Tag Archives: jordan westerkamp

Tennessee vs Lockdown U: Your Music City Bowl Preview

Sometimes you wonder how you got somewhere. I have a feeling both Tennessee and Nebraska are wondering how they got to the Music City Bowl.

Tennessee was ranked #9 in preseason polls and picked to win the SEC East at SEC Media Days. I think people started to second guess those predictions when Tennessee went into OT in their season opener against App State. They failed to meet those high expectations and finished behind Florida in the SEC East. The Vols finished conference play with a 4-4 record and against top 25 teams they were 2-2.

The Huskers were on the other side of things. Coming off a 2015 season with a record of 6-7, they weren’t ranked or expected to do much at all. At one point this season they were ranked #7 and on a seven game win streak. They played well with the Badgers and lost in OT, which was a heart breaker. The season kind of fell apart due to injuries after that but my point is that they weren’t ever supposed to be ranked #7 at any point. Neither of these teams were supposed to have either of these seasons. Which, I think is why we all love college football.

Now that I have set the scene, let’s let loose and get delusional like only true fans can do.

Nebraska vs. Tennessee is one of those games that I should probably watch at home by myself because I have already talked myself into a Husker win, and talking yourself into that before the game starts usually leads to a bunch of cuss words being yelled at a TV.

Tennessee was pretty banged up earlier in the season but looks to be mostly healed up and their starters are ready to go. The bad news is that the Huskers can’t say the same. Recently the Huskers have lost QB1, an irreplaceable mustached WR, a safety that can’t bother to attend class, a redshirt freshman WR, and a few recruits. I would like to share something with you. You gotta be down to get up. Any seasoned gambler would know this is the part where you say “I’m due.”

And the Huskers are due.

Tennessee is definitely beatable. Everybody thought they were going to bust out some impressive run this year and talked them up until they went into OT with Appetizer State. They were pretty consistent in the first few games with come from behind wins that every gambler will remember, with that Tennessee – Florida game being especially brutal. But, then there is the bad Tennessee who lost to Vanderbilt in their last game. They are kind of like the Huskers in the way that you just don’t know which team is going to show up.

The Tennessee QB, Josh Dobbs, has thrown for 2,655 yards and 26 touchdowns this season. You might think that sounds like trouble when you look at Ryker Fyfe who has thrown for 315 yards and 2 touchdowns. No, no, no. What that tells me is that Ryker is fresh. Josh Dobbs sounds like he is probably tired and worn out. Ryker is just getting going, Dobbs is ready to retire. I like our odds in the QB category.

Jalen Hurd, Tennessee’s best RB got the hell out of there and flat out left the team midway through the season when a game against Nebraska started to look possible. So they don’t even have their best RB. Again, I like that. I would talk about the Tennessee WRs but that would mean that I don’t have any faith in our defense and it’s not called Lockdown U for nothing, folks. So I’m not going to talk about wide receivers that aren’t even going to touch the ball, that would be a waste of my time. I’m also not that concerned about the Tennessee defense considering UK scored 36 on them and then Mizzou scored 37 actual points. And they lost to VANDERBILT. Even Mizzou beat Vanderbilt! That tells me that their defense is actually nonexistent at times.

To be honest, now I’m even more convinced of a 10 win season. Huskers by two touchdowns. #GBR


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

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Announcing the Big Red Fury Red Elephant Christmas Spectacular

Like, for real. Can someone please explain how exactly the wheels fell off the Big Red wagon the last couple of weeks?

Due to relocating the Big Red Fury World HQ to a new top secret location that almost qualifies as Rose Bowl adjacent, I’ve kind of lost track of what’s been happening with the Huskers (seriously people, don’t ever move) but here’s a rundown of the awesome news I’ve been able to catch.

Unless he gets a last minute leg transplant, Tommy Armstrong probably won’t be playing in the Music City Bowl.  In other words, it’s ride or die time for Ryker.

