Nebraska Football: Tailgate ideas for Week 4 vs Illinois

It’s almost time for more Nebraska Football.

Big Ten play begins Saturday! First, let me tell you that head coach Lovie Smith’s beard is amazing. I’m not really a beard fan but his beard has probably more fans than Jack Stoll’s mullet (RIP). But, I digress. Nebraska heads to Champaign, Illinois for a 7:00 pm kickoff (BTN) against the Fighting Illini. The orange team is 2-1 in non-conference play (42 – 3 Akron; 31-23 Connecticut; and 34-31 Eastern Michigan).

Don’t think for a minute the Huskers are looking past the orange team though. Yes, Illinois had a problem with penalties, yes they gave up some big plays, but they still have great defense, Senior  running back Reggie Corbin is back in action. Illinois has a 7.5 average per carry, and their offensive line will most likely give Nebraska’s defense some challenges. For more on containing the Illinois offense, check here.

New Junior QB, Brandon Peters can sling or run it too. He’s currently 7th in the nation in passing touchdowns (9). They average a little more than 400 yards a game on offense right now. Given the Huskers’ injury woes on the secondary, this is never a good thing. however, I am encouraged by the play of Eli Sullivan and Isaiah Stalbird in their backup roles.

Enough about a team that is giving FREE student tickets for the game. Let’s talk about ‘dem HUSKERS! How about that goal line stance for the Blackshirts!! Ok, yes, I do think NIU did get the score on the 3rd down, but I’m not going to complain, especially since so many times the ball hasn’t bounced our way.

The victory against NIU was sloppy and disjointed but a W is a W! I look forward to watching Nebraska simply handle business this week. They will need to be more focused in the pass game and Adrian Martinez MUST make good decisions. This is something of a work in progress but it’s better than our kicking game which could STILL be on the back of a milk carton.

I was looking for inspiration this week’s menu items.  Much like Coach Smith’s first few years in Champaign, there’s really not much to work with there. I mean what is a Fighting Illini anyway? I decided on “orange” and I’m bringing back some simple oldies but goodies.

Since it’s an away game and you can host or take an item to a “homegate” I’m going to suggest something that has been missed at our tailgates due to the HOT weather – cheese! It’s orange. How about a simple meat and cheese tray? Simple to make. Simple to take. Summer sausage, pepperoni, salami, different cheeses, strawberries, grapes. These are all good finger foods. And not being outside, the cheese won’t sweat like O-Lineman in June.

I’m REALLY dusting off some old brain cells with the cocktail selection. This is a drink from back in the 50’s. Hint: I think Illinois AD, Josh Whitman is banging his head up against a wall trying to figure out how to sell tickets. You guessed it, a Harvey Wallbanger! This is simply a screwdriver (vodka & OJ) with a float of Galliano on top. It’s refreshing and unique, like seeing the Huskers defense snag passes from the opposing offenses.

My thoughts on this Saturday: I think the defense gets some more takeaways. Not a big leap since Nebraska leads the Big Ten in this category. I predict Nebraska gets their 900th win . And I think you continue to see progress on offense.

Next: Illinois players Huskers should watch

Get somewhere comfy with your feet up for this one. Next week against Ohio State is a night game. As always, GO BIG RED!

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