Tag Archives: miami

Monday Rage: Who Woke Up Angry About Miami?

Welcome to the first installment of Monday Rage for 2015.

We wish we didn’t have to pull this feature out at all this season but as we did more than a few times last year, every Monday we’ll provide a snapshot into the mood and ever so fragile psyche of Husker Nation on the off chance they lose a game.  (Note: BYU was such an aberration, it did not deserve the Monday Rage treatment.)

Thanks to Twitter, conducting this research is all too easy. Our only ground rule is only the freshest tweets will be highlighted, there’s no dipping back into Sunday when the wounds of a Husker loss were still fresh. Nope, we want fans to have time for things to cool off and scab over.

Good times.

Before we dive in, we’d like to introduce a new feature we’re calling Mike Riley’s Balloon Watch.

This is Mike Riley and his balloon at the start of the season.

Mike Riley Happy Balloon

This is Mike Riley and his balloon following the Miami game.

MikeRiley Sad Balloon

Will Mike’s balloon be back to full strength following the Southern Miss game? Let’s hope so. Our Photoshop skills are extremely marginal at best.


Look at that positivity. Way to kick things off on the right note, @DellthDude.



Brilliant use of the rage emoji to spell Bo. WHY HAVEN’T WE SEEN THIS UNTIL NOW?

Apparently it doesn’t count as a “red zone trip” if you catch the ball outside of the red zone and truck on through it for a touchdown.

Why turn to your therapist for life’s important questions when you can tweet a couple dudes with a sports talk show?

We like Kevin’s style.

Nailed it. And thank you dear reader(s) for clicking on this story.

Overall, we’d that that the psyche of Husker Nation is holding strong at the moment. We’ll see how it does as the season progresses or (heaven forbid) regresses.


Sunday Morning Hot Takes: Miami Edition

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Morning Hot Takes!

Holy schnikes. Who would have predicted that Mike Riley era would have spiraled into high drama just three games into his first season?

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover so let’s get to the hot takes.

ALEX LEWIS: Went on a Facebook/Twitter rampage this morning.

Um… dude… just put on your hater blockers and don’t worry about what the eggs are saying. And really people, just save yourself the drama and temptation to be a jackass and don’t follow players on social media.

POP QUIZ: What’s worse than watching your favorite team lose?

Watching your two favorite teams lose in one day.

I still have mixed feeling about what I did  (and feel free to question the status of my Nebraskan citizenship) but with the Huskers trailing 33 – 10 in the fourth quarter, I decided to jump ship and head to the Dodger game. Clayton Kershaw was pitching and the prospect of snagging a seat above the bullpen to watch him warm up was a lot more appealing than continuing to watch what was spiraling down the drain in Miami.

(For the record, I did listen to the game the rest of the way and suffered the embarrassment of getting busted screaming in public when the Huskers tied it up.)

Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw gets ready to go to work.

All in I spent a total of 7 hours watching my two favorite teams lose. Still, it was not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

If anyone needs to be blamed for the Huskers’ loss let’s blame the Captain America of Hollywood Blvd. With our Californians for Nebraska watch site a mere three blocks from the Hollywood Blvd freak show, I thought it’d be fun recurring gag to have characters model our score prediction every week.

Hollywood Blvd Captain America

The only rule I set for doing this is I have to go with the first character with whom I cross paths. Yesterday, it was a dead heat between Cap and Chewbacca. I rolled the dice on Cap thinking he’d be the lesser of the two crazies.

Boy was I wrong.

Before we got started, I explained to Cap what he needed to do (stand there, wear a hat) and handed him five bucks (a nice bump from the standard buck a photo). Cap then proceeded to art direct our photo shoot and when we wrapped, he asked me for another five because his charges ten a photo. FYI: It is illegal for the characters to name a price. Besides, the dude made five bucks in 30 seconds so F-him in the pie hole.

EXCUSES: Let’s stop making them. Even if Bo did his grocery shopping at the 99 Cent Store, Division I athletes are Division I athletes. Yes, it can take time to learn new plays and schemes but it isn’t like these guys are suddenly playing a whole new sport.

Congrats to Caneshades. There’s nothing we can do but tip our cap and stand by the road and cheer as the winners go by.

