.
It’s long overdue that the squad that holds the distinction of being the most bad ass team in college football history does a Vulcan mind meld with the most bad ass group in hip hop history.
So now that we’ve successfully rechristened the Huskers, let’s take a special look at all the ways Northwestern is doomed on Saturday. Long story short, there will be no better tomorrow for the Wildcats. The NU-Tang killer Dis gonna swarm and if Northwestern has any luck at all, the won’t experience all 36 chambers of death.
Look for Nate “Ghostface Killah” Gerry to tee off on Wildcat QB Clayton Thorson if he gets cute and tries busting out his Taylor Martinez impression from last year. But it probably won’t even come to that because Thorson will first have to make past Ross “Inspectah Deck” Dzuris” and Michael “Masta Killa” Rose-Ivey.
On the other side of the ball, Tommy “RZA” Armstrong Jr. will be leading the NU-Tang Clan to the promised land again and again. In his previous game at Ryan Field (a dump so bad it makes Staten Island‘s Fresh Kills Landfill look like paradise), he caught a touchdown pass from De’Mornay “U-God” Pierson-El out of sheer boredom.
Then there’s the fact that Jordan “Method Man” Westerkamp will have more friends and family in the stands than the combined total of the Huskers’ travel squad and the actual Wu-Tang Clan. The last time Westy played in the Land of Lincoln, the Huskers fell to Illinois and he had a hard time hauling in any of Tommy’s wind ravaged passes that fell out of the sky so expect him to have a big day in his final go around back home. Since he can’t catch all the passes Cethan “Cappadonna” Carter and Stanley “GZA” Morgan Jr. will be there to spell him.
After starting the season with three tight-ass performances, you can expect Devine “Raekwon” Ozigbo to anchor the rushing attack.
Finally, saving the best for last, Mike “Ol’Dirty Bastard” Riley seems to have found a new ruthless killer instinct during last week’s win over Oregon. If he still believes fortune favors the bold, look for the iced out uniform wearing Huskers to have this game on ice before halftime.
On September 3rd, at approximately 7:02 am, an earthquake struck Oklahoma and was felt all the way in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Then, on September 17th, at approximately 2:41pm, another earthquake struck. This time, in Lincoln. A new fault line has been detected directly under Memorial Stadium.
Or at least, that’s what it felt like.
It’s been a long time since the energy reached that level in the 3rd largest town in Nebraska on gameday. At times the stadium was actually shaking, it was so loud the woman in front of me kept covering her ears (sorry lady, but I wasn’t about to stop screaming because you forgot your earplugs). Not even the man behind me going off on a 20 minute tangent about the zone read or the lady crushing my legs with her dumbass reclining plastic seat cushion could ruin my gameday.
Saturday was just what the Huskers needed. It seems that the entire team has bought into Mike Riley’s program and it’s really fun to watch. They just never give up. From DPE being back (hell YES, he is one of my favorite players to watch), to Ozigbo proving he is the number one back, to the D getting those big stops, Westerkamp catching anything that comes his way, and Tommy being the most durable player that I have ever seen, it was fun as hell to watch. I’m not saying there weren’t times where I wanted to sit down and close my eyes, because there were. After last season, it’s hard to watch a close game, but it’s nice to see the team has more confidence and bravery than I do.
The tailgates were in prime form. I first went to a tailgate east of the stadium in the horseshoe thanks to an invitation from Todd’sbrother, Troy. It was completely catered and had bartenders. That’s how you do it, invite a bunch of strangers over and serve them alcohol. The basics of tailgating. I didn’t get a picture of it because I was sort of preoccupied by drinking somebody else’s free alcohol.
Post victory we headed to the Champions Club where my friend’s family had the best celebration happening in Lincoln. Anywhere with beer, food, a TV, and a place to sit outside the stadium is going to be a pretty ideal situation.
Also, if you were at the game on Saturday, go find yourself in the Gigapixel panoramic photo that was taken during the game. Then, if you have nothing else going on in your life, you can tag your face with a big red N.
Onto the Next One
The upcoming Northwestern game brings the start of conference play. I hate Northwestern just about as much as a person can hate a team for no real reason. Quite frankly, a team that is 1-2 doesn’t even deserve my time. But I will be there, and so will thousands of other Husker fans because we travel to Evanston better than people who live in Chicago travel to Evanston (Sad!).
