Category Archives: Taylor Martinez

Recap: Nebraska vs. Michigan State

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Oy vey.

The most important thing we Nebraska fan’s learned after Saturday’s unravelling against Michigan State is that it’s going to be a long time before turnovers are a thing of the past.

The most important thing college football learned after Saturday’s game is that the hype surrounding MSU’s defense is undeserved, at the least.

They’re good, but not great. They aren’t the defensive juggernaut that analysts and journalists verbally fellate.

Three turnovers on the FIRST THREE POSSESSIONS has got to be some kind of record at Nebraska.

Ohhhh boy. Here we go. I’ll let my friends help explain this to you.

PLUS HE WAS LOOKING STRAIGHT IN THE SUN.

…of your ass. I assume that’s what she meant. Tommy Armstrong had Sam Burch wide open on the sideline. Ugh. Mental error.

They did. THEY DID! How awesome is that?

On to the next one.

So sad. He’ll be back. He’s young. He’ll learn.

This inflates stats and drums up hype. Kurtis made the tackle. There was no ball contact. Westerkamp let his arm and ball leave his body creating an opportunity to fumble the ball. An opportunity that shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Westerkamp fielded that punt at the 8-yard line. He should have let it go, and it hopefully bounces into the end-zone. Even if he doesn’t do that, he should fair-catch that fuckin’ thing because he was about to get drilled.

Let the punt roll, no fumble. Fair-catch, no fumble. Two mistakes led to the fumble mistake. An error in execution, if you will.

These are not forced turnovers. These are what I like to call collective fuckery.

Tommy fumbled two more times, and of course, only one of those was forced.

This is correct.

This too.

NO NO NO NO NO. You’re only half right. Calhoun caused the fumble. A lack of execution caused the others.

I just face-palmed so hard I broke my nose.

So what about the last fumble? Nebraska the proud new owner of a buttfumble.

Pregnancy, much like fumbling, cannot be blamed on you if you pull out early enough. Remember that, guys.

Cole Pensick mis-timed his movement. TA2 pulled out early. It created the fumble fucker. This was on our own 1-yard line. Sparty recovered on the 3, and scored on the next play. It was inevitable. It’s not a stretch of the imagination that even a wonky defense can score from three yards out.

In conclusion: MSU’s defensive stats, and points after turnovers (24), were handed to them. The starting field position for each score after a turnover? Nebraska’s 40, 22, 8, and 3. All resulted in a touchdown except for the drive that started on the 40, which resulted in a field goal after 12-yard drive.

The interception in the first quarter led to a drive that started on the Nebraska 46 and was moved to the MSU 44 after a holding call. Nebraska still gave up 12 yards, but managed to get the punt. Without that holding call? That’s 3 more points on the board fro MSU. We got “lucky” there.

But MSU was luckier. The defense didn’t do a whole lot to give the MSU the ball all the time. WE did it. We gave up the ball. We gave them the opportunity to pound their chests and boast about the defense. We gave the MSU offense a gazillion chances to show they aren’t incompetent.

Think about this: Nebraska only had the ball for 21 minutes, 23 seconds, and STILL put up 28 points on MSU. WITH A PATCHWORK OFFENSE. Everybody is hurt. The line is held together with spit and glue. We’re torn up.

And THAT Nebraska offense, with so little time and wasting FIVE opportunities on turnovers, still managed to run for 182 yards and pass for 210 yards. No TEAM has rushed for more than 100 yards, and Ameer Abdullah did it with plenty of room to spare.

Only once had anyone rushed for more than 20 yards on one play against MSU, yet Imani Cross had a 51-yard run that resulted in a touchdown, after being touched by a total of zero Spartans. Ameer added another 29-yard run.

Sam Burtch had a touchdown catch of 32 yards after being covered by a total of zero Spartans. Kenny Bell had a touchdown jump-ball catch for 38 yards.

Nebraska took 1:48 to move the ball 75 yards on their last-ditch drive of the game when Ameer scored the last touchdown. With a third-string quarterback.

392 total yards. That’s what MSU gave up. Good. But not great.

All of the above is not characteristic of a team that gets the hype that it does, especially against an offense that’s “not that great.”

In a game with hundreds of What Ifs, lets take a look at one of them. Lets assume the game goes exactly as it did instead of one drive.

What if Tommy doesn’t fumble on the goal line? Lets say that the drive goes exactly as planned, and Nebraska scores. MSU never scores. That’s a 14-point swing. Plus 7 in our favor, minus 7 for MSU. 35-34 Nebraska. Oh, and then that’s 491 yards racked up on the best defense in the country. But the defense didn’t save MSU from giving up those extra 99 yards. That would be NEBRASKA’s miscue.

You can play that scenario with any of the three turnovers that resulted in touchdowns. It’s how the game works though, the mistake cannot be reversed.

What if there were NO turnovers. Or just one? What if the Blackshirts were lights out? What if every turnover resulted in a score for Nebraska. Take 24 points off of MSU. Add anywhere from 15 to 35 points for Nebraska.

This game could have should have gone a million other ways with Nebraska winning. But it didn’t, thanks in no small part to barfy ball handling skills. Nebraska punted 5 times. MSU 7. This makes me think Nebraska’s defense is better than MSU’s, and the numbers show it. But a steadily improving defense is often overlooked when there’s a steadily declining defense whose reputation still resonates for some reason. Hellooooo OSU smoke show.

Some people think otherwise.

Oh fuck it, lets get to the people that agree with me:

From the mouth of babes.

Says anyone that isn’t a Spartan fan.

But the best tweet about this entire situation goes to…

You may have noticed I skipped over the fake field goal attempt. MSU’s “Charlie Brown” that was supposed to be a “Lucy” but actually neither of those because the holder was supposed to read the defense and go through with the kick, but he misread the defense and came up with some Linus bullshit and got the first down.

