Tag Archives: de’mornay pierson-el

Side-to-Side: A look back at Northwestern and Ahead to Illinois

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.

The only Northwestern player that I liked.
Eric Lutzen, the only Northwestern player that I liked.

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-1-14-21-pm
Yes, I do fill out scores in my Phil Steele preview.

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.

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-10-10-48-am
Going to school at Oklahoma State but playing football for Illinois seems like it’s probably an NCAA violation

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:

img_2305
Jeff George must really hate his kid to let him play at Illinois.

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.

What I’m going to need to see on Saturday:

*Coach Dub back on the sideline.

*Cole Conrad still on the sidelines the whole game.

*More Mikale Wilbon. Like a lot more Mikale Wilbon.

*A DPE house call.

*Nate Gerry continue to be Nate Gerry (he has made 25/26 tackle      attempts. I guess that is pretty good).

*A Chris Jones interception.

*All of the commits that are visiting to commit (looking at you Joseph Lewis and Rahyme Johnson).

I’d name a few more things but I’m going to keep this list realistic.

See you folks tomorrow  in Lincoln. GBR.


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Sunday Afternoon Hot Takes: Wisconsin Edition

Before kickoff yesterday, we shared some new and bizarre ways for Wisconsin to beat the Huskers to add a little spice to the boring predictability of blowout losses. One way we didn’t suggest was a last second Badger field goal because that just seemed to a little too trite.

We all know how that worked out.

Rafael Gaglianone
How it feels when coach says he’s taking you to Olive Garden to celebrate.

How Much Stress Can One Blogger Take: Yesterday was the first Husker game I watched at home in three years. With kickoff at 12:30 and the first pitch of the Dodger game at six, I chose to stay home and increase my odds of getting to see the end of the game and make it to Chavez Ravine in time.

For the record, it is exactly 7.6 miles from our driveway to Dodger Stadium.

Thanks to an Obamajam and USA playing Mexico at the Rose Bowl, LA traffic was promised to be extra crazy so we planned to leave at four.

The clock struck the fateful hour with about five minutes or so left in the game. The only perk of staying home was being able to sync up the Huskers app and watch the game with the ESPN choads on mute. Up until that second, everything worked like a charm until my lovely wife said, “You can listen to it in the car.”

15 minutes later she was dragging me out of the house by my ear without granting even a second to mourn what had happened to the Huskers yet again.

We listened to the post game press conference en route and her thoughts on Mike were that “he sounds like a nice guy and maybe a little sad.

No kidding.

Luckily, the Dodger game made for a nice, relaxing Saturday evening of October baseball. It wasn’t at all the craziest game I’ve ever attended thanks to Chase Utley‘s fateful, game tying double play break up. While social media was imploding with outrage, the feeling in the stands was completely different. The Mets fans surrounding us thought what happened was an acceptable baseball play and were more upset about getting hosed on getting an out at second. Once it was revealed that Tejada suffered a broken leg, the mood for both sides definitely turned somber. Before you rail on Utley, think how you’d feel if it were Alex Gordon breaking up a double play or remember how you felt when Kenny Bell laid down his soul crushing block.

Leave it to a Giant’s blogger to have probably the most rational take on what happened. And for good measure, here are some previous thoughts from Mets manager Terry Collins about the need to be tough when breaking up double plays.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch: Last week’s pile of poo is now on fire.

Mike Riley Flaming Pile of Poo

Our Score Prediction:

Pretty far off-base on the score but it’s all there was to work with. The magic score prediction hat is still MIA and may or may not have gone missing after seeing Van Halen at the Hollywood Bowl last Friday night.

Best Shade of the Day:

DPE: Remember when DPE broke his foot but the silver lining was that if everything went OK he’d be back in time to run wild against Wisconsin? DPE had a pair of receptions for 31 yards. Since his return at Illinois, he’s been a complete non-factor.

