Well, this is it. The game that decides the fate of Nebraska’s bowl hopes. Win or go home. Hope the turkey is good and we knock the stuffing out of Iowa. Mashing the Hawkeyes like potatoes to make a bowl game would be gravy. Drink all of the red Kool-Aid you can. A 6th win would be pie in the sky.
Boy, the season sure went sideways and backwards faster than Marcus Satterfield calling another bubble screen or outside run. As amazing as October was by going undefeated, November sure has been colder to winning than the weather certainly has. Win on Friday and honestly the season can be considered successful. A bowl game with a first-year head coach, with another new offensive coordinator, a new defensive scheme, and youth galore will be looked on fondly by the faithful.
I know the offense has been...well...Iowa (or worse) bad at times but taking an honest look at what they have accomplished has been inspiring. Billy Kemp IV (missed multiple games), Marcus Washington (ACL- done for season), Joshua Fleeks (now the 3rd string running back), and Anthony Grant (started the year as 3rd string running back) are the only listed “Seniors” on the roster that play offense. Think about that. They are YOUNG, they are HURT, yet they still could make a bowl game with a win.
The sheer number of injuries to multiple key positions could have decimated this entire season in a flash, yet this group has a never-say-die attitude. That should be admired by the fan base on the whole of this season. The grit and determination to just say “next man up” has Nebraska fans believing the rebuild has begun. It can be faith repaid with a win over the Hawkeyes and subsequent bowl bid on Friday.
I’ve been critical of the team and the coaching staff, particularly the last two weeks, but I know that this team has done well given all that has happened to it offensively. The defense has been really good this year, and if Tony White takes a head coaching job next year, then good for him because he deserves it. Marcus Satterfield has youth and raw talent at his disposal, and it shows, both the good and bad. This week is the time to put it all together.
This will be the last contest with Iowa as B1G West foes. With the editions of half of the nation coming into the conference next year, the B1G is going division-less. That being said, at least the one rivalry game that Nebraska keeps on a yearly basis does happen to be Iowa. Just one more pot shot across the bow, as old divisional adversaries, to beat the most hated team in Nebraska’s eyes. To make it a sixth win on the season would be that much better, even if the division title belongs to the other side of the river.
All things considered, just like everything else in life, it could be a lot better, but could also be a lot worse. Now is the time to see loved ones, eat a copious amount of food, buy some new clothes with a larger waist or shirt size, and most importantly, tell your family that you love them. You might love Nebraska sports more than them, and that’s ok, because they will have no problem telling you the same thing. One more week, one more win, one more plate of food. Go Big Red!