Have you even seen that disgusting dump known as Ryan Field? It’s a field of potholes with some grass accidentally growing in between. Somebody is going to get injured out there and I’m going to write the NCAA a sternly worded letter wondering why they don’t do something about that disgraceful junk pile that moonlights as a stadium. Those nerds over at Northwestern can’t figure out how to even out their field and grow some grass at a reasonable length? Whatever. The good news is that we can all focus on the real beauty on the field that day: the only alternate uniforms I have ever liked.
Hoping Tommy gets a lot of rest this week and drinks a lot of pickle juice. I heard Caleb Lightbourn say that this last week he tried to prepare for the game more by sticking to more of a routine before gameday. Well, it looked like it worked to me, he improved by about a million percent. So get back to that routine. Doesn’t sound like they are sure about Brandon Reilly returning just yet but he should be back to full-speed soon. I had a dream that Westy got hurt so hopefully I’m zero percent psychic.
If you or anyone else is making the trip, there’s a Husker bar called Kirkwood that fans are meeting up at earlier on Saturday, followed a trip to the stadium and some tailgate crashing. It looks like there is a big Nebraska tailgate as well. Here is the info.Hopefully we will see some of you there and watch the Huskers move onto a 4-0 start to the season and their first conference win.
Even with all the stress and near heart attack moments, this was arguably the most fun game of the Mike Riley era from start to finish. (Michigan State was a blast but only at the end.)
With the Huskers topping the Ducks 35-32, Nebraska finally beat a ranked non-conference opponent at home for the first time since 2001 when Bob Davie brought the Fighting Irish to Lincoln.
The best part about this win was that it was a complete team effort on both sides of the ball. The offense and the Blackshirts overcame potentially backbreaking miscues and stepped up big when it absolutely mattered the most- from De’Mornay Pierson-El’s game changing punt return (how great was it to see him back in 2014 form?), to Tommy Armstrong Jr. doing it with his arm and legs on the Huskers’ final drive, to Kieron Williams‘ game saving pass breakup with a minute to play.
Then there’s Mike Riley. Where has the guy who was on the sidelines on Saturday been hiding? Talk about a stone cold assassin with a pair of cajones the size of casaba melons. Going for it on 4th down three times including with the game on the line? Heck. Yes.
And how about that blitz out of nowhere on Oregon’s final play? With the Ducks facing a 4th and 18 from Nebraska’s 48, the Huskers’ secondary was lined up 12 yards off the ball. If this scenario didn’t instantly give you flashback’s to BYU’s Hail Mary, congratulations for blocking that one from your mind.
Instead of giving the quarterback all day to throw this time around, the Blackshirts brought the heat with a six man rush that immediately flushed Dakota Prukop from the pocket and forced him to run into the welcoming arms of Michael Rose-Ivey who didn’t waste any time slamming him to the turf to lock up the win for the Huskers.
Another week, another mostly solid prediction from us. #humblebrag
Oregon’s ‘No Green’ Curse Continues
This is a text I received from an Oregon friend before kickoff. Apparently the Ducks’ version of the Huskers’ surrender whites is to wear uniforms without green. This was an interesting (and thankfully true) wrinkle worth keeping an eye on if you’re into that whole wagering on football thing.
This Iowa Fan Needed a Hug. He Didn’t Get One From Us.
How Lucky/Good Was That Bacon Saving False Start Penalty?
NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH
2: As in can you believe Oregon kept going for two? This will never not be funny.
7.1 Even with Royce Freeman out due to injury, Oregon’s average yards-per-carry was a season high. The Ducks averaged 6.8 YPC against UC Davis and 6.7 YPC against Virginia. The last time Oregon averaged over 7 YPC was in their 44-28 win over Cal last November.
45: De’Mornay Pierson-El’s game changing 45 yard punt return was his longest since he broke off a 42 yarder at Minnesota last year. Can he please return all the punts and never do the jet sweep? On 11 career rushing attempts, DPE has netted -7 yards.
47.2: Caleb Lightbourn’s average yardage on five punts, three of which pinned Oregon inside their own 20.