Noted hot pants wearer Jordan Westerkamp is out due to a torn meniscus. Granted that injury is probably not at all related to his aversion to knee pads but why not do what you can to protect the important goods?

Thanks for the all the memories and good times, roomies.

A bunch of prized recruits decided to peace out… but Keyshawn Jr. didn’t!

And the most baffling of all… senior captain Nate Gerry was ruled ineligible for the Music City Bowl due to flunking some (or all) of his classes, if he even bothered to go in the first place (depending on which rumor you believe).

How in the name of Bob Devaney is it even possible for a student athlete to straight up flunk classes? JFC… I didn’t even have a fraction of the academic resources that are at an athlete’s disposal during my time at Husker U. and somehow managed to graduate as a solid B- student while skipping more than my fair share of classes (and only had to retake one) during that five year span.


Now that the bad news is out of the way, let’s get to the stuff that’s really important.

On Sunday, aka Christmas Day, we’re going to have the first ever Big Red Fury Red Elephant Christmas Spectacular.

What is this, you ask?

Oh, let me tell you.

On Christmas Day, between 1 – 2pm Runza Standard Time, I’m going to tweet out some Husker trivia questions. First correct response for each one wins a red elephant gift.

What’s a red elephant gift, you ask?

Oh, let me tell you.

A red elephant is the same as a white elephant with the major difference being these gifts will be Husker themed and they will be spectacular.

That’s both a threat AND a promise.

Give @BigRed_Fury a follow on Twitter so you don’t miss out on the fun and have a perfect excuse to avoid your family for a while on Christmas Day.


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Sunday Evening Hot Takes: Purdue Edition

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.

sycamore-tavern-crowd
This is the bulk of the crowd that turned up to cheer-on their top 10 Cornhuskers.
Husker Fans
Same spot last year when the Huskers’ season a reached rock bottom not seen since the days of Bill Callahan.

Even Husker super fan and co-host of the Big Red Cobcast Ryan Tweedy (buy his movie, yo) had “better” things to do.

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.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch

Mike Riley Happy Balloon
Mike won a game he had no excuse to lose and never went for it on 4th down so we’re back to the good ol’ regular happy balloon.

Our Score Prediction

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.


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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Illinois Edition

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 tanks in 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

Mike Riley's Family Jewels

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.

Our Score Prediction

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.

Two Tweets, Two 311 References

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

NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

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.

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Sunday Afternoon Hot Takes: Northwestern Edition

While there were a few butt-clenching moments and flashbacks to Northwestern games of yore, the 2016 installment of this young rivalry will probably go down as one of the least memorable games of the season.

And that’s not because the Husker fans who made the trip did their best drink Chicago out of beer.

This Husker team is going on to bigger and better things this season and Ryan Field was just another stop on the way to the next one. While the 24-13 final score wasn’t the flashiest, the Huskers did achieve something quite remarkable en route to the W.

They finally found a way to get out of their own way.

Let’s count the miscues that normally would have spelled certain doom.

  • Two end zone fumbles that took 14 points off the board.
  • A 42 yard touchdown run by Wildcat QB Clayton Thorson. Last year he gashed the Huskers with runs of 68 and 49 yards.
  • A pick six thrown by Tommy. Oh wait. That would-be interception was dropped. Thank you, Wildcat defender.

It was so refreshing to see this team be able to put their mistakes behind them and not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  With Illinois coming to Lincoln next week, we’ll find out if these guys really have turned a corner should they find themselves back in an ominous 3rd and 7 situation.

Where I Watched The Game

Thanks to a “borrowed” BTN2GO password I was able to take the game with me and watch from my summer home at Dodger Stadium. With Vin Scully in his final weekend at Chavez Ravine and Clayton Kershaw pitching, the streams of my two favorite teams had to be crossed.

The Huskers (mostly) had this one in the bag by first pitch so I didn’t bother those sitting around us too much. However, I did have one nice Tourette’s moment when Newby fumbled into the end zone while I was standing in line for Dodger Dogs.