However, if I’m drunk at a bar in the midafternoon and I can see that field goal coming, the coaches should have too. A coach jacked up on the kool-aid about his stupid fuckin’ defense that has a 6-pt lead in the 4th quarter? Yeah, he’s gonna tell his kids they have the option to fake. And guess what? By their own admission, they shouldn’t have. But they did, we fell for it, and the whole situation on MSU’s sideline became a clusterfuck of inflated defensive egos, amateur psychology, misread defense, and a made-up running route combined to make Nebraska look stupid. It was a collision of mistakes for MSU that became a happy accident.

I’m not bitter though.

Follow me on twitter @blackshirtfresh so you can hear me whine more.

Preview: Nebraska at Michigan

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As many a teenage philosopher and aging rockstar have pointed out, there’s often a chasm between what we want and what we need. Usually, as they was poetic, we get what we need. However, that chasm is hardly a crack in the sidewalk this weekend for Nebraska fans.

Want: Big, easy, no-drama, healthy win. Need: Win

However, when our needs and our wants so closely align, what we get is usually neither. And since Michigan hasn’t lost in the Big House since Nov. 20, 2010, to a #7 Wisconsin (some might say this means they are due for a loss, but I’m not bold enough to make that kind of claim) there’s no way of predicting the kind of game we are going to see.

I’ll kick it over to star future Heisman-winning running back Ameer Abdullah to give us one certainty. In recounting the Huskers’ last trip to Michigan in which they were stomped 45-17…

“I didn’t play much, but, just being there, Michigan fans are nasty, man. They’re ruthless. I wouldn’t have it any other way…honestly, I’m not a big fan of Michigan. Nothing would make me happier than go up there and shut them up.”

I get the feeling Abdullah is right… Just look at this bloke.

IN THE FACE!!!

Not only are they apparently big jerks, they also are spoiled big jerks. Sometimes, Beyonce creates personalized messages for the team and then the band does halftime shows and things like that. *Makes jerking off motion*

Beyonce Michigan

I have no idea how that monstrosity didn’t curse Michigan that day. Beyonce, girl, you beautiful  when you walking down the street, but when you perform you look like a damn hooligan fool. Getchyo shit together!

Additionally, Michigan fans apparently also have a real low bar for what is considered funny. Buzzfeed, in all of its infinite wisdom, deemed Jake Butt’s following tweet “Tight end named ‘Butt’ authors greatest tweet about being a tight end that is a chocolate starfish” or something like that. *Continues jerking off motion*

If this is what’s considered the greatest of anything, I may as well quit life. This passes for humor in Michigan, apparently a humorless state. There are far better options here. Nothing about a buttfumble? Too easy.

How about when you blow the game, dropping the go-ahead TD in the endzone? “Who’s the asshole now?”

Next time you’re tackled, “Nip it in the butt.” Note: The correct terminology is “nip it in the bud” but we assume stupidity in this case.

Next time you’re stripped, “Pulled it out of my ass on that one.”

Or just general hilarity.

“I really like when homeless people pick me up out of ash trays and light me up.”

“Good thing my last name isn’t deodorant because then I’d have to play Right Guard.”

“If I were a dwarf, I’d be a semi-colon.”

“Just drank a pitcher of beer in 23 seconds. Butt Chug.”

“Just got laid… Butt fuck. LOLOLOL.”

Step up your game Jake, you’re making the rest of the puckered cornholes upset.

And last, but surely not least, Michigan fans are pent up. They’re hard up. They need a release. More than 100,000 of them rubbing together in the Shit House isn’t enough. They are the physical manifestation of six-to-midnight. Why?

Alright Ameer, bring the mace and shut up the fans. With a win, you’ll not only help our chances of getting to the B1G Championship, but you’ll preserve the piping system through all of the Michigan dorms for years to come.

Follow me on Twitter at @blackshirtfresh while I perpetuate the hate machine that I…hate.

Recap: Nebraska vs. Northwestern

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Saturday, November 2, 2013, will go down in Nebraska folklore as the day that an offensive lineman threw a 49-yard Hail Mary to a young Ron Jeremy to beat Northwestern as time expired.

(And quietly, our main man Ameer Abdullah took the lead for rushing yards in the Big Ten, something I predicted last week. He’s now the 5th leading rusher in the nation. Edit: 6th after Tuesday night’s game, behind by only 15 yards.)

It saved a few jobs…for now. It rejuvenated a fan base…for now.  It made a lot of people happy…for now.

But there were a lot of things that had to wrong before Kellogg-to-Westerkamp reared its beautiful, mustachey head.

Before the game:
1. An ugly loss to UCLA.
2. A Bo Pelini leaked audio  of him cursing the fans.
3. An injured starting QB who was supposed to kick ass, but can’t do that because he may break a toe.
4. A confusing and seemingly  illogical two QB system that doesn’t make much sense to anyone, even Bo.
5. An uglier loss to Minnesota that marred the return of star QB.
6. A pot-smoking, coke-snorting (only once?) former defensive coordinator that is related to our head coach. Oh wait… HAHAHA
7. Questions about the Blackshirts and their ability.
8. The once-named Blackshirts had their Blackshirts taken away.
9. All of the above leading to a disgruntled Husker fan base, on the edge of their seats, and wildly pessimistic.

Gameday:
1. Jamal Turner out.
2. Kenny Bell hurt in the first quarter.
3. A missed field goal
4. Giving up long runs to a 4th (FOURTH ARE YOU KIDDING?!) string running back.
5. Dropped passes
6. FOUR interceptions.

Let’s get down to it. After the first drive, fans went something like this.

Welcomed with positive reviews! Go Tommy!

Oh how quickly the mighty can fall… We needed to keep in mind that despite our good start, we had to keep it into perspective.

