We’re continuing our give and take with “enemy” writers, and though our first conversation with Cornhusker faithful deserved something special. As such, we’ve eschewed the usual conversation with folks who blog and instead turned to the some of the geniuses behind the best Nebraska board on the intertubes.
Formerly anchors for Huskerpedia, HuskerDan and Tad Stryker are thriving at HuskerMax, which should be a required stop for anyone who cares about B1G sports (not just Nebraska). Here we go!
Husker fans seem to be experiencing “A Tale Of Two Taylors”- last season he started well, but struggled at the end of the year, and we saw similar issues in the two halves against Wisconsin. What are your thoughts about his occasional inconsistency and how does Big Red adjust moving forward? Are Nebraska fans excited to have option football return to Memorial Stadium?
Husker Dan- I don’t think there is any nostalgia about option football. Frank Solich ran it and got fired. Husker fans want to win and they don’t much care what kind of offense Nebraska runs, just as long as it consistently wins games. Last year, Taylor Martinez’s problems midway through the season dealt primarily with his foot and ankle injuries. And Saturday night, it was poor play calling (among other things) during the middle of the second quarter and beginning of the third that force third that forced Martinez to try to be Tom Brady. Passing is not one of Taylor’s strongest points. Three of his passes were intercepted and all led to Badger TDs. Game over.
Tad Stryker- Husker fans are in favor of option football; they would like to see the coaching staff commit to using the running game more, since it’s the strength of the team. I am puzzled why Husker offensive coordinator Tim Beck had Martinez throwing the ball so much when NU led 14-13 late in the first half. Martinez has started 17 games now but is still very erratic at times. That is not a good sign. He still does not seem to realize that he has limitations throwing the ball. Nebraska needs Martinez to gain some maturity.
Quick word association- What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “ESPN”?
HD- Game Day.
Mali- I’m sorry, those are the wrong answers, although Tad was close. We would have accepted “Biased”, “SEC”, or “Selective Journalism”… moving on.
Other than Crick and Steinkuhler (most awesome name ever), who will be terrorizing Ohio State’s offense this week? Anyone in particular that Buckeye fans should know/should be dreading?
TS- Baker Steinkuhler has not really terrorized anyone so far in his career. So far, he has not been anywhere near the disruptive force that his dad, Dean Steinkuhler, was on the offensive line. The best player on the Nebraska defense is the linebacker, Lavonte David.
HD- Terrorizing is not the right word. The Blackshirts have yet to find their identity. In three of their first five games, the Husker defense gave up over 400 yards (486 Saturday in Madison). These are not scary numbers if you’re an opposing offense, but they are scary if you’re a Husker fan.
You’re not going to hold former AD (and former Ohio State Athletic Staff member) Steve Pederson against us, are you?
HD- Nope. Besides, he was here before he went to Ohio State.
TS- Nebraska fans have never misjudged anyone as badly as we did Steve Pederson. He grew up in North Platte, Neb., so we have no reason to blame Ohio State for how he turned out.
Rumors and wishful thinking still hold that Coach Bo Pelini will be a candidate for the Ohio State job should Coach Fickell not be retained. He’s been a great fit in Lincoln- what would keep him there, and what would be the response from Husker faithful should this come to pass?
HD- First of all, I don’t think Bo will leave Nebraska as long as his mentor, Tom Osborne is the Husker A.D. It was Tom who gave Bo his first head coaching job. Bo and his family love Lincoln. If he were to leave for any team, the Husker faithful would be mad. And if he left for another Big 10 school, they would be madder than a pygmy at a slam dunk contest.
TS- Pelini has his detractors, mainly because of his sideline tirades at Texas A&M last year, but in all candor, I’ve never seen a team get jobbed as bad as Nebraska did in College Station last November. Mali- You ain’t kidding... nice “going away present” from the Big 12.
In general, Pelini is well liked in Nebraska. Would OSU want Pelini if he didn’t win the Big Ten this year? I don’t know.
We were excited to finally add a team and get to the magic number of 12, and it sounds as if most of Big Red Nation was ready to be free of their former conference. As expansion talk continues, though… who would you like to see added to the B1G? Anyone you’d like to avoid?
TS- I’d prefer to keep the Longhorns out; they tend to destroy any conference that lets them in. I really don’t favor any move toward “super-conferences” because I think the traditional rivalries should be maintained. I hate to see Texas-Texas A&M go their separate ways.
HD- Notre Dame and surprisingly, Pittsburgh, despite Pitt AD, Steve Pederson. The Big 10 Conference will be around longer than Pederson.
And a big “No” to Texas and Missouri.
Mali- The Texas feelings are understandable:
The Big Ten Network has been highlighting conference icons, and including Husker greats. Do you feel this is a good idea, or does it do a disservice to the Big 8 and Big 12 legacy of Nebraska’s program?
HD- First of all, I LOVE the Big Ten Network! They do a fantastic job of promoting the conference. Husker fans enjoy looking back on some of the classic Husker games of the 90s. And with the demise of its former conference, most Husker fans don’t give a rip about the Big 12.
TS- I think the Big Ten and the BTN have both done a good job at honoring Nebraska’s legacy and making the Cornhuskers feel welcome. That shows a lot of class on their part.
Quick word association, part deux- What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Michigan”?
HD- Bo Schembechler.
Mali- We’ll give partial credit, since Woody was Bo’s mentor.
For Buckeyes traveling to Lincoln, what should they be aware of? Husker Hospitality is well known across college football, are there traditions or eating experiences that everyone should make an effort to discover?
HD- Husker fans first and foremost are great college football fans. Buckeye faithful will be treated politely and with a great deal of respect. Both programs have been among the best in all of college football for decades. As far as restaurants go, there are many good ones within walking distance of Memorial Stadium. Misty’s is one that many Husker fans would recommend. I would also suggest catching the Husker Marching Band perform their half-time program about an hour before kickoff. Fans can catch them outside just north of the Lied Center, about two blocks south of Memorial Stadium. There is also the Husker Pavilion north and east of Memorial Stadium. Before Husker home games, It’s an ideal experience for kids. There is a live radio broadcast from the field there on game days. And just north of the Stadium are two large bronze sculptures, one of Tom Osborne and the late Brook Berringer and one of Husker players celebrating. People need to be aware of the construction going on to the east side of Memorial Stadium.
TS- We are pretty proud of our State Capitol building, which I believe is the most beautiful in the nation. Try some Valentino’s pizza or a Runza, We are every bit as proud of Memorial Stadium as Buckeye fans are of the Horseshoe.
It’s was baptized in 1923 with a victory over the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame (Nebraska was the only team to beat the Four Horsemen and did it twice) and has witnessed the finest stretch of college football ever played when Nebraska went 60-3 from 1993-97 with three national titles.
Finally: What in the name of Dr. Tom is Lil’ Red? It scares my children…
TS- Move along, nothing to see here, folks …. unless you get a kick out of an inflatable figure bouncing on its head …. Nebraska has never really been strong in the mascot category.
HD- What is astonishing is that “L’il Red” was awarded the best college mascot a few years ago! But Red is pretty benign. You don’t have to hide the kids.
Mali-- Again, a huge thank you to the guys from HuskerMax… providing Husker and B1G hospitality well before gameday!