Nebraska Football Tailgate Talk: Breakfast with the Buffs

Sep 10, 2016; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers fan gets ready for the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2016; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers fan gets ready for the game against the Wyoming Cowboys at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /

Nebraska football plays in Boulder, Colorado, at the early hour of 11 am CDT on Fox. The Buffs are coming off an upset of TCU and is now ranked #22 in the polls as of Tuesday and are favored by 2.5 -3 points. If Big Red were able to squeak out a victory it would be the first in a long time against a ranked opponent. They say that the most improvement comes between games 1 and 2. My goodness, there had better be.

Remember when I complained about change? What hasn’t changed is Nebraska football’s ability to snatch defeat from the mouth of victory. The Nebraska football team had more turnovers than the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I will give RB Anthony Grant his “free space on the bingo card” for that fumble. Most any running back would’ve lost the ball on that one. However, Jeff Sims doesn’t get to use his.  In fact, Amigos should add a free dessert to the Sims combo to help with the bad taste it leaves in your mouth.

Totally unrelated, Casey Thompson at FAU had 5 TDs, and was 20/25 passes with 280 yards. Granted they played Monmouth which is almost a high school team but I’m just sayin… And former Husker QB Logan Smothers had a good game against Jackson State going 13 of 17 passes for 127 yards, with 1 passing touchdown and 2 on the ground.

“When the Buffalo comes running at you, you just point like this…”

While I’m already grumpy and complaining like the rest of Husker Nation, the Nebraska football touchdown that wasn’t one, WAS one. That targeting call on Ty Robinson was a clear lack of understanding of the intention of the rule by the officials. The Minnesota QB was only pushed. I know that Ty Robinson can be a man with “violent intentions” (because that’s what you want from a lineman) but there wasn’t a lot of violence in that SHOVE. Yes, there was some incidental contact from his helmet, but seriously…. on the replay he shouldn’t have been ejected. Roughing the passer is all that was, period. Crappy officiating is still the same.

I know it’s a TEAM loss just like it would be a team win, however…..Jeff Sims gets the credit for this one in my book. Coach Rhule in his after-game presser said (generalizing here) that the coaches were going to have to come up with better calls for Sims to be able to execute effectively. Um…like never throw the ball over 20 yards, or stop staring down your receiver?

How about you coaches come up with a way for the tight ends to come up with catches, or even be targets since the long arms of Thomas Fidone would be more useful that way? Or run the ball with Gabe Ervin more? Or maybe have Offensive Coordinator Satterfield earn some of his 1.4-million-dollar salary and teach Sims how to “effectively” read the defense?  If Sims were an unexperienced redshirt sophomore I’d cut him a little slack and he would get to use his “free space.” He’s not. He’s a covid junior having played 3 years at Ga Tech.  And he’s the one that Rhule picked over Casey Thompson so you two (or three) put on your big guy pants, and play like you deserve to be coaching & QB1 at Nebraska.  (end of rant)

The worst and most frustrating part of last week was that the Huskers were actually playing well, save the turnovers and penalties (which sounds like rinse & repeat). Even Huskers QB1 Sims was doing well on the designed run plays, plus he would make good yards after contact. Defense and Special teams were on point. Huskers coach Ed Foley is welcome to come to any tailgate party I throw.

Big Red linebackers looked fast and good. Young linebacker Isaac Gifford (save not catching the MN ball in the end zone) was playing very well. No one is beating themselves up about that lack of interception more than he is I’m sure. The Blackshirts were pretty physical, and they had 3 sacks. Defensive lineman, Nash Hutmacher looked good. Blaise Gunnerson is coming along. The secondary will continue to improve. The Blackshirts and defense seemed to always be around the ball, and with more than one defender. The jury is still out for me on the O line play. However, for another man’s opinion, click here.

Bad news: Nebraska football wide receiver, Isaiah Garcia-Castenada is out for the year with an ACL tear leaving an already thin room now scant. The good news is that the injury was early in the season and he could medically redshirt and play next year. Worse news: Colorado darling and son of the head coach Deion Sanders, Shedeur Sanders threw for over 500 yards (against a defense that ranked 91st last year). He can throw the ball dang far and directly on target more than once a game. No ducks from his arm. Buffaloes also have a secondary that will produce players for the NFL. Good news for the Huskers is that they will now be without Safety Myles Slusher who played most of the snaps on that side of the ball.

Really Good news: Colorado defense gave up 262 rushing yards and 150 yards on kick return. This is where the Huskers should capitalize in my humble opinion. Let Huskers running backs get theirs. I also think that with Nebraska’s linemen being more physical this year, it would cause that “cumulative” effect in the 4th quarter to turn runs of 4-5 yards into runs of 8-10 yards. Run the damn ball. I also want to see more tight end involvement. It was tossed out there that even QB2 Haarberg could be involved in receiver roles this week. Why not risk the health of the backup… what could go wrong?

It’s an early game and the Husker faithful will need something stronger than a mimosa to get through this one. My drink of defeat for the Buffaloes I’m calling the Bison Bullet. In a highball glass, mix 1.5 shots of vodka, 1 shot of Apple Pucker, and fill with Orange juice. The greenish color is in case the game leaves you sick at the end of the game like last week.

On the bright side, Huskers are finally at home next week and it’s a night game which should give fans time to catch up with their friends at the tailgate. We will be setting up east of the stadium this year and meeting new people. I’m looking forward to discussing the how great it was to get a victory over Deion Sanders in an environment with a lot of red in the stands. Hit me up on the X at @kelian and share your Nebraska football photos. As always, GO BIG RED!