Tag Archives: USC Trojans

HACKED! Never Trust a USC Fan to Feed Your Cats

The next time USC and the Huskers square off, you can make darn sure Husker Nation will get its revenge, both on the field and in the cyberspace.

Much like Pelini getting caught on tape not once but twice, we made a pair of fatal errors in the days leading up to the Holiday Bowl.

1. We entrusted our dear neighbor, who happens to be a longtime USC season ticket holder, with the care and feeding of our cats which means he had a key to our house.

2. The iPad we thought was in our carry-on bag was left behind on the dining room table and said iPad had no sort of security code enabled.

CONRAD BANE
Human pun machine, devious prankster. Our dear neighbor as Conrad Bane on Halloween.

Knowing  how our dear neighbor operates, he probably discovered that iPad was ripe for the pillaging on day one but like Lane Kiffin patiently awaiting his next firing, he laid like a Pete Carroll in the grass for the perfect time to strike.

Which for him, was the hours leading up to the Holiday Bowl.

Clearly, he didn’t remember the time we sat next to him at the Coliseum and acted as his rock and shoulder to cry on when Notre Dame dismantled and demoralized his sacred Trojans in 2012 during their run to BCS Championship Game.

Then again, maybe he remembered we still owe him for the ticket.

Then again, we still haven’t forgotten about the bushel of carrots and gallon of dip he ate when we had him over for the 2007 edition of USC vs Nebraska.

Here’s how it all went down…

Gotta give our dear neighbor credit. He nailed USC’s winning score on his opening tweet.

Let the record show, this is the first time in history the word fine has preceded the phrase Ohio tail.

We have no idea what the symbolism is supposed to be here.

 Worst part of getting an HJ from Rosie Perez? She’d still be able to talk.

While our dear neighbor claims to have never visited Nebraska, he clearly shows an intimate knowledge of East Campus Greek life.

But was $3 million enough to ensure victory for the Hanckensack Bulls of Los Angeles?

Hickory dickory dock, Shawn Eichorst was sucking Harvey Perlman’s…

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Holiday Bowl Recap: The Pelini Era Goes Down To The Wire

It was only fitting that the seven years of the Bo Pelini era at Nebraska remained a thrill ride down to the last damn second.

In a Holiday Bowl match up against USC that very few pundits gave the Huskers any chance of winning, the Big Red showed up ready to play and ready to honor their departed and beloved coach.

There would be no Hail Mary magic this time around but the stage was set for amazing irony when Holiday Bowl officials put a final second back on the clock after a review proved Kenny Bell scrambled out of bounds with a tick to spare on the penultimate play.

While the record books will say the Huskers came up three points short, those guys played their hearts out and Pelini’s remaining staff proved their mettle on the sidelines. Every single one of them gave a reason for Husker Nation to stay proud.

Nebraska USC Stat Line
Nebraska handled USC except for where it mattered the most.

The result of their efforts was arguably the most Pelini like game of the past seven years and it was the only one that had Bo watching from parts unknown.

Explosive plays, mind boggling miscues, clutch defensive stops, a momentary sideline meltdown thanks to Coach Kaz, and a never say die attitude- all the signature elements of a Pelini lead team were present and accounted for.

Kenny Bell Touchdown
Kenny Bell added one more touchdown reception to his record-setting Husker career.

Three out of the Huskers’ four losses this season ended with Nebraska still in position to win at the very end. While the near-miss 19 point 4th quarter rally against Michigan State will be hard to ever top, Nebraska didn’t flinch when down 45 – 27 with 2:24 left to play in the 3rd quarter.

Instead, the Red Storm responded with a big score of their own, a 65 yard #TommyBomb to Jordan Westerkamp barely a minute later. Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck never strayed from his playbook or his quarterback.

Tommy Armstrong vs Cody KesslerThanks unwavering confidence and the stone hands of the USC secondary, Tommy Armstrong ended the night with a better stat line than Cody Kessler. As Mike Purrriley pointed out, the Blackshirts held a 70% career passer to under 60%.

As the game transitioned from shoot out to  heavyweight slug fest in the 4th quarter, we did our best to just sit back and enjoy the final twists and turns of the Pelini roller coaster. The Huskers had nothing and everything at stake in their final 15 minutes of their season and, for some, their careers at Nebraska. Playing for just for the sake of playing is when any sport is at its most pure.