It was a little embarrassing but at least it made the line a lot shorter.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch

Mike went to Chicago, handled his business, and made some new friends.

Our Score Prediction

A little off on this one but at least Northwestern’s kicking woes made the 19 points we predicted for the Wildcats a distinct possibility. (Our scores are averaged from our pre-season predictions.)Had the Kitties scored another touchdown, there’s a good chance their holder who was upgraded to kicker after the starting kicker (who’s really a baseball player) missed a chip shot and a hit the upright on a PAT.

Thank You People Who Found This Amusing

Wildcats, starring Goldie Hawn and a very young Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes turned 30 this year.

NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

8,927: The number of potholes/divots/holes dug to China on the field. This is a true fact. I counted all of them.

.230: Northwestern kicker Jack Mitchell’s career batting average before he hung up the spikes to focus on kicking his senior year.  He’s currently batting .333 when it comes to making field goals.

9: The number of different Huskers who caught passes. (This might be a season high but I’m too lazy to look it up.) Stanley Morgan Jr. led the way with four receptions and Alonzo Moore had the biggest of the night when he hauled in a 59 yarder.

6.6: The Huskers’ average yards per carry was their highest of the season. (I looked it up.) Their lowest average was 3.2 against Wyoming.

132: Tommy broke his career single game rushing record and averaged a brisk 10.2 yards per carry. His previous record was 131 yards against McNeese State in 2014.

10: The number of batters Clayton Kershaw has walked in 142 innings pitched this season. His strikeout to walk ratio is 16.8 to 1.


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Protect ya Neck, Wildcats. The NU-Tang Clan is Bringing da Ruckus to You

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.

nu-tang-clan
As you may recall, when the Wu-Tang Clan broke out in 1993, the Huskers were just getting started of breaking off a 60-3 record over a five year span.

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 D is 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.

C.R.E.A.M.* get that dubby.

NU-Tang Clan – 31

The Other NU – 19

* Cornhuskers Rule Everything Around Me

Here’s your gameday jam. Just swap out the Wu-Tang Clan for NU-Tang when you singalong and you’ll be all set.


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Second Earthquake Strikes Lincoln

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’s brother, 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.

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parkinglot
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.

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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.

RIP Northwestern
RIP Northwestern

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.

I would go into more detail about Northwestern’s team but I don’t want to waste your time talking about a 1-2 team. We all have better things to do than that. Plus, apparently some Northwestern fan is doing a guest blog for us. So keep an eye out for that, or don’t.

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.

P.S. Never Forget.

 

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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Wyoming Edition

The Wyoming Cowboys galloped into Lincoln with all the swagger of a Frontier Days champion and left town with as much confidence as a rodeo clown who is bad at his job.

(Did I just write that? Holy crap. I might be ready for a career in mediocre sports writing.)

In all seriousness though, for three quarters the Wyoming Cowboys gave the Huskers fits… wait… scratch that.

For three quarters, the Huskers gave themselves and Husker Nation fits as miscues took points off the board and kept Wyoming within striking distance to ruin everyone’s day.

Then the 4th quarter started and Nebraska slammed the door on Wyoming by scoring 28 unanswered points in one of the most crowd pleasing 15 minutes in recent Husker history.

Meanwhile, it was a quarter to forget for Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. He had a run where three out of four pass attempts were picked off by the Blackshirts and contributed to another turnover with an errant backwards pass that was smartly scooped up by Dapper Ross Dzuris.

The most memorable play of the final period was Nate Gerry’s first interception on the day. After he was brought down by Allen, Gerry handed the ball back to him and was promptly flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

It’s hard to think of an example of trolling as masterful as giving the ball you just picked off back to the quarterback.

The refs clearly suspected Gerry of malice and promptly flagged him but I like to think Nate was just being helpful and wanted to make sure Wyoming didn’t leave a football behind in Lincoln.

