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Halloween Huskers 2015

As if this season needed to be any more frightening, it’s time continue a tradition that started last year. Here are some fresh Halloween costume ideas for Husker players, coaches, and a few hangers-on.

Mike Riley as Roy Munson

Mike Riley Roy Munson

As much as Mike resembles the pride of Ocelot, Iowa, this choice is also symbolic as Coach Riley has found himself Munsoned in the middle of nowhere with a fan base that’s making their pitchforks a little sharper with each passing week. As someone who happens to share Roy’s cursed last name, I’ve somehow never dressed as him for Halloween but I did get to meet his landlord this past summer so I’ve got that going for me.

Mark Banker as Kevin Costner

Mark Banker Kevin Costner

Maybe Kev could use some of the spy skills he picked up from his recent flops to help Banker solve the mystery of what happened to the Blackshirts.

Mike Cavanaugh as Jim Ross

Mike Cavanaugh Jim Ross

You can almost hear the legendary WWE announcer screaming “My God, the  man never substitutes his offensive line!”

Danny Langsdorf as Dorf

Danny Lansdorf Dorf

Because nothing shows your relevance to a bunch of 18-year-old kids by dressing as a character from the 80s so forgotten that a good photo doesn’t even exist on the internet.

Shawn Eichorst as The Shermanator

Shawn Eichorst Shermanator

We can only hope that one day a sophisticated robot Athletic Director will be sent back from time to change the future for the Huskers.

Mark Philipp as Leonidas

Mark Philipp Leonidas

You know Mark has this outfit hanging in his closet ready to go at a moment’s notice whether it’s Halloween or not.

Sam Foltz as Joe Dirt

Sam Foltz Joe Dirt

As a fellow Grand Island native, I can say on good authority that Thunderleg is just one sweet IROC away from absolutely nailing this look.

Andy Janovich as Dalton

Andy Janovich Dalton

If the Huskers don’t make it to a bowl game, here’s hoping Andy commemorates his Senior Day by ripping out the throat of an Iowa player in the middle of a touchdown run.

Tom Shatel as Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

Tom Shatel Bobby Heenan

At the rate this season has been unraveling, the brains of the World-Herald will be turning heel before you know it. Going as Bobby for Halloween will be a great warm up.

Mike’l Severe as Mickey, the guy who cut the tag off a mattress

Mike'l Severe Mickey

Possibly the only costume choice of the 80s more random than Stiles from Teen Wolf but Mike’l has the obscure film knowledge to make it work.

Dirk Chatelain as Jared from Subway

Dirk Chatelain Jared from Subway

Yes. This one is in absolutely poor taste but when all you need to pull off a costume that will get the whole neighborhood talking (and the police making unannounced visits) is a pair of glasses and foot long, you just gotta do it.

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Breaking Down the Bankshirts’ Worst Play

What’s up, reader(s)? Miss us? Don’t worry, this humble little slice of the Husker internet didn’t decide to run for cover now that Big Ten play is here.

This week got kind of turned upside down due to attending an AC/DC concert Monday night at Dodger Stadium. As hard as they tried (thanks for ears that are still ringing and a two day hangover) Angus Young and company could not blast the memory of one particularly horrific play the Bankshirts made against Southern Miss out of my head.

Starting with that darn Hail Mary (or Hail Joseph Smith), the age of the Bankshirts has been maligned to the point that the names Mark Banker and Kevin Cosgrove are starting to appear together in pieces by Brandon Cavanaugh and Steve Sipple which is never a good sign.

So, without further ado, the Bankshirts’ play that sticks in my craw more than any other happened with 9:30 left to play and the Huskers comfortably leading 36 – 21. Southern Miss was starting a drive at their own 25 yard line and quarterback Nick Mullens threw a short pass to running back Ito Smith as he sneaked his way out of the backfield. It was a nice safe choice to start a drive that was sure to gain a nice little chunk of yardage towards another first down.

Except for the fact that it netted 39 yards and more missed tackles than I have the ability to count.

Here’s how it started…

BustedPlay1

Freedom Akinmoladun
and Greg McMullen rush Mullens like they’re trying to scare off a bear. Mullens flings the ball off to Ito who’s all alone.

BustedPlay2

Have no fear, Nate Gerry is there to limit Ito’s catch to a only a five yard gain. Oops.

BustedPlay3

Over on the offensive side of the ball, Keith Williams‘ number one rule for his receivers is to make the first defender miss. Surely that philosophy can’t be a universal phenomenon so we’ll give Gerry a pass because Chris Jones is there to try to back him up.  And because football is a team sport, Mohamed Barry adds a whiff of his own while Dedrick Young gets blocked all the way out to Waverly.

