Husker Football Tailgate Tales: Nebraska truth and Iowa lies

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 02: A Nebraska Cornhuskers helmet is seen during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 2, 2019 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - NOVEMBER 02: A Nebraska Cornhuskers helmet is seen during the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 2, 2019 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Nebraska had a positive day on Friday, all things considered.

I didn’t write anything after the Nebraska v Illinois game because my mother taught me, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” That’s where I was after the complete, top to bottom, (coaches included) lack of effort and execution that day by the Huskers. Truth. For the most part after the game, everyone fell on their sword as they should.

Fast forward to Black Friday Iowa week. Yes, it’s a rivalry because they are just across the river. It’s a rivalry where both sides get chippy immediately and I’m fine with that. Kudos to the powers that be for getting Iowa v. Nebraska back to black Friday in this disgusting year of 2020.

The gross ineptitude of former Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst had originally scheduled Minnesota to play Big Red. Regardless of his weak effort to indicate he didn’t understand it was a “tradition and rivalry” to play each other on Black Friday, Eichorst’s actions belied his argument.

Nebraska losing still bites. I pouted all day. The truth is the game was setting up to be a karma train of joy with the mouthy Iowa kicker “doinking” his last field goal attempt, thus still keeping a victory for the Huskers within reach. But alas, the ugly self-defeating demons of Big Red suited up and stepped in only to thwart those efforts. I would submit that the game was lost when we muffed the punt return, or going 3 and out, or a holding penalty which didn’t need to happen, and taking sacks, blah blah blah, rinse and repeat.

If you want a recap of the game, you won’t find it here. Find good articles by Steve Sipple, commentary by former Husker Adam Carriker, Husker Hangover podcasts, or listen to your favorite sports talk radio show on Monday. I can’t rehash it without needing a stiff drink. It was suggested by Husker Corner that 3 players really needed to step up on Friday to help Nebraska win. Truth it, they did. More than just 3 did. You can read about that here.

But instead of lying in a pit of despair, I always try to look toward the positive. I was proud of Adrian Martinez and how he played given what he’s been through this year being benched and then started this season. I was proud of Luke Reimer (12 tackles on the day) having a larger role trying to fill the gap left by linebacker Colin Miller who is now relegated to cheering on the sideline due to his spinal concussion. JoJo Domann had another good game. Hawkeyes were averaging 6.2 yards per rush coming into the game and Nebraska held them to 2.9. Nicely done, Blackshirts. Truth is, the defense did what it needed to help the Huskers win. It was the offense that let us down, again.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was frustrated with the bad snaps. However, following the game, head coach Scott Frost indicated that there was some kind of “clapping” coming from the Iowa sideline that caused problems for Cam Jurgens. When Hawkeyes Coach, Kirk Ferentz was asked about it he feigned any sort of knowledge. Did you really think he would admit it? The video is clear as to what they were doing. You can see a coach emphatically trying to simulate the claps. In a regular year, the crowd noise would have drowned out the sideline antics.

Coach Frost addressed the issue with the refs at halftime. It didn’t happen again. Yes, in truth there is a rule against trying to fake the snap. It’s called “disconcerting signals.” Iowa can open their lying liar-hole and deny it all they want, but actions speak louder than words. And come to find out, Iowa has been warned 2 other times this season for pulling this.  The fact that it didn’t happen again after they were warned speaks louder than the cries to fire Kevin Warren. Truth.

On to Purdue. Shocker, the game is at 11 am. Purdue is a 1 point favorite. Huskers need to show up and do the good things and leave the bad things behind. Huskers NEED an invite to a bowl game, for no other reason than to get some extra practices for a team that desperately needs to focus on the little things. I’ll be back on Thursday with a homegate/tailgate recipe for getting through the game and in the meantime, feel free to reach me on Twitter at Kelian_NE. As always, GO BIG RED!