Let’s break it down.

nategerry1
Gerry hands the ball to Allen and turns away so quickly he doesn’t even have time to insult his mother.

nategerry2
Allen then gives a half-assed attempt at letting Gerry keep a souvenir and somehow manages to avoid a flag of his own.

nategerry
It’s so refreshing to see Gerry get flagged without being ejected.

Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch

Mike Riley Happy Balloon
A shiny balloon is a happy balloon.

Our Score Prediction

For a while there, it looked like we overshot the mark but we’ll gladly be wrong when the final score is 52-17.

NUMBERS TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS WITH

3: When he joined the 4th quarter interception party with a pick of his own, Chris Jones extended his INT streak to three games.

5: Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen threw his first five career interceptions  on Saturday.

28: To find the last time the Huskers broke off 28 points in a 4th quarter, you gotta go back to 1996 when they rolled Oklahoma 73-21. They also put up 28 in the final period against Kansas in 1991 and Iowa State in 1984

More numerical surprises I found while looking through the box scores of every high scoring game from the last four decades:

29: Apologies in advance for the trigger warning but if you may recall, the Huskers did have a 29 point rally in the 4th against Purdue last year to bring the final score within 10 points.  For everyone’s sanity and peace of mind we won’t mention that final score.

30: In 1982, the Huskers played their final game of the regular season at Hawaii on December 4. The Big Red entered the 4th quarter down 16-7 and would end up winning 37-16 thanks to what was surely a motivational pep talk from Tom Osborne.

48: In 1984 the Huskers broke the back of the Colorado Buffaloes with a 48 point 3rd quarter. There’s no reason for sharing this other than it’s awesome and is probably some sort of record.

Hope you enjoyed walk down memory lane and yes, I should probably get a new hobby.

57: In case you missed it, Tommy Armstrong now holds the Nebraska record for touchdown passes with 57.

105: Jordan Westerkamp returned to form with 105 receiving yards on just four catches. Westy’s career yardage now stands at 2,059 only 631 yards short of breaking Kenny Bell’s career record.

Finally, in case you missed it, Armstrong and Westerkamp are roommates.


 

 

 

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Welcome to the longest night of the year.

Well everyone, we’ve almost made it. One more night to go and we’ll be waking up to our first Husker game day of the season.

We’ve waited so many long, lonely months and now that we’re mere hours away, the suspense is Bo-Pelini-giving-you-a-root-canal excruciating.

Even Larry can’t handle it.

You’d think for a man of his stature, he’d be able to make it McRib season anytime of year, pork future conspiracy theories be damned.

Since we’re all going to be up into the wee hours of the night, alternating between tossing and turning in bed and fighting the desire to run through the nearest wall, we might as well have a little fun.

First up, Tunnel Walk of Shame returned with a brilliant new comic to start the season. If you didn’t read it first thing this morning, go ahead and click that link. This place isn’t going anywhere.

Now, there are going to be many new faces on both sides of the ball. For your convenience, we whipped up some depth charts to help explain who’s who.

DEPTH CHART - OFFENSE.001

And here’s the how the Huskers will be lining up on defense.

DEFENSE DEPTH CHART FINAL.001
If you want to be the hit of your watch party, here are the depth charts as printable PDFs.

DEPTH CHART – OFFENSE

DEPTH CHART – DEFENSE

When I can’t sleep at night, I’m a big fan of falling down the YouTube rabbit hole. If you’re not sick of watching Husker pump up videos (and if you are, what kind of fan you?), we made two, yes two, for this season.

One is a little ridiculous and the other other is a LOT ridiculous. You can decide for yourself which is which.

Just in case you need to wind down after watching those two, here’s one more that’s all Jordan Westerkamp set to the sweet, sweet sounds of Hall and Oates.

Finally, here’s a little lullaby courtesy of the undisputed greatest team in college football history, your 1995 Nebraska Cornhuskers.

GBR. It’s going to be a good day tomorrow.

