Tag Archives: imani cross

Sunday Afternoon Hot Takes: Rutgers Edition

When the Huskers jumped out to a 21 – 0 lead over Rutgers, all was finally feeling right in Husker Nation. Our watch site that had been so tense for so many weeks finally felt like a nice, relaxing place to spend a Saturday afternoon. It was a very welcome change of pace and many laughs and assorted good times were being had.

Then Tommy Armstrong had to go and chuck up enough YOLO BOMBS to make the game a momentary nail biter.

And somewhere out there, Taylor Martinez had to smile knowing that he had taught his young Padawan so well.

All in, it was refreshing to see the Huskers mostly cruise to their first stress-free win in since playing at Minnesota nearly a month ago. Now all that’s left is to wreck to Iowa’s dream season unless the Hawkeyes don’t wreck it themselves first.

On with the hot takes…

Ex-Bo Friend Update

Bo Pelini went on a little rampage yesterday as his Youngstown State Penguins couldn’t hold a 17 point lead against North Dakota State. It was a loss that effectively ended the Penguin’s chance at the postseason. Naturally, the Omaha World-Herald couldn’t contain its glee and nearly forgot there was a Husker game to cover.

Nice of the World-Herald to use a photo from Youngstown State’s game at South Dakota as click bait for their home game against North Dakota State.

Not to even going to try to defend or justify Bo’s actions but Youngstown State did get jobbed on the pass interference call. One can only hope his latest sideline detonation is all part of his master plan to become the next pitchman for Xanax.

Some gifs just because…

Bo-and-Carl
One can only assume Carl has had counseling since the last time he stalked a sideline with his brother. He walked away like a champ.

Anrgy-Bo-1
This is exactly where Pelini reached peak rage.

Angry-Bo2
And Bo couldn’t say no to coming back for a second helping.

Our Score Prediction

Chewbacca Predicts Rutgers Score
We said Huskers 38, Rutgers 10. Totally would have nailed the 38 if it weren’t for Josh Kalu’s fumble return that was wiped off the board.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch

   Mike Riley Balloon Watch Rutgers
While there were few hiccups, Riley was not hungover from Michigan State.

NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

2: The Huskers are now riding their first win streak of the season.

12: With his trio of INTs against Rutgers, Tommy Armstrong has already tied his total from last season with 12.  It will be interesting to see how his final stats shake up. Aside from a huge drop in rushing yardage, he’s nearly identical to 2014.

30:01/29:59: The Huskers ended the game with a two second time of possession advantage over Rutgers. Kooky.

98/90: Imani Cross followed up the signature performance of his Husker career against Michigan State by tacking on another 90 yards at Rutgers. While Cross has broken the century mark once in each of his previous three seasons, he’s never had back-to-back games with as many rushing yards.

Check this out…

2014: 109 yards against Illinois. Did not play the following week against Michigan State. In his next two games after than, he ran for 14 yards against Northwestern and 28 against Rutgers.

2013: 105 yards to open the season against Wyoming. That performance was followed up with 14 against Southern Miss and 19 against UCLA.

2012: Cross had his first 100 yard game at the expense of Idaho State but did not play the following week in the Huskers’ comeback against Wisconsin. Then at Ohio State, he rushed for 13 and followed that up with 3 and 4 against Northwestern and Michigan.

Here’s hoping Imani gets his yearly 100 yard game when Iowa comes to Lincoln.

167: How many more yards Jordan Westerkamp needs to become the Huskers’ first 1,000 yard receiver. Might be a good time for him go through the hassle of being able to order Domino’s via pizza emoji so he can start buttering up his roommate Tommy Armstrong.

If you’ve never heard, those dudes live together.

And if you’re a regular reader, there’s a good chance we used that as a closer before.

Share

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.

Share

View from the Boneyard: South Alabama

Between a 7pm kickoff time, the end of the BYU game, and the fact that we were playing South Alabama, none of us were too concerned about arriving at Memorial Stadium that early to secure our seats.

Lo and behold, there were a whopping 15 people in line at East stadium when our group arrived just a half an hour before doors opened. Even the line to South stadium seemed to be slacking attendance-wise.

Our usual group had grown even larger than before, making it even more crucial for us to save two rows of seats. I met a new Minnesotan friend that had the same phone and phone case as me, though, which was pretty cool but also kind of eerie.

In typical fashion, doors opened for South stadium minutes before East stadium got let in, leaving the older students to sit and watch as the freshmen and sophomores try to blur the line between the definitions of walking and running.

The Boneyard Challenge was brought back during this game, which takes students from both sections and has them compete in a game out on the field. This time, it involved the bubbles.

bubbles
The first big hits of the day at Memorial Stadium.

There’s something oddly satisfying about watching people in giant bubbles run full speed into each other to try to knock each other down. Right out of the gate, my roommate completely annihilated the other girl. I’ve never been more proud.