BustedPlay4

From here, the Bankshirts kick in a ferocious level of pursuit not seen since that one time Jack Hoffman scored a touchdown.

BustedPlay5

Luckily, Byerson Cockrell remembers they’re playing a game that counts and swoops in with a potential touchdown saving tackle. Southern Miss would go on to score 8 plays later after Josh Kalu was unjustly charged with a pass interference call the negated his interception at the goal line. On the upside, three and a half minutes were chewed off the clock.

Will things get better for the Bankshirts against Illinois on Saturday?

Hard to say but it will also be hard to do much worse than this complete and total meltdown.

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Ten Things to Know About The South Alabama Jaguars

10. 1963 – The year the University of South Alabama (USA, USA, USA) was established.

9. 2009 – The inaugural season for the South Alabama Jaguars football team. They finished 7-0, playing a slate of home games against military prep academies.

8. 2014 – The first season South Alabama qualified for a bowl game. They posted a 6 – 7 regular season record (5 – 3 in the Sun Belt Conference, good enough for 6th place) and faced Bowling Green in the Camellia Bowl, which turned out to have a wild finish. The Falcons had to fight off a 4th quarter rally by the Jaguars before locking up a 33 – 28 victory.

Joey Jones got kicked in the face at the Camellia Bowl and kept on coachin’.

7. 6 years – If you’re too lazy to do the math or make the connection between the previous two facts, South Alabama went from absolute zero to a bowl game by its sixth season which pretty much means that Jaguars coach Joey Jones is like the ultimate Tim Miles but instead of inheriting a mid-level team and a sweet new arena,  he built his program from flippin’ scratch.

6. $60 – Three Andrew Jacksons will get you a SEASON TICKET in the end zone at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for South Alabama’s entire home schedule. You may have seen Ladd-Peebles Stadium in the news recently when Donald Trump held a rally there resulting in this glorious, glorious photo.

Crazy Lady at Trump Rally

5. Number 5While South Alabama might not be long on tradition, the tradition of who wears number 5 is one that any football fan can respect. Each year, Coach Jones selects a senior to wear number 5 in memory of running back Anthony Mostella who died in a motorcycle accident at age 22 in 2010. This year’s number 5 is running back Terrance Timmons, a 5’7″ 180lb speedster who broke off a 49 yard run last week against Gardner-Webb.

4. 17,444 – The average attendance for a Jaguars home game last season including a season high 38,129 who turned up when South Alabama hosted Mississippi State (who was unranked at the time.) And while we’re here, we might as well point out that the largest crown South Alabama ever played in front of was 87,266 on the road against Tennessee in 2013.

3. Xavier Johnson – The redshirt sophomore running back could very well be South Alabama’s X-Factor (zing!) this season. Last week he made the most of Joey Jones’ game time decision to name him starter. He broke off a school record 92 yard touchdown run and added a 56 yard touchdown run for good measure.

2. Spread offense – Depending on who you believe, South Alabama’s spread offense could give Mark Banker’s Blackshirts a hard time or be right in his wheelhouse.

1. One – As in the number of starters the Jaguars return on defense. South Alabama operates out of a 4-2-5 base defense (what TCU runs) which can be help level the field for inexperienced defensive units. If the Huskers want to get their running game figured out, the Jaguars could provide a great test.

 

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Sunday Morning Hot Takes: BYU Edition

Welcome to our first edition of Sunday Morning Hot Takes where we’ll be delivering a fresh, steaming pile of hot takes following every Husker game.

So… how ’bout that BYU game?

If you’re reading this, congratulations on making it through the night to see another sunrise. I haven’t yet ventured outside but I’ll go out on a limb and say that the sun has kept its 4.5 billion year streak of being where it’s supposed to be going for a least one more day.

Granted, that final second of regulation ended with as much shock and horror as seeing an animal shelter get napalmed but we can get through this Husker Nation.

It’s a long season. There will be peaks. There will valleys. And there’s a pretty damn good chance that 90,000 fans will not get their hearts ripped out on the final play of a game at Memorial Stadium for a long, long time. (Or at least a few weeks.)

Mola Ram BYU
Who knew Mola Ram was a BYU fan?

Before we dive into the hot takes, we must first drop the worst humble brag ever. In our interview with former BYU linebacker Austen Jorgensen, there was a little nugget where he absolutely nailed the outcome of the game.

Austen Jorgensen Prediction

ON WITH THE HOT TAKES!

Mike Riley: Two things are clearly apparent: 1) He does not rattle under pressure and he certainly had his fair share on Saturday. One can only imagine he keeps a screaming chamber in his basement.

MeditationChamber-ESB
A visualization of Mike Riley’s top secret screaming chamber.

