So here we go again – it’s time for the Huskers to step up and make a statement!
#5 Ohio St. is coming to town with a 4-0 record rolled up against…well, no one really, but they still look pretty damn good. ESPN Gameday is back!!! Okay, to be honest, this is because Option 1 went out the window when Nebraska lost to Colorado, Option 2 when USC beat Utah and Option 3 when Washington – well, you get the idea. Suddenly, Option 4 was Option 1 again!
In any case, Nebraska has a chance to show the country they’ve leveled up and are ready to take their rightful place in college football’s hierarchy and again start winning championships.
Except…good old Nebraska has not exactly grabbed Opportunity by the tail in these games. It’s more like Opportunity has repeatedly dragged Nebraska into dark alleys for so many sexual assaults and ass-kickings that the cops have quietly suggested the Huskers should just have their asses home before dark for a change.
And to be fair, not too many sober folk are expecting Nebraska to take the world by storm as a 17 point dawg. However, it’s a stone cold fact they won’t be getting a stage better set for Upset City than what Saturday night will bring. But…
As proud as we are of our home crowd, they are NOT known far and wide for a 4-quarter wall of sound.
Too many season ticket holders past due a date with the grave whose only chant is a wheezing “DOWN IN FRONT”.
A student section treated by the local constabulary as well as Brian Dennehy and company treated John Rambo when he strolled through town looking for a burger.
They can, however, be counted on to break bad and go full-on batshit 1-2 times a season and Saturday will be one of those times. Well, as long as things don’t go in the dumper early. The crowd has to fight that “Here we go again” urge if 10-0 or 14-0 happens out of the gate. C’mon crew, sneak a flask in, re-energize with a swig or three of Old Camel Toe 1972 and keep roaring like a Hells Angel on meth.
Can the Huskers bust free of their recent Statement Game history and finally shock the world? The family tree of those games should probably be dug out by the roots, set on fire and have the ashes pissed on. But let’s swig some Pepto and vodka and review, shall we? Relive some of this and let it take you to a dark place as you settle on your $1000 piece of stadium plank.
The 2009 Big 12 Championship seems a fine place to start:
2009 Texas 13-12
After a 4-3 start to the season, the defense steps up and the Huskers rip off 6 wins in a row to storm to the Big 12 title game. Suh uses Colt McCoy like a prop in a dwarf-tossing contest but Texas gets 1 more second & advances to the national title game. A 33-0 shellacking of Nick Foles and Arizona can’t erase the “what-ifs”.
2010 Texas 20-13
The Huskers rip off 5 straight wins including beatdowns of Washington and Kansas St behind early Heisman candidate Taylor Martinez (yes, this happened) and look primed for revenge. However, we’re given the first of our three experiences with the brutally crooked Greg Burks crew who double the penalties on Nebraska and allow the Longhorns to consistently fake injuries to slow the tempo. That being said, Martinez plays awful enough to get benched and the Huskers do enough stepping on their dicks to more than make people forget the refs.
2010 Oklahoma 23–20 Big 12 Championship
10-2 Nebraska makes it to the Big 12 Title Game and their ground attack stakes them to a 17-0 lead. Shawn Watson of course goes to the air to attain “balance” and finds it with 145 yards rushing and 148 passing as NU is now 4 points short of back-to-back Big 12 titles.
2011 Wisconsin 48-17
After months of asserting that they will take over the Big 10, a 34-7 2nd/3rd quarter run by the Badgers in their first conference game instead sets the real tone for the Huskers/Badgers “rivalry”.
2012 Wisconsin 70-31
The Huskers make their 3rd conference title game in 4 years. They produce a highlight reel run by Martinez, a highlight reel picture perfect block by Kenny Bell which of course results in a penalty since it’s the B1G and actual contact was made. And another loss.
2015 BYU 33 -28
It’s not that beating BYU would have made a statement. It’s rather the statement newly hired Mike Riley makes when an early 14-7 lead starts unraveling as BYU throws a 17-0 2nd quarter on the Huskers. Riley can be seen arms crossed, shoulders slumped and head hanging in a demonstration of the surrender body language that will define his tenure. Suddenly, Bo’s tantrums aren’t so bad.
2016 – The Statement 2-pack
1) Wisconsin 23-17 OT – Nebraska who has raced to 7-0 by basically playing a pile of dreck (their faux statement game win earlier was against an Oregon squad that ended up 4-8) actually gains some respect outscoring a salty Badger team 10-0 in the 4th quarter before falling in OT. Unfortunately, next week…
2) Ohio. St 62-3 – another statement is made and that statement is the 7-1 record is an illusion.
The only statement is “Please let this end as quickly as possible and get Riley the hell out of here.”
The statement this season is “Please just show some fight”. After sending a good chunk of Calibraska and others who frown at mandatory strength & conditioning to beautiful Corvallis, mission accomplished as 4-8 record hides a culture whose shift is notice as Nebraska finishes 4-2.