Tag Archives: illinois

If you start out depressed, everything’s kind of a pleasant surprise.

STATE OF THE SEASON:

Nebraska football is like an ex boyfriend, it makes me sad only because I think it can make me happy. I was ready to find alternate Saturday plans after the first three Husker games of the season. I was thinking about taking up roller derby, or volunteering, or just becoming an Alabama fan (Roll Tide), but after just one mediocre Husker win, I have been sucked back into the sink hole that is Nebraska football. I am now convinced there is at least a 3.8% chance they beat Wisconsin after this lay up of a game against Illinois.

And can we talk about how much Friday night games (or Friday games in general, get rid of the Black Friday game permanently, please) stink? I want to watch high school football on a Friday night, not football that reminds me of high school football. Also, I am a routine person and I have a very specific fall Saturday routine. How the hell am I just supposed to get in the groove on a Friday night? I use my Fridays to relax and hit the hay early before I wake up at 4am and panic until Gameday starts. It’s just not right.

Can Mike Riley win back the hearts of Husker Nation?

Plus, Illinois is coming off a bye and the Huskers have a short week? What genius agreed to this? Oh, I think he was just canned, for good reason, because this is absolutely moronic. The only good thing is that if the Huskers lose, I already know what excuse I’m giving, it’s always nice to be prepared. Short rest everyone, that’s the excuse we will be going with. Have it prepared should you need it.

WE’RE OVER NORTHERN ILLINOIS (no I’m not) AND ONTO ACTUAL ILLINOIS

You would be hard pressed to come up with a list of positive things to say about the Huskers this season so I’m just going to say a bunch of negative things about the other team. When Illinois played before their well timed bye, Lovie Smith took his band of losers down to Tampa and got absolutely rocked by Charlie Strong and USF. Under no circumstances should B1G teams be getting knocked around by these little schools, but here we are (Hello, Northern Illinois). Anyway, Illinois had 3 turnovers during the game which is also something I can’t make fun of, this is turning out to be a list of negative things about Nebraska, how did that happen? I’m going to stop looking at Illinois stats now because they are just telling me that Nebraska is equally as bad.

The Blackshirts have been looking better, the only problem is the offense is looking as bad as the defense looks good. Nebraska can win this game IF Tanner Lee isn’t a turnover machine and to be honest, I don’t know that I see that happening. I think we should all agree that if Tanner throws 2 picks, he is out and POB is in. Why not try it? It can’t get worse. Another great excuse to have ready is that basically the entire team is injured. The O-line is a disaster. Stanley Morgan Jr.  is traveling but who knows how much he will play. Tre Bryant, out. Kalu, out. Marcus Newby, out. The positive news of the week is that Chris Jones seems to be on the mend faster than people expected, he told us he would be, and I appreciate a man that keeps his promise. Now when will you actually be back in a game, Chris? I’m hoping the offense comes out a little bit calmer and ready to go without relying on the defense to clean up their mess.

I guess I’m going with Nebraska 24, Illinois 14.

P.S. There is a very slim chance that you will even see this considering the last few of my blogs have been deleted because Word Press is the devil but if you happen to see this, thanks for reading and I just want you to know that my blog about the Oregon game was the best blog of all time and just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean you can’t refer to it as such.  Whatever, Go Big Red. Also, Go Dodgers.

P.P.S. That goddamn Kirk Herbstreit. I knew the second he picked Nebraska to win vs Northern Illinois that the Huskers were toast. I think he picked Nebraska every time they lost last season. He probably has a little voodoo doll at home that he puts pins in and then goes and says the Huskers are going to win and laughs to himself. Cut it out, man.


For real-time hot takes from Leslie, follow her on Twitter – @lesmicek


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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.

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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.

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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:

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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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Monday Rage: Who Woke Up Still Mad About Illinois?

Happy Monday everyone!

Here’s a quick rundown of selected rage tweets and other delights from Husker fans who woke up still feeling a little raw about what happened at Illinois on Saturday.

Wait… this really happened? Maybe in an alternate universe.

Sam Foltz Special Teams Player of the Week
While typo police are usually more annoying than gluten-free people, this is a great find. Could it have been a subtle dig at the short bus crowd with a little stutter built-in to special teams? More than likely it was just the work of someone who had five minutes to put a graphic together while dealing with their typical Monday madness. We say they d-d-deserve a b-b-break.

