A HOT AUGUST NIGHT
It was hot in Lincoln, Nebraska last Saturday night. And the 90 degree
weather was only part of the reason. To be sure, a ticket to the game
was a real hot item. Really hot. I checked with a scalper two hours
before kickoff who was willing to "let me have" two tickets
to the game for $300. And the Huskers were playing the Western Michigan
Broncos, not the Denver Broncos.
To be sure, Saturday night was the debut of the Bo Pelini Era. After
four years of football futility that ended in the worst defensive record
in Husker history, Husker fans desperately wanted see the coming of
their new football messiah. Not since Bob Devaney came to Lincoln in
1962 has there been such a need for someone to save the Husker football
PARTY ON, DUDE!
Prior to the game, I hung out at the Huskerpedia Tailgate Party and
met up with David Max (he and Joe Hudson run Huskerpedia) and Gary McGirr,
who is president of the Northeast Kansanas for Nebraska. Bill Moran
(a RABID Husker fan who lives in Pottsville, PA) and his daughter, Kate,
who flew in from Tampa, Florida were also tailgating with us. This was
Kate's first time in Nebraska and her very first Husker football game.
As we made our way to the Stadium, we passed through the lobby of the
Embassy Suites in downtown Lincoln. We were met with throngs of Husker
fans who broke into several spontaneous renditions of "GoooooooBigggggggggggggReddddddddd!
GO BIG RED!" It was a blast. Husker fans were begging to see the
Huskers finally play some football.
I'm sure most outsiders wouldn't understand how Husker fans could be
so amped up for a game that featured two 5-7 teams. They just don't
get it, do they?
All you need to know about what the Bo Pelini Era is going to be like,
is to look at Cody Glenn. Last year, Glenn was relegated to sitting
on the bench as the Huskers' 3rd and short running back. So what did
Pelini do with him this year? He put the kid in a position (weakside
linebacker) that best utilizes his skills and helps shore up a weak
corps of linebackers.
So how did Glenn respond? He led the Huskers with 12 tackles that included
2 1/2 sacks and a whopping 9 unassisted tackles. He also broke up a
couple of passes. The kid was all over the field. The crowd justifiably
roared with their approval.
Husker fans should hold their criticism of the Husker running game and
its pass defense until later in the season. This is a work in progress.
The players have had a lot to learn in a short time. They've had to
grasp a new system, get used to new coaches and absorb new terminology.
The Bo Show is going to be just fine.
There is an interesting Husker trivia game that's been appearing on
Question: In what year was the first Husker football game televised?
(See answer below.)
The next two games with San Jose State and New Mexico State should be
no contest. The good thing is that these games will give Bo the opportunity
to play a lot of kids who otherwise wouldn't see much playing time.
Look for Patrick Witt and Zac Lee to get some snaps.
This season marks the 25th anniversary of the much heralded 1983 "Scoring
Explosion" team that fell inches short of giving Tom Osborne his
first national championship that year. Those of you who are too young
to remember, you need to check out that team that featured Heisman trophy
winner, running back Mike Rozier, quarterback Turner Gill and wingback,
Irving Fryar. Yes, that's the same Fryar whose son played in the Broncos'
secondary Saturday night.
If you'd like to give Husker Dan a piece
of your mind you may email Husker Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For past Husker Dan columns, click here.