In case you missed it, College Game Day threw the 2016 Nebraska football team in the garbage last Saturday morning. Amongst several chuckles and snide remarks, the only individual to have any respect for Big Red is best known as “The Nature Boy.” Every Nebraska fan’s favorite Game Day rep (the one that goes to the tanning salon more than I do) actually picked the Huskers to win IN JEST. Now yes, all of this was for entertainment purposes – there was nothing to take personally. But if this show of disrespect lit a fire in the Huskers, so be it. They would need it in Bloomington down to the final minutes of the game.
What a game…Indiana has a great defense and if their offense had picked up momentum the outcome could have been very different. The Huskers’ defense carried the team to victory – an early pick 6 and a drive-ending interception that sealed the victory were MAJOR plays Saturday. They were jump-off-the-couch-and-scream plays. Basically everything in between was huddle-in-the-corner-rocking-back-and-forth.
The Huskers missed Westerkamp and Carter. The passing game was not stellar. Luckily Newby showed up in the 4th quarter to pick up some desperately vital first downs (keep your arms around that damn ball, Newby). Ozigbo was also missed as were Tommy’s legs. With a banged up ankle, Armstrong’s explosiveness was limited and perhaps contributed to 1 or 2 poor passes…looking at you, interceptions. There was a bright spot in the passing game – check out Brandon Reilly’s #SCtop10 play:
After the Indiana game I considered reporting the Huskers’ special teams as a missing person. WHERE IS THIS? Other than an occasional ok return, there is nothing “special” about the special teams. This is an area for improvement that must be addressed if this team is going to hang with the likes of Wisconsin and Ohio St.
So what’s to come this week? Purdue, a team that had to go and fire their head coach going into the Nebraska game. This makes them unpredictable. Will the players feel the need to get a win for their coach’s honor? Will the interim coach come in with a better game plan? I hate this, I really do. It’s impossible to prepare for the unknown. And for the superstitious people, check out Purdue’s win/loss record – is goes win, loss, win, loss, win, loss…which brings us to what logically would be another win.
In all seriousness, this team has the grit and guts and heart to keep winning. But until they have wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State I’m not ready to say they’re for real. #8 in the nation is PHENOMENAL. Getting wins when no one thinks you can is delicious. Disproving asshats on Game Day is great…but I want to prove to everyone that this team can hang. Could we beat Alabama? Clemson? Michigan? Time will tell and hopefully we will be given the opportunity to do just that.
Until then, ONE GAME AT A TIME.