Despite my best efforts, no one listened. Northwestern scored on their next possession, forced the Huskers to punt, and then scored again.

That’s pretty neato you have that photo on hand…

Here’s where it got good.

Seriously guys!

And by good, I meant completely unoriginal and repetitive.  Follow those with a missed field goal. Repeat above tweets 10-fold.

Sometime shortly into the second quarter, a Ron Kellogg interception led to a 2-play drive that resulted in a touchdown. 21-7 Northwestern.

Interesting… foreshadowing of something to come.

Reminder: HE WAS FOURTH ON THE DEPTH CHART AT ONE POINT.

Have faith, ye of little faith.

Sorry. Wut? *Points to conference standings.* *Points to 0-4 Northwestern.* *Looks at Joe like he just farted applesauce.*

At least someone is asking the right question. I think I know what is going on here…

Oh, because suddenly we are mind readers… NO ONE CAN SEE YOU POINTING AT YOUR TV YOU DOOFUS AND NO ONE KNOWS YOU’RE AT THE GAME. IN YOUR FIRST TWEET THIS MEANS NORTHWESTERN/NEBRASKA. YOU DIDN’T EVEN MENTION YOU’RE WATCHING OR AT A GAME. HOW ARE YOU A JOURNALIST?

I can just imagine how your conversations regularly go.
Joe: This is cool
Joe’s friend on the phone: What’s cool?
Joe: The thing in my hand!
Joe’s friend on the phone: What the fuck is in your hand?
Joe: THIS!
*click*

On the ensuing drive, Armstrong got some of his mojo back, on a pass to Enunwa.

OH. MY. GOD. That spelling is atrocious. I hope your adviser fails all of you. Especially because this (take notes, Joe, there’s a link there) was your station’s last tweet Saturday. A mere 24 hours later you emerged with no mention of the game. Way to report on the most important thing that happened to your football team you homer. Anyway…

I’d be so mad at this joke if I hadn’t made it before. And later…

That means you don’t want any of your father’s business, and I find that to be an unhealthy relationship. Moving on to more exciting things.

Did you do that on purpose?

Ahhh yes, you must have, Matt. Unless you’re an accidental genius, and in that case whatever.

For America, God dammit! *Cue Lee Greenwood.* “GOD BLESS THE U.S.AAAA!”

Guys! Just you wait. JUST. YOU. WAIT.

The score stayed the same and some stuff happened and then INTERCEPTION.

Basically, no one is happy. I’m facedown in a pile of buffalo sauce and beer, my brother is beating up a homeless man, and the man sitting three down from me is still going on about a missed holding call in the second quarter (one of these is true).

"You mean.... #Jordy?"
“You mean…. #Jordy? But you can call me Jesus if you want.”
“Yeah bro, chill out.
#JordyJesus and I know what we doin’.”

You get your wish.

It just seemed so bleak…

No Taryn. NO. I REFUSE TO BELIEVE YOU.

And then…

HOLY SHIT

EVERYONE LOVES THEM.

EVEN YOU? Like it’s some sort of privilege. Surely he’ll have plenty of ladies to choose from.

See? Already starting.

Mostly dudes… But it seems not everyone was on board.

YOU GO HOME ALEXIS AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU SAID.

And for anyone that was wondering, Westercamp laid it down hard that night…

Kellogg was too happy to be bothering with blow jobs and mustache rides. In his words, he just blacked out and ran.

You guys are so mean… There are benefits.

While some were debating whether Kellogg was fat or just wore thick pads, others were nice.

And of course tides turned.

*Sigh* We are a finicky bunch of folks, that’s for sure.

That’s probably the best idea I’ve heard all week!

But really, what’s important here, is that a lot had to go wrong before we could celebrate as hard and as passionately as we did. A hurt Jamal Turner was replaced by Jordan Westerkamp, a walk-on redshirt freshman. A shaky Tommy Armstrong was pulled at the end of the game. If that missed field goal gets made, it’s possible the Huskers win on a defensive stand, and the Blackshirts revel in the glory. But it’s not the same as a Hail Mary.

Everything leading up to the Hail Mary is what made is special. Sure, an undefeated Husker team would still celebrate a Hail Mary win and the fans would breathe a sigh of relief and still go nuts. But a downtrodden fan base in need of a pick-me-up, a coach possibly on the out, a team full of injuries, a game full of mistakes. It has a different energy. It all makes sense later.

You see what I’m saying? Sometimes you need shitty things to happen in order to enjoy those unique moments. All of those dropped passes, those four interceptions, the missed field goal, the punts…they played an integral part in the making of this story. It all has to go wrong before it goes right.

Even Kellogg played a big part in his own Cinderella story. Say he doesn’t throw that first interception, and the Huskers continue downfield for a touchdown? Suddenly it’s a different game, and a likely ho-hum ending. Or the whole situation is flipped! Northwestern may have won on a Hail Mary. Imagine how we’d feel then. The things we’d say.

We needed those interceptions. We needed Quincy to drop that ball with 4 seconds left. It hurt at the time, but it was a blessing. The Huskers may not have gotten the ball spiked with enough time. They might not have made the field goal. Even if the field goal is made, there’s no guarantee of a win in overtime. But with Kellogg’s pass and Westerkamp’s interception, that W is on the board now and everyone released the powder keg full of tension and anger and sadness and I-could-coach-better-than-Bo claims.

Ron, if you’re fat, then I’m morbidly obese these days. Jordan, you keep rocking the ‘stache. I can’t grow anything like that, so you keep doin’ you. Only you two guys could share that moment. You guys are the ones that made it unique.

So, Ron and Jordan, be proud of yourselves and revel in all of this glory. You deserve it. The team deserves it. The fan base deserves it. We thank you for it. You breathed some life into a lot of people, and maybe some people’s jobs.

