Tag Archives: tommy armstrong

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.

Untitled-4
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-

AMEER TOUCHDOWN 1
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 TOUCHDOWN 4
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 TOUCHDOWN 5
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.

Share

Nebraska at Fresno State – A tale of 562 yards and 450 Miles.

The drive from Los Angeles to Fresno is nearly the exact same distance as driving from North Platte to Lincoln.

It wasn’t until things were put into easily digestible I-80 terms that my friend Brent and I realized that we’d be horrible Husker fans if  we didn’t sack up and make the trip to the Grand Island of California and see Nebraska take on Fresno State in a game that could either be a nightmare of a trap or a chance for the Big Red to flex some muscle on the road.

Luckily for Husker Nation, this game turned out to be the latter.

corn
The drive to Fresno featured a few roadside cornfields which helped set the mood for game day- especially when palm trees are cropped out.

We hit the road around 1 on Saturday afternoon and made it with plenty of time to spare.  On the recommendation of a friend of Brent’s, we stopped off at BC ‘s Pizza and Beer and were greeted by some surprisingly pleasant, neck tattoo having folk who whispered Huskies in a slightly menacing way whenever walked by their table to battle the Find-a-Word game that was posted up in the men’s room.

brain teaser
You’re not seeing double. Megadeth can be found twice.

Of course a few Husker fans were at BC’s as well. The wait staff  was happy for the business. Apparently Fresno State fans were nowhere to be seen all day long.

And of course, those same Nebraska fans who sat the next table over would end up having tickets right next to us when we got to the stadium. Can’t even make something like that up. But at least we could talk pizza until kickoff.

Unlike the Huskers’ other games in the Golden State so far this century, Bulldog Stadium isn’t quite the hallowed venue as the Rose Bowl or Colosseum but was surprisingly much nicer than San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. Then, again a vacant lot with some lawn chairs and a flat screen at each end zone would give Qualcomm a serious run for its money.

With a capacity of just over 41,000 the small stature of Bulldog Stadium made it easy to see just about everything without even really trying.

Our first stop of the day was crashing the Abdullah  family tailgate.

ameer tailgate 1

ameer tailgate2

ameers uncle
Ameer Abdullah’s family all wore #8 jerseys with their role in the family on the back. They were all some seriously good people and were having a blast. It’s easy to see how Ameer grew up to be such a solid guy.

Then we walked towards the gate just in time to see the Huskers heading to the field.

tommy and ameer
Tommy Armstrong and Ameer Abdullah ready to go to work.

ameer tommy kenny
What’s up Kenny Bell?

At kick off it was hard to tell just how many Nebraska fans made the hike to see the Huskers in Fresno thanks to both sides wearing red. Based sheer volume though, it was clear Husker fans were out in force. The Husker Power chant was never in danger of getting shouted down.

Kickoff
The Huskers take the field to start the game.

As a whole, Fresno State fans were decent hosts. It helped that the collective wind was taken out of their sails less than two minutes into the game. About the only thing to complain about was their overall lack of imagination. On the way into the stadium, the best heckle a group of Bulldog fans could muster was calling anyone wearing Huskers gear ‘Cornfed.’

The  guy you see below- his signature move was repeatedly thanking the hundreds of Husker fans surrounding him and his lady for wearing red- because that meant all the Nebraska fans were really rooting for Fresno.

happy fresno fans
This photo was taken at the exact moment Fresno State still had a glimmer of hope.

With the game all but decided in the first quarter, the evening turned into a sweltering party for fans of the real Big Red- especially when Fresno State loyalists decided to go home at halftime. Even if it was just for one night, this was a glorious return to the ass-kicking Nebraska teams from the days of yore.

The highlight of the game for this guy was making a new best friend. My little buddy is in 4th grade and knows more about football than 99% percent of the people out there.  Seriously, this kid needs his own show.

my buddy

Among the highlights of his observations-

On Tommy Armstrong-
“I like to call Tommy Armstrong Tommy Legstrong because he’s such a good runner.”

On David Santos’ rather curious decision to bat a punted ball out of the end zone resulting in a safety for Fresno State-

“David Santos is crazy. I bet he drank a 12 pack of Mountain Dew before the game.”