 

 

 

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The Big Red Fury Season Preview: Our Most Optimistic Post of the Year

As the calendar lurches towards the start of the season, each passing day brings fans new reasons for hope or dread as college football prognosticators trot out their previews.

Well, we’ve got nothing but good news and better news for you, dear reader. All three of us here at Big Red Fury summoned the ghosts of football future and came away with a consensus opinion.

The Huskers are going to kick a lot of ass this season.

The only question mark is exactly how much ass will be kicked.

Pour yourself a glass of Kool-aid. You’re going to enjoy this preview.

Game 1: Fresno State – September 3

FRESNO STATE FAN
At least one guy is pumped to be living in the Grand Island of California.

KUBRICKIAN GLEE: Tim DeRuyter got off to an auspicious start as Fresno State’s head coach when he landed in the raisin belt capital back in 2012. He won two straight Mountain West Conference titles while amassing a solid 20-6 record. Since then, Tim’s luck has gone to shit. The Bulldogs are just 9-17 over the last two seasons. You may remember Nebraska terrorizing these bastards on their home turf back in 2014 in a 55-19 waxing. Things aren’t going to get much better for the Bulldogs when FSU hits Lincoln for the season opener. Nebraska 49 Fresno State 10.

TODD MUNSON: It’s not BYU so I’m happy. Does the dad from Orange County Choppers still coach the Bulldogs? Huskers roll 42-17 and give fans visions of somewhere between 1995-1997.

LESLIE MICEK: I think it’s going to be a bigger blowout than 35-14 but I’ll stick with with something more realistic. This is the part of the season where anything is possible. I would have said BYU would have been a blowout last year but then I watched them throw a Hail Mary.

Game 2: Wyoming – September 10

WYOMING FANS
Pull your pants up, son. You’re wearing a bucket, old man.

KG: Right about now Craig Bohl might wonder why he exchanged the dynastic FCS bounty of Fargo, North Dakota for the massive headache of trying to run a Division 1 program out of Laramie, Wyoming. Sure, the scenery beats the hell out of Fargo, but former Husker Bohl had become the Tom Osborne of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, forging a run not dissimilar to Nebraska in the mid 1990s. But now? Bohl is the owner of a 6-18 record playing in the God-forsaken Mountain West. Relish those 2015 victories over Nevada and UNLV, Craig, because you and your Cowboys aren’t waking up from your prolonged nightmare any time soon. Nebraska 45 Wyoming 14.

TODD: It’s a rude return to Lincoln for Craig Bohl. Nebraska wins 52-21 in such a convincing fashion that fans will momentarily forget that Oregon is coming to Lincoln the following week.

LESLIE: Wyoming stinks. Huskers win 45-7.

Game 3: Oregon – September 17

Sad Ducks Fans
When your Tinder date turns out to be a juggalo

KG: It’s Duck season! Nebraska fans have this date circled on their calendars the day these two teams were scheduled. Some of the luster may have fallen off, though, after the recently mighty Ducks fell back to Earth a little in 2015 with a disappointing (for them) 9-4 campaign. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost’s departure to UCF also saps a little of the intrigue this game had going for it just a year ago. But seeing Mike Riley get a crack at his old in-state nemesis with an arsenal like he’s never had in Corvalis— there’s still plenty to get excited about.

The Ducks, as usual, will be able to put up some points on the Blackshirts. But Oregon’s own defense is a definite liability. Opponents scored an average of 44 points against Oregon in 2015. And most of that personnel returns in 2016. Throw in a questionable quarterback situation (that has former Husker commit Terry Wilson in the mix), and conditions seem favorable for Mike Riley getting a little payback against the old neighborhood bully. Nebraska 42 Oregon 38.

TODD: This game is the only question mark on the Huskers’ home schedule and there’s no middle ground. A win for the Huskers will mean the sky’s the limit for the season (at least until October 29). A loss, no matter how close, will mark the return of  the dark cloud of doom (at least until October 29.) Best case scenario for this game is that Coach Riley channels his inner John Kreese and sweeps the leg for a full 60 minutes. Huskers win 28-24.