Or maybe not…

What about an Our Father?

Follow me on twitter at @blackshirtfresh for more long-winded recaps.

Afterthought: Ameer great job you are amazing and you still deserve the Heisman I just got so wrapped up in the hate machine that I didn’t include you and your amazing performance. You’re so good keep it up and next year you’re going to lift that trophy. YAY.

Preview: Nebraska vs. Northwestern

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Preview Banner

Oy, here we go. NU comes into NU, and no one knows what the hell might happen. Northwestern has lost four in a row after winning their first four. Nebraska is coming off of a loss that looked a lot more like a wet fart than the high-powered football we fans are  (almost delusionally) expecting.

Nebraska lacks the spark that often burst into comebacks last year. Look at that photo above. It’s pristine. A regular work of art. You couldn’t set it up if you tried. THESE ARE THE ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITIES WE NEED. That’s Taariq Allen, nabbing a pass in the middle of the fourth quarter of the 2012 game at Northwestern. It brought the Huskers within five. Then T-Magic hit Ben Cotton 6 minutes later to take the lead. Then the Blackshirts did something amazing. THEY STOPPED NORTHWESTERN. That’s what we need! More Magic moments. Oh… what’s that?

Well that’s one tweet with a dumptruck full of happiness.

That’s… that’s actually pretty funny.

Taylor Martinez is out with turf toe, a hip pointer, separated shoulder, knobby knees, a hobbled heel, seventeen sutures, tennis elbow, clicky wrist, and a hangnail. Which means we will see Tommy Armstrong again! This pleases pretty much everyone.

No.

 

Yes.

I’ll have you know that  not ALL Californians are spoiled brats, Luke.
*Gets into the Porsche dad bought after I didn’t blow it during probation*

"They've figured out my back-up plan"
“They’ve figured out my back-up plan”

This surely divides the fan base into two categories: Those who are happy, and those who are slightly less happy. However, those who are slightly less happy need not wait long until the great Ron Kellogg III comes in two drives later.

Says who?!
*Checks stats. Shuts up.*

HALF OF EVERYONE AGREES!

Oh, Bo.

This won’t make a whole lot of sense because this whole two-quarterback/two-drive thing doesn’t make sense to anyone but Bo Pelini and Tim Beck. They do this and it’s not too clear what the scheme is. We bring in ESPN the Ocho correspondent, Pepper Brooks.

(That .gif almost works perfectly because of Barney. Almost.)

This has the makings of a boring game, to say the least. Northwestern is ranked behind Nebraska in offensive production in three of the four major categories. The defenses are essentially the same by points allowed. Maybe this becomes a shootout and it’s way exciting! But then we just end up slamming our heads against the table half the time.

That’s where we need to give the ball more to Ameer Abdullah. That’s all that needs to be said there. He’s a Heisman-level player and we are keeping the ball out of his hands?! WHAT THE FUCK. You give him the ball all the damn time. If he says he can go, he goes, got it?

Just look at those arms and that smile. #SWOON

And if Ameer comes in and rocks the place, where does that leave us?

Here’s lookin’ at you Blackshirts. But they are no longer in existence, at least for the time being. So we are looking at the defense, which is giving up roughly 22 feet per first down. UGH. PLEASE SHOW UP.

If it’s a massacre, at least there are options available.

 

I endorse your non-endoresment endorsement, sir. C’mon Bo, win one for Carl. It’s the least you can do for a guy stuck at home ripping a bong and watching cartoons instead of College Football this coming Saturday.

I’ll see you all Saturday with my nose firmly pressed to the bar.

Follow me on the hate machine at @blackshirtfresh.

RecAPATHETIC: Nebraska at Minnesota

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The loss on Saturday was devastating. I was at a new bar, making new friends, all hyped up on our sure-win over Minnesota. It was not to be. Nonetheless, I still had it in me to write a recap, knowing there was sure to be good fodder on the Twitter. And then I read Twitter.

That’s the least of the spew that was hurled at Husker football players. Most of it had to do with dropped passes or sucking. I don’t want to draw any more attention to the people who get on a soapbox and berate a bunch of hard-working players that are still JUST KIDS. So I’m hardly writing a damn thing today.

Especially after some fool decided to liken Kenny Bell’s dog, Mox, getting hit by a car to his on-field performance. I could write tens of thousands of words on this subject, so I’ll refrain. It can be best summed up by: You don’t mess with a man’s dog.

This enraged a nation (or at least Twitter nation), and the internet was rife with people showering Kenny and his pup with love and prayers (the pup is now at home and doing well). This made me happy, but no less apathetic about stupid people.

So that’s about all you’re going to get from me. Three days late on the recap and I still just hate people.

To Recap:
1. The Huskers lost.
2. Twitter reacts unkindly, and mostly rudely.
3. Kenny Bell’s dog is hit by a car.
4. Imbecile uses this to tell Kenny he had a bad game, thus infuriating anyone with a brain.
5. Twitter reacts again, this time in support of Kenny.
6. My faith in humanity is restored because of number 5.
7. Search Twitter to write recap.
8. Determine people are assholes.
9. Give up, look toward next week.
10. Weep.

Other notes:
Tunnel Walk of Shame wrote the best article about Husker football this side of 2012.
– Carl Pelini is a pothead.

A closing note: To any one who feels it is their duty to berate, insult, make fun of, or otherwise be rude to a player, censor yourself. Stop yourself. These guys have been working and honing their skills for years on end, and they continue to work on these skills daily. They are constantly striving to get better. They will drop passes, they will fumble, they will stumble. But they are still likely working harder than you at anything you’re currently doing.

