For the second straight week, these Huskers faced an opponent whose memories triggered some PTSD with the Husker faithful, though not to the extent of Northern Illinois.
In 1998 Frank Solich made his head coaching debut in Nebraska’s opening game against Louisiana Tech. It began well with a 35-6 halftime lead, but when the smoke had settled on a 56-27 victory, the Huskers found themselves outgained 569-462 and Tech WR Troy Edwards was the new NCAA single-game receiving yards holder with 405 yards on 21 grabs.
Fortunately today, the Blackshirts took care of business without giving up NCAA records to anyone even if the contest caused much more stress and anxiety than it should have. The Blackshirts, while dominant most of the day, showed chinks in the armor at times and came away with no sacks against a team that had been giving them up. The pass blocking was still well below acceptable.
However, while Heinrich Haarberg’s passing was less than stellar, he also made good decisions to throw it away and tuck to live and fight another under pressure. The Result? The Huskers won a turnover battle 0-1. No turnovers. On a day where things could’ve blown apart, they didn’t beat themselves. Heinrich ran for 157 with a 72-yard TD dash and another one around 80 robbed from him by half-wits in stripes, Anthony Grant for 135 and John Bullock continued to justify Matt Rhule’s confidence in him with another pile of tackles and constantly being in mix.
It wasn’t pretty, but that’s starting to sound like a line for a t-shirt with 2023 Huskers on the chest. Can they find a way to pull a monster upset and be not pretty next week against Michigan?
Who knows? For now, hop into another game-long jaunt with my tenuous sanity:
- Per ESPN, Heinrich Haarberg will start as Jeff Sims, who will once again dress, is not yet 100%
- The injury report lists Cam Lenhart as out.
- It does not list Sims as questionable as it did last week against NIU. Could mean it’s just Haarberg’s start this week, could just mean Sims is better but not quite 100%.
- If Sims doesn’t play at all, it’s very, very likely Heinrich gets the start against Michigan. Starting a player with two lousy games followed by two weeks injured would be a tough sell.
Three former Nebraska football players. pic.twitter.com/vLRKqFZsgg— Mitch Sherman (@mitchsherman) September 23, 2023
- The Magic men are in the house!
- And so is DeColdest
- A quick discussion to explain to the loud guy with a gambling problem that the bar isn’t full for Clemson-Florida State, a channel change to the B1G Network and we’re off.
1ST QUARTER NOTES
- Husker defense stops La Tech - appeared to be only once, but bad mark so had to stop them again. A lousy punt by La Tech is someone mitigated by a Husker who felt the need to hold on the squibbed punt.
- Huskers start on offense by failing to cover a middle blitz leaving Haarberg to drop and protect on a sack. He then makes a nice dump to Kemp for a 1st down, but the drive stalls on the next set of downs & Tech takes over after Smoke Harris fields a punt which takes a backwards hop and advances it. Don’t see that often.
- Smoke Harris may be shorter than Deuce Vaughn.
- An overthrow on 3rd down and the Blackshirts quickly have Tech off the field. Backup Jack Turner sailed one high on 3rd down. Does Hank Bachmeier make that throw?
- After moving the ball, this Husker drive is over after Heinrich puts one in Marcus Washington’s chest but it’s dropped.
- The 1st quarter closes with the drive deep in La Tech territory after a 43-yard Haarberg run.
First quarter summary: The Blackshirts are doing their thing only allowing 41 yards to the Bulldogs. However, the offense is slow starting again. 97 yards isn’t awful but hopefully this ends with more than 400 Husker yards.
2ND QUARTER NOTES
- Grant plows right for 8 on solid blocking. Haarberg stuffed on the keep. A motion flip fools no one and it’s time for Alvano…I mean, Bleekrode running straight up the gut on the fake for the 1st!!! Because of course you feed Timmy Bleekrode until they stop him.
- And Kemp on the inside handoff jet sweep for the TD. While breaking out the fake against La Tech might raise an eyebrow, the scoring play was very well executed. And a lead is a lead. Huskers 7 La Tech 0
- The boys dodge a bullet as a La Tech return for a TD on the ensuing kickoff is called back.
- Welp, we can cool the talk on no missed tackles as Jacob Fields slides through two or three on a 14 yard TD run for the Bulldogs. Uh oh.
- The smiles are wiped off for the moment. Huskers 7 La Tech 7
- Thank you and back to your regularly scheduled referee leaping in to take away an approximately 80-yard touchdown run by HH. Holding now occurs on Nebraska when a cornerback grabs the receiver by the horse collar. Instead of drilling a ref in crotch, Haarberg keeps his cool and drills Alex Bullock for a 1st down but the pass blocking fails again and Huskers must punt.
- Ladies and gentlemen, your surgically applied horrible call is brought to you whichever of these crooked bastards has taken Louisiana Tech and the unders. Touchdowns taken off the board this year on horrid flags: 2. And counting.
- I’m not real excited about the upcoming Tech drive with the flags active and and the Bulldogs coming off a 10-play 87 yard drive.
- But - Blackshirts come right back and get a quick three and out. I apologize, my good men.
