College Football

Husker Monday Marinade – Week 3

Does anyone else think its ironic that Bo Pelini got sick this week, and not last week during the UCLA loss?

But I digress. You know what made me sick last week, leading up to the Arkansas State game? The number of times I saw and heard the name Frank Solich on the message boards and local radio shows. Perhaps more then during his 2005 DUI conviction. Nebraska fans are  living up to the stigma that we are living in the past. Are rational Nebraska fans really longing for a new Frank Solich era?  Let’s check the stat line, shall we.

In seven full years at Ohio, Solich has had two losing seasons and one 6-6 year, and has won nine games just three times. Pelini has won nine in all four seasons at Nebraska. Solich is 1-3 in bowl games at Ohio. Pelini is 3-2, including the 2003 interim win.

Frank Solich has been so impressive at Ohio that here is a list of schools that have tried to hire him away: ______

I get it. You want the Solich that won 12 games and a BCS bowl at Nebraska in 1999. We’ll take anyone that leads us back to that place. And that’s the problem, we’re all living in the past, and times have changed. We’re in a microwave society now and we want everything now. Solich is in his eighth year and has started winning consistently just the last couple. So if you’re praising Solich for his accomplishments in years six, seven and eight, why aren’t you that patient with Pelini?

So, I ask, in a true test of your support for Bo Pelini, when you heard that coach would not be returning for the second half against Arkansas State, what was your gut reaction? If you were secretly relieved, the word ‘good’ crossed your mind at any minute for any reason, I would encourage you to double check your loyalty to Nebraska. It’s human nature to be curious how a team will react without their leader, but to be in any way glad is inexcusable. Get on board, or get off the bus.

Don’t turn your back on Bo! Photo courtesy of the AP

This is already a tough place to coach because nobody has had the full support of this fandom since Tom Osborne. But if you were willing to trust his judgement then, perhaps you could trust it now, at least for a little while longer.

It’s okay to demand better. Nebraska should never be happy with mediocrity. When you stop caring, you become Miami. Yes, the Miami that used to go toe-to-toe with us in the 90’s. But Miami can’t get their fans to care anymore. So please, demand excellence, but support the folks charged with bringing you that excellence. A state divided cannot stand and Nebraska is being very divisive with itself. Thus, you couldn’t blame Pelini for being terse with fans or the media, who almost hunger to see him fail so that we can all just move on. Bo Pelini wins the games he is supposed to win, the breakthrough will either come, or the correct move will be made. Patience.

Photo: Nati Harnik / AP

The ripple effect of UCLA was felt by the entire staff, and especially Defensive Coordinator John Papuchis who said after that game, ““The responsibility that we feel as a staff and as players to give you guys the best product we can possibly give — we take extremely seriously.”

They bleed the same shade of Husker red that you do, and I loved the fire Papuchis showed in Pelini’s absence.

What we learned from the Arkansas State game is that the defense can rise to its challenges. They didn’t allow an offensive touchdown against a Gus Malzahn offense that some Husker fans were concerned about. We also learned that the Husker running backs corps is perhaps the best in the nation. Once Rex Burkhead returns, the backfield of him, Ameer Abdullah and Braylon Heard will be the envy of college football.

The upcoming game Saturday against Potato Cake State will be status quo as well. We’re expected to win by at least 29, the margin of victory of the other two home games. Expect nothing less. At least we’ll have confidence going into Wisconsin, especially with the Badgers playing as poorly as they have been.

Keep the faith, Husker fan, and let’s not be Salem circa 1692 during our Sunday hangovers.

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