Hello everybody…it’s Black Friday in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Well, it’s Black Friday everywhere in America I guess, but today in Lincoln happens to be the Heroes Game as the bowl-bound Iowa Hawkeyes pay a visit here to play the “this is our bowl game” Nebraska Cornhuskers.
It’s a beautiful day in Lincoln. Temperature at kickoff is 69.
8 seconds into the game and it’s time for the first official review. Ruling on the field was a fumble, recovered by Iowa, and run in for a TD. After a review, it was ruled an incomplete pass.
The first big roar of the game was when the referee said the call was reversed and it was an incomplete pass. I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a roar for an incomplete pass by the passing team’s fans.
Johnny Rodgers is sitting a few seats to my left. He’s a funny fella.
Nebraska scored first and on the ensuing kickoff, Iowa’s returner stepped out of bounds at the 1-yard-line. Didn’t that same thing happen in the Taxslayer Bowl?
The windows of this press box seem to be a huge target for bird dung. I don’t remember seeing that last time.
It’s now 7-0 Nebraska with 3:33 left in the first quarter. Iowa is moving the ball and we are now at a timeout for an injured Husker.
Well, Iowa was moving the ball well. Since the injury timeout, Wadley lost 2 years and then Ferentz was nearly out to the 20-yard marker trying to call timeout before the next play. Nothing like an injury timeout to stall a drive.
And following the timeout, Wadley scampered 20-some yards for a TD. And the Nebraska D looked almost silly on the play. It was a 15-play, 99-yard drive that ate 7:18 of clock time. That drive started when the Iowa kick returned stepped out of bounds at his own 1-yard-line, remember? Anyway, there’ like 2 minutes left in the 1st quarter.
And the end of 1, the game’s tied at 7.
It’s a Pepsi press box…so it’s an iced tea day for me.
Weird stat of the 1st quarter on a windy day like this…Iowa has 41 net rushing yards. Nebraska has 21. Iowa leads the battle of passing yards, 57-33.
Now, as the 2nd quarter gets underway, Nebraska tries a fake FG and loses 5 yards, turning the ball over on downs to Iowa. Fakes only work like that if you have blocking up the middle. Iowa swallowed up the ball carrier and took over at it’s own 24.
They just introduced Adam DeVine (of Modern Family and Workaholics fame), who’s in town for the game today. He graduated from Millard South HS in Omaha. He was all sorts of excited when they showed him on the jumbotron.
PA guy announced today’s attendance as 90,046. And the people who believe that number are the same one’s who track Santa’s sleigh with Norad.
Iowa’s DB’s got burned by WR Stanley Morgan, Jr., for a TD. On the play, he broke Johnny Rodgers’ single-season receiving record. Johnny didn’t seem to care.
Nebraska is now up 14-7 with 6 minutes to go before halftime. If you want to slow down time, watch these two teams play.
Then with 25 seconds to go in the 1st half, Stanley finds Fant for a 4-yard TD pass. The game is tied at 14, so that will probably be the halftime score, as well. Unless weird stuff happens in the next half-minute.
I saw Gary Barta earlier. He wasn’t wearing his “Have you discriminated against anyone today?” t-shirt. Actually, he was wearing a suit and tie…that’s a man who’s totally in-touch with Iowa fans…a suit and tie at a football game.
Smith-Marsette returned the 2nd half KO for a TD, but it was called back for a block-in-the-back at the Nebraska 12. So Iowa got the ball to start the 2nd half from the Nebraska 22. The Wadley put it in from the 1 a few plays later.
Iowa up 21-14 with 12 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.
I talked to Lane Gridle at halftime. He used to be the Nebraska football sideline reporter. Now he works with Bob Uecker on the Milwaukee Brewers radio network. Grindle did Nebraska baseball when he was here, too.
Now, about 2 1/2 minutes later Iowa scored again, with James Butler TD run. It was set up with a 40-something yard pass play, Stanley to Fant. Kinda shredded the Blackshirts on that drive. Iowa on top 28-14 with just under 10 to play in the 3rd.
They just awarded the “Hy-Vee Tailgater of the Year” prize. I’m not sure what the guy actually won; but judging from his reaction, I think they’re paying off his mortgage.
Ben Niemann just picked off Tanner Lee so Iowa took over at the Nebraska 40 with a little over 9 to play in the 3rd.
And now Wadley puts in in the end zone. Iowa now up 35-14 with 8:32 to play in the 3rd. Iowa has scored 3 TD’s in like 5 minutes to start the 2nd half. Wadley reached 1,000 yards for the season on that TD run. He also had 1,000+ last year. The press box announcer tried to announce to the media that he is only the 4th back in Iowa history to have back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Unfortunately, the press box announcer inserted an “L” in between the “B” and “A” of “BACK” during his announcement. I chuckled. So did a few others.
Dorothy Lynch salad dressing is a big sponsor here. I’ve seen a few promos so far. That’s a weird college football sponsor…salad dressing.
I kinda like the FS1 games. They don’t really mess around. There don’t seem to be an excessive number of commercial breaks and the red hat/coat guy on the 20 yard line is constantly winding his arm.
Jesus…Fant caught a 60-something yard TD pass and dove into the end zone. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct…apparently for the dive. I don’t get what’s unsportsmanlike about diving into the end zone. Under NCAA logic, Fant’s dive is the equivalent of Baker Mayfield doing that one thing last weekend. Anyway, Hawkeyes are leading Nebraska 42-14 with less than 90 seconds to go in the 3rd.
And that’s the way things stood at the end of the 3rd. 15 minutes left of this game. 15 minutes left of Nebraska’s season. 15 minutes left for Mike Riley’s head coaching career. (Incidentally, I was listening to the Huskers pregame show on 1400AM here. Greg Sharpe was interviewing Mike Riley and they took a break. During the break, the producer at the studio said “If there’s any announcement about Husker football following today’s game, we will let you know.” So, they previewed Riley’s firing during his final pregame show interview.
Uh oh, there’s a press conference scheduled at Arkansas tonight.
Iowa just had a 20-yard punt. Then 2 plays later, the Outlaw Josey Jewell gets an INT. That kid’s been fun to watch.
And following Jewell’s INT, scores of Huskers fans are heading for the exits with over 13 minutes left in the game.
And Iowa scored again. 49-14. This place is going from Sea of Red to Sea of Dead. Mass Exodus.
One of the older gentlemen who serves as a press box usher just told me, “There should be a mercy rule in college football.”
OK folks…heading to the field. Play nicely.
Here’s some fun stuff from pregame:
Scott Frost is the most popular guy in Lincoln who’s not in Lincoln. I’ve discovered, from talking to Nebraska fans here, they really don’t have a Plan B. It’s Frost or Frost.
This Trump-esque Huskers shirt made me chuckle.
The Huskers Radio Network pregame show was already going strong at noon…for a 3pm game. I think the pregame show starts the day before game day.
This dude, who was dressed in a Nile Kinnick jersey and a 1930’s style helmet, was really struggling against the wind as he hauled a Hawkeyes flag outside the stadium. It’s really windy here, by the way.
This is the view 5 minutes into Nebraska’s NCAA Record 361st consecutive sellout.