The view was spectacular from our new seats – which is more than I can say about the game. We were able to take an elevator up to our seats and then went down the escalator at the end of the game. Our tickets are in the first row of our section so there is no one ever standing up in front of us! We are about 25 steps from the concessions and bath room areas – and these indoor sections are completely air conditioned or heat warmed in the colder weather. In fact there are also tables that you can sit at INSIDE and still watch the game.
The seats are actually on about the 35 yard line and they are wider and more comfortable with permanent, all weather plastic seats, and a little more room for your feet. We can easily see all of the action on the field and particularly the Jumbo Tron scoreboard at the top of the North end zone – which before we could not see during the daylight. The fans near us are from all over Nebraska – particularly Omaha – but we met others from Los Angeles and Texas.
One thing that was different was that we were really able to see the coaches working with the players – we are right behind the Nebraska bench on the east side of the stadium. It surprised me a great deal to see Bo
letting his coaches actually coach – he mostly stayed away from the assistant coaches or hovered near them when they were talking with their players. The one exception was when Taylor Martinez turned the ball over twice in the last five minutes of the game and Wyoming closed the gap to three points and had the ball at the end to win the game. Our defense finally showed up on their last series.
There are some things that the coach (Bo) has done this year that show a different side of him to becoming more personable and appreciated by all:
- He led the Harlem Shake dance at the end of one of his spring practices
- He allowed the kid Jack Hoffman to run the final play in the spring game – which attracted over 3 million internet hits and the winning of a television Espy award – and out of character and totally spontaneous, both benches of players ran to the end zone to mob the touchdown scorer
- For the first time ever as a coach – he appointed the four final team captains during the August practices before the season began
- In the previous semester – the football team scored a 3.1 grade point average on a 4.0 scale – UNBELIEVABLE - if you miss a class you meet coach Bo at 4:30 AM to run stadium steps; when you go to class, you’re expected to sit in the first or second row
- The motto for the team is not to win games – it’s to be a man EVERY day – work as hard as you can; go to class; treat others with total respect; remember your family; and take ownership of the path of your own life
- The football team invests over 3,000 hours every year in mentoring middle and high school students; visiting hospitals, nursing homes, and medical centers; and supporting community fund raising events across the state of Nebraska
- He conducted a prank at a team meeting recently (on the internet) that startled his team – then took them all to a surprise downtown movie instead of a second evening practice for the day
- Also, for the first time ever he awarded seven blackshirts before the first game of the season. Previously, they were not given out until far into the season
- Lastly, he played almost 60 players with many freshmen and red shirt freshmen getting their big chance in the first game of the new year
Now about the game:
1) The defense was very disappointing – no sacks, very little pressure on the quarterback and Wyoming completely gutted us with their running game
2) The Wyoming quarterback, Brett Smith may be the best that we see all year. He was incredibly illusive and time and time again he scrambled out of danger – he also ran for almost 100 yards on the “read’ option with no one “reading’ him
3) There were a lot of missed tackles and again we got hit with too many defensive penalties – although as always, there were some questionable calls that went against us
4) I actually thought that this was one of Taylor Martinez’s poorest performances. Again, he had both of our turnovers - and on six of the zone read offensive plays, he guessed wrong. They are saying now that he may have a serious shoulder injury – so that may have been a factor in his game. He threw the ball OK, but again this was Wyoming – I thought that he would do better
5) The running game is really our biggest weapon – we played 10 running backs in the offense and the backups, including some freshmen were outstanding
6) The offensive line including five seniors performed the best that we’ve seen in a long time – we ran 85 offensive plays plus 5 punts
7) As many of our critics predicted, the DEFENSE really underperformed – over 500 yards - and there were several plays where the running back crossed our line of scrimmage with no defensive player being near them; there’s got to be a lot of “cleaning up” to do in time for next week’s opponent Southern Mississippi and from what I saw – I don’t think we have much of a chance against UCLA – again, it will be the defense and our untimely turnovers that will kill us – I sure hope that I’m wrong!!!