Well, this is certainly a loaded statement.

But it reading about it after the fact always hurts so good.

Wait… you can’t just get press credentials for everyone in your party?

Can someone please check Alex Lewis’ check-ins on Swarm?

This is a depressing statistic.

Hey man, Danny Glover tried his best to carry Arnold’s mantle in Predator 2.

SKERS, Neo. SKERS.

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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Illinois Edition

If Miami and BYU were gut punches, the Huskers’ game against Illinois was two days of brutal torture condensed into 55 seconds of game play plus some time allowed for a couple of BS pass interference calls.

In other words, it was this…

With Illinois not necessarily being a marquee match up (on paper at least), the vibe at our Californians for Nebraska watch site had the all the excitement and energy of a Catholic mass at 6pm on a Sunday. Yes, us faithful Husker fans were there but it felt like it is was more out of obligation (and a collective lack of the Big Ten Network among those in attendance).

By the end though, we were certainly into the game and when the final whistle blew, about 40 or so people were doing this in unison…

Let’s just say it was a good thing the TVs at the Happy Ending are securely bolted to the walls.

No matter who called it, just how bad was the decision to pass the ball on that fateful third down? I won’t name any names or anything but there was a person at our watch site who took until the second quarter to notice that the art work on the 50-yard-line was an outline of the state of Illinois.

Now that the table is properly set, even they were screaming “Whatever you do, don’t pass!” when the Huskers lined up for that fateful third down play.

Look, a “rebuilding” season is fine but there is absolutely no excuse for the coaching staff to completely forget how to coach a game. If Frank Solich played checkers to Tom Osborne’s chess, Mike Riley and company are playing Go Fish right now. It just doesn’t make any sense to the point that even this site wholeheartedly agrees with Dirk Chatelain.

Hope you’re happy with what you did Mike Riley!

Alex LewisIf he even makes it to Senior Day, he might be the first starting captain to get less applause than a mystery walk-on lineman.

The Downside of Your Husker Watch Site Also Being an Ohio State Backer Bar: Your friends from Ohio will mercilessly mock you on that Chat Snap.

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Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch: Coach Riley’s balloon just didn’t deflate, it went full Pile of Poo emoji.

Mike Riley Poop Balloon

Our Score Prediction: Would have nailed it if only the Huskers’ numbers weren’t reversed.
Huskers Illinois

Larry The Cable Guy: Could really use a hug, or some whiskey (at 8:13am on a Sunday morning.) Be sure to read the rest of his rant on Twitter. Dude makes some very legitimate points.

NUMBERS TO DEPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

32: Was Imani Cross even on the travel roster? Dude didn’t even see the field.

32.25: Tommy Amstrong‘s completion percentage on 10 – 31 passing with one arm punt interception

46.9: Sam THUNDERLEG Foltz‘s average punt distance. Dude had the biggest yardage of either team by a wide margin netting 422 yards on nine punts.

4:55: Illinois’ time-of-possession in a 4th quarter in which they scored all 14 of their points. 51 of those last 55  seconds really mattered didn’t they?

6: The number of tries it took Illinois to score their game winning touchdown when they started with a 1st and goal from the 7 yard line.

10: Devine Ozibo‘s average yards per carry on 7 rushes for 70 yards. Meanwhile, Terrell Newby maintained a solid 3.0 for a total of 15 yards on the day.

31 – 3: The final score of Youngstown State’s victory over the South Dakota Coyotes.

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Four Random Things Before the Huskers Beat Illinois

1) Dry erase marker is no match for the power of Eddie Van Halen. If you can’t decipher it, our score prediction has the Huskers handling Illinois 31 – 14. Who cares what Vegas and the pundits think? Clearly they have overlooked the fact that a highly capable fullback has been found in hiding in a dark, dusty corner of the Huskers’ offensive quiver. With the weather report calling for heavy gusts of wind and other misery, today is the perfect crappy day to finally get the ground game sorted out.

2) Oh, and rumor has it this guy is back. If that’s true, why is Illinois even bothering to take the field?

3) The Westerkamps are in Champaign right now and drinking all the beer.

