Nebraska Football Tailgate Talk: Chilled Whisky for the last home game

Nebraska running back Markese Stepp (30) runs four yards for a touchdown
Nebraska running back Markese Stepp (30) runs four yards for a touchdown /

Nebraska football takes on Wisconsin at 11 am on Saturday in a cold and blustery final home game, televised on ESPN. Huskers are 13.5 point underdogs. The weather forecast will not be friendly for the tailgaters with a high that day of 32 degrees, mostly sunny, but that chilly wind will be blowing at 15-20 mph. It can leave you numb if you don’t prepare properly. Kind of like this year’s football season.

Last week happened. It wasn’t pretty. In full disclosure, when I said I wanted someone to take Nebraska football OC Mark Whipple out of the mix, I wasn’t talking about a sideline sweep attack. Interestingly no one around him reached out to move the 65-year-old guy out of the way. This is a guy who has been battling blood clots in his leg this season already. This week, he’ll be refusing to call run plays from the press box.

Speaking of the walking wounded, the Cornhuskers have more names on that list than they have lined up for Senior Day on Saturday. That speaks loudly too. I’ll credit Jimmy Watkins from the Omaha World-Herald for comparing the situation to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic (another cold experience).

Most notably, Huskers QB Casey Thompson is “iffy” for Saturday. Not even the media can agree on his injury. I’ve read elbow, hand, and pinky finger, but the bottom line is it’s a nerve thing and he has trouble gripping the ball with any decent amount of strength. That same malady struck backup QB Logan Smothers too last week with his mishandled snaps. In his defense, he’d had the flu leading up to the game and he’s “banged up” too come to find out.

Without Casey behind center, the Nebraska football team has scored 1 touchdown and 3 field goals. This week the 4th string QB is a walk-on from Hastings named Jared Synek. I didn’t forget about Big Red backup Chubba Purdy who is set to have surgery after that awkward sliding injury last week (a high ankle sprain). He needs to hook up with one of the Husker Baseball guys to learn how to do that better. I can suggest a few names, hit me up.

It’s not all bad news although I had to search for the silver lining this week. Silver lining shout out to Steve Sipple for some of that. You can read about it here. I’ll give a Huskers shout-out to Huskers place kicker Timmy Bleekrode! Thank you for bringing special teams back. In a year of drama, this guy has sometimes kept Nebraska football in it.

Silver lining shout out to homegrown, Columbus linebacker Ernest Hausmann too! He’s out there looking better than a freshman thrown into the pits working hard to replace out for season Nick Henrich. Keep getting after it!

This week is the battle of the Interim Head Coaches. I hate Wisconsin. I hate them mostly because we haven’t beaten them since 2012. Up until this year, they were being a “Nebraska” kind of team better than we were. That’s frustrating. Their defense is really good and they have a 2nd nationally ranked defender who leads in sacks. Not giving you his name. You will probably hear it enough Saturday.

Badger QB Graham Mertz isn’t big on throwing things so I’m thinking they will try their best Michigan impression and run, run, run. Huskers will need to air it out but can the “casualty core” produce these things?

Huskers will also need to find a way to warm their cold hands so they STOP DROPPING PASSES. No more botched snaps would help too. And I think (again) the defense is going to need to score to have a chance to beat Wisconsin.

This week’s anti-freeze recipe for Huskers Saturday is a mix of Crown Royal and apricot jello. Mix 1 cup boiling water with the packet of jello and add in 3/4 cup Crown. Feel free to grab the Peach Crown if it’s handy too. Pour into cups and chill. Probably could just set them outside tonight lol.

Grab the hand warmers, layer up, and find that hunting gear if you have it. It will be COLD on Saturday in more ways than one. Say thanks to those die hard tailgate people. It’s been a long season for them too. Be loud at the game, it’s all these seniors are going to get. No bowl games in their career here. That’s a cold bitter pill to swallow.

As Husker linebacker Garrett Nelson said, “It’s Wisconsin and Iowa. Go win these games.” I agree big fella. Nebraska football needs to summon up the grit and gumption and get after that brat of a Badger this Saturday! You may see my mug on the big screen if you are at the game. You never know. As always, GO BIG RED!