If that’s not enough, remember that there was a time that you had to be trained not to shit in your pants (not even a skill – just hygiene), and even that took some of you more than five years. Before you tweet, think back to the days when you ran around the playground with doo-doo smeared on the inside of your Power Ranger overalls and realize you, too, are not above dropping something.

Follow me on twitter at @blackshirtfresh for more apathy.

Preview: Nebraska at Minnesota

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NU vs Minn Banner

The Nebraska Conrhuskers roll into TCF Bank Stadium to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers this weekend. Their fans are expected to almost outnumber Husker fans this year, but judging from the photos above, we can expect these Golden Boys to do at least all of the following:

1. Cry
2. Subtly angle chili cheese burp into blonde girl’s face
3. Get bored
4. Contemplate eating booger picked two quarters ago
5. Regret. Deep, earnest regret.

And who is to blame them? The only thing notable about this stadium is that it holds about half as many fans as Memorial Stadium does, and it’s in the middle of the frozen tundra no one wants to visit. There’s no point in going to Minnesota.

I flew through St. Paul once on my way to Lincoln. My St. Paul to Lincoln flight was cancelled because the airport didn’t have the foresight to know that the construction they were doing for the past two years would cause problems for some outgoing flights and they should have scheduled around it. Instead I was placed on a flight to Omaha 10 FUCKING HOURS LATER. I got so tragically drunk in the TGI Fridays they use to spice up their shithole airport that they almost didn’t let me on the plane. But, once on the plane, I kept my head held high and managed to charm myself into three bite-size bottles of Jack Daniel’s on this non-alcoholic flight. Obviously, not being in Minnesota was the reason I procured them, so I blame all of MN for bad things, and all of NE for good things.

To the stewardess that gave me the Jack, I appreciate you and your massive heart. I imagine your name is Daisy or RosePetal, because you were just so sweet and you smelled like a floral dream. To Buzz (actual name), the uptight, whistle-blowing, no-fun-having, dingleberry waiter at Fridays, you can take your “alcoholic limits” and shove them right up your puckered asshole.

Moving on. Gophers are assholes. They tear up your yard and then scurry away when you try to kill them and then come back right after you’ve fixed it up. Plus, they are ugly as sin.

Northern Pocket Gopher

Look at the claws. Take a good hard look. The claws are twice as long as the teeth. I know some humans do this, but that’s unnatural. THIS IS HOW GOPHERS ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK.

Look at the teeth. Holy shit. Now we know where Minnesota gets it’s color scheme.

This whole thing is made slightly better by the fact that they are golden gophers.

l

Anyone that owns this can be my friend. I love this stuff. It makes absolutely zero sense, and that’s why I love it.

The most important thing about this weekend is the return of our beloved T-Magic!!

T-Magic LOL

Twitter is all a flutter, but for now it’s mostly innocuous babble, stating “Oh noes, Taylor and his toes” or “I can’t wait!”  or “Play Thomas and RG3” or “THE WHOLE SYSTEM IS SHIT AND OUR PROGRAM IS RUINED.” The really good stuff will come in due time, right about when Taylor takes the field for the first time.

I, for one, am excited. A healthy (crosses fingers) T-Magic should be a run threat, opening up the option game and creating even more opportunities to future-Heisman-Trophy winner Ameer Abdullah. With a rumored “getting better every day” defense, I’d like to think Nebraska comes out of this one strong. The Huskers have back-assed their way into the polls, even coming in at 24 in the BCS rank. This surprises me. Finally, the respect we deserve! I can imagine for the team this feels like being some schlep-along band on a major tour that finally gets a 12-pack of Buck Range beer on the sideline. WE H IT THE BIGTIME BOYS.

I’m not going to throw out any lofty expectations here. I have no clue who will start. I haven’t tried to read into Bo’s demeanor or facial ticks that might give some hint to who is getting the starting job. For now it’s a waiting game, and I don’t mind. It’s a bit thrilling, actually, to be on edge and see what happens.

I know one thing is for sure. Once the Magic show does start, this chump (who needs some afro advice from none other than Kenny Bell) is likely to be front row…

"I heard there's supposed to be a magic show here today guys!"
“I heard there’s supposed to be a magic show here today guys!”

Follow me on twitter at @BlackshirtFresh for more unnecessary fan-bashing.

 

Recap: Nebraska vs. Illinois – For Whom the Bell Tolls

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Well, Nebraska is still unranked in the AP poll, but the coaches bumped the Huskers up one spot to 24. This makes me think we are not getting the respect we deserve!

We clearly have a competent backup QB, looking all pass-efficient and shit. Even with winds gusting up to 30 miles an hour, Tommy Armstrong Jr. needed only 8 completions to rack up 135 passing yards. What a guy! He politely declined advances to impede his would-be tacklers.

Polite Tommy

Seriously, an absolute doll.

Granted, 37 of those yards came from the one-handed Kenny Bell catch-and-run for a touchdown. AFRO THUNDER! It was such a thing of beauty, he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD. I’m convinced that Kenny’s celebration, a fairly common “hushing” of the crowd, was not where the call originated. The refs were so blown away by Kenny’s athleticism, they determined it was unsportsmanlike for him to be that much better than the Illini secondary. It was just so heavenly.

Kenny Heavenly

After the catch, he went another 20 yards for the TD. Everyone celebrated, but Kenny was so concerned with the noise level in the stadium and some people’s fragile eardrums, he shushed the crowd. Again, just another gentlemanly soul on the Huskers.  Here’s the whole thing below, minus the heavenly light. The video cameras can’t catch those kinds of things.

And how about the defense, eh? Giving up 372 yards isn’t great, but it’s still better than how the Huskers have been trending. Nebraska is giving up a lot of first downs – so many that they’re ranked 107 in the nation in opponent first downs. It’s ugly. But only allowing 19 points (17 on while the D was on the field) shows an improvement in later downs, right? WE ARE GETTING BETTER PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE THIS, AP.

