The 2015 Nebraska Football season will go down as the strangest that this long time Husker fan has ever experienced. You couldn’t make up some of the week to week catastrophes that this team went through. It was borderline inhumane. Just when you figured NU had found every conceivable way to lose, or nearly lose, a ballgame, you were treated to another crotch kick. In case you have forgotten, or are a glutton for punishment, here were some of the ways the 2015 Nebraska Cornhuskers shortened my life expectancy.
*An opening day hail mary loss at the hands of BYU. Mike Riley, in his infinite wisdom, calls timeout before the last play of the game. His rationale is that it will let his defense get organized. Unfortunately, it was the Cougars who got organized. NU badly misplays the last second deep ball to lose on opening day for the first time in nearly 30 years. Ugh.
*A trip to South Florida to play the under achieving Hurricanes. For most of the afternoon NU looks outmatched and listless. Then Al Golden’s squad gets distracted just in time for a big Huskers comeback. Just when it seems the Huskers have the Canes by the onions, Armstrong throws a bad INT in OT. Pass the whisky.
*Letting Southern Miss QB Nick Mullens throw for a mind numbing 447 yards!! Let that sink in. He’s a good player, but that shit shouldn’t happen.
*Pissing away the Illinois game. I would be more specific but there are too many ways this game was given away to single out a couple. NU simply took the game, put it on a silver platter and handed it to the freaking Illini. I went absolutely ape shit. After this one I knew we were going to be in for a craptacular season. Illinois was not a good team. Coughing one up to them was unforgivable.
*Having a lead, at home against Wisconsin only to let Joel Stave lead not one, but 2 game winning drives. Badger kicker Rafael Gaglianone clanked one off the upright and it seemed that NU had managed to clip Wisconsin. Then NU goes a maddening 3 and out, burning very little time off the clock and Stave leads them down the field again. This time Rafy G. did not miss. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!!
*The Tommy Armstrong pick 6 that ended up costing the Huskers against Northwestern. There was plenty of poor play to spread the blame around, but this was, in all likelihood, the difference in the game. This game was pivotal for the Big Red. NU was coming off a road win in the twin cities and holding serve at home would have gotten them back to .500. Instead the Huskers headed to lowly Purdue with a pathetic 3-5 record.
*The Halloween horror show against Purdue. This shit show was the very definition of embarrassment.
*Finally, having a chance to knock off the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes on black Friday. The Huskers outgain Iowa by nearly 200 yards. But 4 Tommy Armstrong picks cost NU a shot at turning the College Football world on its ear. The Big Red had been playing much better leading up to this game. Its like they were setting me up. They teed me up for a final crotch kick of 2015. This one may have hurt the most. My knees get weak and my stomach turns just thinking about it.
Yes, the inaugural season of the Mike Riley Express was an extreme disappointment. There is no way around that. Nebraska Football is not accustomed to losing seasons, regardless of how those losses occur. Still, there is something to be said for being in so many close games. The common thought is that this team will learn from those experiences and be better for it in 2016. Perhaps there is something to that. That is a topic for another day. Regardless, the 2015 campaign will be defined by blunders and mismanagement more than upsets of UCLA and Michigan State.
As the calendar turns to July and training camp gets closer and closer it comes time to put the preceding season to bed. 2015 will become the past and the dawn of the fresh season will become the present. No more will junkies like myself consider last seasons abortion as part of the present. Its time to turn our eyes forward to the wind shield and put 2015, mercifully, in the rear view. So once and for all, lets send off the 2015 Nebraska Cornhuskers in appropriate fashion…. FLUSH