2) Even at 62-years-old, his heart his clearly in tip top shape. Yes, he slumped over when the refs signaled touchdown but he walked off the field under his own power. Even as cold blooded as he is, Bill Snyder would not have survived that ending.

Coach Riley’s calmness must be contagious because it even carried over to Husker Twitter. These tweets were from when things weren’t exactly going right.

Behold the calmness and rational thoughts!

Tommy Armstrong: Holy crap did he look sharp. Yes, he had a few low points (and one crazy pass that gave Husker Nation a T-Magic flashback) but overall he clearly bought into what Danny Langsdorf is selling. Our DVR mercifully stopped recording with 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter but his pass to Brandon Reilly the final time the Huskers had the ball was a sight to behold and his best pass of the game. He put the ball exactly where it needed to go. Tommy just needs to remember he has a pretty fast set of wheels underneath him and be a little quicker when it comes to deciding to tuck the ball and run.

Danny Langsdorf: Hey man, the Huskers are kind of known for running the ball. Maybe you could add some more of those plays next week? And that number 32, he’s kind of a beast. Maybe call his number a few more times. Oh, but it was really cool when you mixed up some of the old stuff following Nate Gerry’s interception. Do more of that and Husker fans will love you long time.

Jordan Westerkamp:  Another season opener. Another jaw dropping catch. Say what you will about Adidas, but they at least know how to make a jersey that stays in one piece.

Jordan Westerkamp Catch
The Huskers got their first points on this season on this nice little stretch play. Please, tip your server.

Mark Banker’s Defense: Every time I started writing a stupid tweet (note to self: you can save drafts) that said Mark Banker was an anagram for Kevin Cosgrove, the Blackshirts adjusted and got a stop. They’ll figure out how to stop a Hail Mary eventually. 

Sam Foltz: Best wishes to Thunder Leg for speedy recovery. It was really great to see the Huskers pay tribute to him by not punting and scoring a bunch of points instead for a while there in the second half but how about Tyson Broekemeier stepping up huge when the Huskers truly needed to punt?

Tanner Mangum Granted, he’s a freshman who graduated high school in 2012 but he’s still a freshman playing in his very first game. On the road. At Nebraska. And he walked off Tom Osborne field swinging the biggest pair of stones of the day. Hopefully the BYU equipment team will get him a helmet that fits now that he’s officially a legendary quarterback and switch the letters on his jersey so that his last name magically becomes Magnum. If you’re gonna have eyebrows that look like a pair of Tom Selleck mustaches you might as well play the part. Plus, how sweet would it be if he took the field to the theme from Magnum?

TANNER MAGNUM
Tanner Mangum is 6’3″ but stands 5’3” with the over-sized helmet.

KEEPING IT CLASSY: Thanks to our handy guide to drinkin’ in Lincoln for BYU fans blowing up on BYU Twitter earlier this week, we sort of became unofficial ambassadors of Husker Nation. We’re thrilled to see that Husker fans were living up to their reputation. Good job, everyone.

BYU TWEETS

FINAL NUMBERS:

17: The number of are you still alive? text messages I received from various family and friends in the minutes and hours that followed the game.

6: Points left off the board by missed field goals. Drew Brown will get it back on track. Maybe it’s not too late to get Alex Henery on-board as a volunteer coach?

0: Number of concerned texts I received from my otherwise lovely wife. When I told her about the heartbreaking outcome, she chuckled before saying, “Wait, I thought they always played a high school team so would always won their first game? Did they lose to a high school team?”  She grew up an LSU fan, btw.

38 – 24: Our score prediction as modeled by one of Hollywood Blvd’s Spider-Men. With the Blackshirts holding and the offense rolling, this prediction was lining up to come true.

Spider-man Hollywood Blvd

STUFF THAT’S NEITHER A NUMBER OR A HOT TAKE:

Unsung Hero of the Day: My KMASHI battery. While it may not be as sleek and slender as a ridiculously overpriced Mophie, it’s built like an offensive lineman and will take your mobile device from zero back up to full power many times over on a single charge. I can’t remember the last I even charged the thing but even with one bar it charged my phone twice yesterday. Plus, it has 2 USB ports so you can help out a friend in need. Best $13.99 you can spend.

Hilarious Twitter account you need to follow (especially if you’re also a soccer fan): Throwball for Brits.

Finally, the award for Most Click-Baity Headline of the Day goes to the otherwise rock solid Hail Varsity crew.

The “featured” tweets belong to Faux Pelini, the Huskers, Hunter Radenslaben, Sam McKewon, the Huskers, Dewayne Wade, Tim Miles, Todd McShane, and Ron Kellogg.

I’m sure they’re all thrilled and flattered to see their tweets in virtual print. Next time, try to feature more people like Hunter. Might help your engagement.

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