And last but not least, the beast, Ameer Abdullah. The guy had 225 yards rushing , 2 rushing touchdowns, and a 15-yard reception. Talk about a top performer! He’s 7th in the nation with 690 yards, and that’s after giving up some carries to Imani Cross and Terrell Newby. Yeah yeah, I know that all teams do that, but I’d like to think if he was the only RB we were using he’d have like 2000 yards by now. Sure his five TDs look paltry compared with Jahwan Edwards’ 10, but Imani Cross The Goal Line (sometimes the wrong one) is sniping some deep red zone carries. He’s already racked up six TDs! I have no doubt that Ameer will get his due, though. He’s just too good.

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Hi T.J! Look at my hand. Nice logo, eh? Kthxbye, it’s touchdown time.

After all this, Nebraska is still unranked in the AP poll, and it’s going to bite us in the ass. As we look down the stretch, there are some pretty solid games ahead of  us. Dramatic games. Exciting games. Northwestern, Michigan, and Michigan State pose the biggest threat. And maybe Penn State, but their defensive woes are starting to come to a head.

MSU still doesn’t have a super convincing offense, but their D pretty much knows what to do. Northwestern and Michigan scare me. They’re potent teams all around, and Northwestern gave OSU a bit of a scare this past weekend. The 10-point loss doesn’t paint the full picture, as the game could have easily ended 34-30 for OSU or 37-34 NW. Shit was getting real, and Northwestern is real.

I don’t even want to bother trying to break down Michigan. They managed to pull out a couple of squeakers, but I get the feeling their offense is getting ready to make a lot of teams miserable.

Nebraska needs to beat Northwestern (19)and Michigan (18) if it has any hope of getting into the B1G Championship. Even beating those two teams, going in unranked after relative softies Purdue and Minnesota will not be convincing enough for the polls to put us anywhere near the top 10.

The Huskers need an essential dismantling of their next two opponents, and then take down Northwestern and Michigan in order. UGH. Even then, I’d estimate we end up ranked somewhere around 13, should most of the ranks remain unfucked. Of course, it’s college football, anything could happen. Should Nebraska win through Nov. 9 (at Michigan – OMG IT’S GOING TO BE SO HARD), they’ll be expected to win out, and if any of those games come down to the wire, it’ll be attributed to the Huskers being Huskers.

It’s a long way out, but Nebraska needs to get back up in the ranks, and the best way to do that is to wallop Purdue this weekend. And then I’ll continue stressing about the AP and impending BCS ranks because that’s what I obsess over for no goddamn reason at all. After that, we can just piss all over the competition.

Follow me on Twitter at @blackshirtfresh.

Preview: Nebraska vs. Illinois

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NEBRASKA FOOTBALL IS BACK! CONFERENCE PLAY IS STARTING! WOOOO IT’S TIME FOR BIG RED FOOTBALL!!

One weekend without the Huskers was fucking dreadful. I didn’t know what to do with myself. My apartment has never been so clean! I exercised. I EXERCISED! I was so upset, I didn’t even stress eat. Do you know how stressful it is to not stress eat when delicious straight-from-Mexico Mexican food is three blocks from your apartment?

But then Lady Blackshirt surprised me with tickets to the Gin Blossoms for a belated birthday gift and all was right with the world (see, it’s OK to live in the 90s a bit, Husker fans). It was even better when I found out the next morning that Lane Kiffin got fired so hard that he wasn’t even allowed to sully his campus one more time.

Hang on…

LOLOLOLOLOLOL HAHAHAHAHAHA JAJAJAJAJAJAJA OI!OI!OI!OI!OI!OI!OI!OI!

Back to our regular scheduled programming:

Our boys have had a weekend off to rejuvenate, practice, spend some time at the spa… things that should translate into a win on Saturday against Illinois. The Illinois Fighting Illini. The. Fighting. Illini. Here I thought SDSU’s choice of Jackrabbits was absurd.

The university chose  “Illini” because of something with the student newspaper sometime around the Civil War era. It’s not really clear, but football teams should not be named after student newspapers. Student newspapers have notoriously stupid names.

Then, because the name really meant nothing, (people from Illinois are called Illinoisans), they added “Fighting” to the name during WWI, decades later. The idea was noble: It represents those from Illinois who fought and died during WWI. “Other wars be damned! World War I is the only one that matters!”

YOU CAN’T RETROACTIVELY CHANGE YOUR SHITTY MEANS-NOTHING NAME SOME 20 YEARS LATER AND HOPE NO ONE WILL NOTICE THAT IT STILL MEANT NOTHING AND YOU MADE UP A WORD TO REPRESENT YOURSELVES.

You don’t even have a mascot anymore because the one you came up with was offensive, ill-advised, and irrelevant. Some two or three decades later you decided you needed a mascot and in a not-so-shocking display of ineptitude, you fucked it up.

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Look at this smug fucking fool. Why the fuck are there Costa Rican flags on your face? ILLINOIS, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO YOU ARE.

You used actual Sioux clothing to shroud a student who portrayed a made up person – Chief Illiniwek – in an attempt to honor the Native American culture of your state. Actual tribe members got so mad that you had to give the traditional clothing back because you disgraced it. Now you can’t even use your Halloween costumes because your own school deemed your incongruous mascot too much of a shit stain on the face of your school.

Besides all that, YOU FORGOT YOUR REVISED MADE-UP-WORD-NAME REPRESENTS THE AMERICAN SOLDIERS OF YOUR STATE NOT AMERICAN INDIANS. Nice try, imbeciles. You are bad at names and you are bad at mascots.

We are all hoping that you’ll be bad at sports on Saturday, too. Namely football.