While the 4th and 3 that came up short and effectively ended the Huskers’ chances at winning will go down as one final boneheaded move by Tim Beck in the eyes of many arm chair coordinators, we have to say the call was sound, if not for the logic but for the symbolism.

With USC no doubt keying in on Abdullah (save for that defender locked in on DPE like a heat seeking missile), giving the ball to anyone but Ameer wasn’t bad entirely bad thinking. Instead of being furious that Ameer was lead blocker on the play, think of it as a Husker legend paving the way for a future Husker legend.

And if it makes you feel any better, USC did the same thing in the 2006 BCS Championship against Texas. Facing a critical 4th and 2 with 1:49 remaining, temporary Heisman winner Reggie Bush stood on the sidelines as LenDale White (who fumbled on the previous play) was stuffed by the Longhorn defense.

The Huskers may have closed out the Pelini era with a loss but the future is bright.

Just wait ’til next year.

Go Big Red.

NOTES:

Like everyone else, we were pretty far off base with our prediction.

“Honestly, this game could go either way with a blowout for either team being the most likely outcome. It’s hard to imagine the Holiday Bowl going down to the wire so we’re gonna stick with our way early prediction of a 38 – 17 Husker victory.

We are so dumb.

Apparently Mike Riley left after the third quarter with a tuckered out grandson on his shoulder. Even by flaky Dodger fan standards, that’s leaving awfully early.

Someone please tell him that in Nebraska it’s still socially acceptable to leave your grandchild locked in the car as long as you leave the radio on and crack the window.

If the 2 point conversion to Kenny Bell looked familiar, it’s because you saw Nebraska win at Michigan State in 2012 with the exact same play.

Finally, does anyone know this guy?

Drunk Nebraska Fan

Kudos to him for keeping it classy and making sure Nebraska stays relevant to Deadspin now that Pelini is gone.

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Song Girls vs Scarlets: Your Holiday Bowl Preview

It’s fitting that the epilogue to the crashed and burned Bo Pelini era at Nebraska will be written on the same field as his career’s finest moment- the 2009 Holiday Bowl.

Pacific+Life+Holiday+Bowl+Nebraska+v+Arizona+Bo+Pelinil
Things would only be downhill from here for Bo Pelini.

What followed that 33 – 0 victory over the Arizona Wildcats was the most hopeful time of Pelini’s seven seasons at Nebraska. It was the perfect salve to the one more second debacle against Texas and had Husker fans licking their chops at a run for a National Championship in 2010.

That season began with the Huskers ranked #8 in the polls and unknown redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez lined up in the shotgun at quarterback. His jaw dropping speed lead the Huskers to a 5 and 0 start and a national coming out party for Martinez in a Thursday night match up against Kansas State on ESPN.

Nine days later, the wheels would fall off the Big Red Express when the unranked and hated Texas Longhorns  came to Lincoln and left with a 20 – 13 victory. In that game, the Huskers’ offense was absolutely stuffed with the lone touchdown coming off a 95 yard return of a pooch punt late in the game by Eric Haag. Martinez was benched as senior and 2009 starter Zac Lee entered the game for a rare appearance.

In retrospect, all the the negative aspects that would be a hallmark of Pelini’s tenure bloomed on that day.
Texas Commentary
(Screengrab via Huskermax.)

A month later, Pelini’s temper would take the national stage as he gave Martinez the ass-reaming of his life against Texas A&M. By Sunday night Martinez was already enrolled at UCLA (if message boards were to be believed).

A month after that, Martinez and the Huskers limped through a 19 – 7 loss against Washington in the Holiday Bowl- the same Huskies team that Nebraska destroyed 56 – 21 back in September.

Fast forward four years. Taylor Martinez is a mobile game developer and budding real estate agent (thanks for the hook up, Uncle Warren) and Bo Pelini has packed up for the gloomy pastures of his native Youngstown, Ohio.

At the helm for the Huskers in Saturday’s Holiday Bowl is the much maligned Barney Cotton. After the game, he’ll leave the Huskers (for a second time) for his new gig as UNLV’s Offensive Coordinator. With the exception of John Garrison and Charlton Warren, the futures for the rest of Pelini’s staff are up in air. The seniors have one final game together and the underclassmen will likely finish their careers as Mike Riley’s players.

