Husker Dan: It Was a Win, Right?
There were two good things to come out of Nebraska’s game Saturday night at Purdue:
1.) It was a win and
2.) It wasn’t a loss.
Well duh, Husker Dan.
It’s true, that for the better part of the game, the Boilermakers and Cornhuskers looked liked two bear cubs trying to romance a football.
Forty yards rushing by Nebraska? Husker backs used to make that yardage on one play. Puleeze! Nebraska, a 6 point dog going into the game, struggled most of the night against the now 3-5 Purdue team that, at times, couldn’t get out of its way either. Dropped passes, penalties.
At times, it was an excruciatingly difficult game to watch for Nebraska fans, until the Huskers’ last drive.
AGGIE AGONY RE-DO?
Saturday’s win was very similar to Nebraska’s last minute come from behind victory at Texas A&M in 2006. (BTW, that night in College Station, Nebraska was led by another #13 QB in Zac Taylor.
But Saturday’s late win over Purdue didn’t have as much at stake then as that A&M game. With the ’06 win over the Aggies, Nebraska won its division and played for the Big 12 Conference Championship that year.
But on second thought, maybe Saturday’s win was a big one. Had the Huskers lost to the Purdue, it could have been devastating for Mike Riley and his staff.
Most Husker fans are quick to point out that Purdue has been a very bad football program for years. The BMs (!) stand at 3-5 for the season and NU is very lucky to have won the game considering that PU receivers dropped a couple of sure TD passes.
I get that.
And Nebraska receivers couldn’t hang on to some passes, either. Purdue, under the direction of first year HC, Jeff Brohm, took over a program that suffered through a 3-9 season the year before. But are the BMs better this year?
I dunno. They played Louisville earlier within 7 points, lost at Wisconsin by 8 and beat Minnesota by two touchdowns.
So I’m not buying that this is necessarily the same inept program PU has had in the past. This may be a program on the rise. I know that sounds silly. And I know Purdue isn’t Penn State or Ohio State or even Iowa State, but Husker fans should not have to apologize for the win. Enjoy the dang victory, okay?
The Sunday Omaha World-Herald ran an excellent column written by staff writer Henry J. Cordes about Scott Frost and some of his not so great times at Nebraska.
Great writing, but I have to take exception with one key part. It has to do with the false (in my view) notion that Husker fans booed Frost when he played for Nebraska.
THE WALSH WALTZ?
I get it why some Husker “fans” didn’t like the fact that Frost had turned down Tom Osborne’s scholarship offer, choosing instead to sign with Bill Walsh’s Stanford Cardinal. Who can blame Frost? Before returning to Stanford, Walsh was the offensive genius who helped create the ’49’er dynasty led by Joe Montana.
Walsh left Stanford in 1994 and with that, Frost left for Nebraska. Great news for the Husker football program? Not exactly. Frost was not well accepted by many of the Husker players at that time. He had to earn the respect of the team.
And he did. And by his senior year at Nebraska, Scott Frost was one of the best option QBs ever to play the game.
But even in is senior year (1997) Frost was still sharing QB duties with his backup from the year before, Frankie London.
So in one of the non-con games that year (it was vs Daunte Culpepper’s University of Central Florida Knights – the team Frost now coaches), Frankie London was inserted into the game. Playing London no doubt was done to help build depth at the QB spot and to make sure Scott Frost knew he wasn’t going have anything handed to him. (Brilliant move by Osborne, BTW).
At that point in the game, London was playing well. But, as planned, Frost was going to be inserted into the game at a predetermined time.
And when the PA announcer said that Frost was coming in to play QB, the crowd booed.
And to this day, when I hear that Frost was booed, I challenge that notion. Why?
Because I don’t think it happened quite that way.
THE BOO BIRDS?
I was at that game and remember that moment very clearly. Yes, London was playing well and when he was replaced (it could have been for any Husker QB), the crowd did boo, but they were (in my view) booing the taking out of London and not the inserting of Frost. To me, this is and always has been, a non-story.
Even Coach Tom Osborne believes the crowd was booing Frost. “Fans should never boo a player,” he’s said many times. And that’s true, but I did not see any dissing of Frost by Husker fans.
End of story.
Do I think Nebraska can beat Northwestern this Saturday? Yes. Nebraska actually matches up well with the Wildcats. Look for a low scoring game with Tanner Lee being called upon late to win the game. Maybe even another OT. (NW has won their past two games in OT.)
The Huskers really, really, really need this win. Well, duh, Husker Dan.
You may contact the writer at HuskerDan@cox.net