You see, Lincoln is susceptible to high winds on Saturday. You know what that means? Your passing game becomes less of a factor. Your run game isn’t that good. It’s middle of the road, but barely. Without a passing game, you’ll have to rely on the run. Because Nebraska’s defense has vastly improved these past two weeks (*crosses fingers*), you’re in trouble. Especially if we know it’s coming.

If you’re banking on the wind dying down, we have provisions to still ruin your day.

The best part? Take away Nebraska’s passing game and you get one of the best rushing squads in the nation. We are averaging 110 more rushing yards per game than you Illini honkies. We have Abdullah, Cross, Newby…a trio of backs that want nothing to do with your defensive schemes.

Don’t forget you’ll get a first-hand look the future of Nebraska: Tommy “The Touchdown Train” Armstrong!

Taylor Martinez is nursing his turfy toe for another week. The general consensus is that no one wants him on the field if he isn’t 100%, and that makes sense. We will likely need his run threat and cannon arm later down the stretch. Get him back to health, then back on the field. No need to… rush him.

Additionally, Armstrong can run. He’s no slouch. He’s no Tom Brady! He is mobile. Armstrong. Legstrong. Same thing!

This weekend will be a fun little window into what the future of Nebraska holds. A young quarterback with high expectations and a skill set to meet those expectations? Sign me up! And I won’t complain one bit if RK3 comes in and kicks some ass, too. Sometimes you have to share the wealth. As long as we don’t burn Johnny Stanton The Fourth’s redshirt, I won’t be upset. (He’s gotta be some sort of royalty with a name like that, right?). Besides, he is WAY too handsome to be used when he can’t be the face of our beloved program.

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Follow me on twitter at @blackshirtfresh.

Preview: Nebraska vs. SDSU

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BannerTo highlight the Husker game this weekend, I had a grand idea of exploiting the confusion between SDSU (South Dakota State University) and SDSU (San Diego State University), but that doesn’t seem fair because SDSU is much better than SDSU. All-time records show Nebraska handily trounced SDSU in something like 1784, their first meeting. The most recent meeting, in 2010, resulted in an SDSU loss (17-3), but the Huskers looked flat.  We can’t do that this time.

Nebraska comes into this game limping after another beating by UCLA and some asshole releasing a tape of Bo Pelini’s 2011 tirade that cursed Nebraska fans. It’s been an emotional week, and the team, while saying they remain steadfast in their focus, has likely heard it all. They are probably exhausted. Like, just-got-home-from-Disneyland-after-eating-a-bunch-of-funnel-cake-and-Dole-pineapple-whip-and-hugging-Goofy tired.

Not only that but… Taylor Martinez will most likely sit out with another case of turf toe. I don’t mean to alarm anyone but SON OF A BITCH, WE NEED TO BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES, ALL HANDS ON DECK, PULL UP THE DRAW BRIDGE, PUNCH SHIT, LIGHT FIRES. THE GUY THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO WIN THAT TROPHY FOR US IS HURT AND IT’S HIS DAMN TOE AGAIN AND WHO KNOWS IF IT WILL EVER GET BETTER.

Oh god, I’m so nervous. SDSU is good, or so it seems. They have a dynamic running back in Zack Zenner – who may also star as a porn star on some backwoods website with a name like that. He leads the FCS in rushing yards, and since the Huskers can’t stop the run, we may as well just let him walk to the endzone.

SDSU hasn’t turned the ball over this season. I’M TALKING TO YOU, SJB. THIS MEANS YOU, CIANTE. Interceptions. Lots of them. Make them fumble. Our offense could really learn something from these kids. Lets table the turns. They cough it up, we hold on to it. It’s a wonderful strategy. They are +11 in turnovers. We have to fuck this up for them. I will tolerate nothing less than 6 turnovers, in any combination of fumbles and interceptions.

SDSU’s go-to wide receiver is Jason Schneider, a man who is setting career highs in all sorts of categories since the season started. The strategy here is to not let him catch the ball. Then we need to make sure to score touchdowns.

A couple of notes for the week:

1. Bo needs to prove everyone wrong. He should go out there the same as he always does and coach the fuck out of this uber-talented team. There’s not much he could say to a stadium of 90,000+ fans to sway them. If he grabs the mic, it should be one hell of a ride. He might do himself a favor by saying “Fuck you South Dakota State University fans, no one ever even knew you were the state above us. We thought you were just the badlands of North Dakota’s wastewater, seeping ever closer to our Holy Land. We only knew you existed after our 6-ranked team put up only 17 points against you in 2010. Oh boy, you frothing cunts should have heard that recording.”

2. SDSU is giving up more than 400 yards per game. That’s good for us, but not good enough. I’d like to see the Huskers put up 600 to instill confidence. SDSU also is barely giving up 100 yards on the ground. The solution? Give the ball to Abdullah. Theres 100+ right there! Give the ball to Newby. 80 more yards! Give the ball to Imani Cross-the-goaline. POINTS. These gents can run. No FCS defense will hold them to less than 100 yards total. Right? I mean, that doesn’t sound logical. Right? These guys are TANKS. They’ll get it done. 215 yards rushing. In the first half. There’s my call. Don’t make me look bad, boys.

3. Ugh, Jackrabbits. I get it, your state felt the need for two universities and the other one got to pick the name first: the Coyotes. That’s your state animal, and a glorious one at that. So you chose Jackrabbits. You do realize they are in almost every state, right? That’s not unique. They aren’t even threatening. They are scared of EVERYTHING. They run fast, sure, but they run fast away from danger. SDSU couldn’t pick something like the Mountain Lions, Black Bears, or Swift Foxes? ALL indigenous to the state of South Dakota. There were so many options. They could have been the Fringe-Tailed Myotises. Look at these things!

