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Interrupting All Programs—First Game False Flags & U.S.A. Stupidity

Be wary of judging too much off an opener, or thinking a college football coach isn’t a complete dufus

NCAA Football: South Alabama at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

I haven’t been this right since I told anybody who would listen in 2010 prior to the NU/Mizzou game basically this, “Helu has to have a big day with (Taylor) Martinez banged up to win.”

Nothing about Rex Burkhead, nada about Taylor Martinez hitting some passes or the Blackshirts harassing Blaine Gabbert.

All in on #10. (Cue the Lifehouse song of the same name.)

In that game versus the #7 Tigers, Roy Helu had 308 yards rushing and set the single game rushing record in a contest NU had to have to stay alive on their way to eventually winning the Big 12 North.

Maybe this was not as precise a prediction, but on the radio show with ex-Husker Jeremy Slechta at Starsky’s Bar N Grill at around 10:50 a.m. on Saturday, I said not to judge too much if NU struggles versus the South Alabama Nobodies. History has shown game ones aren’t the end-alls.

To start one of the worst seasons in NU history, the Huskers had a convincing 52-10 win versus a good Nevada team in 2007. And the Huskers struggled out of the gates in 1997 in a concerning win for the state versus Central Florida.

As any Iowa fans can tell you in 1997, Nebraska won their last National Championship, as if saying NU hasn’t won a ring in over 20 years makes them feel better about their program that has never even played in a National Championship game…but I digress.

Rewinding to 1997, NU beat UCF and Daunte Culpeper by the modest score of 38-24. This game is remembered for Frankie London replacing QB Scott Frost and leading a TD drive and some said he looked like a knife through butter and should see the field more.

Osborne has since said he did Frost no favors with that but just getting the back-up reps and it was a never a question who NU’s #1 QB was in 1997. Maybe NU channeled some anger the next week and pummeled a top five UW in Seattle…but have to tell you even if NU won 65-0 versus UCF, I think the score would have been the same versus the Huskies. The 1997 Huskers were some bad dudes.

Then-Husker linebacker Tony Ortiz said the locker room wasn’t as up in arms as the state was after the UCF game.

“In 1997 there wasn’t too much concern after UCF,” Ortiz said, “but there was a sense of urgency for the younger players such as myself and others to step up. We just didn’t want to have certain older vets to feel they had to do it on their own.

However, Ortiz felt the competitive game with UCF served a purpose in hindsight.

“I think that game was a wake up call internally,” Ortiz said. “We didn’t want to win 51-50, it helped change the mindset for the younger players.”

Yes, we all know the happy ending with NU’s fifth National Title in the modern era, but not so much with the 2007 season that saw a 38-0 home loss to Oklahoma State mid-season.

NU came into the 2007 season opener highly ranked after a North division “ring” and a close loss to Auburn in the Cotton Bowl. The Huskers did nothing to change that ranking with a dominant 52-10 win, in which Marlon Lucky rushed for 233 yards and even RB Major Culbert got in the endzone…who?

(When guys buried on the depth get TDs versus decent teams, you usually have a good year.)

Husker DE Zach Potter said it was a nice start to the season and helped build the momentum that had building for the program since maybe the end of 2005 season with a bowl win over Michigan.

“All thoughts were positive after a win to start the year,” Potter said. “No concerns, obviously items to correct and continue improving on. Locker room was good after a win.”

Receiver Todd Peterson had similar sentiments.

“Wish I could say something about that game really stood out,” Petersen said. “All I remember is I think it was (Colin) Kaepernick’s NCAA debut and the first time I’d ever heard of the pistol formation. It was business as usual.”

The issues that doomed Nebraska in the coming months were not present versus Nevada in the opener.

“If there were things that were concerning early that year, none of it was really highlighted in that first game,” Petersen said.

However, I am running out of Kool-Aid as there was no false flag in 2017 when NU struggled mightily with Arkansas State in a 43-36 win, a game that came down to the last play. Yes, 2017 was the Bob Diaco “years.”

OK, let’s keep it 100, overall offensively NU played like garbage in the second half after an average first half with basically three scoring drives. I will give Nebraska a C, C- for the first half offensively.

And due to the defense and special teams being too much for the USA Nobodies (NU was up 28-7 in the third quarter) it really made for an odd second half offensively, maybe “garbage” is not fair.

The offense gets an INCOMPLETE grade on the second half, especially when you consider the last two drives were about running the clock and not running their normal offense.

NU eventually won the game by 14 and it was really not that close when you consider any time USA tried to do anything remotely aggressive offensively, the Husker defense scored a TD and/or cut their QB in half. The game was not as competitive as some would have you believe.

(Was USA’s top play offensively a questionable flag that kept a TD drive alive after they had been stopped?)

It all leads me to conclude USA’s coach got hit on the head when some action spilled out of bounds on Saturday and was impaired with his postgame comments.

I ask this will all seriousness after his postgame ramble:

Is South Alabama’s coach capable of dressing himself as he appears not coherent enough to accomplish this feat?

While “not a nice thing to say,” he is a public figure running his mouth after a game, so all is fair in love and football.

I feel the question it is warranted after he said this to the Omaha World-Herald…mind you his team “lost” the second quarter, if you can actually break it up like that by a score of 7-0. And NU missed a chip shot FG after driving the field right before halftime.

Even with all those facts, he said this after the game, “I thought we won the part of the game right before halftime and obviously the game turned in the second half of the middle eights.”

In addition, it should be noted that NU QB Adrian Martinez missed a somewhat open receiver in the end zone before the FG attempt as well in the glory he was claiming.

Also, does he not know his team was never in the lead in the second quarter or even scored during the time he was claiming some sort of “victory”?

And they were behind for over half of the first half during this win of theirs?

Lastly, on the second part of his babble, how does a game get “turned” when they never had the lead in said game and continued to be behind double digits for most of said game?

Nebraska was clearly the better team in the first half but kept shooting themselves in the foot with penalties, or it would have been a 17+ margin at the half.

Or alleged penalties on the aforementioned late hit and a comical penalty on WanDale Robinson wiping out a big gainer after a beautifully executed pitch and catch. His alleged transgression had nothing to do with the success of the play as well.

I just looked up USA’s SID’s name, it is Associate AD Brian Fremund.

Mr. Fremund, please answer this question, is your coach capable of dressing himself?

Or do you guys use some sort of Garanimals system so he doesn’t wear stripes with polka dots to a press conference? If you even have press conferences.

Actually, I guarantee USA does have pressers for their coach to claim all of his Pyrrhic victories (Google it) over the course of a season.

And yes, common sense tells me that Maurice Washington should be playing while he is getting a chance to answer the charges against him.

Enough said.