4) Bo Pelini is six miles from the Nebraska border this very instant as his Youngstown State Penguins are set for a rumble with the South Dakota Coyotes under the roof of the DakotaDome. Please pay no attention to the fact that we jumped to the conclusion that it was impossible for South Dakota to boast not one but TWO colleges and plum mixed up the Jackrabbits with the Coyotes. (See #6.) Finally, not to pour any salt in the open wound that is the Bankshirt™ secondary, but Pelini’s Penguins have given up only 26 yards through the air in their wins over Robert Morris and St. Francis who were a combined 3 – 23 passing.

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Game Day Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Illinois Fighting Illini

Three things we learned in compiling this Nebraska – Illinois preview:

1. The Illinois Fighting Illini must have had one roll of film in their camera during the 1980’s. Case in point, a Google Image Search for Jeff George. There is not a single photo of him and his sweet mustache in an Illinois uniform to be found on the internet which really throws our plans for a sweet stache bash between George and Jordan Westerkamp for a loop.

Jeff George Mustache

2. If photos the most famous/notorious player to ever wear blue and orange barely exist, good luck finding a photo of Jordan Westerkamp’s dad Bob in action for the Fighting Illini.

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3. Jordan Westerkamp’s older brother Matt has an amazing mullet.

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Between Jordan’s stache and Matt’s mullet, the Westerkamp bros could give the Franco bros a run for their money.

Now that your mind is blown, here’s what you need to know about tonight’s match up.

Confidence: The Illini travel to Nebraska for the second year in a row (nice scheduling, Big Ten) and the outcome won’t be any different.

Scouting Report: According to Steven M. Sipple, the Illini run Tim Beck’s favorite offense – that multiple one. They come in to Lincoln with a 3-1 record- their lone loss a drubbing at the hands of a rebuilding Washington team. It’s also worth noting that the Illini’s first victory was at the expense of Youngstown State so it will be interesting to see if Bo Pelini goes for a little get back in honor of his hometown. Illinois might burn Nebraska a couple of times but look for the Blackshirts to have things on lock down by halftime.

Ideal Scenario: First and foremost the 8pm(!) kickoff should be late enough to scare away the blue hairs who would otherwise sit on their keisters and complain about the Huskers’ alternate uniforms.

nebraksa alternate uniform
The helmet is killer. The actual uniform is still a little off. The reflective numbers and accents are going to wreak havoc for photographers.

Continue to see Ameer Abdullah go HAM. With Oregon off this week, ESPN will be Marcus Mariotta free so tonight is a great chance for Ameer to be in the spotlight and build his Heisman case, except that dang 8pm kick off (the blue hairs may have a valid point) means the game won’t end unit close to 1am on the East Coast. So here’s to Ameer going off in the first half.

The other storyline to consider is if Jordan Westerkamp will show any mercy to his home state team and his dad’s alma mater. Illinois and every other school recruited Jordan before he ultimately chose Nebraska. Here’s hoping his roommate slings a few big passes his way.

Look for the Husker starters to turn things over to the back ups by the early 4th quarter and start resting up for next week’s showdown at Michigan State. The Husker faithful stay in the stands until the very end unless making it to last call with time to spare becomes an issue.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 3 with the game on the Big Ten Network and a soft opponent, don’t look for Bo’s rage to be an issue tonight.

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Big Ten Impotence Rankings

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

“What seems to be the problem, nurse?”

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

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

“What is it, doctor?”

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

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

So here goes.

WEEK 2 BIG 10 IMPOTENCE RANKINGS

1. Northwestern (0-2)

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

2. Purdue (1-1)

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

3. Ohio State (1-1)

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

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

4. Michigan (1-1)

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

5. Indiana (1-0)

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

But hey, the alternate uniforms sure are dandy!

6. Michigan State (1-1)

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

And how did that go?

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

7. Wisconsin (1-1)

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

No.

8. Rutgers (2-0)

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

9. Minnesota (2-0)

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

10. Iowa (2-0)

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Pair of shitty wins over a pair of shitty opponents.

11. Illinois (2-0)

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

12. Penn State (2-0)

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

13. Nebraska (2-0)

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

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

14. Maryland (2-0)

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

Congratulations.

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