Dear fellow Husker fans,
I mentioned last week that I didn't think there was any way that I was going to be awake for the game. With the ways things have been going in my work life (more depressing than the game mind you) I went home Saturday morning and as my beloved bride puts it,"went to bed and was out before my head hit the pillow."
As for the game, I want to point out the first thing I saw was the final score and I was feeling pretty good. Then I saw the scoring summary, 42-14 at the half. Then I dug deeper and saw at one point it was 21-14 Oregon. It really got me to thinking about that second quarter mostly then the second half. What exactly happened there in that stretch where the game is close to a point where you are refilling your drink at the half and wondering if to add an extra shot of rum in order to forget the score. So, where do I go when I have questions that are bugging me? Well, to you my loyal readers, in particular LCH, Nish, and Boji.
I questioned these three great people and the answers I was getting for some of my questions are quite interesting, especially when I asked did Oregon let up in the second half? The answer in a nutshell was a combination in that yes they did and went to burn the clock mode. So, I sat thinking about that thread of thought and unfortunately (or fortunately if you look at it on the bright side) I tugged on the thread and my memory banks and research went down a rabbit hole of close calls and blown leads. So where did I go, bing of course and the question I searched was biggest blown leads of all time. One link was for pro football reference and it had biggest blow leads of all time, in fact here is the lnk
Funny thing is I remember some of these games, last year's Super Bowl, the Wildcard game between Houston and Buffalo in Jan. of 93, and one that isn't the biggest blown lead the Arizona/Chicago game (the Bears are who we thought they were). A side note on this is that only three teams have never blown a lead of three touchdowns or more: Jacksonville, Pittsburgh, Oakland.
I continued the dive with college football and the biggest comeback in college football is Maryland vs Miami on Nov. 10th of 1984. Funny thing is Frank Reich was the QB in this game and the Buffalo/Houston game I mentioned earlier. Well, the dig started and ended with this game so I went to the memory banks of games I remember.
The games that came to mind both occurred during the '95 season: the game vs KSU (49-25) and the Fiesta Bowl. The KSU game NU was up going into the final 15 minutes leading 42-6. KSU scored 19 unanswered points before the starters were put back in to finish the Cats off. I know you guys are wondering, why mention the Fiesta Bowl, it was a blowout. Yes, it was 35-10 at the half but I remember what my thought process was from that night: 30 minutes still to play, finish the game. You have to remember that Gator team, they scored fast. It is somewhat like what Oregon is doing these days. Then at the end of 3 quarters being up 49-18, I was breathing easier but not as easy as I was when Turman took a knee to end the game.
So, I guess you are wondering, why the history lesson? It's easy really. I think there is something to the thought process that playing to burn the clock against playing to win can have a adverse effect on momentum. I believe from my chats today that yes, Oregon did let up. However, the defense still has to make the stops. The offense still needs to take advantage of the opportunities and put points on the board. NU's final TD came with a little over 2 minutes to go. Nebraska had a chance, they had the momentum before Lee's final interception. The thing is the thought is momentum is the next day's pitcher. It has been noted that in other sports (baseball, basketball, hockey) where in the play-offs they are best of 7s, more teams as of late are blowing 3-1 leads. Heck, my beloved Cubbies came back from 3-1 down (I was at work when the final out was recorded, a story later in that regards). Momentum is a real thing and can be used to propel a team for a game, a week, or even a month. That is the nature of the beast that is momentum.
I want to leave you folks today with a couple of stories that hopefully bring a smile to your face and help get you through the week. They are both sports related, so don't worry.
1. As I mentioned earlier I was at work when the Cubs recorded the last out in the 2016 World Series. Yes, I was excited but had to tone it down till I got home the next morning. Anyways, the next morning the wife and I spent about 30 minutes watching highlights of the game, the entire 10th inning, and crowd reactions (I still haven't watched the entire game). Anyways, I mention that because I was home for the clincher of the NLDS. After the third out was recorded, I called my mom and dad to share the joy. My dad asked me if I had the same feeling as I did when Nebraska won the national title in 1990s. I had to be honest, it felt good, it felt different but deep down I wanted 4 more wins and complete the mission. Mission accomplished
2. My youngest son likes the band Newsboys. Anyways, Aug 25th they had a concert in Phoenix. I get the weekend off in order to go to the concert and as a side note, enjoy a D-backs game (the game was before the concert). Now mind you, my kid isn't the biggest baseball fan, but he enjoyed the game. Remember my pre-season mind vs heart game predictions? I had it going big time for the game. I am keeping an eye on the Cubs (in a losing effort) and the rest of the NL Central & NL West games. Why? Because at that time the Cubs were not only battling for the lead in the NL Central but also for the NL wildcard. Here is my heart pounding with joy that I was able to take my family to a ballgame and concert. Here is my brain going the Cubs are about to lose another important game in the standings. It was the ultimate my brain may have lost the battle, but my heart won the war deal.
No questions came up this week for "Questions from the North Endzone" so I will bid you all enjoy the week. To my loyal readers in Texas, Florida, and the Pacific Northwest, I will send prayers and good vibes your way during these troubling days. Stay safe. As for my loyal readers across this mighty land we call home, God bless and Go Big Red.
We are Nebraska