A beautiful Saturday afternoon at Lincoln’s Memorial Stadium and this happened . . .
Not a dry eye was in the house as 85,000 fans rained tears on a man ending his reign at Nebraska.
It was the ultimate graduation party on Senior Day in Lincoln as Husker fans honored the man synonymous with Nebraska football, if not the state in general.
Head Coach Bo Pelini held Osborne’s hand high as the man that built and the man re-building Big Red Tradition led the team onto the field for the last time this season . . . and the last time ever for Osborne.
Osborne looked every bit ready to coach again, sporting the ol’ coaches jacket and ballcap. All that was missing was the play sheet. Looking both spry and ready to pass the torch, Coach sprinted through the turf at Memorial and into the history book, still being written.
There was also a game to play. The Huskers methodically dominated both sides of the ball as they exhibited superiority over the Gophers. There was no drama or roller coaster on the field in this one as they scored 10 1st-quarter points, the best blast out of the gate since the Ohio State game. Nebraska never looked back.
What we learned in the second quarter is that if Nebraska gets inside the three yard line, its Cross-check time. Freshman beast Imani Cross scored twice in the 2nd quarter on runs of three yards and one yard, the second multi-score game of Cross’ career. Just the week prior, Cross had TD runs of one and two yards.
The defense chipped in with a pick-six in the 3rd quarter also, running up the score to 38-0 and cementing the win, though the goose egg burst with a couple late Gopher scores.
I’m not sure about the rest of Husker Nation, but without the 2nd half comeback and the heart-pounding anxiety, I was actually sort of bored. I don’t know how I feel about admitting that.
Now the only thing standing in the way of a Husker trip to the ‘chip is a cellophane Hawkeye team that is just south of terrible. I would put Iowa in my Sad Seven this week, but it would be an insult to the Sad Seven. Their signature win this season is that they stand in the way of Northern Illinois’ perfect season.
Typically I would find a reason to tell Husker fans not to take Iowa lightly as there is much more on the line for Nebraska, but I would just be wasting good words on what is sure to be a really, really bad game. Is it finally time to admit that Kirk Ferentz is no Hayden Fox, let alone Hayden Fry?
And while we want to keep focus on Friday, just a heads up that Wisconsin is peaking right now. The Nebraska loss might have been the catalyst to their turn around. Since that loss, Wisconsin is 4-2 with their two losses coming in overtime Michigan State and Ohio State. They are scoring nearly 33 points per game in that stretch and they now have a Top 20 scoring defense.
So with the spirit of Tom Osborne and the strength and maturity of Bo Pelini, Taylor Martinez and the Blackshirts, it’s time for some more tunnel vision as the Huskers stir up an appetite for Hawkeye on Thanksgiving, and on to bigger and better.
***Huskers.com produced some fantastic videos recording the day that was in Lincoln. I recommend any fan of the Huskers to watch. Copyright, however prevents them from streaming here. Click and enjoy!