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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

 
 

 

Neeley: NU win a celebration of fan loyalty

 


Todd Neeley
sports@hastingstribune.com

LINCOLN - A step back in time is what Nebraska football needed against Louisiana
Lafayette in Lincoln Saturday - retro with under two minutes to play against
Virginia Tech.

No mulligan in football, but a step back to the first 58 minutes of that game in
Blacksburg would have been nice.

Instead, we'll take a manufactured 1962 look complete with throwback uniforms, and
pomp and circumstance - anything to move on. And NU's 55-0 win was a good way to do
that.

Nebraska's nation-leading 300th consecutive home sellout streak is the last great
connection to the glory days for NU - perhaps one of the main reasons Athletic
Director Tom Osborne fired Bill Callahan two seasons ago. Under Callahan all the big
streaks were fading away - consecutive trips to bowl games, number of winning
seasons, and on and on.

What seems to have faded away on Saturday is the sour taste from the heartbreaking
16-15 loss to VT.

It's the same short memory Nebraska will need to build and keep its momentum going
into Big 12 play - NU bounced back last year after big losses to Missouri and
Oklahoma, so you kind of expect it to be a recurring theme under Bo Pelini.

It was more than just a game Saturday, more than a celebration of phenomenal fan
loyalty.

It was a lesson in tradition for the 2009 Huskers - a timely and artful distraction
and a chance to refocus Nebraska squarely on the goal of winning a conference
championship.

After Saturday's win NU should be feeling pretty good about itself heading into a
bye week.

And any doubts about how good Nebraska is should be left at the doorstep. Just one
week after Virginia Tech was clearly inferior to NU, the Hokies took apart a Miami
team most national pundits believe was on the cusp of competing for a BCS bid.

Take it for what it's worth, but don't take the 300th sellout streak for granted.

Saturday was a perfect chance for NU to kiss up to the fan base - as Husker fans
deserve it after the recent lean years and serious doubt about the future of the
program.

In a way early on Pelini's team has taken on the retro look of the Huskers of old -
as Bob Devaney- and Tom Osborne-coached teams always found ways to bounce back. They
were willed to by the coaching staff.

Breathe Husker Nation, because this big day of celebration was complete with a big
smooch from down on the field -- and not from the homecoming court - but from a
team that showed it doesn't need retro anything to focus on the task at hand.

 

For more on the Huskers, click HERE

 
 

© 2009 The Hastings Tribune