Dirk Chatelain threw pretty some serious shade in the Huskers’ general direction in his post game story:

Truth is, Nebraska is lacking talent and/or depth in key areas. Defensive end. Linebacker. Cornerback. Offensive line. Wide receiver. Running back. Tight end. OK, lots of key areas.

Pelini didn’t recruit well the past few years. And Riley’s staff hasn’t maximized what they have, especially on defense. Bad combination.

And Dirk even dropped a “my goodness” in there so you know he means business.


Make yourself feel less worse by relishing in the glorious misery of others. And if you need moar, here’s a great gallery from SB Nation (h/t @joejanecek)

TOP HUSKER TWEETS FROM PEOPLE YOU AREN’T ALREADY FOLLOWING:  C’mon, Hail Varsity. Let’s try to branch out a little next time. There’s some gold to be found on twitter from people who aren’t Gabrielle Union.

FINALLY: Still haven’t checked in with the buddy in question but if I don’t hear from him by this afternoon I will send out a search party.



Your Nebraska vs Miami Pep Talk

This year’s edition of the Nebraska vs Miami really seems to have lost its luster, hasn’t it?

There’s been nary a bit of smack talk out of Florida, unless you want to count CaneShades‘ meltdown as smack talk.

Heck, not even Miami’s players have done anything to warrant bulletin board material. Remember last year when they stooped to harassing Jordan Westerkamp over Instagram?

I’ll be the first to admit this year’s match up of two historic rivals has as much hype as a 38 Special and REO Speedwagon double bill on a Thursday night at the Hall County Fair.

But you know what?

I woke up this morning and realized that IT’S FLIPPING GAME DAY AGAINST MIAMI!!!

Who cares if one team is rebuilding and the other is treading water in the deep end of the ACC?


As soon as the game kicks off, nobody watching is going to care that it’s being played at mid-day instead of under the prime time lights.

This is Miami’s chance for some Husker get back and it’s the Huskers chance to show they’re heading back in the right direction where they belong in the top 25.

Look, the BYU game was an aberration. At this point just consider it a glorified dress rehearsal where, despite all the hiccups, the Huskers came up one second short.

South Alabama gave a us a glimpse of what Mike Riley’s Huskers just might be capable of.

Now they’re in Miami with a mostly full squad (can’t wait to see you back DPE and Beastmasterit’s time for Mike Riley to show the world that he and his Huskers mean business.

It’s time for Tommy to be turned loose like Tommie.

It’s time for the Fullback Trap to make a comeback.



Nebraska vs Miami: Breaking Down the Play of the Game

Before we turn our focus to Nebraska’s Big Ten opener with Illinois, let’s take one final look at the Miami game – specifically the play that was the final nail in Hurricanes’ coffin.

It was a thing of Blackshirt beauty and was no accident.

The Huskers settled for a field goal to go up by 10 with nine minutes remaining in the 4th quarter. Miami got the ball back starting from their own 25. Four plays and barely two minutes later, they were at the Nebraska 35 but had stalled out.

Looking down the barrel an absolutely crucial 4th and 4, Nebraska called time out and Coach Papuchis “saw something” and called for true freshman Josh Kalu to drop into zone coverage.

What Igor signaled was a classic example of pattern matching.

(Quick plug time: If you really want to learn about what makes a defense tick, Chris Brown‘s Essential Smart Football is the best $7.49 you will ever spend.)

Now back to the play at hand. It’s 4th and 4 at the Nebraska 35. The Huskers had finally found an answer for Hurricanes’ screen passes and had all but shut down running back Duke Johnson. The most appealing option left for Miami would be a pass along the sideline to one of their hoss receivers. This is a well they dipped into throughout the night with much success.

As Nebraska lines up for the snap, notice how deep Nate Gerry is playing.


This is all just  a ruse. As Miami’s Brad Kaaya begins his snap count, Gerry creeps towards the line of scrimmage but he’s not blitzing.

Notice how Gerry comes set at the exact moment Kaaya receives the snap.

The play begins and Kalu starts shuffling back to cover Miami’s slot receiver until he breaks to the inside. Instantly, Kalu hands him off to Gerry who is positioned perfectly to continue covering the receiver.