83: Get to know Brian Reimers, the walk-on redshirt sophomore who hauled in a touchdown pass (his first career reception) to cap the Huskers’ drive to open the second half.
7,376: In case you didn’t hear it over the crowd noise, Tommy Armstrong Jr. is now your career passing leader. He eclipsed Taylor Martinez’s mark of 7,258 passing yards yesterday.
We need to talk. Don’t worry. This is all going to be for your own good. I just want to make sure you little Duckies are prepared for what’s going to happen on Saturday.
You’ve probably been licking your bills for a while now at the prospect of migrating halfway across the country just to beat up on your former in-state rival like the good ol’ days of your annual Civil War.
But there’s one tiny problem.
Mike Riley isn’t at Oregon State anymore.
He’s at Nebraska.
Sure, I could start rattling off all the ways Riley’s coaching toy box has been upgraded but the truth is he’s just getting a taste of what it’s like to be in your Nikes, with world-class facilities and talent far beyond what he had in Corvallis. His playing field is finally level with yours.
But he has one big advantage that can’t be bought with Phil Knight money.
Heck, it can’t even be bought with Warren Buffett money.
And that’s Husker Nation.
While there’s no official date for when it was founded, a great case could be made for November 3, 1962, the day the Huskers’ sellout streak started. The Big Red lost to Missouri that day but the fans were back for the next one and all the others for the past 54 years. You Ducks have the honor of being number 350.
That’s kind of a big deal especially when you consider Memorial Stadium has nearly tripled in size during that time and Bill Callahan was head coach for a while.
Things are a little bit different around these parts. You’re going to be greeted by 90,000 of the most loyal and passionate fans you’ve ever played in front of anywhere. And that includes the little nest you call a stadium. (54,000 fans for your home games? Cute.)
Those fans (who will all be wearing red, btw) have known since Monday they won’t be sitting down for the duration of the game. All it took was a tweet from a linebacker that simply said #NoSitSaturday and everyone was like ‘Cool. We’ll spread the word.’
That’s how people roll in Nebraska. We take care of each other. Someone needs a favor? It gets done. Mike Riley is one of us now so when he steps onto that sideline, 90,000 people will have his back along with another million plus watching from afar.
Oregon, when you come out of that tunnel, it’s important that you’re prepared for what’s going to happen.
First off, no matter how loud it gets, and it will get loud, Memorial Stadium will not fall apart. She may feel like she’s about to crumble but don’t worry. She’s as solid as a rock. Mostly.
Either way, you’ll probably want to dip into your vast wardrobe and pick out some pants that can hide crotchal region stains (both the front and rear kind) just to be safe. Maybe something in a nice dark green? That should do the trick.
It’s going to be so loud you may feel yourself getting knocked backwards by the sheer force of 90,000 people screaming at the top of their lungs. For as much as these folks want to see the Huskers win, they don’t mean you any genuine harm. No matter the outcome, they’ll be cheering for you after the final whistle. It’s what Nebraska fans do.
So there you are, taking it all in and you see him.
Yes, that inflatable Bob’s Big Boy looking thing is definitely a creeper and he’ll be there to welcome you onto the field. His name’s Lil’ Red and just go with it. Maybe even make a mental bookmark of the moment you make eye contact with his black, soul-less eyes. You’ll already be having the most surreal experience of your football career so why not make it just a little bit weirder?
Now kickoff. That’s when the fun really starts.
You may have read somewhere that Mike Riley’s Huskers can be a little unpredictable. For as frustrating as that can be, it’s been kind of fun that every game brings a new surprise. Will the Big Red decide to kick it old-school and pound the ball down your bill until you give up, or will Tommy Armstrong have the green light to go full Tommy, or maybe a mix of both to really keep your defense on their webbed toes?
Then there’s the problem of dealing with the Blackshirts.
Oh, you have an Olympic hurdler as a wide receiver? Well the Huskers have the guy who set the South Dakota state record in the 200 meter dash and he’s really good at making interceptions and too good at making tackles. Trust me, if you happen to make it past the defensive line, he’s not somebody you want to run into.
And if that wasn’t enough to make you want to go hang out in a park and beg for bread crumbs, there’s a rumor going around that the Huskers are getting hooked up with Yeezy Cleats.