The blue guys come to town and play the Nebraska football team on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (FOX network). The weatherman says it’s going to be hot, mostly sunny and a high of around 90 so it won’t feel like fall just quite yet. Huskers go into the contest at 2-2. (It still feels good to WIN!)
That guy in khakis has Michigan 4-0, having played East Carolina, UNLV, Bowling Green and Rutgers. Will Harbaugh’s boys look past Nebraska football this week? I think it’s possible and the Cornhuskers have nothing to lose being the underdog to the tune of around 17.5 points.
Last week’s interesting weather delay game gave Nebraska football another win but seemed boring and slow at times. Don’t expect a lot of fast-moving stuff this Saturday as both teams are built for defense rather than offense although Michigan has the #1 scoring defense in the nation right now.
This is one of those games where you will find out how much progress, and how much more needs to happen for the Huskers. Don’t let that weigh you down. Bring your BIG RED voice to the game and create some havoc for the Wolverines. There is nothing more dangerous than a team with nothing to lose.
Along with the BEST defense nationally, Michigan running back Blake Corum leads the nation in rushing touchdowns with 8, and receiver Roman Wilson is tied for first nationally with 6. You can look for Quarterback J. J. McCarthy, a 6’3″ Junior, to capitalize in the air and on the ground Saturday. He’s rolling along with an 80% pass completion rate. That’s what happens when you have a great O-line along with solid development and coaching at that position.
Whoever is at the QB spot for Nebraska football will have to go to the air this week with a stingy ground game. For more on the QB issues, click here. I would go with the hometown guy, Heinrich Haarberg seems to have the hot hand right now and he’s more physical with his running game than Sims. Even Coach Rhule in his press conference said he’s done a good job running the option and making zone reads. I think the Huskers will use more option (thanks Ron Brown for teaching them up on this skill) and power football. The question for Nebraska is can it be successful?
In order for the Huskers to have success, I think D line player Nash Hutmacher needs to have a great game. On the other side of the ball, Nebraska needs to stay away from 3rd and long. I’d like to see WR Tommie Hill or Malachi Coleman get some catches (just not over the middle ones which seem to bring awful results for Big Red). The good news for the Huskers is that the offense gets better as the game goes along. Speaking of offense, Josh Fleeks moved to the thin running back room. He played that position in high school. Running back Anthony Grant will need to be the one initiating contact rather than receiving it this Saturday to be successful as well.
I’d love to say next week that Garret McGuire has earned my respect. The jury is still out for me on his ability to develop players and manage the room, thin or not. I wasn’t thrilled with that hire. I don’t care that “he’s been around the game his whole life” argument for the 24-year-old. I’ve been around the game too (more than 24 years) but no one is going to hire me. He can up his stock considerably this week by putting his guys in the right places, getting separation and actually making catches. Yards after the catch will decide the game I think.
For this week’s tailgate, I’ve decided to let you in on my VERY tasty spicy pretzel recipe. I go through 3-4 batches each game so far. Easy to make, it just takes patience. Huskers will need patience with the gameplan this Saturday as well. Mix 3/4 olive oil with 2 TBS each of powdered ranch seasoning, garlic powder and Hot Rod’s Creole seasoning, (click here to get some). This week I used the Tequila Lime version. Pour that over a bag of pretzels (waffle or small twists work the best) and stir every ten minutes for an hour. Place on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 and bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them. You can mix them with Bugles, Cinnamon Toast Cruch, and Cheez-its when you have a BIG party too.
And since tasty bits need something to go with them, my homage to the blue team is an equally blue jello shot. Mix Berry Blue jello with Blue Raspberry Lemonade vodka. 3/4 cup alcohol to 1 cup of water.
There will be a lot of buzz around town with Barstool Sports commentator and former Husker Will Compton bringing his “Bussin with the Boys” down at Pinnacle Bank in the morning. Lots of people rolling into town on a beautiful Saturday to take in some football, food and fun.
I would implore all of you to keep an open mind this Saturday. If the Huskers can keep Michigan to a low score into the 3rd and 4th quarter, there is still a shot. Nebraska football is an explosive play or two away from winning this one. (cross fingers here). Let’s make sure to do our part and cheer loudly when the defense is on the field. Be disruptive but be respectful. Most of all, GO BIG RED!