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THE 24 HOUR RULE: One Win’s Crazy Optimism & A Ficticious Journey To Bowl Eligibility

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With Bethune-Cookman and a bye week in front of us before the Huskers travel to Columbus, we have a couple weeks to be the pie-eyed optimists which others constantly accuse us of being. Let’s embrace that shit, shall we?

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Nebraska
1-6, baby. The floodgates are open.
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Why are we so happy about rising to 1-6??

I’m not asking that in an angry or sarcastic way, not even close. While giving up 349 yards passing, we just beat an injury-riddled 3-3 Minnesota Gophers team in such dire straits that the oddsmakers made them 5 point underdogs to an 0-6 Husker squad. And we celebrated.

We let a 28-0 first half lead dwindle to 28-22 by the middle of the 3rd quarter before pulling away in the 4th quarter to win 53-28. And we dumped the Gatorade jug all over Scott Frost.

We finally won a turnover battle, committed fewer penalties than out opponent, made our kicks and didn’t give up any punt returns for touchdowns (almost a kickoff, cough cough, but never mind and shuttup) and saw what a difference that makes.

We gained 659 yards which is a single-game Husker record as a member of the Big 10. I think this offense works. We gave up 474 yards on defense to a severely offensive-challenged squad. This defense needs a lot of speed and even more confidence, but they buckled down late after a horrendous stretch where they were gashed for 22 straight points.

And still we celebrated like....

I don’t know. It wasn’t quite National Title or conference championship level, but it was definitely higher than mid-major bowl, maybe on a level of major New Years Day Bowl, for exuberance and enthusiasm. If we’re going to compare it to Rocky ,and why in the hell wouldn’t we, let’s call it a Clubber Lang win. We got off the mat, regrouped and gave up some blows but dealt a solid beatdown to a guy that whipped our not—really-giving-a-crap-ass previously.

Fine, PJ Fleck with his stupid look of sporting ties with fleece pullovers isn’t exactly Mr. T in a bearded mohawk predicting, “Pain”, but it’s close enough.

So fine, are we unreasonably happy over a single win or has the Husker Collective sensed that this thing is about to flip a hard 180 and start shocking the world?

Well, I may not know which one of those is the case, but I do know you probably don’t know me very well if you think I’m about to do a quick prediction spot on the rest of the season that ends up at 3-9 or 4-8. Puh-leeeze, people - I give you the remainder of the 2018 campaign:

NEBRASKA 59 BETHUNE-COOKMAN 17

The Huskers storm to a 42-14 halftime lead before flooding the field with reserves and conservative play-calling in an effort not to humiliate Bethune for coming to Lincoln and filling a schedule hole. Speaking of halftime, the big surprise is finding out that boosters foot the bill to bring the BCU band to town for an unforgettabe halftime show which finishes #3 on the Sportscenter Top 10.

NEBRASKA 31 OHIO ST. 30

With a bye week between the Boilermaker pimp-slapping and the Huskers coming to town, the sports pundits begin their usual blather about how Urban’s fury will inspire his troops to a humiliating ass-whipping of a poor, unsuspecting opponent.

Instead, Mike Rozier and Roger Craig come to town, present Devine Ozigbo and Maurice Washington with one-game honorary #21 and #30 jerseys and proclaim them the new We-Backs. They combine for 250 yards rushing, Martinez adds 267 more passing along with 75 rushing and the Blackshirts force 4 turnovers including the last one that leads to a shocking Barrett Pickering 46-yarder for the win.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

NEBRASKA 51 ILLINOIS 0

Inspired by the previous week’s turnover-fest, the Blackshirts throw a shutout over Lovie Smith’s fading Illini. Fans dare to talk bowl eligibility.

NEBRASKA 27 MICHIGAN ST 20

After stifling the Husker attack and taking a 20-10 lead into the 4th quarter, Martinez springs a couple of long scrambles and the offense finds its rhythm and pops for 17 straight points which culminates in JD Spielman springing for 37 yards on a jet sweep for the winning score with 1:26 remaining

Michigan State v Nebraska
Blonde Adrian Martinez celebrates
Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images

NEBRASKA 47 IOWA 44 3OT

After a tense week of talk radio madness, trash-talking between Husker and Hawkeye fans and multiple reports of unexplained farm animal assault across the state of Iowa, the game for bowl eligibility is finally played and exceeds all expectations.

Nate Stanley gashes the Nebraska secondary for 433 yards throught the air but the new Husker offense responds in kind for 612 yards. It is 27-27 at the end of regulation and both teams find the end zone in the first two overtime frames. On a 3rd and 1 at Nebraska’s 9 in triple OT, Eric Chinander sniffs out Kirk Ferentz’ play action attempt for a quick six and sends Mohammed Barry through for a 10-yard sack that forces a field goal out of the Hawkeyes.

On their first play, the Huskers line up in the power-I and running option right with Ozigbo and Washington, Martinez gives to fullback Ziggy untouched up the middle for 25 yards and the game winner.

Iowa v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

THE REDBOX BOWL (Formerly the Foster Farms Bowl)

NEBRASKA 48 COLORADO 14

In a rematch that has Mike “Boobs” MacIntyre screaming for weeks, Nebraska rolls to 588 yards of offense and 48 points with an unusually inspired Adrian Martinez throws for 375 yards and runs for 133 as the Huskers roll to victory in a game marred by repeated scuffles both on the field and in the stands. Several Buffalo players leave the game limping after what post-game films show are their legs being twisted by Husker players in piles and after the whistles.

Scott Frost says he sees nothing out of place after reviewing film of the alleged incidents and the Big 10 releases a statement saying they see nothing that warrants them taking action.