Running Back by Committee: Can this please stop? Last week it was Imani Cross who was absent from the backfield. He returned this week with Ozigbo taking his place in parts unknown on the Husker sideline. And does Mikale Wilbon need to get his picture put on a milk carton or what?

Jordan Stevenson: His redshirt was burned for 14 kick return yards, a couple touchbacks, and the honor of becoming running back number five.

Andy Janvovich: This is the perfect summation of his 55 yard touchdown run.

That Bankshirt Defense Tho: When Wisconsin got the ball back with 63 seconds to play, you just knew it was going to be curtains for the Huskers. It was inevitable that Joel Stave was going to find a way to shred the Huskers’ secondary like cheddar and he did just that, taking the Badgers from their own 30 to the Huskers’ 28 in only three plays. Not to beat the dead horse of bringing up the old regime but chances are they would have rolled the dice and dialed up a blitz on one of those plays. Getting Stave to the turf just once would have chewed up some major clock for Wisconsin.

Dirk Chatelain and Hip Hop: As someone who professes his love of The Boss in his twitter bio, it shouldn’t be surprising that Dirk may not be the most well versed when it comes to that hippity hop but this passage in his otherwise on-point column is a real head scratcher-

…the speakers blasted “Let Me Clear My Throat,” an old-school hip-hop song that, when it comes on the radio, prompts your father to turn the station.

DJ Kool dropped Let Me Clear My Throat in 1996. While Pearl Jam is starting to show up on classic rock radio from time to time, mid 90s hip hop is a little too new to ever be considered old school. And then, there’s the issue of Let Me Clear My Throat even appearing on radio outside of a specialty station such as 93.5 KDAY. So with that in mind, for “dad” to even have a chance to hear DJ Kool, he would already be listening to a hip hop oriented station and would probably turn up the radio, not change the station.

Or, maybe “dad” is riding shotgun and your car and if that’s the case he should be respectful of the universal “my car, my rules” policy.

NUMBERS TO DEPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

1: The number of times a Husker running back has rushed for over 100 yards in a single game this season. (Newby hit 198 against South Alabama.)

394: Sam THUNDERLEG Foltz‘s yardage on nine punts. The Husker offense racked up 325 total yards.

3: Total carries for last week’s running back of the future Devine Ozigbo.

39.28: Tommy Armstrong‘s completion percentage. He was 11 – 28 on the day. He’s currently at 52.4 percent on the year which is almost a full tick below last year’s 53.3%.

36: The total margin by which the 2 and 4 Huskers have outscored their opponents this year.

17: Jordan Westerkamp‘s total receiving yardage the past two games.

17, 715: The turnout for #7 Youngstown State‘s rumble with #4 Illinois State. The Cardinals flew away with 31 – 29 victory after the Penguins’ 2 point conversion and ensuing onsides kick failed.

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Nick Allen’s Reasons to Be Optimistic About the Huskers

The first game of the Huskers’ season is always a special time full of optimism and hope right up until the moment the first pigskin is launched from the tee into the heavens.

To help ward off any dread that may be sinking in as the hours and minutes tick towards the Huskers’ date with destiny against BYU, we’ve enlisted the assistance of Omaha-based stand up comic Nick Allen. Maybe you saw him on NBC’s Last Comic Standing this summer?

And that accolade (no matter how brief) puts Nick squarely in the position of being the funniest white guy comic living in Nebraska not named Larry the Cable Guy. You can catch Nick in action on September 10th when he headlines the Comedy Underground show at Brewsky’s in Lincoln’s Haymarket.

Take it away Nick…

Guess who’s undefeated baby? The Huskers. Just like they’re supposed to be. New season, new coach, new, new PA announcer. Cue up the Alan Parsons Project. Let’s do this shit.

1) THE BLACKSHIRTS ARE BACK
Right away. Like they should be. Lead by spirit animal Jack Gangwish and a beastly defensive line, NU’s storied defense enters the season with an attitude and intensity backed by decades of tradition.