About the only thing left for the Huskers to play for is pride. Pride for their team. Pride for their teammates. Pride for their coaches who deemed them worthy of playing for Nebraska.

Pride can be a dangerous weapon, especially with a healthy Husker squad and an offensive coordinator off his leash.

Scouting Report: USC started the 2014 season with a 52 – 13 win over Fresno State. Two weeks later, the Huskers muzzled the Bulldogs 55 – 19 while USC lost on the road to Boston College 37 – 31. The Trojans’ three other losses came at the hand of Arizona State, Utah, and UCLA. Their crosstown showdown was the only game the Trojans lost by more than a touchdown, falling to the Bruins 38 – 20, a game in which the USC defense got flustered and all but gave up in the second half.

The Trojans’ most notable wins of the season came against Stanford, Arizona on the road, and a 49 – 14 punch out of the Fighting Irish at home. In case you’re wondering, they did beat Mike Riley’s Beavers 35 – 10 in LA. Like the Huskers, the Trojans have the potential to run with anyone- if they can harness it.

The Trojan offense is lead by junior Quarterback Cody Kessler. He can sling the ball but he isn’t exactly fleet of foot having “rushed” 52 times for -149 yards. On the season, he’s been sacked 30 times.

An immobile quarterback has to have Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis licking his chops, right?

John Papuchis
Confidence is high for Papuchis.

USC may have the better team on paper but the reality is there is truly only one edge the Trojans have on the Huskers heading into the Holiday Bowl.

Song Girls vs Scarlets
Sorry, Scarletts. All the glitter in the world is no match for the simple white sweaters that are a trademark of the USC Song Girls.

And that’s about all the “serious” preview you’ll get from us.

In our defense,  we did reach out to our friend Mick, an LAPD Sergeant and quite possibly the Trojans biggest fan. Seriously, he’s “The Dude” of USC football right down to his tattoo of Tommy Trojan holding the severed head of Notre Dame’s mascot whilst standing on the beaten pulp of UCLA’s Bruin.

This is the entire transcript of our chat.

Hey Mick-

What is your prediction for the Holiday Bowl and who are the USC players the Huskers need to watch out for?

Let me know and I’ll quote you in my preview for my site www.bigredfury.com

Mick- We ARE.. SC! Beat the Huskers!

Before we even had a chance to even think of being offended by such an epic brush off, we realized Mick had to already be in San Diego making his tailgate preparations and had no such time for silly questions. We’ve been his guest at USC games a few times over the years and aren’t kidding when we say he’ll show up at 6am to stake out his tailgate spot for a game that doesn’t start until 7pm.

MICK_TODD
Mick and your humble author at the 2006 edition of USC vs Nebraska.

Ideal Scenario: The Huskers close out the Bo Pelini era with a bold exclamation point with a fun and dominating performances on both sides of the ball reminiscent of the 2000 Alamo Bowl- arguably the Big Red’s most fun bowl game of the 21st century. A Kenny Bell to Ameer Abdullah touchdown pass would be absolute gravy.

Look for Tim Beck to empty his playbook with enough #TommyBombs to reenact Operation Linebacker I and II. That is of course when Ameer isn’t running wild on the Trojan defense.

On the other side of the ball, Randy Gregory and Jack “The Beastmaster” Gangwish will pin their ears back and give Cody Kessler a late Christmas gift of a world of pain. USC may get a couple of deep balls early but don’t be surprised when Papuchis stays calm under pressure and readjusts once he realizes no one is going to scream at him on the sideline.

Honestly, this game could go either way with a blowout for either team being the most likely outcome. It’s hard to imagine the Holiday Bowl going down to the wire so we’re gonna stick with our way early prediction of a 38 – 17 Husker victory.

Over/Under on Angry Bo Close Ups: 3 — ESPN will surely start the game with a montage of Bo’s “finest” moments.

Question That Needs an Answer: Will Barney Cotton finish his Cornhusker head coaching career undefeated?

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EXCLUSIVE: USC Staffer Hopes Trojans Beat Huskers

Greetings from the Waffle House clogged bowels of SEC country!