Look at it. It’s so fucking revolting. Those ears. Those teeth. It’s like some mutant rat got all the ugly of his family, grew wings, and developed a tasted for insects and small birds. Thus becoming a Myotis. Bats are scary as shit. They are not fun. Rabbits are fun. Rabbits are cute and cuddly and sweet and like carrots and the like. Bats are hell. They eat living things. They are silent hunters of the night and will eat your ears and toes off while you try to relax in the cool of a summer night with your sweetie and a glass of riesling to accompany your cheese plate. Opposing teams would would be terrified! “SDSU? Nope! No way! Uh Uh! We’ll take the loss. One of them things ate my foot last summer.”

Rabbits run from people, Myotises will eat people. That’s fumble No. 1, SDSU. Prepare for more. For you. You’ll fumble. We won’t (hopefully).

Follow me on twitter at @blackshirtfresh

Recap: Nebraska vs. UCLA – The Recrap

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Last week, my preview said that the Cornhuskers needed to come out, buttholes blazing, ready to shit on UCLA’s chest. We instead shit the bed. I don’t know if I’m still hungover from the game or the wedding I was in that night.

I woke up that morning with stars in my eyes and a cloudy head. But despite the pain, I just knew we were going to to win. I was so confident. I didn’t mind that I might only watch one half of the game due to groomsmanly duties in preparation of the wedding later on.

I grabbed some water, took my morning doodie, and mentally prepped myself to not rub it into the groom and the 10 other groomsmen (yes, 10) who would be cheering for UCLA because they don’t know where Nebraska is.

After UCLA had to punt on their first drive, I felt pretty relieved. It was a good start. But once Nebraska punted on their first drive for the third consecutive game, I was none too pleased. I sat in my bed, grumpy, yet comfortable. Not with the game, but this bed was one of the nicest I’ve ever been in.

Then Pope Stanley Jean-Baptiste intercepted the great Brett Hundley! Whoa, this INT thing is becoming a trend! I silently – so as not to disturb my fellow groomsman in the other bed – jumped up and positioned myself to watch the glorious replay. Four plays later, the Huskers were on the board 7-0. I raised both my hands in triumph. I sat back down on the cloud bed. I prepared for a win.

Despite UCLA scoring on the next drive, I felt good, and mildly numb due to the booze continuing to course through my veins. On the next possession, the Huskers strung together a 17-play drive (without a turnover! OMG) and Taylor found Quincy in the end zone for their second time that day. 14-3!! I jumped up and had the most raucous and fist-pumping silent  celebration ever. It was my own little solo mosh pit, absent of sound.

The first quarter ended, and I started to prep myself for the day. I woke up the sleepy groomsman and we preened for the nuptials. A UCLA punt, a Nebraska 2nd and 30, a Nebraska punt, and a UCLA downs turnover later…AFRO THUNDER! Taylor found Kenny Bell to go up 21-3. This game is in the bag! What an awesome first half! More moshing! More yelling! Hangover headache!

But the first half wasn’t over. Somehow, with only 7:12 left, UCLA managed three drives: two that resulted in missed field goals (WHAT?) and one that resulted in a touchdown. I can handle the touchdown, if it came on maybe 1 of 3 drives, but the other two weren’t botched scoring opportunities. A 21-10 lead isn’t horrible going into half, usually. But this is Nebraska. If anyone can screw the pooch, it’s Nebraska. This time it marked the crumbling of a team. We were gliding smoothly, but UCLA came in to send us heels over head.

We went in at half with no momentum (it’s a thing, I promise you). I hoped it would rejuvenate us, but it didn’t. We had nothing to show.

By the time the second half started, we had met with the wedding party for brunch. Beers and food had been provided. It was going to be a good day. Nebraska would win. I’d get a healthy buzz. I’d have a full tummy. Until…

Thirty-eight points. THIRTY-EIGHT EFFING POINTS. UNANSWERED!! There’s absolutely no point in trying to break down the breakdown. It’s been done a hundred times – maybe thousands – in the days since then. There’s nothing more to say.

I watched the game with the 10 other groomsmen, the groom, his father, and his grandfather. His grandfather doesn’t even know me and he had no problem talkin’ shit! If it wasn’t wedding day…

Then, as if my day couldn’t get worse while UCLA ran squares around Nebraska, I grabbed one of the catered sandwiches that was brought to our hyper-modern house set in the hills of sunny Santa Barbara, overlooking countless miles of Pacific ocean…and it was mislabeled.

I took a bite of what was supposed to be a turkey-bacon-cheddar panini and instead got a mouthful of some salad stuffed between two slabs of cold wheat bread. I stood there at the edge of the Western world with a fistful of plants and dry bread, gazing over the deep blue, contemplating my life’s decisions that led me to such a deplorable misery.

I finished my vegetarian excuse for a sandwich, and tuxed myself up. I folded, unfolded, refolded, unfolded, and refolded my pocket square as the final seconds waned. I held onto hope as I tucked that little, white piece of silk into my jacket pocket, but it was to no avail. The score remained 41-21 when the clock hit zero. The Huskers never scored another point.

I was sad for a minute until I realize that I had a wedding to go to. A WEDDING. I had no time to mourn a loss. There were bigger things at hand. A WEDDING. A wedding where there would be booze and food and love and happy people. I had a friggin’ tux on, and I’ll be damned…I looked good. I was going to watch a great friend of mine get married to his beautiful bride. Nothing could ruin today, not even a Nebraska loss or a crappy sandwich.

Plus, it was comforting to know that later that night, while the groomsmen and bridesmaids roamed the streets of Santa Barbara, bellies full of wine and champagne, the Bride and Groom went went to the hotel and they sure as shit scored enough to make up for the Huskers’ shortcomings.

Footnote: Another couple attending the wedding snuck off to get naughty near the tiger exhibit at the Santa Barbara zoo during the reception. That pretty much makes up for anything bad that ever happened.