On Fresno State’s kicker shanking a field goal attempt-
“The Fresno State kicker plays golf with his feet.”

On Randy Gregory being Randy Gregory-
“Randy Gregory sleeps in a cage because he’s so dangerous. They only feed him bread. If he had protein he’d be unstoppable.”

His answer to a multiple choice Fresno State themed question that was flashed on the Bulldog Stadium “JumboTron”-
Bo Pelini’s Cat!!!”

tired fresno fans
This photo was taken long after Fresno State abandoned all hope. Kudos to this dude and his lady for sticking it out until the bitter end.

When the beat down finally ended and post game handshakes were exchanged, Kenny and Ameer each took the long jog over to the Nebraska end of the field to  salute the fans who stuck it out until the final whistle- a move that was all class.

ameer endzoneAmeer’s salute from our seats.

ameer postgame
Rolling deep with the Abdullah family out of Bulldog Stadium.

husker truckIf only we could have bummed a ride home in this bad boy. Getting back home at 4am is for the birds.

 

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

From Quietly Dignified Fandom to Unabashedly Sniveling Gloater, the (de)Evolution of Husker Passion.

It’s strange the way simple pleasures can evolve when following a football program like Nebraska’s. As a child of the 1980s and 1990s, I used to luxuriate in the ample amounts of respect bestowed upon my beloved Huskers — whether it was from opposing coaches and fans or sports commentators during broadcasts — their vocalized respect always made my chest swell with pride.

But the Huskers don’t get much of that lately. Back in the day, 75% of Nebraska’s slate resigned itself to losing from the get-go. Some even considered “winning” the coin-toss a nice pre-slaughter gesture. Sadly, over this last strange decade, all that veneration has disappeared into the dustbin of history. Most teams no longer expect to lose to the Big Red. Hell, I’ll bet more than a few Cowboys down at McNeese State are thinking — make ‘em turn the ball over four or five times and we’ve got a shot!

But, with the new-found bravado Husker opponents have shown in the prospects of upcoming clashes with Nebraska, a new form of satisfaction has evolved for me in watching NU play. And that’s seeing the stunned silence from opposing fans when the Huskers pull off something amazing.

It’s the same chagrin Steve Spurrier displayed during the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. A thing of beauty precisely because Spurrier was part of that rare species back in the 1990s — the opposing coach who thought he had better than even odds against the Huskers. When Spurrier’s mirage was officially bisected by a galloping Tommie Frazier, the broadcasters treated viewers to a savory display of recompense the likes of which I’ll never forget.

Phases of spurrier

For the record, I don’t have anything personally against Steve Spurrier — the magnificent chief Cock that he is. But the sight of a smug, Coors-drinking bastard getting his hat handed to him was rare during the 1990s dynasty because the low expectations many of Nebraska’s opponents held never produced much hubris. So, ironically, one of the fruits of a lowered bar for Nebraska football is that now we get to see opposing fans (with the full assumption of a win in their pockets) shit bricks more often.

Assuming that many of you readers are like me — once quiet and dignified followers of a college football titan, now sniveling jealously in the shadows of our once-great reputation, I’ve gone ahead and assembled a gallery of some of my favorite screen shots from the past few years. This is the new simple joy our program bestows us: watching opposing fans react to something they just can’t believe.

Here a Texas fan finds her asshole tighten to a million pounds per square inch at the prospect of the Longhorns losing their BCS Championship bid at the hands of what essentially turned out to be the greatest performance of Ndamukong Suh’s collegiate career.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 1.06.17 PM

Oh, were it not for that horse-collar tackle!

Here Taylor Martinez has just mesmerized a cluster of incredulous K-State backers, dashing past a slew of Wildcats and beating them to the end zone by 15 yards.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 12.29.59 PM

Another amazing touchdown run by Martinez forces this Washington Husky fan to cover his eyes.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 9.21.29 AM

And finally, this may look like a typical, mouth-breathing Georgia good ole boy, but — in fact — this man’s jaw is hanging a little more slack than usual thanks to Tommy Armstrong’s 99 yard touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 12.23.47 PM

I hope these sufficiently whet some appetites for seeing a few more stunned opponents in 2014. Personally, I hope to add some Spartans, Badgers and Hawkeyes to the gallery next time this year. Go Big Red!

Share