Seamlessly “turning over” a receiver to another defender is a key element of pattern matching.

Kaaya releases the ball under the assumption that he’s throwing into one-on-one coverage, a situation where Miami’s receiving corps dominated the entire game- until Josh Kalu seemingly appears out of nowhere and intercepts the ball so effortlessly you’d think it was thrown to him on purpose.

This pass had 1st down written all over it until Josh Kalu said otherwise.

Among all the big time plays Nebraska made Saturday night, this one was the biggest. A perfect, designed outcome in a clutch situation. Kalu’s grand entrance on the Blackshirt stage was reminiscent of an unknown kid by the name of Eric Hagg being turned loose at the end of the 2009 Gator Bowl and coming up huge with a pass break up and a sack when Clemson was looking at a 1st and ballgame from the Nebraska 10 yard line.

While the Husker peanut gallery would love a big play every time the Blackshirts are on the field, the years have shown Pelini doesn’t reach for the ace in the hole until his team is right on the edge of falling into one.

Think of it as the Blackshirt  version of Hulking up.


It’s Time Coach Papuchis Got a Nickname

Unlike the half dozen or so fans at our Husker watch site afflicted with a Tourette’s like compulsion to yell some variation of Papuchis any time there’s a Blackshirt miscue, I will proudly go on record and say that I love the guy.

While this love for John Papuchis isn’t quite at the level of a serious man crush, there is solid admiration for a dude of decidedly modest stature who can lead and motivate a legion bad asses and doesn’t melt when Bo Pelini’s rage goes thermonuclear.

Papuchis 1
Papuchis may not melt under the glare of Pelini but a little personal security is never a bad idea.

In fact, as the match up with Miami showed, it appears his third season as Defensive Coordinator is a charm for Papuchis. Watch as he harnesses Pelini’s rage into his own after the interception that was nullified due to a bogus roughing the passer call.


Just look at that laser focus. Papuchis is like a lion cub stalking his very first prey. He ignores Kenny Bell’s plea to get out of the scrum and tentatively joins the polite conversation. Notice how he licks his lips and goes for the kill. You can clearly tell he’s saying ‘after his pass’ to hammer home Pelini’s argument. While his head veins might not have the same bulge as his boss’, it’s clear Papuchis has forgotten what it’s like to know fear- like a guy who has spent a lot of time being exposed to Heart of Darkness kind of stuff.

Seriously, just look at the way he bares his fangs. Papuchis might have a baby face but that is the look of a man ready to tear out his first throat.

Pelini Papuchis

But where have we seen this expression before?

John Papuchis vs Igor

Oh hello, Igor.

Before you say bestowing the nickname Igor upon Papuchis is rude, consider for a moment the monsters he and his master have created. These are but only two of their masterpieces.

Randy Gregory-2

Ndamukong Suh


Recap: Husker Red Storm Sends Hurricanes Packing

As Saturday night’s slug fest entered the 4th round, this is what the Miami Hurricanes had to say on Facebook.

Miami Facebook 1

While Husker Nation would probably chose different, non-misspelled F-word to describe the antics of the Hurricanes, Bo Pelini scoured his defensive playbook for that one play where the biggest bad ass on the field destroys the opposing quarterback.

Oh Brad Kaaya, you’re so lucky Randy Gregory will be playing on Sundays next year.

After running back Duke Johnson got stuffed on the following play, Miami responded with the force of a Category 5 hurricane.

Miami Facebook 2

14:35 later, the Canes would have to settle being the first team to ever to be booed out of Memorial Stadium and went back to Miami with their collective tail between their legs. There would be no strippers or blow waiting for them upon landing at MIA.

But at least they had well wishes of Kenny Bell to keep them company on the long ride home.

Of all the “big” wins in the Bo Pelini era, taking down Miami was by far the most satisfying. Provided they don’t slip up next week against Illinois, this could very well go down as the game that solidifies the Huskers for the season and perhaps years to come.

Miami took the field with all their swagger from the days of yore. After drawing first blood on the first drive of the game, the table was set for another Husker meltdown.

Instead, this generation’s Hurricanes were given a clinic in what Husker Power is all about. Tommy Armstrong responded by leading a touchdown drive of his of his own (capped by a 40 yard strike to Kenny Bell) and it was game on.

