Nebraska Football Tailgate Talk: Hallowe-e-n gonna do on Saturday?

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska football team takes on 17th-ranked Illinois on Saturday at 2:30 with the game on ABC. It should be a beautiful day with temps in the low 60’s and a partly cloudy sky. Tailgates are gonna be as full as a kid’s Halloween candy bag at 10 pm. Last I checked Big Red is a 7-point underdog. Big Red seems to perform better than expected when an underdog

I’m not really going to get into the Purdue game much except to say that only losing by 6 is encouraging. Bad things were still bad things. Good things were still good things. It was a big pile of steamy crap that Husker wide receiver  Trey Palmer didn’t get Offensive Player of the Week after getting 7 catches, 60 yards rushing,  2 touchdowns, and 237 yards in reception.  He’s a humble guy and not winning the game kept him from celebrating those stats.

There were some improvements in that game like 2nd half adjustments, again. No let down in effort through a tough game. I was hoping Anthony Grant could do more but with a struggling O Line, I get it. He will have tough sledding again this week with a stout Illini D-line. Maybe even a little swing pass (can’t believe I said it) would help.

On to Brett Bielema and the Fighting Illini. They are scary. It’s fitting that it’s Halloween weekend. Huskers don’t have good stats when playing ranked opponents lately. it’s an ugly number actually. Like Freddy Krueger ugly.  But I think they are ripe for an upset. QB Casey Thompson needs to be smart where he’s throwing the ball because Palmer will have more escorts than cute girls at the prom. Travis Vokolek and Marcus Washington are going to have to stay sharp for the Nebraska football team.

I feel optimistic about it since the Scarlet & Cream had an extra week to heal up after the dogfight in West Lafayette that stole the rest of the season for Nebraska Captain Nick Henrich. (He is done with a ligament injury to his knee.) What a nightmare. (see what I did there?) Gonna miss him in the middle for sure this week. If you want to look at the updated depth chart, click here. At least linebacker Luke Reimer is back.

One new thing for Nebraska football this week is that we finally play a team that doesn’t spread it all out across the field. It’s also a good thing there was a bye week for the players to transition to this kind of play in addition to hitting the ice tubs and trainers’ room for bandages worthy of a Mummy brigade. I think a big key for this game will be our Husker Blackshirt slowing down Illinois running back, Chase Brown and wide receiver Brian Hightower. Brown is a big reason for their consistency and their success. He has 33 runs over 10 yards this season. The Nebraska football team will need some Safety help to at least slow him down.

Lovie Smith taught Illinois great defense and how to blitz. Bielema brings the schemes and the experience. He loves to hold onto the ball and bleed the clock in a way that would make Dracula jealous. It’s time for Big Red special teams to score some points and the Huskers will need to come out of the gates early on this one to stay in it.  If they get behind they will be digging their own grave.

The Husker faithful will need to be in FULL voice too. It’s doubtful that the orange people have heard noise like this fan base can produce. It matters. As for the Husker players, it will take a balanced attack and finding a way to beat the man across from you for things to go their way. Illinois plays a lot of man-to-man coverage. All the Big Red tight ends and receivers will need to take that physical challenge to heart to have a ghost of a chance.

Inasmuch as it’s Halloween weekend, I’ve brought back some favorites. Apple Cider, orange jello and Fireball are always timely. I’ve also experimented with some other flavors.  Heat 1 cup Apple Cider and mix with Green Apple jello until dissolved. Add 3/4 cup Apple Pucker and then pour and chill.

If you’re looking for a special shot to celebrate the Nebraska football win after the game, here’s a bonus recipe, drop a gummy eyeball in it! Lemon Jello with cup of water to dissolve the jello, pink lemonade mix packet and 3/4 cup pink lemonade vodka. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t quite set like jello. I think the gummy throws it off a bit but it still works!

If Nebraska football can pull a win on Saturday, they sit atop the West Division. How’s that for some midseason witchcraft?! Let that sink in. Bring your LOUD voice, your Coach Mickey Joseph energy, and your Sea of Red to Lincoln on Saturday. Send me your Nebraska football tailgate photos to @Kelian_NE on the Twitter. As always, GO BIG RED!