Nebraska Football Tailgate Talk: Getting Whip’d and going to Michigan

A fan for the Nebraska Cornhuskers watches action (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
A fan for the Nebraska Cornhuskers watches action (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

Nebraska football travels to Ann Arbor on Saturday to play ranked and college football playoff contending Michigan at 2:30, televised on ABC. The weather for the game is expected to have a high of 42 with a 30 percent chance of a rain/snow mix. Maybe that will finally convince Husker Offensive Coordinator Mark Whipple to RUN THE DANG BALL.

Let me back up a bit. Did the Nebraska football game against Minnesota feel familiar? It was like Scott Frost was back in charge of finding a way to lose another game by one score. What in the world was Whipple doing changing the game plan of running (successfully) the ball?! I get that he’s trying to prove Husker QB Chubba Purdy is HIS quarterback and Logan Smothers should ride the pine but to sacrifice what looked like a much-needed win and start chucking the ball is RIDICULOUS. For more on why the Huskers should run the ball, click here.

For just a half last week, the O-line was actually performing well. Thank you big guys for keeping up a good fight. They’ve certainly taken their fair share of criticism this year so I wanted to recognize the solid early performance. I’m not even going to throw them under the bus for the 6 consecutive 3 and outs. That’s on Whipple. If I were in charge, he would have had empty boxes delivered to his office by the end of the game.

Hats off to Nebraska football running back Anthony Grant who, for the 5th time this season, was over 100 yards. Hats off to Husker coach Bill Busch for shutting down the Gopher run game in the first half. The defense kept them to -77 yards in the 1st half.

Michigan has 5′ 8″, 210 lb. running back, Blake Corum. Think Illinois Chase Brown and Minnesota Mohamed Ibrahim, but better. Rinse & Repeat for the Huskers defense who played OUT OF THEIR MINDS last week. I kind of thought they deserved some blackshirts being handed out after keeping the Gophers to -77 yards in the 1st half.

On the Michigan defense, the Wolverines are 1st in rush defense, they logged 29 sacks at last count and have the 3rd-ranked scoring defense.

That blue team has fast tight ends, blocking receivers but not much of a passing game. They really don’t need it. Nebraska football need to control the gaps, limit the explosive plays and keep good eye discipline. I’m not thrilled about losing Farmer for the game but Husker Phalen Sanford, probably the fastest athlete on the team (and a Nebraska walk-on) should be able to keep guard of the back end ok.

Logan Smothers has been in this place before and performed well the last time Huskers faced the Wolverines. He has better tools in his arsenal now: Travis Vokolek, Trey Palmer, Marcus Washington, Anthony Grant and even Chancellor Brewington come to mind quickly. If Huskers can survive to the 4th quarter, they might have a chance.

I’m nervous about the game because Michigan is the bigger, badder wolf. They also need to run the score up to look good for the playoff picture. Huskers are the underdog and that’s a dangerous place if you’re Michigan. Nothing to lose really. We’ve already lost our starting QB, Casey Thompson and now suspended defensive back Myles Farmer.

I looked up the Wolverine Cocktail. It’s Dry Vermouth, Sprite and apple juice. That sounds as hard to swallow as another year with Whipple on staff. And it’s not blue! In MY Roadside Wolverine cocktail (see what I did there?), there is 1/2 ounce blue curacao, 1 oz vodka, sprite and apple juice to taste. Enjoy it in a highball glass.

Take advantage of a game at home in front of the tv when the weather is in the 30’s. It may not be that way when Wisky comes to town. Keep your fingers crossed for an afternoon game for the Nebraska football team. In the meantime, cheer loudly, support the team and, as always, GO BIG RED!