Nebraska Football Tailgate Talk: Huskies v Huskers

A Nebraska Cornhuskers fan reacts to a call (Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports)
A Nebraska Cornhuskers fan reacts to a call (Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Nebraska football team starts its home schedule (FINALLY) against the Northern Illinois Huskies, 6pm at Memorial Stadium. The game is on FS1. The weatherman says it will be a mostly sunny day in the mid-70s, so the tailgate Goddess is paying the Nebraska football faithful back for all the awfulness they’ve endured these past two weeks.

Would it help if I told you it was only 13-7 in the 3rd quarter last week? Probably not.

Yes, that was horrible. Yes, Sims was not good, again. When I got an earful from people about why they should care anymore I told them this: because we are Husker fans! We would throw a HUGE fit if the players quit.

Why should we be able to quit on the players? Be in the stands for them. And I told my tailgate people, “remember when there was football and we weren’t allowed to tailgate?” I will never give up the chance, or the excuse really, to get together with friends.

People want to get together even with bad Nebraska football (for now). Sure it would be great to be able to celebrate a win, but bottom line, I’m a Husker fan. That carries a responsibility too and I’m not going to quit.

I don’t know which Huskers quarterback is starting with Jeff Sims having an ankle sprain. Just so you know, Sims isn’t slipping down the QB ranks any time soon. He is Huskers head coach’s guy. Rhule isn’t going to throw him under the bus. Where would that leave us? Nowhere good. Don’t forget there are a LOT of other things that a quarterback does such as game/clock awareness, timing with the center and snaps, in and out of the huddle effectively, reading defenses, making audible calls and lot of other things.

Dropping in anyone else who hasn’t been practicing those things could get even scarier. I don’t like those facts but there they are. You are simply going to have to dance with the prom date that brought you, no matter how bad their rhythm. Buckle up Husker fans.

Nebraska football desperately needs a win to calm the tidal waves of discord. On the bright side, the defense is still looking good. I’d say it’s really good so far. The Big Red rush defense is in the top 10, actually. They held Colorado to only 58 yards rushing last week.

Those 8 sacks were almost as tasty as the Big Mac deal that goes along with it on Sunday. They are physical, aggressive, and fun to watch. What we do need the Blackshirts to improve upon is their getting off the field on 3rd downs, and it would be wonderful if they could cause turnovers that result in points. A simple short list, but an effective one.

Since we are all looking for improvement, it would be nice to have one of the new young receivers step up.  Are you listening to Malachi Coleman and Jalen Lloyd? For more on them, click here. Get more footballs to Thomas Fidone II as well. Finishing drives is going to be key for the Huskers this week. A short list, really, but an effective one.

Good news for Nebraska football is that, like last week, the other team isn’t good at stopping the run. And if I’m wishing for everything to go well for the Huskers, the Special Teams goes back to good things with Brian Buschini bouncing back from an uncharacteristic game last week.

The Northern Illinois Huskies come to town with quarterback, Rocky Lombardi, a very experienced young man and a VERY solid defensive line. Not a lot of youngsters on this roster and some are covid holdovers (like the QB). They like to play physical and are hard-nosed up front. Kacper Rutkiewicz (yes, I spelled that correctly) is their best wide receiver. I can’t remember the name of the all-conference safety but I know they have one. They are coming off a loss to Southern Illinois, but they have also beaten Boston College this year. Don’t forget, there’s nothing more dangerous than a team with nothing to lose.

It’s time to exorcise the demons of the past two weeks and put a W on the record! No better way to do that then to enlist the help of a good spirit (or two or three). I mixed this week’s jello shots with black cherry-flavored vodka spirit made by White Claw with cherry jello. 1 cup of water with 3/4 cups of alcohol.  Very simple but effective.

It will be a beautiful to tailgate Saturday. Remember that there are only 7 chances this year to do so. Get out there. Be good fans. Be ready to cheer on the Huskers and don’t forget to ask your host/hostess if you can bring anything to the merriment. I’ll be out there. I’ll be gathering hugs like the Blackshirts gather sacks. Keep the faith Nebraska football nation and as always, GO BIG RED!