Nebraska Football Tailgate Talk: Bulldogs roll into rainy Saturday

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg #10 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers passes against against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Memorial Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA - SEPTEMBER 16: Quarterback Heinrich Haarberg #10 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers passes against against the Northern Illinois Huskies at Memorial Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska football team plays against the 2-2 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m in Memorial Stadium. The game is televised on B1G Network. The Huskers are favored by 19.5 points. That doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park though because the weather forecast is crappy. Showers are likely with a chance of a thunderstorm, and temps will be around low 70’s so bring your poncho because umbrellas aren’t welcome into the stadium.

On the bright side (get it?), it would most likely slow down the air attack from the Bullies. Think Colorado offense but not the annoying coach.

How about that Big Red WIN!?  It feels nice to write that sentence about Nebraska football. I was impressed by young Kearney quarterback Heinrich Haarberg.

He was smart with the football, looked quick with his decisions, and he can move the ball with his feet too. He was far better in the 3rd Q so he knows how to listen to directions. I’m calling it a “double A” performance (see what I did there?). By the way, his dad was a walk-on Fullback in the early 90’s for you trivia buffs.

And speaking of trivia, In the last 3 games, the Huskers quarterbacks have rushed for more yards than Jamal Lord in 2002. Given our season ending injuries to Huskers running backs Gabe Ervin and Rahmir Johnson, that’s gonna come in handy. I loved how #10 Haaberg lowered his shoulder into guys but that’s not a long term, physical season kind of thing I’d want to see. I liked his throwing motion, although at times it looked more like his days at second base than behind center. He throws well on the run which is a nice change. For more news on the injured from last week, click here. You may get to see freshmen Kwinten Ives from New Jersey and Emmitt Johnson from Minnesota.

The Huskers offense played well and looked to be in rhythm. It was great to see the O line doing some good things (except for that time they missed a block and a fumble occurred). I’m still not 100% sold on their coach, but I’ll continue to evaluate (be judgey) it. I can tell you that I had some of that Pipeline Jerky and it was almost as tasty as the pancake block Ethan Piper delivered. Get yourself some! Not upset about the penalty on the hustle either given the score. In case you missed it….

I’m still in love with the Nebraska football defense. Huskers D line youngin’ Nash Hutmacher was solid up front and the entire line was giving a good push all game.  35 defensive players were rotated into the game on Saturday, and 27 Huskers had more than 10 snaps each. That’s a great way to grow that bench. Hats off to Defensive Coordinator Tony White. The only thing missing is punching out the ball and scoring. (Cue the Blackshirts music).

Switching gears to this week’s opponent, along with an up tempo air attack staffed by La Tech Wide Receivers (15 different Cajuns have receptions) probably the best hands on the team is their tight end, Ryan Rivera. Former Nebraska football WR DeColdest Crawford still has an injury from camp and zero receptions. Some other things the La Tech Head Coach Cumbie mentioned last week was that their defense got gassed by the end of last week’s game. I find that interesting since the difference in time was 32 to 27 minutes for possession. Our Blackshirt defense is tougher than yours.

The Bulldogs bring to town a bit of an injury bug as well. QB Hank Bachmeier is questionable with a shoulder injury. Back up QB Jack Turner handled the snaps last week in a tough loss to North Texas 40-37. He was 9 of 14, with 145 yards and a touchdown. 6th year veteran wide receiver (and chunky Cajun) Smoke Harris had 4 receptions for 77 yards with an average of 19.3 yards. Huskers defense will need to limit the fire under his fee and big plays for a Big Red victory on Saturday. I look for the Cornhusker secondary to stamp out the smoke.

La Tech running back Tyre Shelton (also a little dinged up) was 16 rushes for 152 yards with an average of 9.5 yards. I’m looking forward to Nebraska linebackers shutting him down on Saturday. Their head coach Sonny Cumbie also mentioned stacking extra hats in the box to slow down the Nebraska football offensive rush attack. Duly noted.

This tailgate week will test the fair-weather fans for sure. My attempt to keep the bright outlook is predicated on my jello shot of the week – the Arnold Palmer. I found this gem of a vodka and just had to try it. Hopefully the Huskers will find a gem in their tight end core to help catch the ball more this week too. Same as always, 1 cup water in lemon jell-o, and 3/4 cup of alcohol to get it to set up.

Nebraska football wants some southern comfort

I didn’t talk about the Nebraska football team’s quarterback battle because everyone else is doing it. I can see Huskers Head Coach Rhule starting Sims to keep him fresh (and maybe give him some confidence), but pull him (either due to “injury” or “to keep him healing up”) and then get more experience for either Haarberg or Purdy. The low-risk taker in me would start Haarberg to heal that Sims ankle fully. If we are going to be forced to have him remain our starter, we definitely need his ankle healthy. But I’m not paid B1G money to make those kind of important decisions.

Lagniappe: (a lil something extra) I want to send out some healing vibes to former Husker Casey Thompson who tore his ACL last week. The injury Gods were relentless. Get better young man!

Regardless of who you want behind center for Nebraska football, get to the game and keep that crowd noise loud and proud. Huskers face Michigan next. Hit me up with your gameday recipes @kelian_Ne and as always, GO BIG RED!