- Huskers drive deep with the help of an offensive holding drawn by Fidone on a deep route. However an Tristan Alvano field goal attempt is missed badly to the left. Halftime score: Huskers 14 Corrupt or Inept Refs-You Make the Call -7; Huskers Net 7 La Tech 7 (I’m not bitter)
Halftime summary: Things went from manageable to “Oh Holy Shit, here we go again” in the time it took the defense to give up an 87 yard drive out of nowhere followed by the refs pulling an 80-something yard TD run off the board in the space of about 2 minutes. Shot, please.
3RD QUARTER NOTES
- Good start - we fumble a kickoff but at least 14 flags flew when a hole opened prior to that. Yeah, at this point I’m even considering decent calls enraging just because of the backbreaking lousy calls over the years. We got receipts.
- Ugh, huge hole and Haarberg turned the wrong way for the handoff - at least these mistakes don’t result in TO’s? But on 3rd and 2, Grant busts off a big one. I’m ready to just commit random arson right now and the boys actually have a drive going.
- Grant finishes it off a play after what appeared to be a pylon tap for the TD. One of the goofy stripes marks it on the 4, the others mark it on the 1 but Anthony crashes in for 6 a play later. Huskers 14 La Tech 7
- Grant is over 100 with 13 carries for 102 currently.
- Huskers are outgaining the Bulldogs 273-132. I’d have had more stats at halftime but I was crying on the inside.
- Heinrich has 16 carries for 91 but don’t forget the 50 that was stolen.
- After giving up some yards, the D stands tall on a 4th and 1 at their own 28. The offense has a shot at some breathing room and a betting person might think they’ll try to do it on the ground.
- Great run by Grant ..BUT!!! Yep, actual holding but thanks for ignoring the defensive face masking in the same mix-it-up, refs. Shocking, I know.
- Our straight dropback pass blocking is still trash by the way.
- If there’s an upside to this day, it’s all the Buffy-poo “fans” trying to restring the tags on all the apparel they’ve been buying the last couple weeks. There’s some returns coming to Boulder Kmart and student union.
3rd quarter summary: Short summary. After all that, Huskers came out with the lead and a great chance to add to it shortly. That is all.
4TH QUARTER NOTES
- Tommy Fidone with a nice snag from Haarberg and lumbers in for 6. Cinnamon Girl is playing in Tiger Tom’s and all is well. Huskers 21 La Tech 7
- Smoke Harris pops a big play on 3rd down. Nice catch and run after contact. With great names come great responsibility. Nice job, Smoke.
- Huskers appear to have stopped Tech on the next set of downs but a flag flies with Omar Brown and the Bulldog receiver playing slap and grab. Shockingly, the flag is picked up. “Guys, it’s ok - our La Tech/Unders Doyle is still looking good.”
- And while Heinrich may not get his 80-yarder back, he blasts up the middle for a runaway 72 yard Husker TD. I allow myself a smile. Huskers 28 La Tech 7
- As the Huskers punt, let’s check some stats: Haarberg and Grant have combined for 37 carries - 288 yards; Total yards 418-215…which is eerily sort of on track from the 1st quarter stats (97-41); La Tech has 34 yards rushing at 2.1 per carry, the Blackshirts have destroyed every running game they’ve faced…but….
Blake CorumMichigan’s line is up next, different ball game (Here’s the thing, I find Corum to be a solid top-end D1 running back. I don’t think he will ever do anything other than be a nice sub in the NFL. Put Danny Woodhead behind Michigan’s current line and he’s in NYC on Heisman night…with ungodly numbers.)
- It’s just so Nebraska that the game is delayed when the only weather of any notice in 600 miles is a crap little storm cloud that Nebraskans wouldn’t stop a barbecue for unless that sumbitch was over their back yard.
- Game on
- And Tech’s moving the ball. Make it stop.
- The refs still came to play. On review, with no clear view of where a body part hit, they overturn the original mark and declare 1st down La Tech. Giant piles of dogshit never care about their smell, they just stink unapologetically. So do these idiots.
- Turner tosses a rainbow TD into the end zone to make it Huskers 28 La Tech 14.
- Do our boys have the will to jump the cover line again? (20.5 at kickoff)
- All the wagerers just tore their tickets. It’s Chubba-time. Odd move in a 2-score game with five minutes left but let’s hope our fears are baseless as the announcers go on about his big brother, Brock.
- The ref crew rizzes for more camera time with a conference after an obvious flag for PI. Smile you ruddy weirdos.
- The only thing one can say about this drive is…the clock’s running. This Chubs experience ended better than most and ate time. Huskers line bettors are 100% hosed. But let’s hope the 1st team defense is in.
- They are and are getting rolled back until the stripers decide it’s been far too long since they met in front of the camera, so holding on La Tech, “let’s talk about this!”, and yeah. Holding.
- Gifford picks off a deflection, takes the slide and we’re done here.
4th quarter summary: Final thoughts? Lightning delay rules are bullshit. There’s gotta be a new rule that a meteorologist can make the call. Honestly, if a tiny system moving steadily west has passed over the city? Don’t need another half hour to wonder if the trade winds will suddenly reverse. Have a wonderful evening all!