2) THE PIPELINE
Another backbone of Nebraska tradition is set to rise again. Milt Tenopir has been a regular at practice. Alex Lewis is a bad ass (‘with record’). All championship teams have rap sheets. A pancake breakfast all season long.

3) THE COACHING STAFF
A Head coach with championship pedigree.

mike-riley-bombers-cp-1988
TWO Grey Cups.

Plus, the Huskers now have an actual QB coach (who knows how to properly hold a football).

Tim Beck
Have fun with this guy, Urban.

Eli Manning Danny LangsdorfEli will retire with more rings than Peyton. Just like God intended.

4) STRENGTH COACH MARK PHILIPP

Mark Phillpp
Spontaneous bare-foot deadlift of 400lbs.

5) KEITH WIDEOUTS WILLIAMS

He could suit up if he had to AND he’s not a golf coach!

6) THE GUYS ON THE FIELD

Tommy Armstrong

STUD. End. Of. Story. He’s carried himself like a championship QB since his first snap. This year the big wins follow.

Jordan Westerkamp

Total magician. Usually I despise dudes with novelty mustaches but he gets a pass on that.

Vincent Valentine and Maliek Collins

Collins and Valentine
Wrecking balls.

DPE

DPE
He’s not out the whole season.

Sam Foltz

Thunder Leg
Even though he’s a punter, he could probably beat your ass.

7) EASE OF SCHEDULE
No self-respecting football program should ever be intimidated by the Big Ten West.

8) THE JET SWEEP
If you run it, you should  FINALLY be able to stop it.

9) TOM OSBORNE

Tom Osborne
I was on the same flight as him this spring. That has to mean something, right?

10) UP AND COMERS
According to the coaching staff, a lot of guys are ‘on the come.’ Not sure exactly what that means but it sounds like they’re either on they’re way up or involved in a ‘sticky’ hazing situation. Hopefully they’re rising stars.

11) WHY NOT?
Hey, the Huskers could be pretty good and somebody has to win these games. The past few years they’ve been close. Really close. Shit just fell apart in big games. Sometimes in spectacular fashion but they were ahead in most of those games to begin with. They usually lost one you would have thought they would win too. But they’re close. Plus they’re due. Either way, enjoy it and don’t get too caught up in it.

And if you find yourself screaming at a kid you’d go to jail for buying a beer for– don’t.

GO BIG RED!

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Behind The Scenes At The Boneyard Bash

With just two weeks before football season and countless lost freshmen looking for something to do and people to meet, there seemed to be only one solution to everyone’s problems: open practice at Memorial Stadium at the first-ever Boneyard Bash.

Memorial Stadium
It’s good to be back. Soon, this place will be rocking.

Around 1:45  Saturday afternoon, I arrived at Memorial Stadium with a handful of the sport directors for The Iron N. Granted, I have no responsibilities when it comes to my minimal membership in the club, but much like all of the new freshmen on campus, I refuse to go to an event alone.

While we set up the tables of free t-shirts and koozies inside, a line of students quickly formed outside of Gate 24. Thirty minutes later, a flood of over 1,500 students poured in to the stadium. From wide-eyed freshmen wearing their lanyards around their necks to seniors claiming front row seats that were rightfully theirs, there was a good mix of different students in attendance.

Line of Students
Moments after this photo was taken, I was nearly trampled by the rush. Hope you enjoy it.

Suddenly caught in front of a Pamplona bull run of students, all I could imagine was how this was (almost) exactly how Mufasa died in The Lion King. (Editor’s note: Spoiler Alert!) I retreated back to my usual game day seat in the front row of the East Stadium student section and watched the never ending sea of students fill over two entire sections of seats.

The Boneyard Crowd
Obligatory photo of the ‘No Photos’ warning while students piled into the hallowed midfield seats.

