And just like that, the number of Huskers in the CFL playoffs took a mighty hit.
Three former Huskers had their Canadian Football League seasons ended last weekend as the first-round of the northern post-season is now in the books.
Ciante Evans of the Calgary Stampeders and Josh Mitchell of the Toronto Argonauts remain the only Huskers still working weekends in Canada, although both are on their team’s respective injured lists with only Evans expected to play in this weekend’s divisional finals.
Here’s a look back and a look forward on Huskers in Canada, Playoff Edition:
Saskatchewan 31, Ottawa 20
The West Division team won the East Division semifinal, because that’s how things work sometimes in Canadian football.
The crossover Roughriders, who finished fourth in the West but were better than the third-place team in the East, went on the road and defeated the Redblacks to earn a place in this weekend’s East Final in Toronto.
Former Husker Jonathan Rose had four tackles in a losing cause. Including playoffs, Rose had 57 tackles in 2017, his second year in the CFL. He also had two interceptions and a forced fumble.
Brett Maher, meanwhile, was 2-for-2 in field goals with a long of 51, and punted five times for an average of 44 yards. Maher finished with a 45.7-yard average in 19 games this season, and hit on 43 of 52 field goal attempts.
While the Roughriders became just the fourth crossover team in 12 tries to win that first-round game, no team crossing over has ever made it to the Grey Cup. A win Sunday in Toronto would make Saskatchewan the first to do so.
Edmonton 39, Winnipeg 32
The Blue Bombers were upset by the Eskimos, who carry former Husker Barron Miles as their defensive backs coach.
Going into halftime tied 10-10, the Bombers gave up 29 points in the final two quarters and two late touchdowns made the score appear a bit more favourable to the home side.
With former Husker Jermarcus Hardrick starting at right tackle, his 29th straight start for the Blue Bombers, Winnipeg rushed 22 times for 125 yards and allowed two sacks.
Winnipeg had the CFL’s top rushing attack this season and finished tied for fourth for sacks allowed with 38 in 18 games.
The Eskimos will move on to Calgary for a Battle of Alberta version of the West Final.
Four days after his season ended, the Blue Bombers announced they had reached a new deal with Hardrick, who was a pending free agent. Hardrick signed on a one-year deal Thursday to stay in Winnipeg. … Evans was transferred to the one-game injured list last week with Calgary on the bye and is eligible to come off it on Saturday. Evans by all accounts should play in the West Final.
Canadians for Nebraska is a group of Husker fans in Canada not affiliated with the University of Nebraska. It can be found on Twitter @CdnsForNebraska.