Every time there was a miscue (fumble, interception, dumb penalty) or fight that could have blown the wheels off the Husker Wagon, the team rebounded and stayed focused. This was by far the most mentally strong Bo Pelini’s Huskers have ever been.

For 60 minutes they went toe-to-toe, mano-a-mano, and didn’t take any shit from those shit talkers from the the 305.

Late in the game when the Canes stole a page from the Cobra Kai playbook and tried to rip Ameer Abdullah’s head clean off, the Huskers responded with the kind of play that got the blood of the East Stadium Blue Hairs pumping for the first time since the mid 90’s.

Ameer Abdullah's Neck
The look of a ref who’s afraid he’ll have to tell his boss that a player was decapitated on his watch.

While Nebraska’s final score wasn’t a full back trap up the gut, it was a thing of vintage Husker power football beauty.

Let’s break it down-

Hats on hats. By the looks of things, Ameer is in a one-on-one situation with a Miami player who’s already locked in on him.

AMEER TOUCHDOWN 2Ameer starts to get low and crash the hole. That poor Hurricane has no idea what’s about to hit him.

AMEER TOUCHDOWN 3Didn’t Miami watch the McNeese State film? An Arm tackle will not bring down Ameer Abdullah. And look what happened to our poor sap all set to engage. Mike Moudy uses the guy’s own teammate to absolutely truck him. It was a total 2 Hurricanes 1 Husker kind of situation.

Ameer busts through and into the open like the Millennium Falcon flying out of the Death Star at the end of Jedi. Look at all that space.

Ameer cuts to the right of Mark Pelini to shove one last TD down the gullet of Sebastian the Ibis.

We’ll see you next year, Miami.


Game Day Preview: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Miami Hurricanes

Welcome to Nebraska, Miami. Remember me?

Tommie Frazier

I’m the guy who did this…

Tommie Frazier Orange Bowl

Of all the times Tommie Frazier and his Haggar Wrinkle-Frees could have been trotted out from a pre-game pep talk, it’s tonight. Too bad the former Doane State head coach (3 – 17 record, yo) had to go and do that little Twitter meltdown on Coach Pelini last season.

On the bright side, maybe that meant Bo could go one name deeper on the 1994 roster and get Cory Schlesinger to say a few words about what means to drive a stake through the Miami Hurricanes.

As exciting as the Nebraska vs Miami match up is for anyone old enough to remember ’84 and ’95 (we’ll just forget about ’89, ’92 and ’02) one can’t help but wonder what this “storied rivalry” even means to kids who were barely out the womb in ’95.
Case in point, Miami’s signature trash talking has been reduced to heckling Jordan Westerkamp over Instagram.

Just when you thought there couldn’t be anything lower than arguing sports via YouTube comments.

Even fans of the Hurricanes aren’t much better these days.
Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 3.16.54 PM

A pretty big Miami fan base in Nebraska? How does that even work when this is the Miami fan base in Miami?


If Hurricane fans can even outnumber McNeese State fans, color this blog impressed.

OK now to the nitty gritty.

Confidence: This match up has all the makings of Missouri’s visit to Lincoln in 2010.  The Big Red has got this.

Scouting Report: Warren Sapp had the balls to trash talk directly to the media. The Hurricanes of today troll Instagram. Miami may get some early action from their “skill players” but look for the secondary to eventually shut down Phillip Dorsett leaving running back Duke Johnson to shoulder a very heavy load.

Ideal Scenario: Nebraska scores early and often. Ameer Abdullah breaks off not one but two highlight worthy runs in his first chance of the season to play against a team of a high enough caliber to prove he’s a legit Heisman contender. Randy Gregory goes beast mode and scores a TD for the Blackshirts. Jordan Westerkamp and his blistering 4.6 speed burns Miami deep.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 5. With the game on ESPN 2 they’ll probably even have a special Bo Cam. By the mid third quarter they stop checking in on him.

And on a final note: Here are Nebraska a Miami’s most famous fans.

Larry the Cable Guy and 2 Live Crew

Two things about this pic.