LESLIE: I’m glad they don’t have  Vernon Adams or Scott Frost anymore. Easy to root against them again. Huskers. 28-21.

Game 4: at Northwestern – September 24

NORTHWESTERN FANS
A moment of silence for these poor kids who were rejected by Ivy League schools.

KG: Let’s be honest, before Nebraska joined the Big Ten, what would you have predicted Nebraska’s record would be against Northwestern five seasons in if you’d have bothered to even think about it? 5-0? 4-1, allowing for some strange fiasco of an upset somewhere along the way?

Well, Nebraska is now 3-2 in conference vs. Northwestern. And all but one of those games has turned out to be a nail-biter. Last season’s match was one of a gamut of frustrating, heartbreaking losses within the final minute of play, despite Nebraska outmatching the Wildcats in virtually all facets of the game. The difference in that contest (as with most in 2015) was turnovers. Nebraska had just one against Northwestern, but it was a big one — a 72-yard pick-six with just over seven minutes left in the half. Nebraska was marching on that drive and, had Armstrong’s pass gone the other way, it would’ve meant a 17-7 lead that probably wouldn’t have been relinquished. Instead, the Wildcats took a 14-10 advantage, giving them just enough to stave off Nebraska’s control of the game in the second half.

If Armstrong is new and improved in the turnover department, as some observers have said, things probably won’t be quite as rosy for Northwestern this year. Even with the game in Evanston which, let’s be honest, isn’t a particular advantage for the home team. Nebraska 31 Northwestern 21.

TODD: The good thing about playing Northwestern on the road is you don’t have to worry about the Wildcats coming into Lincoln and finding a new way to humiliate the Huskers. Nebraska hasn’t lost at Evanston since 1931 and they won’t do it again this year. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: Not only am I planning on sneaking onto the sidelines again at that embarrassment that they call Ryan Field, I’m planning on dancing after a bunch of touchdowns. Huskers 34-does it even matter? Northwestern is losing.

Game 5: Illinois – October 1

ILLINOIS FANS
Sorry, Chief. Lovie Smith won’t save your Illini from another horrible season.

KG: Prior to the Purdue debacle, Illinois was the absolute nadir of Nebraska’s season in 2015. I still boil with anger when I recall the manner in which Nebraska squandered a 13-0 4th quarter lead only to lose in the final ten damn seconds. It was like watching the scene in Austin Powers when the security guard screamed for a solid 60 seconds as Powers’ steamroller inched toward him. All he had to do. All Nebraska had to do. Was step out of the way.

When the Illini come to Lincoln this year, expect something more akin to the Pelini-era outcomes. Nebraska 49 Illinois 17

TODD: Just to prove that last season was a total aberration, the Huskers should run the ball every time they face a 3rd & 7 and rack up 150+ bonus yards in the process. Chief Illiniwek gets wrecked 42-10.

LESLIE: I’m worried because Illinois will be coming off a bye week and I’m just kidding. Huskers 31-14.

Bye week – October 8

KG: I’ll be driving the choo-choo at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch.

TODD: Do some yard work. Reintroduce yourself to your family.

LESLIE: I predict Nebraska will win.

Game 6: at Indiana – October 15

INDIANA
A capacity crowd was on-hand for Indiana’s season opener last year.

KG: One of the most intriguing matches of 2016 is Nebraska’s trip to Bloomington. The Hoosiers have the most statistically dominant offense in the Big Ten — although, talent-wise, that title probably should go to Ohio State. Nonetheless, Indiana can put up some points and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Just ask the 2014 SEC East champions, Missouri. The Tigers fell to Indiana 31-27. On the heels of an Indiana loss to Bowling Green, too. 

The Hoosiers will be game for a basketball-type score (what else would you expect), but Nebraska should have no trouble tearing through Indiana’s defense. This one is going to be a track meet (and a little too close for comfort) but I see Nebraska pulling it out. Nebraska 41 Indiana 34. 