One of my favorite additions for this season are other games being played on the HuskerVision screens before the game starts. Watching Notre Dame v. Virginia helped passed the time, especially watching my die-hard Notre Dame fan friend react to the end of the game.

Once our game started, it didn’t take long for the Huskers to show that they meant business. An interception by Nate Gerry on the Jaguars’ first possession sent the student section from nonchalant to exploding, which was exactly the momentum that we needed after a heartbreaking loss the week before.

touchdown
Terrell Newby gets the Huskers on the board and balloons in the air.

Soon after, I was challenged by some of our newcomers to the group to see if I could get us on the big screen. This is the one challenge that I never take lightly, so I told them to just sit back and watch.

Between being a theatre kid and a broadcasting major, being in front of a camera and an audience is pretty comforting to me, so getting the attention of a camera guy seems almost second nature. Focused in on a camera in West stadium, I had acquired my target.

I spent the entire first quarter directing all of my singing, dancing, and random posing at the one camera in hopes that they would notice me. When I say entire first quarter, I mean it. Soon after, HuskerVision had made it clear that this was war as nothing but my face graced each screen in Memorial Stadium.

Zooming out, the screen was soon filled with embarrassing shots of me and my friends pulling out our stupidest dance moves and cheering. Honestly, if you’re trying to look cool on the big screen at a sporting event, you’re doing it wrong.

Once halftime hit, I immediately look for two of my roommates next to me. Our fourth roommate is on the flag line, and the day before we had made it clear to her that we were going to embarrass her while she performed.

As everyone else sat down watching the show, we were standing up against the gate dancing and cheering for our roommate, Hannah. With the way that I was acting, you would think that I was a mom on Toddlers and Tiaras and Hannah was competing for Ultimate Grand Supreme.

Not long into the 3rd quarter, a touchdown from Imani Cross put the Huskers up 31-0. At this point, I had scream-sang the words to Hail Varsity so many times that I’m still surprised that I haven’t learned the middle part yet. But considering that I hadn’t even known that there were words to Hail Varsity until my junior year, I’d say I’m doing pretty well.

A 36-yard field goal for South Alabama almost seemed like the end of the world after keeping the Jaguars scoreless for nearly three quarters. Had you looked at their fans’ section afterwards, you’d think that they were right back in the game at that point.

It wasn’t long after that when suddenly I found myself completely unable to dance to the music being played. Other than Jump Around (thanks, Wisconsin), there’s only one song that I refuse to celebrate to: Chelsea Dagger. Being Minnesotan and a die-hard hockey fan, I just can’t bring myself to dance and cheer during the Blackhawks’ goal song.

The camera guy that I had been harassing the entire night had taken notice to my sudden lack of dancing, as he put my entire group of dancing friends on the big screen with me just out of the shot. Touché, camera man.

With nearly half of Memorial Stadium cleared out at this point, South Alabama had finally scored their first touchdown of the night with just under five minutes left. A failed 2 point conversion attempt left the Huskers with a 48-9 victory and left us contemplating whether it’s too late to plan a road trip down to Miami for next weekend.

Huskers Get The Win
A welcome site to see after last week’s heartbreaking finish.

Hayley Archer is a senior Broadcasting major at UNL. Follow her on Twitter at @Harchinator.

Share

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!

Share

Tim Beck Speaks, Husker Fans Light Their Torches

Last night Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck broke his vow of silence that had been self-imposed since the McNeese State game.

Naturally, Husker fans (aka the classiest fans in all of college football) came out of the woodwork and were all too eager to welcome him back into their comforting bosom.

From the Husker Extra Facebook page
TIM BECK

Out of 51 comments (so far) about 10% call for Tim Beck to go kick rocks- aka go back to Kansas.
Mad Husker Fans

And you wonder why the guy doesn’t feel like speaking to the media. Imagine the venom if his Red Storm offense fell outside of a top 10 national ranking.

If mainstream internet rage existed back during the 1991 – 92 seasons, there’s no way Tom Osborne would have made it to 1994. If you think Tim Beck runs the same unimaginative plays, you clearly don’t remember the dark ages of the early 90’s.  I-formations, short side options, 10 passes a game. It was the sort of bland offense that makes a scoop of plain ol’ vanilla look like bubble gum.

And not coincidentally, it was the same offense that was in place during the Husker’s hallowed 60 – 3 run that immediately followed that dark time.

Finally, sticking out in that sea of move-to-Kansas-venom like a golden turd in a silver punchbowl, was this comment.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 11.38.13 PM

While we won’t bother to shed light on the fact that Ameer and Rex are still alive and well, we are curious about this Criss character who needs ‘so touches.’

A quick scan of the Huskers’ roster doesn’t show a Criss but there is a Cross who happens to be running back and would potentially touch the ball from time to time, if Tim Beck ever bothered to call his number.

Could Vincent’s errant suggestion to play Criss just be a simple mix up?

Most likely.

Criss… Cross… what’s really the difference?
Peter Criss Imani Cross
Now get out there and block somebody.

Share

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.

Share