1. No offense to Larry the Cable Guy but we were really hoping to have a picture of 311 decked out in their Husker jerseys circa 1995’s ‘blue album’ or possibly 1994’s grass roots. No matter how hard we tried, the Google was no help when it came to digging up images from 311 album liner notes and being that it’s 2014 our CD collection is buried deep in the garage.

2. Why is Brother Marquis in a sling?



A Bloody Odd Couple

Growing up in the 1980s, kids had a pretty standard set of villains haunting their nightmares. Freddy Kruger, Michael Meyers and Jason Voorhees formed the unholy triumvirate that spooked most Gen-Xers in their formative years.

But the two monsters that kept me cold-sweating into the wee hours of the morning were Cujo:


And fucking Sebastian the Ibis:


Children of the Cornhusker State may have written Sebastian off as no more than the malignant alter ego of Donald Duck.  But I didn’t.  Beyond the cartoonish “tough-guy” sneer, this was a bird capable of (and ever willing to) rip the still-beating heart right out of your chest.

bloody ibis

Starting with the 1984 Orange Bowl and continuing on to the 2002 Rose Bowl, Sebastian and his Hurricane Horde frequently left Nebraska teams in physical and/or emotional devastation.  And, by extension, their wide-eyed fans.

I don’t need to recap the path of destruction Miami laid upon Husker history these past 30 years.  We all know it.

But as the Hurricanes get ready to storm Lincoln on Saturday, I’ve developed a strange sensation.  A bittersweet nostalgia. Which is not what I expected. I am , in many respects, still reeling from my one and only experience seeing these two teams clash in person — the Nightmare in Pasadena.

As rivalries go, Nebraska and Miami are an odd coupling. Nebraska’s quiet and reserved Felix Unger to Miami’s brash Oscar Madison.


It’s hard to think of two locations in the country that have less in common.  And, yet, thanks to college football, Lincoln has often been on Miami’s mind and vice versa.

In the summer of 1994, as a second-year freshman at UNL, I flew out to LA to participate in a week-long media workshop.  The event was attended by two to three hundred Hollywood-aspiring college kids from all over North America.  The organizers of the event made a concerted effort to assure that students from varied backgrounds intermingled. For example, we were all housed in suites at UCLA’s Olympic village and, in my four-man dorm, I was joined by a guy from Montreal, another from Maryland and Heath, from Miami.

We all wore badges with our names and Universities on them. When Heath saw mine, he immediately bore a huge grin and said, “Cornhuskers.” Surprised by this greeting, I read his name tag and stammered, “Hurricanes.” We then became best buddies the rest of the week. Which weirded-out the dude from Maryland who saw Heath as a potential clubbing partner. Someone he could be wing-man to, because Heath — sure as shit — wasn’t going to be his.

Despite the organizer’s best efforts to scatter the participants based on backgrounds, students from the same colleges did end up grouping. Heath found a buddy from Miami. And I formed a mini-wolfpack with another UNL student and a guy from UNO. These two groups then became a college-football gabfest — reliving the rise of the Hurricanes and the folly of the Huskers. We were still six months away from Nebraska exacting its revenge in the 1995 Orange Bowl.

Now, beyond this (albeit) intense bit of mutual interest, Heath and I didn’t have all that much in common. He was attending the workshop as part of his dream to enter sports broadcasting. I, on the other hand, was an aspiring Francois Truffaut. As odd a couple as the Hurricanes and Huskers themselves. But there was something magical about this bonding. Kind of like a cool kid in high school taking a shine to one of the students who dwells in the periphery.

Sort of like the movie, “Lucas,” I guess.

So, the Ibis isn’t quite as scary as he used to be coming into Lincoln this Saturday. Much like his last appearance at Memorial Stadium. This will be the first meeting since then that the outcome won’t determine a National Title. An astonishing 5 such matches have been played in the interim (with Miami winning 4 of those).

Part of me is excited at the prospect of Miami’s offensive line being grossly outmatched by the Blackshirts on the other side of the trench. Seeing the Huskers walk all over da U would do a lot to wash away the bitter taste left by the 2002 Rose Bowl.

On the other hand, another part of me wishes it was the same swaggering Miami. The gnarly old bird gnashing its beak through the tunnel smoke. The dirty albatross around Nebraska’s neck.

A win against the mystique, after all, is the kind that forms bonds across the varied American patchwork.