TODD: This is Nebraska’s sixth season as a member of the Big Ten and it’s their first time squaring off against Indiana as a conference opponent. Your days of dodging the Big Red are over, Indiana. Huskers win 55-21.

LESLIE: A battle to the death of two teams coming off 6-7 records. Only difference is that Nebraska is a lot better than their record shows. Also, Indiana plays Ohio St. the week before and Nebraska comes off a bye. Sorry, Indiana. Huskers 45-17.

Game 7: Purdue – October 22

PURDUEPhotos of Purdue fans do not exist on the internet so here are some Indiana fans insulting the ladies of Purdue.

KG: Revenge will be at hand. Purdue is the worst team in the Big Ten and they will come to Lincoln having poked the gorilla with its ridiculous 55-45 win last year. Look for Nebraska to eliminate the five turnovers that turned last season’s match into an embarrassment. Nebraska 49 Purdue 17.

TODD: The Huskers should save the Boliermakers the trouble of a road trip and just schedule an Indiana/Purdue double header the week before. Or, they could give Tommy the week off and let Ryker start so he can get chance at cold-blooded revenge. Huskers win 38-24.

LESLIE: Goals for the Purdue game this year: under 4 interceptions, rush more than 77 yards, and win. Simple. Huskers 37-14.

Game 8: at Wisconsin – October 29

badgersfansWisconsin fans are creeps.

KG: Quick trivia question: What is Nebraska’s combined record vs. Big Ten juggernauts Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State?

Is it a) 4-10 or b) 10-4?

If you said “b” 10-4, give yourself a cigar! This cherry-picked bit of knowledge belies the notion that Nebraska has struggled in its time in the Big Ten. Nebraska has, in fact, posted the 4th best league record since joining the conference in 2011. While it hasn’t quite hit the mark that most Husker fans anticipated heading in to the Big Ten, Nebraska has held its own in virtually every category. Except one.

Playing Wisconsin.

Oy. I wonder if Barry Alvarez has any mixed emotions seeing the Monster of Madison he created bat his alma mater around like Lennie Small petting a scared bunny. While Mike Riley’s Huskers did a great job of not allowing the Badgers to embarrass Nebraska (in a way Pelini rarely could), the last second loss was still among the hardest to stomach in 2015. Andy Janovich’s 55-yard burst up the middle in the waning minutes of the game had Husker fans believing the Wisconsin demon had been exorcised. But no, the Cheesehead Linda Blair had one more gullet of projectile vomit to spew in our collective faces.

It will be tough. But I think Nebraska goes to Madison and takes care of business. It helps that Wisconsin, I believe, is on a slow downtick from its respectable run of the last decade. Nebraska 28 Wisconsin 24.

TODD: Welcome to the first installment of the most terrifying two weeks of the season. Since joining the Big Ten, the Huskers’ average margin of defeat when playing at Madison has been a robust 33 points. For the sake of it being August and all, I’ll go out on a limb and say Mike Riley delivers an eat shit and FU of his own to the troglodytes who call themselves Badger fans. Huskers 24 Badgers 21.

LESLIE: Don’t be scared, Todd. The Blackshirts won’t be. Huskers 24-17.

Game 9: at Ohio State – November 5

columbusriot1
This is what happens when Columbus runs out of Cincinnati Chili.

KG: Ohio State. What’s there to say, really? Urban Meyer scares the shit out of me. And so does the talent level in Columbus. Still, in this age of parity, no team is absolutely invincible. Nebraska will get beat in The Horseshoe. But make no mistake, Riley and his squad will make a game of it. Nebraska 28 Ohio State 34.

TODD: If you’re traveling to this game, here are two things to know: 1) It’s only 175 miles from Columbus to Youngstown and 2) Bo Pelini and his Penguins will be playing on the road at North Dakota St. If you regret not egging his house when he lived in Lincoln, this is your big chance to make amends and give yourself at least one thing you’ll want to remember because I don’t see how the Huskers can escape that burning couch of a state with a win. Ohio State 35 Nebraska 21.