Once the crowd had settled in, Mike Riley (looking sharp in a Boneyard t-shirt) spoke with students. I was able to overhear more than a few people mention how “adorable” he was, which is probably the polar opposite of any word students had used to describe Bo in previous seasons.

Mike Riley Addresses The Boneyard
Head Coach Mike Riley addresses the crowd before getting the Boneyard Bash started.

The players were out on the field as De’Mornay Pierson-El whipped some donuts on the sideline in his cart. Needless to say, I think he’s doing pretty well after his surgery.

Throughout the scrimmage, prizes such as gift cards and video game consoles were being given away to numerous students who checked in to the event on The Iron N Rewards app. The new app allows students to check in at various events to earn points to go towards different prizes. Despite currently sharing the first place title (not to brag), I didn’t win any of the giveaways. I’d also just like to take a moment to let the other seven students currently in first place know that they’re going down and I will win the free textbooks. Not that I’m competitive or anything.

Unfortunately since the event was still technically a practice, no photos or videos were allowed. I’m sure in that same nature they wouldn’t be too crazy about going into detail on what I saw on the field, and after seeing Bo’s interactions with the media, I’d rather try to stay on the coaches’ good sides. But I will say that with what I saw, I have high hopes for this season.

Editor’s Note: If the action on the field during the Boneyard Bash was anywhere close to the action in this Boneyard Bash, the Huskers might just be alright. Now the question is, which Blackshirt is going to step up and claim Grave Digger as a nickname?

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The Season Isn’t Over Until It Starts

Hey there dear reader(s)! Remember us? The blog that said it was going on hiatus until August 3rd? Well, with the first game of the season kicking off next Saturday, it’s time we make our staggering return to mid-level glory, new website or not.

Lucky for us, the guy we hired to redesign our site finally found a new Adderall hook up (his old one bolted off to college) so his productivity levels should be returning to normal any day now and he swears he’ll have our updated site ready before the season opener against BYU.

Kickoff is still at 2:30, right?

But enough about us. Let’s get to the reason why we’re all here- the Huskers.

Since we last left off, the Huskers have had their share of drama. Fortunately, most of it was just of the silly kind and not the a-linebacker-stole-a-truckload-of-bikes variety.

To recap —

Wisconsin running back Corey Clement talked more trash than a sanitation engineer convention (hiyo!)when he said the Huskers were a flip phone compared to the Badgers who embodied the far superior and sleeker iPhone.

This in turn caused the Nebraska sports media to unholster their flip phones and furiously text reaction tweets to 40404 as fast as their thumbs could T9 their way to coherent thoughts.

Meanwhile, we mined our kitchen junk drawer, unearthed a Motorola lounging in a weathered Cell Phones for Soldiers shipping bag (hey, it’s the thought that counts) and cobbled this gem together.

Badgers Huskers Flip PhoneGet it? 5 x CHAMP. Are jokes from a month ago still even remotely funny?

Not long after Husker Nation’s big flip out of the summer, the first fall camp of the Mike Riley era was underway and optimism for the season was running high…

UNTIL COACH RILEY ANNOUNCED THAT De’MORNAY PIERSON-EL INJURED HIS FOOT AND WOULD BE OUT FOR 6-8 WEEKS.

Faster than DPE can take a punt to the house, Husker Twitter went straight to DEFCON 1. 

Meanwhile, Husker Facebook was surprisingly rational and borderline optimistic.

Husker Extra Facebook Reaction
Could these comments be a sign that Coach Riley’s inherent mellowness is spreading like a virus among the Husker faithful?

To learn more about DPE’s injury, listen to Dr. Rob Zatechka’s always interesting Husker Doc Talk podcast. Plus, you’ll get to hear a bonus story about Dave Rimington’s love of Burning Man.  (Seriously, WTF?)

While losing an All-American who figured to be a key cog in the Huskers’ offense  is not exactly an ideal start to the season, the important thing to remind yourself is that it hasn’t even started. To put things in the parlance of Vacation, the O.G. National Lampoon version, not this summer’s turd of a reboot, we’re still lost in St. Louis our way to the proverbial Walley World.