While we’re traveling cross-country on Christmas Eve, we stumbled across an incredible scoop. A scoop that none of the mainstream media was even close to sniffing out because: A) it was 8am and B) none of them were posted up at LAX.

Are you ready for it? Make sure you’re sitting down before you read any further because this scoop is bulldozer sized:

On our flight from LAX –> ATL were staff members from USC and Alabama.

Here’s how it played out in real-time two days ago:

In LA, you’d never see anyone dressed head to toe in team gear all the way down to embroidered roller bags unless they were affiliated with said team. Gotta give ‘Bama guy bonus points for going Southern Preppy with a cardigan over this Crimson Tide t-shirt. Outside of the South, Southern Preppy = metro sexual and is a bold choice.

Neither our pals Dirk or Sean offered any tips.

Here’s Tee and Marques along with a stonewashed Peyton Manning.
Peyton Manning Tee Martin Marques Tuiasasopo
If you recall, both Tee and Marques know what it’s like to get shellacked by the Cornhuskers.

Note how intently USC guy is reading his new Sports Illustrated with cover boy Marcus Mariota.

Here’s the transcript of our chat:
BRF: You guys feeling good about the Holiday Bowl?
USC GUY: Yeah.
BRF: Think you can beat Nebraska?
USC GUY: Hope so!
BRF: Good luck!

Also, it’s cute that USC guy and ‘Bama guy got to sit together. While it may seem odd, if you’ve ever seen college coaches in airports, they tend to roam in packs.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more exclusives and other semi-witty banter and observations.

RANDOM CHRISTMAS DINNER OBSERVATIONS: With in-laws from Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia at the dinner table, the consensus was that Nebraska was crazy to a consistent nine win coach even with his history of “transgressions.”

On the flip side, they all thought it was hilarious that Barney Cotton was given the reins for the Holiday Bowl. Of course the hilariousness only kicked in after we explained Barney’s status among the Husker fan base.

They really got a kick out of this video:

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

RANDY GREGORY'S CHRISTMAS CARD
Randy Gregory’s Christmas card.

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Nebraska vs USC – A Holiday Bowl First Look

Fun Fact #1: From the front door of Memorial Stadium to the Holiday Bowl, the total driving distance is 1,554 miles. (Drive time: 22 hours 44 minutes.)

Fun Fact #2: From the front door of Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum to the Holiday Bowl, the total driving driving distance is 122 miles. (Drive time: 2 hours 15 minutes or 7 hours 25 minutes depending on traffic.)

Fun Fact #3: Despite the geographical disadvantage, Husker fans will still outnumber USC fans 2 to 1.

Fun Fact  #4: There will be at least 10 stories leading up to the game sharing the same theme- two fallen college football blue bloods slumming it in the Holiday Bowl.

Fun Fact #5: Who cares? It’s a chance for the Big Red to whoop up on USC.

Tommy Tojan Herbie Husker

We must admit, we were really pulling for the Huskers to end up in the Music City Bowl. The fact that we’ll be in Tennessee during the holidays was a rather major factor. Still, San Diego is a mighty fine destination even if Qualcomm Stadium, home of the Holiday Bowl, is a dump long overdue for a major overhaul.

And besides, it might be a win-win for us. Looks like the watch site of the Nashville Huskers features $12 all-you-can-eat wings on game day. Score.

In all seriousness though, Nebraska vs USC is a very intriguing match up. The game could easily be a blowout victory for either team or it could be a dogfight. It will all hinge on which squad has more pride in themselves and their program. Will the Huskers rally around interim head coach Barney Cotton and end the Bo Pelini era how it started with a victory in a meaningless bowl game? Or will USC continue its early 21st Century dominance over the Huskers?

Even with an NCAA sanction depleted roster, USC has the strength to bump off top ten teams (see Arizona) yet is flaky enough to lose to Boston College. In their crosstown rivalry match up with UCLA, the Trojans played a good first half before unraveling in the final 30 minutes. It wasn’t a Pelini-esque bed shitting but a flat out quitting on both sides of the ball marred by a series of cheap shots and personal fouls, a signature move of the Trojan defense.

Which storied program will emerge as the classiest in San Diego?

We’re going to go out on a limb and say it will be the Huskers winning 38 – 17 thanks to seniors who want to finish strong and underclassmen who realize they’re auditioning for a new coaching staff.

We’ll have much more to come.

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