LESLIE: Todd doesn’t seem to understand that it’s August and this is the time right after depression and right before reality. The perfect time for optimism. The Huskers are going to walk right into that dump called Ohio Stadium and make that WR coach Zach Smith want to delete his twitter account. I hope they pass the ball 100% of the time and win so we can all tag him with the #Shhh hashtag that he loves so much. Westerkamp, DPE, Reilly, and Stan the Man are gonna get savage all up in Coach Smith’s face. Honest to god, I hate that guy. Shut him the hell up. Huskers 28-21.

Game 10: Minnesota – November 12

sel 4078Minnesota Nebraska
If you don’t have enough fans who are willing to spell out your team’s name, you don’t deserve to have a team.

KG: Jerry Kill had a remarkable run at Minnesota, moving the Gophers from an after-thought to a solid middle-of-the-conference program. I genuinely feel bad for Jerry and his health issues. But I’m not sorry to see him absent from the opposite sideline of Nebraska. The Husker dominance of Minnesota resumed in 2015. Onward. Nebraska 45 Minnesota 21.

TODD: A week of many hack Caddyshack jokes being made by this site culminates with the Huskers starting a new win streak at the expense of the Gophers who will find themselves hiding near the bottom of the Big Ten West standings. Huskers win 31-17.

LESLIE: If the Huskers could beat you last year, they can definitely beat you this year. Huskers 55-21.

Game 11: Maryland – November 19

MARYLAND FANS
Supposedly this is what Maryland fans look like.

KG: Maryland and Nebraska meet for the first time ever in Memorial Stadium. Since the two teams are unfamiliar with each other, it’s good news for Nebraska that the Terps are about as intimidating as a squad of actual turtles. Nebraska 51 Maryland 24

TODD: You might remember Maryland as the team who had those atrocious uniforms a couple seasons back, or for their most famous alumni (Shawne Merriman) dating Tila Tequila. If you need to use this weekend to prep for Thanksgiving you’re in luck. This game won’t be close. Huskers 42 Maryland 20.

LESLIE: Three wins last year? Good lord. Stick to basketball, Maryland. Huskers win by a billion.

Game 12: at Iowa – November 25

IOWA FANS
When Iowa fans realize their welfare checks aren’t big enough to cover Powerball tickets or an oil vaporizer pen and the Vape juice.

KG: The worst 12-0 regular season program I’ve ever had the displeasure of witnessing take the gridiron. As snake-bit as Nebraska was in 2015, Iowa was itself holding aces all season. But both teams showed their true colors in bowl games — a solid 37-29 victory over UCLA by Nebraska (a healthy margin that, quite frankly could’ve been even healthier) and a 45-16 ass shellacking of Iowa by Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Iowa made rings to mark their 12-0 regular season accomplishment. Good for them. Fucking losers. Nebraska 45 Iowa 10.

TODD: Mike Riley puts the exclamation point on #IOWAHATEWEEK by stealing the keys to Herky Hawkey’s El Camino and burning some donuts on the 50 yard line of Kinnick Stadium following a Huskers blowout victory.  Huskers win 38-14.

LESLIE: If I was running things, Iowa would have to sit out a year for that Rose Bowl performance. But since it doesn’t look like that is going to happen, Nebraska is going to have to play them. Unlike last season, Iowa actually has to play some real teams before Nebraska, so there is no chance they go into this undefeated again. As you can tell, I actually have the opposite. Nebraska is going in there undefeated this year and kicking some Iowa ass. Leave me alone. A person can dream. Huskers 21-17.

(But for real, watching Iowa collapse at the Rose Bowl was the highlight of last season.)

Final regular season tally:

KG: Huskers go 11-1 with a loss to Ohio State.
TODD: Same.
LESLIE: Huskers run the table and go 12-0.

Remember, what you just read is published on the internet, so you know it’s true. GBR.

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