The script for the 2015 Huskers’ season has yet to be written and not even a million football savvy monkeys armed with a million typewriters and a communal copy of Chris Brown’s great new book The Art of Smart Football could predict how the season will play out so we might as well do our best to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Because getting there is half the fun. You know that.

GBR!

ps: Check it out. We made a pump up video.

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22 Red Hot Nebraska Spring Game Predictions

Where does the time go? Seems like just yesterday that Coach Who Shall Not Be Named 2.0 was dropping C-Bombs on a secret recording and now it’s already the first Spring Game of the Mike Riley era.

Just because I’m going to be a bad Husker fan and skip out on the Spring Game in favor of playing for Team Sons of Steve Garvey in the annual Dodger Blogger Softball Tournament doesn’t mean I can’t make some bold, bold Spring Game predictions.

If you’re reading from a mobile device, put on an oven mitt before scrolling because these are some hot takes.

1. Tommy Armstrong will complete some passes.

2. Tommy Armstrong will not complete some passes.

3. Quarterbacks AJ Bush, Johnny Stanton and Zack Darlington will all flash enough skill to give your annoying friend enough ammo to claim that Armstrong won’t be the starter in 2015.

4. Meanwhile, quarterback Ryker Fyfe will pop up just long enough to make you remember that he’s still on the team. Then again, this could be Ryker’s last stand once Maliek gets turned loose.

5. Five QBs will lead to message board rumblings that one or more will transfer.

6. It will be a record breaking day for the number of fans cheering for a Mike Riley lead team. Riley’s biggest home stadium was San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium with a capacity of 70,561. More than 65,000 tickets have already been sold for the Spring Game. Even if there isn’t a single walk up, a record will still be set because those 65,000 fans are all cheering for the same team. One of the perks of the Spring Game- no pesky visiting fans.

Now the question is, will the record 80,149 fans that attended Coach Who Shall Not Be Named 2.0’s first Spring Game be topped?

Mike Riley Huskers
Even if Coach Riley isn’t quite old enough to need Depends, we heartily suggest that he straps-on a set and buckles ’em up tight. That first Tunnel Walk will be a doozy.

7. A sportswriter will say the sky’s the limit for the revamped Huskers in 2015.

8. A sportswriter will say the sky is falling and the revamped Huskers are doomed in 2015.

9. If strength and conditioning coach Mark Phillip hosts a halftime arm rasslin’ contest, he will win.

Strength Coach Mark Phillip Nebraska
New rule: Any time Mark Philip is spotted in Lincoln you must yell “This is Sparta!” Then run away as fast as you can.

10. De’Mornay Pierson-El will do something awesome.

11. The Blackshirts will throw the bones like the days of yore.

12. However, too much bone throwing will cause people to fret that the offensive line has some leaky pipes. So please, Huskers, try to find a happy balance and not kick your own asses too bad.

13. Imani Cross will break off a beastly run that will remind everyone that it’s his turn to be in the spotlight.

14. The first offensive play will be a run through the tackles and have the QB under center.

15. The second play from scrimmage will be a COMPLETED deep ball.

16. At least one coach will take the reins of Der Viener Schlinger.

17. A blue hair’s “Sit down. We can’t see through you.” will be in mid-season form.

18. The newly installed jet sweeps will send fans into Wisconsin induced PTSD panic attacks.

19. While it may not run like a well-oiled machine all of the time, the new, “boring” offense will not make anyone miss that guy at Ohio State.

20. Some Huskers will win.

21. Some Huskers will lose.

22. Following the game, all of the coaches will gush about how they’ve never experienced anything quite like a Husker game day before remembering the Spring Game was just a warm up for the real thing. Then they’ll hunker down and really get to work.

Inheriting a program as hallowed  as the Huskers is something that doesn’t come around often.

GBR!

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